Study Abroad at Birkbeck, University of London, England

About Birkbeck, University of London in England

  • Minimum GPA: 2.8 (4.0 scale)
  • Application deadlines: October 15 for spring semester (Jan-April)
    April 15 for fall semester (Sept-Dec)
  • Program advisor: Nikki Bruckmann
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Program Snapshot


We're so excited that you are thinking about studying abroad at Birkbeck, University of London with IFSA-Butler. London is a thriving, eclectic city and we're sure you're going to love studying there! In addition to small, interactive and academically-challenging courses, students at Birkbeck can also explore hundreds of hands-on internships that cater to their interests and abilities.

What Birkbeck has to offer

  • An exciting curriculum developed especially for American students and based at a world-class teaching and research institution
  • Academically challenging courses and a variety of internships
  • Students are taught in Gordon Square, once occupied by the novelist Virginia Woolf and the economist John Maynard Keynes
  • Participation in IFSA-Butler's Exploring Community & Culture program
  • Part of the University of London, so students can use the University of London Union's excellent facilities
  • Opportunities to interact with British and other international students
  • Set in the Bloomsbury area of central London, the hub of the University of London federation and famous for its literary, intellectual and artistic history
  • Close to Covent Garden shopping and Soho's great nightlife


  • Housing is in IFSA-Butler housing in central London
  • Students purchase or prepare their own meals


  • Program courses are semester-length versions of courses that are part of the regular Birkbeck curriculum
  • Lecturers are Birkbeck faculty members or drawn from other colleges of the University of London
  • Most courses take advantage of London as a "living laboratory"
  • Students take four courses per semester or an internship and three courses

We look forward to working with you!



Where can I find a list of courses that the university offers?
All of the courses on offer are listed below, along with their course descriptions. Course descriptions give you a good overview of topics covered during the course. Please note that you will have to fulfill any prerequisites listed in the course description.

What if I need to take a required course?

Please be aware that IFSA-Butler cannot guarantee that your host university will offer a particular course, or that you will be allowed to take that particular course. However, if you need to take a required course, you may indicate that it is required on your course preference form. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor will communicate your needs to your host university.

Birkbeck, University of London Courses

An internship may be taken in lieu of one taught course. The internship includes guidance and discussion designed to facilitate learning through the field assignment and to establish parameters for the related academic research project. Internships require 20 hours per week of on-site employment as well as a research project. Please see separate details. The internship is usually incorporated into your weekly timetable of Monday-Thursday. The internship must be taken for academic credit.

Course Restrictions

There are no course restrictions for this program.


How many courses am I able to take, and how do I determine U.S. semester credit hours?
You must enroll in a full course load as defined by IFSA-Butler. A full course load at Birkbeck is 16 credits for the semester (equivalent to 16 U.S. semester credit hours). Each course is worth 4 U.S. semester credit hours, so you will enroll in four courses. Rank your top four choices, along with two alternate course choices, on the course form. If you plan to do an internship, this will count as one of your four courses. You must take all courses for academic credit, and must complete all coursework and exams in order to obtain credit on the Butler University transcript.


What are the registration conditions?
You must take a full Birkbeck course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Credit will be awarded on a Butler University transcript based on a typical U.S. full course load. All courses are graded on an A-F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or auditing courses unless pass/fail is the only method of assessment for the course. You are not allowed to register for online, distance education or hybrid courses.

You should also be aware that you may be charged additional fees by your home institution or host university to take or process additional credits. Taking less than a full course load may jeopardize your student status and result in personal academic repercussions and/or loss of financial aid.

The course preference form is not a registration form; it is a guideline to let your host university know which courses you are interested in taking abroad. You should discuss your course selections with your academic advisor at your home institution and have several backup choices in mind. Neither you nor the university is bound by your selections, and you will not officially register for courses until you arrive on campus.


What do I need to know about exams?
Because of the differences in the academic systems, you will not know your exam schedule until after you arrive at your host university. Please refer to your program calendar to review the exam period for your host university. Your host university's policies do not permit you to reschedule any exams, request alternate assessments or arrange to have your exams proctored in the United States. If this occurs, IFSA-Butler cannot assist you in conducting an academic record appeal for the course in which you made this arrangement. You will need to complete and submit all academic work prior to departing the program.


How will my home university know what my classes were and what grades I received?
After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned at Birkbeck, University of London. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.

Exploring Community & Culture

 Student praise for C&C:

"We were able to discuss current issues while bringing information from our classes to the table. My friend from college was in another study abroad program and she was jealous because they didn't have a C&C."

"At first I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it, but it really helped me to see things from a different perspective. I am pretty sure I would not have gotten the same out of my time in London without doing the C&C."

IFSA-Butler's Exploring Community & Culture program (C&C) at Birkbeck is designed to take students' study abroad experiences to another level. It encourages them to get the most out of their time abroad by blending intercultural learning with an exploration of the local community and local community groups. Selected activities will foster your intercultural learning through a series of on-site discussions and self-reflection. Through this program you will be encouraged to engage with the community in which you are living and question your own perspective of the world, while learning to appreciate similarities and differences between cultures and communities.

At Birkbeck, the C&C is a seminar certificate program which will be a complementary addition to your four courses. You will receive a total of 16 U.S. semester credit hours for the semester as well as the certificate of completion for the C&C seminar. The C&C seminar is comprised of at least eight sessions which include classroom discussion combined with field excursions designed to assist you in exploring the complexities and curiosities of London's varied neighborhoods.

Students who have participated in the C&C in past semesters have found it a great way to explore and get to know London and, with their fellow IFSA-Butler students, to learn interculturally from their everyday experiences there.

You may participate in C&C the seminar for 3 U.S. semester credit hours. The C&C seminar is comprised of class discussions combined with instructor-guided field excursions designed to assist you in exploring the complexities and curiosities of London's varied neighborhoods. Students who have participated in the C&C in past semesters have found it a great way to explore and get to know London and, with their fellow IFSA-Butler students, to learn interculturally from their everyday experiences there.


Housing Options

What are my housing options?
You will live in elf-catered apartment-style housing in the Paddington neighborhood. Apartment-style housing has double and some triple rooms, each with ensuite bathrooms, as well as a communal kitchen and living room.


All accommodations are self-catering. No meal plans are available.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while classes are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals and any commuting costs you may incur. Your housing fee includes the cost of accommodation during university breaks.

Please keep in mind that while IFSA-Butler guarantees housing, we cannot guarantee your preferences.

Can I arrange my own housing?
Yes. IFSA-Butler recognizes that some students require independent housing for their time abroad. If you choose not to take advantage of our guaranteed housing, you may sign up for independent housing on the housing preference form. Once you've made this choice, we will not provide housing for you or bill you for the accommodation fee.

Please be advised that housing costs can be high abroad, and many times students living independently end up spending more money than students living in IFSA-Butler arranged housing. If you are hoping to save money by arranging housing on your own, please research your options early so you can compare costs. You must notify us of your intention to live in independent housing by the program application deadline for your term abroad, listed at the top of this page. We are not able to accommodate independent housing requests after the deadline.

Location Info

Living and Studying in London, England

About London
Population: 9 million
Location: Southeast England

City features

  • One of the most cosmopolitan, hip cities in the world, with an atmosphere of excitement and sophistication
  • A major global city with remarkable cultural, historic, artistic, political and intellectual offerings
  • Home to many universities scattered throughout different neighborhoods, each with its own atmosphere and attractions
  • A diverse population with more than 300 languages spoken within the city
  • One of the world's leading business and financial centers

Do more!

  • Use London's excellent transportation links to explore continental Europe
  • Take advantage of Britain's extensive rail system to visit other areas of the U.K.
  • Take a break from the constant bustle of London and experience the beautiful and historic regions of England

Visit London 
London On Line
London Net
Time Out: London
London Town
London Transport

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

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Important: Once you are abroad, please verify the program end date with the department(s) in which you are studying. Ending dates may vary from department to department, and you will be expected to complete all course obligations prior to your departure. Program housing is available only until the program end date.

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

In the United Kingdom, exams are taken under formal conditions and changes cannot be made for individuals. Exams must be taken where and when scheduled.

Program Fees

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What's included in our England program fees
Expense calculator

Fall Payment Due: July 1
Spring Payment Due:
November 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for the entire program fee, which includes tuition, services and housing. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular apartment or house without any extra features.

Personal Cost Estimates

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Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. Rates are current as of 12/9/2016.

They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs. Meals are estimated based on the cost of a weekly standard grocery shop with one or two meals out.  If you plan to eat out once a day or more, we recommend using a higher estimate.  If you have dietary restrictions or follow a specific diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, organic, etc), you may also wish to budget more due to the higher cost of specialty food items.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

*Student Visa: Some students will be required to obtain a student visa for the U.K. These include all full year students, any student participating in an internship and citizens of certain countries. U.S. citizens studying in the U.K. for less than six months (180 days) can enter the country as a student visitor at no cost but are not allowed to undertake an internship, paid work or unpaid volunteer activities. Detailed instructions regarding U.K. visas will be sent to all students upon acceptance.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

Commuting: Estimates are for transportation between housing and university. Transportation for personal or recreational purposes is not included in the above estimates.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their program in London:

emmaProgram Advisor Emma Diebold assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Emma completed her undergraduate degree in Geography: Travel & Tourism at Ball State University. She went abroad with the BSU Geography Department to Eastern and Central Europe and has enjoyed personal travels to several destinations including Belgium, France, Ireland, Peru, Ecuador and The Bahamas. Emma joined the IFSA- Butler team to aid students who want to explore the world and advises students planning to study abroad in England. Emma can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229, ext. 4258.


angelitaStudent Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.




Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office, including our resident directors. Click here to read more about Resident Directors Lynne Alvarez and Andrew Williams.

Get Connected

Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program. Check out the following:

Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students


Birkbeck offers an opportunity for students to participate in an intensive internship option. Some of the most common internships are in arts management, business, media and communications, and politics. Past interns have earned placements at top U.S. companies, Parliament, British financial institutions, fashion designers, theatres and concert halls and prestigious media outlets.

The minimum GPA required for participating in an internship is 3.0. The internship requires students to obtain a tier 4 visa, which will cost approximately $550 (as of January 2015). The internship duration is one semester and is worth 4 U.S. semester credit hours. The internship replaces one of your courses at Birkbeck.

Participating in a Birkbeck internship involves a work assignment of two and a half days a week or a minimum of 20 hours each week, with no work commitments on Fridays. Students who register for the internship option must be prepared to make a full commitment to the internship program, as the opportunity is very time consuming. In addition to the weekly placement hours, students participating in the internship program will take a tutorial course comprised of four two-hour seminars and prepare a related academic research project that will be assessed by a Birkbeck faculty member. Your academic project carries most of the weight in determining your final grade.

An overseas coordinator arranges your placement, which is subject to a successful interview after your arrival in London. Please note that if you express interest in an internship placement and then decide to withdraw from the internship option, Birkbeck will charge a withdrawal fee of more than $1,200.

The minimum GPA required for participating in an internship is 3.0. The internship requires students to obtain a tier 4 visa, which will cost approximately $550 (as of January 2015). The internship duration is one semester and is worth 4 U.S. semester credit hours. The internship replaces one of your courses at Birkbeck.

To discuss the internship option more in depth, please call our office and speak with the Birkbeck program advisor.

Download an internship application from the Forms tab.


Students planning to study abroad at Birkbeck, University of London can apply for the Marcus Ames-Lewis Memorial Scholarship for $2,000. Download a scholarship application.

Summer Program

Birkbeck also offers a summer study opportunity. The summer program offers a wide selection of courses, a social program of events and activities and an amazing experience in the heart of London. Click here to learn more.

Institute for Study Abroad, Alliance For Global Education and MORE CULTURE. LESS SHOCK. are registered marks of the Institute for Study Abroad, Inc.