International students

The University of Birmingham welcomes applications from disabled students and our Disability and Learning Support Services can help you get the maximum benefit from university life. We encourage you to tell us if you have a disability so that we can provide you with appropriate information and advice, and ensure that you have the best possible experience while you are with us.

What disability means in the UK

In the UK “disabled” means having a significant health condition or impairment lasting (or likely to last) longer than 12 months. This can mean a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, a mental health condition such as bipolar or depression, a sensory impairment related to vision or hearing, or a long term condition such as epilepsy, diabetes or Aspergers. For students with a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, bipolar or psychosis, support is available from the Mental Health Advisory Service. The service also supports students with Asperger's syndrome and autism.

How to register with us

If you disclose a disability (by ticking a box) on your application form you should automatically be contacted by us once you’ve been made an offer. You should also receive a registration form in your offer pack. You can also email or telephone us to refer yourself.

What you need to provide

Once you have made contact with us, you will be asked to complete some forms which will help us identify what support you might need and any resulting costs.

You will need to provide medical evidence, written in English, about your disability – how long it has lasted or will last and what the impact is on your day to day living and study requirements.

If you have a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) you will need a post-16 full diagnostic report which clearly states that you have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia / dyspraxia, recommends extra time and outlines the impact your SpLD may have on your studies.


The more information you provide us with about your disability or health condition, and your related support requirements, the better advice we can provide to both you and the University.

This information will only be used to help us assess what support you require to study to your full potential. We do not share any information without your permission and will not pass on any medical reports.

Your selection for your course will only be judged on your academic ability and potential and any other criteria set by the department, and any information you provide to our services will not be used.

If you would like to discuss any of these issues, please contact us as soon as possible.

Support from the University

Some examples of the kinds of support that can be provided by the University are:

  • Information and advice from professional staff
  • Dyslexia/dyscalculia/dyspraxia screening
  • Liaison with academic and other departments
  • Access to Assistive Technology booths in the library
  • Assistive Software on computers throughout the university e.g. Jaws for
  • Windows screen reader, Zoomtext Magnifier/Reader, Inspiration and Mind
  • Genius, mind mapping software and TextHelp Read/Write, for dyslexic students.
  • Extended library loans and book fetching service
  • Accessible accommodation where available
  • Exam accommodations
  • Short term loan of equipment such as digital recorders
  • Access to effective learning workshops and online study skills resources


The majority of disabled international students are not eligible for UK government funding. Please discuss with us any needs that you have before you arive.

Some examples of the types of support which will require funding:

  • Notetaking
  • Help with day to day living e.g. help with shopping or getting around. (This may be the sort of support you are used to getting from family or friends.)
  • Transcription for blind or visually impaired students
  • One to one learning/study support
  • Specialist mental health mentoring

Further help

For advice on financial matters, please contact the Student Funding Office.

For any other matters that you need advice for, please contact the International Students Advisory Service.

For more information and advice for disabled students, please contact the Disability and Learning Support Service.