University of Birmingham
- Undergraduate Students
- Postgraduate Students
- International Students
- Founded in 1900 by Joseph Chamberlain, Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century.
- This was England’s first civic university, where students from all religions and backgrounds were accepted on an equal basis.
- Birmingham was the first independent civic university built on a campus model, the first with a Medical School, a Business School, a purpose built students' union, and a women's halls of residence.
Location and Transport
- Birmingham is at the heart of the country's road and rail networks, with an international airport with flights to many worldwide destinations.
- Located just far enough from the city centre to enjoy the benefits of campus life, but close enough to access all the amenities of one of the UK's largest cities.
- Birmingham's Edgbaston campus is green and spacious, with all the amenities of a small town on its 101-hectare (250-acre site), including the university's own train station.
- We welcome undergraduate applications from all candidates offering A level or equivalent qualifications.
- Entry standards for A level vary, with mean points score for entrants being 402.
- International students need to demonstrate a good level of written and spoken English.
- Find out more about entry requirements at the University of Birmingham on our website.
The 34,160 students enrolled in the academic year 2014/15 comprise:
Level of study
- Undergraduate 59%
- Postgraduate 41%
Mode of study
- Full Time 80%
- Part Time 20%
- UK 76%
- EU 4%
- Other 20%
- Male 43%
- Female 57%
- Single honours programmes for students wishing to concentrate on one subject, and joint honours for those who like a range of options.
- The Major/Minor degrees allow students to concentrate on one subject most of the time (70%), but give a taste of a second subject (30%).
- The Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Natural Sciences allows students to design their own programme of study based on their interests and strengths. Students will be supported in choosing modules which fit together into a logical programme of study, and in particular they will develop a Major area of in-depth knowledge. Depending on the modules chosen, students can keep their options open and choose their Major at the start of their final year.
- Some programmes allow study of modules outside the main discipline (MOMD) – there are over 130 MOMDs.
- Birmingham students should expect to be challenged and encouraged to think for themselves. They enjoy a range of different learning settings, which helps cover the essential materials for the course. Students will also be required to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for themselves,
- Through enquiry-led learning, students are encouraged to take an active role in managing their learning, developing creativity and independence, leadership and problem-solving skills – all highly valued by employers.
- Students will be supported in making this transition to the rigorous demands of a degree. Support on offer includes personal tutors and welfare tutors based in departments, to a 'transition review' in the first year which helps students assess their progress so far and access help where necessary.
- Also offered is a Personal Skills Award, which enables students to gain accreditation in a range of leadership, management and life skills that are essential for the modern work place.
- The standard of programmes and awards has been given the highest commendation by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.
- More than 81% of all research carried out by the University of Birmingham is rated as internationally excellent (3*) or world leading (4*) according to the REF 2014.
- The results of the REF also show that 87% of the University of Birmingham’s research activity has a global impact, confirming its position among the world’s top universities for research in a broad range of areas from History and Education to Chemical Engineering and Psychology.
- The REF results place many of the university’s arts and humanities researchers among the very best in the UK, highlighting our world-class research programme. This includes our work in the field of global ethics in, for example, the governance of the UK Biobank and in genetic research practices.
- Ranked first in the country for Dentistry in terms of 4* and 3* research, academics have joined forces with leading global industry names such as Unilever, Philips and Mars to trial new products which will have health impacts far beyond dental issues, including in diabetes and heart disease.
- REF results placed the university’s Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation researchers among the top three in the UK, highlighting the world-class research programme into pioneering work, including helping 'hard to reach' communities to adopt and maintain more active and healthier lifestyles.
- Birmingham researchers have developed the techniques needed to identify gravitational wave signatures; and formed part of the ground-breaking team behind the discovery that confirms one of Albert Einstein’s major predictions in his 1915 general theory of relativity.
- The University of Birmingham is at the vanguard of developments in the UK’s flourishing Life Sciences sector; exploring ways to combat antibiotic resistance, tackling the silent killers of liver disease and diabetes, and working to harness the immune system in the fight against cancer.
- Using genome sequencing, our scientists are at the cutting edge of developing ways to understand, monitor and control outbreaks, such as the Ebola virus, across the world.
- Our researchers have created a visionary Institute for Forest Research to transform our understanding of how trees will respond to future increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
- Energy experts at the university are championing UK investment in clean-cold technologies amid concern that global demand for cooling and refrigeration will overtake the demand for heating by 2060.
- Our work into quantum technology could help industries, from healthcare to construction, solve many problems, and our physicists are at the centre of analysing data taken the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider, which is hunting for evidence of new particles.
- Our Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon seeks to continue the enduring legacy of our best known playwright, and continue to push the boundaries of our knowledge of his work.
- By promoting a better understanding of how the mind works, our researchers are exploring ways to break down the stigma commonly associated with mental illness.
- Our experts at the University of Birmingham are helping to set the national agenda for developing character and virtue in society through education.
- With the ever-increasing global use of drones in warfare and commerce, Birmingham is at the epicentre of research to understand the implications of remote technology in the 21st century.
- A world leader in developing new learning technologies designed to help individuals learn in the way that suits them best.
- Nine open-access computer suites across campus, two e-learning suites, data points in 90% of university study bedrooms, wireless network, online learning resources.
- A new Student Hub, housing all of our student support services including advice on finances, wellbeing and counselling and our careers network.
- Visit the website for information about disability services at the University of Birmingham or telephone 0121 414 5130.
- A long and successful history of lobbying and campaigning to improve student life.
Runs more than 190 student groups and societies, reflecting every taste and interest.
- Intervol (international volunteering) send around 100 students each year to projects across the globe, including Aids Awareness in Cambodia and Kenya, conservation work and other sustainable long-term initiatives.
- Find out more about the students' union at the University of Birmingham visit the website.
Availability of Part-Time Work
- Many opportunities to find part-time work in Birmingham. Nine out of ten students find paid work during their time at university.
- Job Zone is an on-campus service run by our Student Guild to help students find external part-time jobs. Vacancies advertised are rarely more than 16 hours per week during term-time.
- Worklink is a sevice based at the Guild of Students, and works alongside the Jobzone to provide students with the connection to on-campus casual work.
- At the University of Birmingham we are recognised for our commitment to supporting our students throughout their studies and beyond, from continuing their academic career or entering full time employment.
Our Careers Network offers tailored support to help develop your career from the moment you arrive, including helping you source great work experience and jobs, providing one-to-one support with job applications and a range of other employability services; all located in our brand new Student Hub.
Thanks to a recent £5m investment into the expansion of Birmingham's student employability services, students benefit from a unique Careers Network guidance service, access to mentoring from some of our most successful alumni, bursaries to support their development through work experience and national-award-winning internships and placements in the UK and overseas.
Careers Network has five college teams, each made up of careers consultants and careers advisers, an applications adviser, internship officer and careers information officer. Each college team is dedicated to bringing you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. You’ll find your team in locations within your college as well as at our central hub.
The university was ranked in the top 12 most targeted universities by leading employers in the UK in the High Fliers Graduate Market in 2014 report.
The Alumni Leadership Mentor Programme offers a number of students the opportunity to receive one-to-one mentoring from high-profile Birmingham alumni, including former Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson and Green Wing actress Tamsin Greig.
Birmingham's award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities and provides well-prepared evidence of your achievements to future employers.
Recent/Prospective New Builds
- The university is in the midst of its most ambitious estates redevelopment scheme since its foundation in 1909 – spending over £400m on projects on and off-campus to improve the student experience and provide world-class facilities.
- Due to open in the summer of 2016, this includes a state-of-the-art new sports centre which will provide opportunities for sport and fitness activity at all levels. Home to the university’s High Performance Centre for elite athletes, the centre will also have a dramatically enhanced programme of fitness classes.
- Also due to open in the summer of 2016 is the university’s new academic library – which will house over 60km of shelving for high use books and journals as well as an extensive research and heritage collection. The new library will be an inspirational place to study, with free book scanners, almost 100 loanable laptops and stunning views from the large windows across the green campus. Power points at every desk and wifi capability for three devices per desk means that working from your own device has never been as easy.
- Recently completed, our Aston Webb Student Hub has opened up a wing of our most historic building for the exclusive use of students. Inside, as well as extra study spaces and a large lecture theatre, there is a space where students can find the answers to some of their most pressing questions and access support when needed – all under one roof.
- Our newest residence was completed in 2015 and is now home to over 700 students. Located at the northern end of the Vale Village, Chamberlain residence features a tower and three lower blocks, with stunning views across our beautiful parkland. The residence also features a variety of social spaces, including a new Tex-Mex themed restaurant and a bar.
- Building work on the Collaborative Teaching Laboratory will begin in 2016. The CTL, which will feature a wet lab, dry lab and e-lab, will allow students of a range of different subjects to be taught alongside each other, equipping our students with the skills they will need when they enter the workplace. This is a direct reflection of what employers have told us they would like to see. A smaller first phase of the CTL will be complete for September 2016, as a new engineering laboratory has been created in an existing building where students of different engineering disciplines can come together.
- Baroness Valerie Amos – Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator at the United Nations.
- Dr Simon Campbell CBE FRS FMedSci – 1st Class BSc in Chemistry 1962, PhD in Chemistry 1965, honorary DSc 2004 – has led innovative research, discovering some of the world's best-selling prescription drugs.
- Tim Curry, BA Drama & Theatre Studies, 1968 – actor and singer.
- Sir Liam Donaldson, MSc Anatomy, 1976 – former Chief Medical Office, knighted in 2002 in recognition of his achievements in health care, Chairman of the World Health Organisation's patient safety initiative.
- Professor Sir Charles George KT, Intercalated BSc in Anatomy 1962, MBChB in Medicine 1965, MD 1974 (University of Southampton), Honorary DSc (2003) – previous Chairman of the General Medical Council’s Education Committee, BMA President and Chair of the BMA's Board of Science & Education; knighted for service to medicine and medical education in 1998.
- David Gill, BCom Industrial, Economic and Business Studies, 1978 – Chief Executive of Manchester United F.C.
- Jonathan Goldstein, BMus Arts and Law 1989 – award-winning commercial composer.
- Tamsin Greig, BA in Drama and Theatre Arts 1988 – award-winning actress.
Business, financial and consumer
- Mike Coupe, BSc, Physics, 1982 – director, J Sainsbury’s.
- Martin Devenish, BCom, Industrial Economics & Business Studies, 1986 – advisor and former managing director for Emerging Markets, Goldman Sachs International.
- Yogi Dewan, BSc, Biochemistry, 1987 – founding Partner, Hassium Asset Management LLP.
- Andrew Fisher, BSocSc, Economics, 1982 – chief executive of Towry.
- Andrew Garner, BCom, Industrial Economics and Business Studies, 1965 – executive search and career management consultant.
- Valerie Hughes-D'Aeth, BCom, Commerce, 1981 – Group HR Director, Amey Group.
- Jane Lodge, BSc Geological Sciences, 1976 – non-executive director and former partner, Deloitte.
- Mayank Patel OBE, PGDip, Business Administration, 1990 – Group Chairman & CEO, Azibo Group.
- Mike Welton, BSc, Civil Engineering, 1968; DEng, Honorary Degree, 2008 – Chairman, Premier Oil Plc.
- Sarah Cox, BCom, Commerce, 1988 – Head of Business Planning and Programme Management, London 2012.
Health and social care
- Dr Rowan Hillson MBE, MBChB, Medicine, 1974 – National Clinical Director for Diabetes.
- Baroness Doreen Massey, PGCE, Education, 1962; BA, French Language & Literature, 1961 – Chair, the National Treatment Agency For Substance Misuse.
- Tim Smart, BSocSc, Economics, 1979 – Chief Executive, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
- Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, MBChB, Medicine, 1976 – former Bupa Group Medical Director and Bupa Foundation Deputy Chair.
Media and the arts
- Alan Davey, BA, English, 1982 – Chief Executive, Arts Council England.
- Simon Halsey, DMus, Honorary Degree, 2008 – Chorus Director, City of Birmingham Symphony Choruses.
- Phyllida Lloyd CBE, BA, English, 1979; DLitt, Honorary Degree, 2009 – producer of Mamma Mia, Theatre Director at the English Stage Company.
- Cilla Snowball CBE, BA, French, 1981 – CEO, Abbot Mead Vickers.
- Baroness Patience Wheatcroft, LLB, Law, 1972 – former Editor of the Wall Street Journal, Europe.
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