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University of Birmingham

2015 League Table Ranking 17
2015 Overall Score 829
View the 2015 league tables
Entry Standards 438 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 14.5 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Assessment 2.64 Help
Research Assessment
The average quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,745 Help
Academic Services Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

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Student Satisfaction 4.05 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 518 Help
Facilities Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting facilities such as the careers service, health and counselling services and sport facilities.

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Graduate Prospects 80.3 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 94.3 Help
Degree Completion
The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the University.

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Good Honours 81.1 Help
Good Honours
The percentage of graduates achieving a first or upper second class honours degree – the class of degree achieved can impact a graduate’s employment prospects.

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Green Score 29.0 Help
Green Score
This environmental & ethical ranking of the University is provided courtesy of the People & Planet Green League - the only comprehensive and independent green ranking of every UK university. Choosing a greener university can reduce your carbon footprint and improve your job prospects in a global low-carbon economy.

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  • 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.
  • On campus is also the University's own art gallery; the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which features works by Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh amongst others; Winterbourne Botanic Garden, a six-acre garden displaying plants from around the world and offers a unique space to relax. There are also bars, cafés, shops, a sports centre, banks, doctor's surgery and dental practice.

Entry Standards

  • 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 the website.

Student Mix

The 32,335 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

Level of study
Mode of study
Full Time
Part Time
Student gender

Course Flexibility

  • 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 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.

Teaching Standards

  • 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.

Research Standards

  • Birmingham was ranked fifth in the UK for the quality of research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.
  • Ranked in the top 100 out of over 8,000 universities in the world, in both the academic ranking of world universities and other world university rankings.
  • Chosen as the first in a unique chain of Cancer Research UK Centres to be launched around the country.
  • Selected as the UK’s higher education Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centre which will promote these subject areas throughout England and Wales.
  • Birmingham was ranked in the top five for its research in Primary Care, Cancer Studies, Psychology, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Music, European Studies and Physics.
  • Research informs the teaching. Many academics are global experts in their fields.

Academic Strengths

  • Researchers have established several new drug combinations to boost cancer survival rates and are currently developing innovative new TB therapies.
  • New technology has been used to explore a lost prehistoric world deep beneath the North Sea and archaeologists recently discovered a new henge near to the Stonehenge site.
  • Researchers from the Universities of Birmingham and Lancaster, analysing data taken by the ATLAS experiment, have been at the centre of what is believed to be the first clear observation of a new particle at the Large Hadron Collider.
  • Researchers have developed treatments to slow the progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis and combat the symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome.
  • In 2012 we welcomed Professor Alice Roberts as the new Professor of Public Engagement in Science. Alice has featured as a science presenter on programmes such as Coast and Horizon. In addition to working with undergraduate and PhD students, Alice’s role also involves being an ambassador, helping to promote our academics’ research to the general public and inspiring people about science.

Student Facilities

  • 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.
  • One of the UK's largest academic libraries, containing over 2.7 million volumes and 3 million archives and manuscripts, plus a further ten libraries and resource centres.

Disability Services

  • Visit the website for information about disability services at the University of Birmingham or telephone 0121 414 5130.

Students' Union

  • 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.


  • Consistently achieved a top three ranking in performance sport from British Universities' Competition (BUCS) over the last 15 years.
  • Pre-Olympic training ground in summer 2012 for the Jamaican track and field team, including record breaker Usian Bolt
  • Extensive facilities include fitness suite, swimming pool, three sports halls, floodlit athletics track, floodlit grass and synthetic pitches, tennis courts.
  • A comprehensive sports programme with activities to suit all levels of fitness, from absolute beginner to world-class athlete.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • The university spends over £1 million each week on developing the campus and improving the learning experience for students.
  • Current projects include a new £5-million, 450-seat music auditorium for the world-leading music department which opened in June 2012.
  • The recently approved estate development plans will deliver a new sports facility on campus (including the city's first 50-metre swimming pool) and create an outstanding academic library which will embrace new and emerging technologies, and will improve access to the University’s vast collections.

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.

Notable Alumni

  • 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.

Public sector

  • 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.

For further information

  • www.birmingham.ac.uk
  • admissions@bham.ac.uk
  • +44 (0)121 414 3344
  • University of Birmingham
    B15 2TT
UCAS Code B32

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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