University of Birmingham

2016 League Table Ranking 18
2016 Overall Score 822
View the 2016 league tables
Entry Standards 425 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

Click here to read more

Student-Staff Ratio 15.5 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

Click here to read more

Research Quality 3.07 Help
Research Quality
A measure of the quality of the research undertaken in the University.

Click here to read more

Academic Services Spend 1,787 Help
Academic Services Spend
A guide to how much the University spends on supporting services such as libraries and IT.

Click here to read more

Student Satisfaction 4.08 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

Click here to read more

Facilities Spend 522 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.

Click here to read more

Graduate Prospects 84.0 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

Click here to read more

Degree Completion 94.7 Help
Degree Completion
The proportion of students expected to successfully complete their studies and gain a degree from the University.

Click here to read more

Good Honours 84.4 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.

Click here to read more

Green Score 35.1 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.

Click here to read more


  • 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

  • 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.

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.
  • Birmingham is pioneering new work into quantum technologies that could help industry to solve many problems, exploring ways to combat antibiotic resistance, and developing intelligent robots that could help us in our everyday lives.
  • The university is preparing to send water fleas into space to see how they react to zero gravity, looking at medical ethics to deliver excellence in empirically-informed and policy-relevant research, and leading the way in stratified medicine – a new way of streamlining treatments tailored to individual needs.

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.


  • Regularly finishing in the top three of the British Universities' Competition (BUCS) leagues over the last 15 years.
  • Pre-Olympic training ground in summer 2012 for the Jamaican track and field team, including record breaker Usain Bolt.
  • Over 3,500 athletes across 53 sports represent the university and UK in regional, national and international competitions.
  • The Group Exercise programme offers over 75 group fitness classes each week in term time.
  • Current facilities include fully equipped fitness suite, 25-metre swimming pool, three sports halls, gymnastics centre, Specialised Human Performance Lab and a range of pitches including floodlit water-based, 3G synthetic and rubber crumb pitches.

Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • The university is in the midst of its most ambitious estates redevelopment scheme since its foundation in 1909 – spending over £400 million on projects on and off-campus to improve the student experience and provide world-class facilities.
  • These plans reinterpret founder Joseph Chamberlain’s vision for the estate and draw on the legacy of past campus developments to provide 21st century educational, research and sports facilities for our staff and students, as well as extending the services available to the local community.
  • This includes a new sports centre, due to open in 2016, which includes Birmingham’s first 50m swimming pool and a 225-station gym, as well as a high performance centre and space for over 200 fitness classes a week.
  • Construction on an outstanding academic library, also due to open in the second half of 2016, is also underway and will provide an inspirational place to study at the heart of the University’s historic campus and improve access to the university’s vast collection of texts.
  • Other developments underway range from a new dental school and hospital – the first in the UK for 40 years – and an Institute of Translational Medicine with our NHS partners to the university’s new training school and a complete renovation of a wing of our historic Aston Webb building to create a new student hub, home to key services for student life.

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.

Careers Guidance

  • Thanks to a recent £5-million 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.

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

  • +44 (0)121 414 3344
  • University of Birmingham
    B15 2TT
UCAS Code B32

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

The most comprehensive, definitive and complete university guide