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Birmingham City University

2015 League Table Ranking 82
2015 Overall Score 585
View the 2015 league tables
Entry Standards 314 Help
Entry Standards
The average UCAS tariff score of new students entering the University.

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Student-Staff Ratio 21.2 Help
Student-Staff Ratio
The average staffing levels at the University.

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Research Assessment 2.31 Help
Research Assessment
The average quality of the research undertaken in the University.

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Academic Services Spend 1,008 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 3.99 Help
Student Satisfaction
A guide to how satisfied students are with the quality of teaching they receive.

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Facilities Spend 574 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 61.8 Help
Graduate Prospects
A guide to the employability of graduates on completion of their courses at the University.

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Degree Completion 82.8 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 63.3 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 45.5 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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  • The University’s contribution to the education of the citizens of Birmingham and beyond stretches back though a succession of predecessor institutions over 160 years.
  • The University enjoys historical strengths in the creative and performing arts: the Birmingham Government School of Design – the first college of design outside London – was opened in 1843 and Birmingham School of Music (later Birmingham Conservatoire) in 1886. Both were later incorporated into the University.
  • University status was achieved in 1992, and the new name of Birmingham City University was adopted in 2007, reflecting the University’s commitment to, and pride in, its home city.

Location and Transport

  • Birmingham City University is currently in the process of moving the majority of its teaching onto a single site at Eastside, in Birmingham city centre. Art, design and media courses move there in September 2013, with education, law, social sciences and business due to follow in 2015. Other locations are the School of Art, School of Jewellery and Birmingham Conservatoire elsewhere in the city centre; the Faculty of Health campus in Edgbaston, to the south of the city; and (until 2015) the City North Campus in Perry Barr.
  • Birmingham is located at the heart of the UK's road and rail networks. There are three city centre railway stations, and the city is at the centre of Britain's national coach network, connecting directly with 500 destinations.
  • The city has its own international airport, Birmingham Airport, with connections to Europe, the Middle East and North America, and further plans for expansion in the coming years.
  • Locally, a network of bus and train services provides easy access around the city, including all of the University’s sites. This is supported by the Midland Metro, a tram/light rail system, which has improved access to the city even further.

Entry Standards

  • An average of 310 tariff points across degree-level subjects. A wide range of qualifications, including Access courses, are accepted.
  • Highly competitive entry to Art, Design, Music and Acting courses dependant on the standard of a portfolio or audition performance.
  • Foundation courses may provide entry routes and degree progression for students with lower entry qualifications.

Student Mix

The 22,540 students enrolled in the academic year 2013/14 comprise:

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

Course Flexibility

  • Courses offer a wide variety of specialisms enabling students to choose and concentrate on their chosen area of interest.
  • Students are offered the chance to gain hands-on experience through year-long or shorter placements, giving them a real advantage in the jobs market.
  • Many courses can be studied part-time, allowing students to fit study around work or family commitments.
  • The increasing use of modern technology to deliver course materials allows students to access background reading and information at a time and place that suits them.

Teaching Standards

  • The latest audit by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) praised the 'close and sustained partnership' between the University and its students.
  • Several staff are National Teaching Fellows – the most prestigious award for excellence in university teaching and learning.
  • The University has received a Grade 1 Ofsted 'Outstanding' rating for primary and secondary teacher training.
  • Around 40 courses have professional accreditation from organisations including the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, British Psychological Society, Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, Landscape Institute, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Gemmological Association of Great Britain, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, and Health Care Professions Council.
  • In the latest National Student Survey (NSS 2012), 83% of students were satisfied with their course overall; 87% agreed that staff were good at explaining things to them and 86% said staff were enthusiastic about what they taught.

Research Standards

  • The University’s 13 research Centres of Excellence act as a focus for research, innovation and enterprise.
  • The latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) identified one of the highest percentages of submitted work rated as 'world leading' compared to other modern universities in the UK.

Academic Strengths

  • A high proportion of courses lead to professional as well as degree qualifications, with a strong emphasis on employment-related and practice-based education.
  • The University enjoys a strong reputation for art, design, media, health, teacher training, music and performing arts, and for relevant practice-based professional education.
  • Substantial investment in the University’s Moodle virtual learning environment provides online access to resources and flexible approaches to learning.

Student Facilities

  • Eight libraries, almost one million print and electronic books and over 30,000 print and electronic journals.
  • Students can make use of virtual learning environments, such as the Virtual Case Creator in the Faculty of Health, which offers complex, unstructured problems that realistically represent aspects of health practice.
  • A total of 74 computer rooms, principally labs and open access areas, available for student use.
  • Wireless access across the University, including Eduroam, for staff, students and visitors.
  • The Student Services department provides advice and information on all aspects of student life including financial matters such as budgeting, paying tax and managing debt; sourcing and paying for suitable childcare and before/after school provision; and visa and immigration issues. There is also a professional and confidential health and wellbeing team to support students’ physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.
  • Student Services also includes the Careers and Job Prospects service, offering impartial advice and support to current students wanting to find out more about work experience opportunities while they study, as well as identify opportunities available when they leave university and for up to five years after they’ve graduated.
  • The Centre for Academic Success provides all students with access to a range of academic support services to help develop their study skills, including report writing, revision and exam techniques, stress management and time management.

Disability Services

  • The University provides practical support and advice for prospective and current students with physical or sensory disabilities, specific learning difficulties (e.g. dyslexia), autism or chronic medical conditions. The University also provides information about additional funding, runs a personal assistance scheme, and offers a dyslexia screening and diagnostic service.
  • The postal address is Disability Services Team, Student Services, 1st Floor, Baker Building, Birmingham City University, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2SU.
  • Telephone +44 (0)121 331 5588; fax +44 (0)121 331 6569; Minicom +44 (0)121 331 5128; email disability@bcu.ac.uk.

Students' Union

  • Students can join one of the many clubs and societies or represent the interests of the University community on the Student Council.
  • The well-established Advice Centre operates at most campuses to ensure all students have access to free, impartial and independent advice.
  • The Union offers the opportunity for students to help others and gain valuable experience by volunteering on a wide range of projects.
  • There is also a packed entertainments programme, with a variety of events taking place throughout the year.


  • Birmingham City Students’ Union runs more than 30 sports clubs. Some play against other universities through intra-mural leagues while others are run on a non-competitive basis.
  • The sports facilities near Perry Barr span 17.5 hectares (43 acres) and provide around 12 football pitches, two rugby pitches, two cricket net lanes and a floodlit all-weather pitch.


Recent/Prospective New Builds

  • The University is mid-way through a £180-million investment plan, including a major expansion of its City Centre Campus, together with ongoing development of existing sites.
  • A new £60-million art, design and media building in the city centre campus, due to open in September 2013, will provide a new home for Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) as well as state-of-the art media facilities, including five industry-standard TV studios.
  • A second phase of this development, due to open in September 2015, will provide teaching space for Birmingham City Business School and the Faculty of Education, Law and Social Sciences, as well as new library, IT and support facilities. This will further enhance the University’s presence in the heart of the city and concentrate more teaching on a single site.
  • Birmingham Conservatoire, part of the University, is an important part of proposals to create a world-class cultural hub at the heart of the city. Under the ambitious plans, the Conservatoire will relocate from its current base in Paradise Circus as part of the wider redevelopment of the area and move to a new state-of-the-art home at Louisa Ryland House on Newhall Street, close to the University’s existing School of Art on Margaret Street. A new 450-seat concert hall will be built on the revamped Centenary Way, which will run from Centenary Square to Chamberlain Square. The Faculty of Health is based in the state-of-the-art Seacole Building in Edgbaston, to the south of the city centre. A £2-million extension was opened in 2011 to provide a new fully-functional radiography suite and 3D imaging diagnostic suite, which is one of only a small number in the country. This complemented a £30-million refurbishment of the rest of the building, completed in 2006, providing a mock operating theatre and hospital wards, a fully-equipped birthing room, a simulated home environment and a specialist resource room for speech and language therapy students.
  • An £8.5-million sports centre at the City North campus, completed in 2009, includes an 80-station fitness suite and eight-court sports hall.

Availability of Part-Time Work

  • The University’s in-house employment agency 'OpportUNIty – Student Jobs on Campus' provides students with the chance to apply for various part-time roles within the University, gaining experience through a formal application process, including the submission of CVs and interviews. Students receive feedback and assistance at every stage and, once in a role, they are supported in developing their employability skills in more than 20 key areas identified by the University in consultation with employers.
  • Student Services, in partnership with Unitemps, offers vacancy information for other part-time and temporary work.

Notable Alumni

The wide range of successful careers our alumni enter can be seen by the winners of our Alumni of the Year awards over the past two years.

  • Daniella Genas (BA (Hons) Media and Communication and MA Media Enterprise) has successfully combined business acumen with a social conscience at Birmingham-based event management company Aspire4u – where all profits are re-invested in the Aspire4u Community Interest Company (CIC) which organises a range of projects to provide work experience for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Jon Riche (BA (Hons) Visual Communication) turned his hobby of making films into a successful career after completing his studies at the University. He has directed music videos for various artists including Kasabian, Just Jack, Moby and The Feeling, as well as commercials for well-known brands such as Nissan, Ikea and Nike. He formed the comedy collective Broken Biscuits with friend Spencer Jones, writing and directing the BAFTA-nominated show Big Babies on CBBC.
  • Neil Edginton (BSc (Hons) Environmental Planning, 1999 and MSc Construction Project Management) has played an integral role in many of the exciting developments that have changed Birmingham’s skyline in recent years, as part of the team behind such iconic developments as Fort Dunlop, the Mailbox and the Cube. He then set up his own company, EDG Property, which is currently redeveloping the Clock Tower, a listed former adult education centre in Harborne, into several premium restaurants, a cookery school and a small number of special apartments.
  • Nigel Hanson (LLB (Hons) Law) has helped scores of young people develop their potential and raise their aspirations through the sport of basketball since establishing Birmingham A’s Basketball Club in 2003. As a local resident and former professional basketball player in the late 80s and early 90s, Nigel identified with the issues faced by young people in his community and decided to provide them with opportunities to get involved in sport through volunteering.
  • Emma Shipley (BA (Hons) Textile Design) is a talented and creative textile designer and illustrator who has already achieved great things in the four years since she graduated from the University. She has won a number of awards for her work, which has been described as 'astonishingly skilful and distinctive', and received international acclaim. Her exquisite drawings feature wild animals and plants in intricate, imaginative designs.
  • Keira O’Mara (BSc (Hons) Environmental Planning) has made a name for herself as an inventor and businesswoman, designing a discreet and supportive breastfeeding scarf which has proved a big hit with mothers around the country. The Mamascarf – a hammock-type device which goes around the mother’s neck to shield and support the baby – was initially sold through her own website, and has since attracted enough attention to go on sale in outlets such as Tesco, Boots and Kiddicare.
  • Simon Vinton and Matthew Armstrong (BA (Hons) Furniture Design) established Armstrong Vinton Furniture together shortly after graduating. The company makes bespoke high-end furniture, turning over just under £1 million in 2010. Over its first decade, the business has grown to employ 18 people, and the duo also have plans to launch their own range of furniture.
  • Bethann Siviter (DipHE Adult Nursing) is a well-known nursing writer, speaker and advocate for students, healthcare assistants and the art of nursing practice, as well as the author of two bestselling textbooks for trainee nurses. She overcame sudden illness and disability in 2006, not only returning to her demanding role as a Nurse Consultant but also using her experiences to help support other people with disabilities who work in nursing.
  • Makhdum (Mak) Ali Chishty (QPM (LLB (Hons) Law) joined Warwickshire Police as an 18-year-old and was quickly promoted to CID, where he held a variety of senior positions, before moving back into uniform as Borough Commander for the town of Rugby. Mak was awarded the Queen's Police Medal in Her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours in 2009, and shortly afterwards took on the high-profile role as Commander for North London in the Metropolitan Police.
  • Luke Perry (BA (Hons) Fine Art) is passionate about art and engineering, and uses his expertise in both fields to design and build large-scale sculptures that celebrate the Midlands’ industrial heritage. He is founder and director of Industrial Heritage Stronghold, a not-for-profit organisation which aims to 'build Public Artworks which celebrate our industrial heritage in a very real way'.

For further information

  • www.bcu.ac.uk
  • www.bcu.ac.uk/choices
  • +44 (0) 121 331 5595
  • Birmingham City University
    City North Campus
    Perry Barr
    B42 2SU
UCAS Code B25

Content was accurate at the time of compilation.

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