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Top Reasons to Attend University in Birmingham

  • Population 1,073,000
  • Student population c.65,000

Birmingham is the UK's second largest student city, with five universities (Aston, Birmingham, Birmingham City, Newman and University College Birmingham), home to over 65,000 higher education students. Massive investment and bold cultural initiatives have transformed the cityscape and underpinned Birmingham's transformation as a major European city with more canals than Venice. A student Lonely Planet Guide to Birmingham is available from all five higher education institutes in the city at open days, etc, as well as by contacting

Universities in Birmingham

Getting around

  • Birmingham is at the centre of the UK motorway system, and is connected to 500 destinations via the national coach network.
  • Rail links are excellent and a journey to London takes 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Birmingham International Airport, 8 miles from the city centre, is a major hub with destinations throughout the UK, Europe, North America and Asia.
  • Buses, trains and trams provide a comprehensive network of local transport.

Attractions for students


  • The National Indoor Arena hosts many national sporting events. There are three Premier League football teams (Aston Villa and West Brom) and Test and County cricket is played at Edgbaston.
  • Activities like ten-pin bowling, golf, go-carting, ice-skating, squash, tennis and swimming are all on offer at various locations around the city, including high quality sports facilities at the universities themselves.

Culture and nightlife

  • Birmingham has one of the liveliest club scenes in the country as well as bars, music venues and restaurants, including over 50 different restaurants within the famous 'Balti Triangle'.
  • Birmingham Royal Ballet is based at the Hippodrome, whilst Symphony Hall is the home of the world class City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO). There are numerous theatres and galleries including Star City, a massive leisure complex housing a 30-screen cinema.
  • The Waterhall Gallery of Modern Art is Birmingham's newest venue for contemporary art, with the stylish Ikon Gallery displaying the best of international and British art. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery is famous for its collection of Pre-Raphaelite works. The National Exhibition Centre, Town Hall and National Indoor Arena stage major exhibitions, events and pop concerts.
  • Popular with students, the Birmingham O2 Academy is a lively concert venue in the city centre (15 minutes walk from Aston University and a short bus or train ride from the other instututions) that recently played host to (now famous) up and coming bands such as Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand just before they hit the big time. The Digbeth area (5 mins walk from the city centre) also has a strong live music, clubbing and alternative cafe scene.


  • The usual high street stores and many designer shops can been found in the city centre. The Bullring Centre is the UKs largest city centre shopping mall – with over 500 shops and outlets, five-minutes walk from the three train stations.
  • Students may prefer browsing in the Victorian arcades and the massive and eclectic markets.
  • More exclusive boutique shopping is found at the Mailbox with Harvey Nicholls and many designer labels.
  • There are more than 500 jewellery businesses in the Jewellery Quarter – the UK's largest and oldest.

Proximity to the city centre

  • Aston University: green self-contained campus is a five-minute walk from the city centre shopping and entertainment areas.
  • Birmingham University: 3 miles south west of the city centre at Edgbaston.
  • Birmingham City University: nine sites; the main site is at Perry Barr, 3 miles north of the city centre.
  • Newman University: 7 miles (20 minutes by car) from the city centre in Bartley Green.
  • University College Birmingham: two buildings in the city centre.

Crime in university cities

Student Cost of Living

  Average Weekly Expenditure/£
Rent 79.43
Groceries 21.45
Utilites 9.13
Books and Course Materials 6.19
Gym or Sports Membership 3.53
Photocopying/Library Expenditure 1.13

Based on data supplied from the Natwest Student Living Index 2015.

For further information

  • +44 (0) 844 888 3883
  • Birmingham Tourism Centre and Ticket Shop
    The Rotunda
    150 New Street
    B2 4PA

Content was accurate at the time of compilation. Population figures are compiled from the 2011 censuses for England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland.

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