Birmingham City University


Overall ranking: 66th out of 124 in the Complete University Guide for 2014.

History: It has been providing education in the city of Birmingham since 1843, when the Birmingham Government School of Design - which later became the Birmingham College of Art - was formed. In 1971 Birmingham Polytechnic was formed, and in 1992 Birmingham Polytechnic became The University of Central England in Birmingham. In 2007 the University's name was changed to Birmingham City University to better reflect its location in the heart of the Britain's second city.

Address: Eight sites around Birmingham: the largest is City North Campus in Perry Barr which is three miles to the north of the city centre. The Birmingham School of Acting came under the Birmingham City University umbrella in 2006 and is housed in purpose-built facilities along with the faculty of technology, innovation and development at the high-tech Millennium Point building in the city centre.

Ambience: Depends on the setting. Perry Barr is a modern urban campus, the faculty of health in Edgbaston occupies a leafy suburb and the school of jewellery is in the heart of Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter. The university’s school of music, Birmingham Conservatoire is housed in the city centre, not far from Margaret Street, an imposing listed Venetian Gothic building, which houses the department of art.

Who's the boss? Vice-chancellor Professor Cliff Allan has a long career in higher education.

Prospectus: 0121 331 5595 or download it here.

UCAS code: B25

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Six applications per place. Course entry requirements range from 240-320 UCAS points for degree level courses, with an average of 310. Highly competitive for art, design, music and acting courses.

Vital statistics: A total of 25,000 students: almost 17,000 full-time undergraduates and 5,000 part-timers. Just over one in five are mature students and nearly two thirds are female. It plays host to 2,000 international students from over 80 different countries outside Europe.

Added value: Mid-way through a £180m investment plan. The health faculty is part of a new centre of excellence for teaching and learning and the education faculty is highly rated. Birmingham City University is the first university in England to have a virtual operating suite on-site, allowing healthcare students to hone their skills, operating on virtual patients. The new Mary Seacole library (on the Westbourne site) is one of the largest health education libraries in the country. New £60m art, design and media building due to open in September 2013.

Teaching: 73rd out of 124 for student satisfaction with teaching quality in the Complete University Guide.

Research: 59th out of 124 in the Research Assessment Exercise.

Graduate prospects: 57th out of 124 with 64.7 per cent finding graduate level employment after completing their degrees.

Any accommodation? Yes- the university offers a range of halls, costing between £89.50 and £132 (for an extra large room) per week.

Cheap to live there? About average - it cost around £80 per week to rent privately last year.

Transport links: Buses and trains between Perry Barr and the city centre, Birmingham is easy to get to and from. All of the other campuses are equally close and accessible.

Fees: Three separate price bands for full-time degrees of £7,500, £8,200 and £9,000 per year, depending on the course of study. Foundation degrees are priced at £6,000.

Bursaries: The university offers a bursary of £500 to full-time home undergraduates who are new entrants, on the first year of their course and from the Midlands region. See the financial support page on the website for further information.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: As the country’s second city, Birmingham has a huge number of bars and clubs to suit all tastes. There are live music venues across the city from pubs and intimate jazz bars to the O2 Academy and Jools Holland’s Jam House. The National Indoor Arena (NIA) and the LG (formerly the NEC) Arena are huge venues that draw big stars.

Price of a pint: £2.58 on average in Birmingham, but head to the union bar for great deals.

Sporting reputation: Not the sportiest by an means- ranked 120th out of 148 in the BUCS 2012/13 league.

Notable societies: Crafty Bitches if you fancy knitting an iPod case while scoffing cakes, or Dome Club for experiencing art, music and video in a revolutionary 360 degrees way. Plenty of sports clubs, including one for the extremists among you. Media-wise, there's Tiger TV, Spaghetti Junction magazine and Scratch Radio.

Glittering alumni: Novelist Jim Crace; Alfred Bestall, illustrator of Rupert Bear; comedian Frank Skinner; fashion designer, Betty Jackson; Capital FM and former Clothes Show presenter Margherita Taylor, and X-Factor 2007 runner-up Rhydian Roberts.

Alternative prospectus: Check into The Student Room to chat with former, current and prospective Birmingham City students about all things university life.

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