Birmingham, University of



Overall ranking: Came 17th out of 123 in the Complete University Guide for 2015.

History: Founded in 1900 by Joseph Chamberlain. England's first civic university where students from all religions and backgrounds were accepted on an equal basis.

Address: Edgbaston, three miles from the centre of Brum.

Ambience: An oasis of green space and red brick amid the bustle of England's second biggest city. Set in 250 acres of parkland, the main campus is largely self-contained. Another 80-acre site is set in Selly Oak, around a mile from the main campus. The city has distractions for all tastes, with the Bullring and Mailbox shopping centres, clusters of curry houses and, culture-wise, the Birmingham Rep Theatre, Town Hall and Symphony Hall, National Indoor Arena, International Convention Centre and National Exhibition Centre.

Who's the boss? Professor David Eastwood is vice-chancellor, formerly chief executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and currently chair of the Russell Group.

Prospectus: 0121 415 8900 or request one here.

UCAS code: B32

What you need to know

Easy to get into? Pretty tough. The university doesn't use the UCAS points system, but top grades are expected. LLB Law, for example, asks for AAA at A-level.

Vital statistics: One of the bigger universities, with around 18,000 undergrads. Over 2.7 million books in the library, including a rare book collection, and good IT provision with wireless facilities on campus. Birmingham is one of 24 Russell Group universities, dedicated to the highest levels of academic excellence.

Added value: Super-sporty student body. Extensive facilities include a swimming pool, athletics field, five pitches, climbing wall, gym and martial arts centre. Birmingham is investing almost £300m over five years to transform their famous Edgbaston campus and several other sites with new facilities.

The projects currently underway include a sports centre with the city's first 50 metre swimming pool (opening early 2016), an outstanding academic library with a public space (opening mid 2016) and a University training school, which will admit the first pupils in September 2015. A new-build tower and three new-build low rise buildings are also being constructed to provide 725 bed spaces on The Vale student village for students starting university in 2015. And the interior of the main Aston Webb Building is being remodelled to create a new outstanding student services hub that will be located in the historic Aston Webb building at the heart of campus, to be ready by September 2015.

Away from the main Edgbaston and Selly Oak campuses, the University of Birmingham and Rolls-Royce are establishing a new £60m High Temperature Research Centre at Ansty near Coventry.  The Centre will help develop future generations of aero engines, making greener, more efficient air travel possible. One mile away from campus, the new dental school is rapidly taking shape, and will open to students and patients in September 2015, providing a state-of-the-art healthcare and education facility.

Teaching: Came 53rd out of 123 for student satisfaction in the Complete University Guide.

Graduate prospects: Impressive- placed 10th with 80.3 per cent of students finding graduate level employment upon completion of their course.

Any accommodation? Yes, lots of places to choose from, with a wide-range of options. Prices vary dramatically but start from around £80 per week.

Cheap to live there? Average rents range from £55-70 per week for a single room in a flat share.

Transport links: The only UK university to have a railway station on campus. Good road, rail and air links, plus plenty of buses.

Fees: All full-time home and EU undergraduates will pay £9,000 for 2014 entry.

Bursaries: There are a number of excellence-based and subject-specific scholarships available, plus bursaries based on household income.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Jumping. Excellent clubs in the city. On campus: a strong student drama scene, club nights and a variety of drinking holes, plus The Hub at Shackleton Hall.

Price of a pint: Prices vary but £2.58 is the average cost.

Sporting reputation: Birmingham has remained in the top three of the BUCS league for over 16 years, and is currently in 3rd place.

Notable societies: The Human vs Zombies Society sees members play area games as either zombies or humans (who can defend themselves with foam dart guns!). Like a more dramatic tag. Student news publication Redbrick has a top reputation in the media, particularly following their coverage of the 2011 Birmingham riots.

Alternative prospectus: Check out Birmingham's board on The Student Room to find out what life as a student here is really like.

One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all