University of Birmingham


The University of Birmingham (informally Birmingham University) is a public research university located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Queen’s College, Birmingham (founded in 1828 as the Birmingham School of Medicine and Surgery) and Mason Science College (established in 1875 by Sir Josiah Mason), making it the first English civic or ‘red brick’ university to receive its own royal charter. It is a founding member of both the Russell Group of British research universities and the international network of research universities, Universitas 21.

The university was ranked 15th in the UK and 82nd in the world in the QS World University Rankings for 2016-17. In 2013, Birmingham was named ‘University of the Year 2014′ in the Times Higher Education Awards. The 2016 Global Employability University Ranking places Birmingham at 90th world-wide and 10th in the UK. Birmingham is also ranked 9th in the UK for Graduate Prospects in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017.

The university is home to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, housing works by Van Gogh, Picasso and Monet, the Shakespeare Institute, the Lapworth Museum of Geology, the Cadbury Research Library home to the Mingana Collections of Middle Eastern manuscripts and the Chamberlain Collection, and the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower, which is a prominent landmark visible from many parts of the city. Academics and alumni of the university include former British Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain, and Stanley Baldwin, the British composer Sir Edward Elgar and eleven Nobel laureates.

The discipline of cultural studies was founded at the university and between 1991 and 2002 the campus was home to the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, a leading research centre whose members’ work came to be known as the Birmingham School of Cultural Studies. Despite being established by one of the key figures in the field, Richard Hoggart, and being later directed by the renowned theorist Stuart Hall, the department was controversially closed down.


Birmingham has departments covering a wide range of subjects. On 1 August 2008, the university’s system was restructured into five ‘colleges’, which are composed of numerous ‘schools’:

  • Arts and Law(English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies; History and Cultures; Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music; Birmingham Law School; Philosophy, Theology and Religion)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences(Chemistry; Chemical Engineering; Civil Engineering; Computer Science; Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mathematics; Mechanical Engineering; Metallurgy and Materials; Physics and Astronomy)
  • Life and Environmental Sciences(Biosciences; Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences; Psychology; Sport and Exercise Sciences)
  • Medical and Dental Sciences(Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences; Institute of Clinical Sciences; Institute of Inflammation and Ageing; Institute of Applied Health Research; Institute of Cardiovascular Science; Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy; Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research; Institute of Microbiology and Infection).
  • Social Sciences (Birmingham BusinessSchool; Education; Government and Society; Social Policy)
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences

The university is home to a number of research centres and schools, including the Birmingham Business School, the oldest business school in England, the University of Birmingham Medical School, the International Development Department, the Institute of Local Government Studies, the Centre of West African Studies, the Centre for Russian and East European Studies, the Centre of Excellence for Research in Computational Intelligence and Applications and the Shakespeare Institute. An Institute for Research into Superdiversity was established in 2013. Apart from traditional research and PhDs, under the department of Engineering and Physical Sciences, university offers split-site PhD in Computer Science.


They welcome undergraduate applications from all candidates offering A Level or equivalent qualifications.

Entry standards for A Level vary.

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 their website.


Birmingham researchers have developed the techniques needed to identify gravitational wave signatures and formed part of the ground-breaking team behind the discovery that confirms one of Albert Einstein’s major predictions in his 1915 general theory of relativity.

The University of Birmingham is at the vanguard of developments in the UK’s flourishing Life Sciences sector exploring ways to combat antibiotic resistance, tackling the silent killers of liver disease and diabetes, and working to harness the immune system in the fight against cancer.

Using genome sequencing, their scientists are at the cutting edge of developing ways to understand, monitor and control outbreaks, such as the Ebola virus, across the world.

Their researchers have created a visionary Institute for Forest Research to transform their understanding of how trees will respond to future increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Energy experts at the university are championing UK investment in clean-cold technologies amid concern that global demand for cooling and refrigeration will overtake the demand for heating by 2060.

Their Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon seeks to continue the enduring legacy of their best known playwright, and continue to push the boundaries of their knowledge of his work.

By promoting a better understanding of how the mind works, their researchers are exploring ways to break down the stigma commonly associated with mental illness.

Their experts at the University of Birmingham are helping to set the national agenda for developing character and virtue in society through education.

With the ever-increasing global use of drones in warfare and commerce, Birmingham is at the epicentre of research to understand the implications of remote technology in the 21st century.


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.


At the University of Birmingham they are recognised for their commitment to supporting their students throughout their studies and beyond, from continuing their academic career or entering full time employment.

Their Careers Network offers tailored support to help develop their career from the moment they arrive, including helping them source great work experience and jobs, providing one-to-one support with job applications and a range of other employability services.

Thanks to a recent £5m investment the students benefit from a unique Careers Network guidance service, access to mentoring from some of their 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 them information, advice and guidance tailored to their specific needs.

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