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University of Birmingham

Founded in 1900 by Joseph Chamberlain, the University of Birmingham was the result of his radical vision that students of all religions and backgrounds should be accepted. Challenging and developing great minds since its creation, Birmingham has broken new ground and has been pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Birmingham seeks to continue to be innovative, always pushing back the frontiers of understanding.

Main Campus:
Edgbaston, Birmingham


Student Population:

 Arts and Law, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Medical and Dental Sciences, Social Sciences


Why choose Birmingham?

Founded in 1900 by Joseph Chamberlain, the University of Birmingham was the result of his radical vision that students of all religions and backgrounds should be accepted. Challenging and developing great minds since its creation, Birmingham has broken new ground and has been pushing the boundaries of knowledge. Birmingham seeks to continue to be innovative, always pushing back the frontiers of understanding.


Teaching Quality

Birmingham provides an elite academic experience that pushes the boundaries of knowledge. Competition is tough at this sought after Russell Group University.

  • Birmingham prides itself on fostering enquiry-based learning and encouraging its students to be independent and self-motivated learners. This allows students to be in control of their own learning, equipping them for the future.
  • Students are able to undertake a Major/Minor degree programme where they will focus on one subject (70%) whilst experiencing a taste of another subject (30%).
  • The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 ranked Birmingham 18th out of 125 UK institutions.
  • The Complete University Guide 2012 ranked Birmingham 22nd out of 116 UK institutions.
  • In The Complete University Guide 2012, Birmingham was ranked in the top 5 for American Studies; Hospitality, Leisure, Recreation, Sport and Tourism; Sport Science; and Town and Country Planning and Landscape.
  • Internationally, Birmingham was ranked 59th out of the top 200 institutions in the world in the 2010 QS World University Rankings, placing it 10th out of all UK universities and all Russell Group universities.
  • Underpinning the academic experience of students is an outstanding support service. Students are provided with the facilities and opportunities needed to allow them to work whenever and however it suits them best.
  • The Main Library at Birmingham is one of the UK’s largest academic libraries, with over 2.7 million books and periodicals. Students are further served by an additional 8 libraries and resource centres and the George Cadbury Research Library which houses rare books and around 3 million manuscripts.
  • The college structure at Birmingham puts academic endeavour at the heart of decision-making at the University.


Research Quality

Birmingham is an internationally powerful, research-led university whose academic staff are engaged in a wide range of research projects that are having a major positive impact across the globe.

  • Teaching at Birmingham has its base in research, with many academics at the University being global experts in their fields. The University has 8 Nobel Prize winners amongst its distinguished alumni and staff.
  • Birmingham was ranked 12h in the UK (out of 159 Institutions) in the Research Fortnight University Power Ranking Exercise (2008) for the quality and quantity of its research output.
  • The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) ranked Birmingham in the top five for its research in Primary Care, Cancer Studies, Psychology, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Music, European Studies, and Physics.
  • Similarly, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering and Law were all ranked as 7th best in the UK.
  • 90% of the University’s research was deemed as having global reach, meaning it is recognised internationally in terms of its originality, significance, and rigour.
  • 15.8% of Birmingham’s research was graded at the highest level, 4* – world leading.
  • Birmingham is a member of the Russell Group, which represents 24 of the UK’s leading universities.



As a leading international university, Birmingham welcomes students and staff from around the world. Birmingham commands an enviable international reputation for the quality of its educational provision, the impact of its research, and its service to society.

  • Birmingham welcomes some of the most able students, staff and researchers from across the globe and celebrates diversity and different perspectives.
  • The University actively promotes partnerships with international universities, funding bodies and other public and private organisations.
  • Birmingham is a founder member of Universitas 21, a prestigious global network of 23 research-led universities in 15 countries.
  • Of its academic staff, 27% are overseas nationals.
  • With 4,500 international students from 150 countries Birmingham has the fourth largest international student community in the UK, and the largest international postgraduate student community


Student Satisfaction

The University aims to give students an outstanding experience. It has invested significantly in facilities for both leisure and learning and has an active Students Union.

  • In the 2010 Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey, Birmingham was ranked as being 15th in the UK for its student experience. This is a rise of 9 places from 2009 and shows the University’s efforts to continually improve its student’s experience.
  • The International Student Barometer (ISB) is a benchmark of Universities provisions for new and existing international students. The benchmarking is conducted against 123 other Russell Group, UK, and Overseas HEI’s. In 2009, Birmingham came 29th out of the 123 HEI’s, and 20th out of the 57 UK HEI’s included in the ISB.


Areas Of Study

Employable Graduates

Birmingham transforms its students into well prepared graduates that are highly sought after by graduate employers.

  • Birmingham was ranked 10th in the UK in the High Fliers Graduate Market 2010 report, which identifies which institutions are regularly targeted by leading companies.
  • Birmingham encourages the development of the attributes that employers look for: creativity, independence, team work, goal setting and problem solving.
  • In addition to their academic studies, Birmingham offers students the opportunity to work towards a Personal Skills Award (PSA) that allows students to develop, recognise and articulate their skills effectively in preparation for the job market. It is celebrated by the Association of Graduate Recruiters, winning their Best Graduate Development Preparation in Higher Education Award in 2010, and is endorsed by many employers.
  • The value of work experience is recognised at Birmingham. The University is investing in a range of internships and funded work experience that will cover a wide range of professions and aspirations. This includes 200 funded summer holiday work experience placements and the Alumni Leadership Mentoring Programme which will see high profile alumni providing one-to-one mentoring to selected final year students.
  • Birmingham is one of only three UK universities to offer the KPMG school leavers programme, in which students enter a six-year programme that will see them gain a BSc honours degree in Accountancy and a professional accountancy qualification. At the same time, students will receive a salary and will have their fees and accommodation paid for by KPMG.
  • Birmingham also offers specialist advice, guidance and support to students looking to set up their own businesses.


Campus Facilities


As the UK’s largest city outside of London, Birmingham is a vibrant cultural hot-spot. The city centre has undergone significant rejuvenation and now is full of glamorous shops, lively pubs, and trendy nightclubs. Birmingham has a rich history. During the Industrial Revolution, it was a vital manufacturing city and was affectionately known as ‘the workshop of the world’. Many inventions can be traced to the city however it is not a city living in the past- Birmingham has developed into a thriving commercial centre that pulls in young professionals. Around 40% of Birmingham’s graduates choose to stay in the region and for good reason. The largest financial services and creative sectors outside of London are located there, providing many opportunities for graduates. A division of the Royal Ballet now calls Birmingham home and there is a new concert hall for the Birmingham symphony orchestra.

The 250 acre green and leafy Edgbaston campus, together with the nearby 80 acre Selly Oak campus, creates the feel of a small town in the heart of a major city. The campus boasts its own bars, banks, shops, concert hall and art gallery along with its own dedicated railway station providing good transportation links. Birmingham invests over £1 million per week to ensure that its students benefit not only from historical buildings but also great facilities. In August 2011 Birmingham announced a new £175 million investment plan for its Edgbaston Campus which will include a new sports centre with its own Olympic size swimming pool, and a new library which will join the new Bramall Music Building that is already under development.

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