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Birmingham City University

United Kingdom


Birmingham City University is situated in Birmingham's vibrant and diverse centre and is the second-largest university in the city. The university has a rich history and multicultural community, providing students with a unique and enriching experience. Spread across two main campuses, it has invested over GBP 340 million into state-of-the-art facilities, including new biomedical science labs, a mock operating theatre, a crime scene room and broadcasting facilities. Birmingham is also one of the greenest cities in Europe, offering botanical gardens and multiple parks for students to relax in.

It is possible to earn while studying through the student employment agency Opportunity, which helps students fit a job around their own study programme and commitments. The institution also has plenty of industry partnerships, making it easy for students to gain work experience and internships.

Students can also study abroad during their time at the university through an exchange programme or with the Erasmus+/ Turing Scheme, helping them stand out from the crowd after graduation while making new friends and gaining a unique experience. The university also offers the chance to take part in a summer programme with partner universities worldwide.

Birmingham City University has a dedicated Career Support team. Students can book in to see Career Consultants for help with all aspects of their career plan and advice on searching for jobs. Further resources are available when it comes to interviewing preparation or writing outstanding CVs.

There is excellent student support through several services, focusing on everything from financial advice, childcare support and information on visas and immigration to mentoring and counselling.

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What's new

What's new

Birmingham City University is constantly looking at ways to improve the student experience. Recent changes include:

  • The university is investing £340 million in its facilities, including the expansion of the City Centre Campus.
  • In 2018, the university opened a GBP 41 million extension to its City South Campus. The extension includes specialist laboratories for Sports and Life Sciences students and broader social learning spaces and classrooms that see education students developing as future educators. The campus also has a lecture theatre and a cafe.
  • In 2017, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire music building opened at the City Centre Campus. The centre of the new complex is the 500-seat concert hall, and there are five public performance spaces in total, plus rehearsal and training spaces. It is the first new, purpose-built conservatoire in the UK for over 30 years and includes the only permanent jazz space in any UK conservatoire.

Birmingham City University provides updates to any changes across the university relating to COVID-19. Prospective students should use this information source to understand any changes that will impact future study at the university.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

''We have worked tirelessly to ensure we provide our students with a practice-led, knowledge-applied education that is interdisciplinary, employer-driven and has a global outlook,'' said Vice-Chancellor Professor Philip Plowden.

Some factors are assessed, including completion rates, student satisfaction and graduate employment. The assessment looks at teaching, the student teaching environment, and the outcomes they achieve, considering both their subject and their background. Overall, student satisfaction is high with 85% of students happy that their course provided opportunities to apply what they had learned (National Student Survey 2020). In addition, 88% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things to them

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Department structure

Department structure

There are four faculties at Birmingham City University:

Business, Law and Social Sciences

The faculty offers a wide variety of courses, including vocationally focused, and available on a flexible basis. The faculty also supports lifelong learning and equips students with the skills needed to thrive.

TEF recognised the faculty's quality of its academic programmes. Many of the courses on offer have accreditations from professional bodies, an advantage when students seek jobs and further study after leaving university.

Arts, Design and Media

The faculty has impressive links with the creative industry, including many high-profile brands and companies. Creative Skillset has accredited a number of the faculty's media courses.

It has the only centre in the Midlands approved by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) to offer their Advanced Certificate and Diploma courses. It runs courses in Hong Kong and Thailand.

Health, Education and Life Sciences

The focus of the faculty is on training for health and education professionals. However, its emphasis on life sciences is growing. It has a good record for graduate outcomes, and students are successful in finding employment after studying the practically-minded courses. Experienced practitioners teach the programmes and help guide students into their chosen industries.

Computing, Engineering, and the Built Environment

With close links to industry partners, the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE) helps students get involved in the latest research and make real and lasting contributions to their chosen industries.

The faculty also has good international links, allowing students to explore emerging technologies from across the world and offer exchange programmes abroad.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

The type and level of qualifications students require will vary depending on their chosen course, but there are some guidelines on entry to the university for all international applicants:

Competence in English requirements

International students who are not classified from ‘majority English-speaking' countries, are usually required to take a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as the IELTS Academic test. However, BCU accepts a wide range of English language qualifications instead of a SELT. The University also offers its own online English proficiency test.

If prospective students are planning to study a course below degree level, they must take a SELT with one of UK Visas and Immigration's (UKVI) approved English language test providers unless UKVI has already accepted their high school qualification.

Pre-sessional courses

If the SELT result is below the required entry standard, students will be eligible to study the university's pre-sessional courses. Students in pre-sessional programmes will learn general English and introductory academic English.

Students will do writing and reading exercises, as well as studying essential grammar rules, comprehension and speaking. All students will carry out a small project too as they learn about British culture and society.

Courses in-country

The university also offers in-country courses to help students improve their English in their home countries before arriving in the UK.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

Birmingham City University offers a range of scholarship opportunities for international undergraduate and postgraduate self-funding students. Students are only eligible to receive one bursary - whichever is greater.

Non-UK only

The university provides some scholarships based on merit, contributing to tuition fee costs for new international students. Those enrolling as undergraduates will be automatically considered for a scholarship of up to GBP 2,000, based on the applicant's academic background.

Prompt Payment Bursary

Students who pay their tuition fees in full before arriving in the UK or during the enrolment process will be entitled to a discount on their tuition fees worth GBP 300. It is deducted on top of any scholarships or bursaries already awarded. This scholarship is limited to September 2021 and January 2022 intakes.

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Birmingham City University ensures students have the best possible learning space. The university has invested GBP 340 million in its facilities, including the impressive Parkside Building which contains multiple TV studios, while the City South Campus offers students a simulated operating theatre and hospital wards. Birmingham also offers facilities and services that students can take advantage of, such as the most extensive public library in Europe.

The Curzon Building

The Curzon Building at the university's City Centre Campus features state-of-the-art facilities, including psychology labs, a mock courtroom for law students and even a CITY trading room.

Millennium Point

Millennium Point is home to the university's Computing, Engineering and Built Environment courses and has recently undergone a GBP 6.5 million refurbishment and facilities upgrade. It is also home to Thinktank, an award-winning science museum.

City South Campus

City South Campus in Edgbaston caters to the university's Health and Social Care courses. The GBP 41 million building houses specialist laboratories for the university's new courses in Sport and Life Sciences. Students here get to learn in a state-of-the-art setting thanks to the mock operating theatre and realistic hospital wards, birthing room and radiotherapy suite.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is purpose-built, high-tech 9,000 sq metre performance space. The state-of-the-art audio and video digital equipment and set brings performances and rehearsals to life and allows students to explore and learn the latest technologies.

Vittoria Street and Assay Office

The internationally renowned School of Jewellery at Birmingham City University is the largest in Europe, with unrivalled facilities and expertise to develop students' careers.

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International students

Average cost of living in United Kingdom

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501st  / 1250

THE World ranking

Join BCU
Biomedical sciences
Studying in Seacole Library
The Hive Lecture Theatre

Total average cost: £1355

  • £474
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    Daily life
  • £234
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