The University of Birmingham is situated about 3 miles south of Birmingham City Centre in Edgbaston. It was ranked 25th in The Times Good University Guide 2009.
There is a range of 1st year accomodation. The most popular of these are situated on 'The Vale', which consists of a large lake surrounded by parkland and varying qualities of accomodation itself. After this year most students move into a shared house with friends. Most of the houses chosen by students are located in the Selly Oak are of Birmingham, all normally within a mile of the campus.
The areas surrounding the university are very picturesque, in particular Bournville, which was planned and created by the Cadbury family in the 19th Century. The Cadbury chocolate factory is also located in this area.
The campus itself is set in pleasant surroundings, with a vast amount of lawns, trees and borders. The main university is constructed from red brick, which also looks attractive. Services and ammenities on campus include its very own purpose built train station (the only university to possess one), a range of banks (Lloyds TSB, NatWest and Barclays), Waterstones, Ryman Stationers, A shop selling local produce, a fruit and veg stall, small supermarket, gift shop and post office. In the nearby Selly Oak, there is an Aldi and Sainsburies. The university's guild contains a Subway outlet, a range of student services, a bar (Joe's Bar), and a nightclub.
The university has a fantastic sport structure. There is a team for almost every sport you could imagine and many of these are successful. During my time I have been a member of the Athletics and Cross Country team. We won the BUSA (British Universities Sport Association) Cross Country Championships in 2007 and were 3rd in 2008.
The university has a vast amount of resources available to students, including at least 4 large libraries that I am aware of. My one critisism is there is often a lack of computers in the main library and learning centre, but if you own your own laptop, this would never be an issue.
I was student here between 2004-2007 and thoroughly enjoyed it. The majority of the university is on the Edgbaston Campus and there are a few satellite campus sites like Selly Oak. The Edgbaston campus has some dramatic and beautiful buildings like the Aston Webb Building and the Clocktower (a Birmingham landmark) and the Muirhead Tower, a building from the 60's which is in bit of a bad state but is listed so can't be torn down. Its a short walk from most of the student accommodation and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The campus has its own railway station, called University, with easy links to Birmingham New Street. There is also a canal that runs alongside the campus that runs all the way in to the city centre and is a nice little stroll in the summer. Next to the campus is the area of Selly Oak where the majority of students live and has a lots of students pubs, takeaways, aldi and amazing curry houses. There are lots of activities carried out on campus with a lot of different cultures and interests represented, the majority of activities are fun through the Guild of Students (BUGS). The Guild is a good place to get to know people, especially for first years. There is a pub called Joes and every saturday is Fab and Fresh, which is a clasic university night. The Guild does have a few bands come to play there but it doesn't have the capacity to have big bands on uni campus tours. There are numerous banks located in the middle of campus and handy cash machines that give out £5 notes, handy for students. There are sports facilities and a running track with student discounts on membership.
Birmingham is a brilliant university to study at with a diverse selection of young people and a great nightlife.
I am a student at the University of Birmingham in my first year of the popular course; Sports and Exercise Sciences. Although it is a difficult university to get in to, there are hundreds of different courses to choose from if you are not accepted on your favoured course. Also, they are quite lenient with grades as I did not achieve the expected marks but still got in... shhh!
So what made Birmingham my number one choice? As soon as I arrived at the open day and got a walk around the campus I knew this was the place for me. Not only is it one of the leading universities in the UK for my course it is a beautiful place to study with its landmark clock tower, luscious all weather pitches and modern redbrick buildings. I felt right at home here and could picture myself studying here for the future.
The Campus is located in Selly Oak, a small town with plenty of student housing and all the essentials to go with it, including countless pubs, fast food chains and supermarkets such as Sainsbury's, Aldi's and Tesco express. Bristol Road runs straight through Selly oak alongside the university campus ensuring easy transport. There is also a train station on site which runs to New Street. Birmingham is the only university in the UK to have a train station on site. This proves very helpful for getting around. The student housing around Selly Oak is favoured for 2nd and 3rd years as the majority of students will move into halls of residence for their first year and there are plenty to choose from. Victoria Halls is I Selly oak, meaning you can roll out of bed 15 minutes before lectures and still grab a good seat. There are plenty on the Vale, just a 5 minute walk from campus. These include: Mason, Elgar Court, Shakleton, Maple Bank, Tennis Courts, Pritchatts Park and Ashcroft. I was lucky enough to be in Hunter court; a private hall of residence. There are several of these located within a close proximity of the university such as Douper Hall, The Beeches, Jarrat Hall and IQFive. Although, a bit expensive and slightly farther a field. These accommodations are luxurious, mostly with en suite.
The University of Birmingham comes equipped with some great facilities. Firstly the Guild of Students. There are plenty of things to do inside the guild. There is Joe's bar, which is ideal for a few drinks with your mates or a couple of games of pool. If you are more of a nightlife person then there is "Fab n Fresh" on a Saturday night in Joes bar for a few more drinks and music. Those of you who like your food as much as I do there is a subway inside, which has managed to clear out my wallet for most of this term. To counterbalance this you may want to search for a job you can find everything you need in the guild if it's food from Spar or just a cash machine to dig into that student loan.
If you want time to study your books then there is an astounding library in the centre of Campus with well over a million books and documents to satisfy your fancy. The sheer size of this Library will take your breath away.
Alternatively, there are great sporting opportunities to be had if you lead a very active lifestyle like me. The hundreds of different sports teams cater for everyone. Each club has social events to help you bond with your teammates. The Monroe sports centre on Campus is the centre of Birmingham's sporting community, providing a fully equipped Gym and swimming pool, basketball and badminton courts and an outdoor 400m running track for athletics events. Birmingham is a very competitive university for sports and is near the top of the league for most sports. So you will be guaranteed to have a great experience representing the university no matter what your sport.
Finally my favourite topic... Nightlife. I love a good night out with my friends from Birmingham down Broad Street for plenty of drinks and good music. Birmingham has loads to offer the keen clubbers. No matter what night you chose to go out you shall not be disappointed. My personal favourite has got to be Gatecrasher! It runs various events throughout the week such as "Loaded" on a Monday night, playing classic dance anthems and "Propaganda" on a Friday if you are more of an Indie fan. Occasionally celebrities will come to DJ at propaganda if you are lucky. Recent sets have come from The Mighty Boosh cast and Hot Chip.
Tuesday night why not head to Barracuda for "Stupid Tuesdays" and enjoy cheap drinks. Wednesday has got to be RISA!!! A great club which will not empty your pockets as most drinks are just £1!! For Thursday nights Oceana is always thriving with the famous "Vodbull" meaning a single vodka and red bull is just £1.25. This club has several rooms to cater for everyone's fancy. On the other hand, if you enjoy a bit of cheesy 80's music then Reflex is the place for you.
I would HIGHLY recommend Birmingham University for upcoming undergraduates. The opportunities are endless and make sure u make the most of Freshers week... Best time of my life!
All the best. I hope this review was helpful.
When I tell people I went to Birmingham, their first reaction is usually "never mind". But these tend to be from people who have never actually been to the city at all.
I studied medicine there for 6 years and the city itself is fantastic.
The City - Lively, vibrant, full of culture, great shopping. It has everything you could ever want within walking distance, a good transport system, an international airport and good motorway links.
The new Bulll Ring shopping centre has everything from Selfridges to Top Shop, and is a very attractive building. There are also excellent restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. I particularly like the area around the mailbox - an upmarket complex with shops, bars, restaurants and cafes set around the canal area.
The Campus - The campus is approx 3 miles from the city centre in the area of Edgbaston, one of the nicer areas in Birmingham. The Uni has it's own train station, 6 mins train ride from Birmingham New Street. It is a very green campus with lots of open space, and red brick buildings. Some of the buildings are stunning and, in fact, the term "redbrick university" came from Birmingham.
The University - Birmingham has a good mix of people, from all sorts of backgrounds, but generally has fairly high entry requirements. I would say that it has a good reputation with employers, and the prospects for getting work after graduation are good.
Overall - I wold recommend the university to anyone who was considering it. I particularly love the city and have stayed here after graduation.
I spent six years at Birmingham, the first two and a half years "on campus" and the rest at the Dental Hospital in town.
The campus is lovely, if you were that way inclined, you would never need to leave it. The buildings, greenery etc make you feel like you are at a proper Uni.
The sports facilities are very good (although the staff are a bit sour) and there is plenty to do with societies and clubs etc.
Being a country girl, I was worried about moving to Brum, however, it is now my favourite city. You can do ANYTHING there, and the Lickey Hills and Malvern are less than an hour away if you want some countryside.
Broad Street is becoming a little dissappointing now and I would recommend becoming a little more creative with your plans than the traditional "pub crawl" down there.
The restaurants in Brimngham are amazing, you can truly eat anything you can think of. The shopping is ace ad you can buy any type of niche clothing, games, books, artefacts etc that you can think of.
Train links are brill to everywhere, the airport is 20min away by train, the NEC and NIA are on your doorstep and for multiculturalism it is unrivalled.
Back to the Uni, I felt immersed in student life whilst I was there, the halls were good (I lived in catered and self catered) and almost all in walking distance from the campus.
Academically it is a good 'un, compard to other Uni's with decent numbers of state school students, it holds its own.
Compared to Aston, which is in town, it is fabulous. Aston feels like a 70's industrial estate and just doesn't have the campus feel that Birmingham does.
I am currently a third year at the University of Birmingham. The time spent at University so far has been fantastic, and i will break down and review the different aspects of University life at Birmingham.
In terms of the education i have received Birmingham has been very good. I am a student of the European Research Institute and many of the lecturers are regarded as leaders in the field of European and Russia research. There are many examples of lecturers and researchers from other academic schools who have been revered in their fields and this is a real bonus when doing a degree. The support of the Libraries across the campuses is very good as well. There are usually copies of key texts available, and the only time when there are not is during 'peak' times such as those around essay submission dates. A degree from the University of Birmingham is popular amongst employers due to the traditional high grade of education offered.
Birmingham has often had mixed reviews but from a student point of view it is a very good city to live in. There is fantastic shopping in the city center and many parks and leisure activities around the main campus. The nightlife is fantastic with the famous Broad Street offering many clubs and pubs. There are also many bars in the Student area of Selly Oak.
Second years onwards are likely to take up private residence in Edgbaston, Harborne or Selly Oak, with Selly Oak tending to be favoured due to proximity to the main campus. First year University accomodation is of a very high standard, however this comes at an expensive price.
The University has a firm grasp on the idea of what a student is. There is leniancy towards first years in terms of work as the University is well aware that a first year University student has much more than just a degree on their mind. There are also fantastic support networks for those students who are finding it hard to settle away from home and helps them get through the potentially difficult time.
ABOUT THE UNI
The university is a member of the Russell Group of research universities and a founding member of Universitas 21. It currently has over 18,000 undergraduate and 11,000 postgraduate students, making it larger than the other two universities in the city; Aston University and Birmingham City University. In 2006-07, it was the fourth most popular English university by number of applications. In the same year the annual income of the university was £389m, with an expenditure of £372m.
The University of Birmingham is a very impressive University steeped in tradition. The term 'red-brick university' even derives from the red bricks of the Aston Webb building at the University of Birmingham. The University and the area of Birmingham are lovely places to be and have a feeling of history about them. You could have the chance to be part of this history and part of the traditions that make the University of Birmingham the establishment it is.
As I sit here in the University of Birmingham's library I look back on the past 3 years. With my exams just finished I am officially no longer a part of the University. I feel nostalgic when thinking about my first year: how young I felt and how new everything was. The independence after the facist regimes of school and college; the huge campus; the thousands of people. It is with a happy nostalgia that I look back on all this. My course however, is a different story.
The University itself consists of two campus' - the bigger, main one in the centre of Edgbaston, and a smaller one further along the never-ending Bristol Road on the outskirts of 'student' Selly Oak. It can be quite intimidating at first, but fairly easy to get to grips with as it is well sign posted and the majority of your lectures will take place in the same buildings week-in, week-out. There are shops and a bar (in the guild - pretty cheap) on the main campus, and a large library on both. The Monroe Centre on the main campus is an exceptional GYM including sports courts, a swimming pool and a fitness centre. Also located on the main campus are several 5-a-side football pitches.
As you can tell, Birmingham is not short of facilities on site. A short 5 minute walk into Selly Oak and you have four excellent pubs to enjoy, and a 5 minute taxi ride into town will take you onto the legendary broad street - home of the finest clubs and bars in Birmingham. This is where the true appeal of the University lies, with the numerous clubs offering student nights where only students are allowed in, and there are special deals and promotions on drinks. This atmosphere can be rivalled at few other Universities, and with a fun (if very drunk) weekly Saturday night event at the guild, it scores highly on the nightlife.
The Guild of Students itself contains a volunteering section, a student job centre, a bar, a nightclub (which is pretty poor on its own, but reasonable when combined with the upstairs bar), a merchandise and clothes shop (including 2nd hand cheap dinner and day suits) and a Spar. It is definitely one of the better Guilds, and is organised very well with full time ex-student staff doing the majority of the day-to-day running of it.
How about the lectures? That's the reason you come to University after all. Unfortunately in my course, Ancient History, I was massively disappointed with the quality of some of the lecturers. Certainly there was a handful of excellent, very memorable ones that I think of whenever doing a presentation, but, in the final year especially, some of the lecturing was poor - 2 of them had poor English, which is a huge disadvantage in an essay-based course! I was not the only one to experience this though, as several friends suffered from unmotivated, unenthusiastic and uninspiring lecturers. Birmingham is a research University, meaning the lecturers aren't neccessarily top quality. Many are, but at the same time, many are not.
The library on campus contains as many books as there are people in Birmingham, but unfortunately it lets itself down in that many of the books are in a foreign language or are hard to get hold of. Obviously to the University, size does matter. Certainly the vast computer resources available there cannot be criticised though.
The first year halls of residence and the houses of Selly Oak that you will move to in your second and third year are pretty good quality. The halls especially are nicely furnished, with several centred around 'the Vale' (a park-like complex with lake and several small bars) creating a student village. Selly Oak has much the same feel as most of the residents are students.
Unfortunately the crime rate in Birmingham is fairly high. Students are easy targets and whilst I haven't been affected myself, I know many who have. Muggings on broad street are rare but can happen, as can 'smash and grab' thefts from houses. Cautiousness can prevent this though - most houses have alarms and prevention is often as simple as closing the windows when you go out. Insurance is a must for any prospective student though.
I feel I've been overly critical though. At this University I've had many, many more good memories than bad, and the faults that I list are its only ones. I have been critical for the simple reason that there is no point in trying to create an illusion of perfection. The lecturers are usually good, although there will be some very poor ones that force you to do additional research on the subject, which is accomodated by a huge library - if the book you want is out, there is usually another useful one on hand. The nightlife is fantastic, the social opportunities for societies and volunteering numerous, the Guild is excellent and the facilities on campus are unrivalled. This along with the University having an excellent reputation will help you later on in the job market.
If you are considering studying at the University of Birmingham then I will quote Ben Stiller's Starsky for advice - 'Do it. Do it'.
I've just finished my four year stint at the University of Birmingham, studying for a BSc in Computer Science. First off, I wouldn't recommend that anyone study Comp. Sci. here. Sorry, but that's as blunt as I can be! The course itself is outdated, plodding and dull. The support system is absolutely useless - if you have any problems you'd be better off asking the cute little cacti plants you got at Homebase for advice. The department staff are unhelpful and unfriendly. One secretary in particular had a permanent scowl on her face and, in response to basic and polite questions (eg "Have the exam results been released yet?"), snapped and snarled like you'd asked to sleep with her mother. To this day I cannot understand why she would want a job that involves interacting with other human beings. Department lecturers were invariably intelligent people in their chosen sphere. Unfortunately, I never came across one whose chosen sphere was lecturing. If you find enough stimulation in figures and algorithms mumbled from beneath unkempt beards and tweed jackets, you might get on better at Birmingham that myself. I require some basic interaction, or at least acknowledgement that the lecturer is not merely speaking just to hear his own voice. Eye contact, a little joke, some indication that he knows there are others in the room... Ah well. Wishful thinking! On to the university as a whole. The university campus is beautiful; probably home to the most beautiful buildings in the entire city. That's definitely a an abiding memory I'll take away from my time here. Problems? All on-campus facilities, such as the supermarket and food bars, appear to have been the victim of some kind of marketing anomaly and believe they are catering for the upwardly mobile 20something set with bags of money to burn. So, when packing for your first semester at Bham leave the joss sticks and cheese toastie machine at home. You'll need the suitcase sp
ace for those damn £50 notes. In conclusion, Birmingham uni is a good place if you're rich, don't plan on actually attending lectures and like circa 1900 architecture. Anybody else - leave well alone!
When I arrived in Birmingham I was a bit apprehensive, mainly due to the size of the city and the repuation for concrete... however, the university has a lovely campus, nice buildings.. you wouldn't know you were in such a large city. Luckily though with it being nice and large it has everything you could possibly need, without being too large that you can't get around the place easily. It is also very easy to get out into the country, its only 4 or 5 miles to the hills south of the city. The uni is cool, good facilities, accomodation, library, clubs etc... student life is excellent... the male/female ratio is fine... I'd go back!!
I recently went to view the University and the Biological Science department for an interview/open day and I was quite pleasently surprised. I stayed with a friend in University accomodation and apart from the fact that the rooms were quite small, overall everything looked in order (no mice, cockroaches etc like a University I visited no names mentioned...Surrey). But I was at first dissapointed that nothing looked the way it does on the prospectus. It was a bit more dreary and lacked lustre. The buildings looked cold and intimidating but the people there were very friendly in some cases too friendly. The science department was very impressive and apart from the fact that I couldn't understand some of the lectureres due to the impossible accent, I would say its not a bad place to spend 3 years of your life.
Like most students, I had many apprehensions when i chose the university to spend the next few years of my life at. Coming from London,I wondered how Birmingham City Centre would compare and what the people 'up north' would be like. Looking back, it was the best decision i ever made, and loved every minute of my three years there. The University, set in leafy Edgbaston, is perfectly positioned, with the neighbouring area of Selly Oak housing all the second/third and fourth years within close proximity of each other and large green areas where all the halls for first years are located. The student Guild is smaller than some but still attracts the crowds for after lecture drinks and Friday and Saturday night booze ups, with the cheapest prices within a 50 mile radius. If the Guild is not your thing, then Birmingham City Centre has seen major improvements in the last few years, and is now rising up to compete with the London nightlife. There is something to suit all tastes, with loads of clubs and bars to choose from. The most trendy area is Broad Street which is simply lined with bar after bar. The shops are also improving with the major department store Rackhams offering the alternative to Selfridges and all the high street names found in the main promenade. So for socialising you are definitely in the right place, your mates will all be a walk away in Selly Oak, the taxi ride into town is next to nothing, and you can stagger into Uni in a matter of minutes from Selly Oak. Onto more serious things, work that is - the University is among the top unis in the country and it is easy to see why. With 14,000 students to cater for, the facilites are excellent. There is a huge library where you will find anything and everything, not to mention libraries for the more specific subjects like Medicine and Law. The sports centre is one of the best, again with everything under the sun, from two gyms, dance and aerobics classes, a strong skiing
society - Brumski, a large indoor pool, sunbeds and saunas etc etc. There are also millions of societies to get involved in if you can find the time. To sum up, Birmingham IS the second biggest city in England and therefore has all the facilities and attractions to go with it. You will always find something to do in Birmingham. The same goes for the University, all the facilites you need and brilliant students to make your life while you are there one to remember. Definitely a right choice.
I have just finished my first year at Birmingham Uni - and believe me - it's a great place to live and study! The faculty I am in is fantastic and very well-equipped, and the lectures are only one hour long and so you can take everything in. However, everyone wants to know about the nightlife, and that is awesome too! The Guild is okay, a little hot and sticky, but they are refurbishing over the summer so it will likely be much better next year. On the town there are many places to go, and something to do every night of the week. Mondays are Dome for 50p pints and shots, Tuesdays (used to) be Loop - £5 all you can drink! Wednesdays is the big one though that everyone gets up for - Coup at Bobby Browns the Club. This is a great club that feels really friendly and has a great vibe. Thursday are Spin at Bakers, then Fridays at the Guild. Then recover over the weekend! I have been to several other Unis, and I think Birmingham has just the right mix!
Upon hearing the name Birmingham you would think of a grimey city stuffed somewhere in the Midlands. I think you would be pleasantly suprised about how nice the city is. I'm not from Birmingham, i grew up in Somerset but was still taken back by the city. The campus is great, its very green and there are a lot of nice park areas where students sit in the sun and study in the summer. The guild bar is great and the atmosphere matches. The nightlife is also spot on. Student guild nights every night for cheasy drunken debauchery, stylish night clubs and bars are springing up all the time and great clubbing at places like Bakers. The shopping in the city centre is also great and the city center is very smart. Large promenades and giant squares such as Chamberlain square. The social life is also good. Threatre in the city, cinemas, sports at the university (in fact the sports facilities were what decided it for me). Birmingham University left me with a set of memories that i will always treasure. I met the friends that will come with me through life. All streams of people are at the unversity from all classes. You cant go wrong. The university is in the city but gives you the feel that its not - the shopping is great, the nightlife amazing (check out Coc-Soc for 50p cocktails) and the courses are good too if i remeber rightly.!!
I am currently a medical student about to move into my second year at Imperial College, London. Now you've probably totally switched off because you're wondering how I can have a valid opinion on this subject! Basically, Birmingham University are appalling communicators. Having attended an interview in September 1998, I was told that I would be told the outcome within 4 weeks. 6 weeks passed and I still hadn't heard, so I rang them and they promised to write - I waited another 4 weeks before ringing them again and they promised faithfully they'd reply. Having wanted to go to Bham uni. as my first choice, I ended up rejecting them on my UCAS form, though now I am very pleased that I did because the course at Imperial is fantastic!
I was not impressed with a faculty of BHAM uni. I was at Birmingham Conservatoire studying composition. It was a terrible faculty of the uni. I was living in the centre on BHAM with 8 girls which was the top part but the course was actually rubbish. I left after passing my first year. I was taking only 7 hours tuition a week. I mean we can all be very big and hard and say well yeah im at university to have a good time and get drunk and stoned but the reality is that your course has to be right. If you want to see a university thats doing it right (the place i moved too) then hop along to staffordshire) Anyway I thought Birmingham Conservatoire was terrible.