The University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is one of the founding members of the Russell Group of top-ranked, prestigious  British universities, and was established in 1900. Located in the West Midlands, it enjoys a reputation for excellent teaching, rich resources and a lively student campus. A public, research university, its student population numbers approximately 38,000 (2023). 


The University of Birmingham has two campuses, one in Edgbaston, the other in Selly Oak, and these are both a mere three miles away from Birmingham city centre. Birmingham itself is a culturally diverse and large city, with over 500 parks and open spaces, a thriving nightlife and great transport links. Students’ feedback on their experiences of studying at the University of Birmingham  is unanimously enthusiastic. The word “supportive” is constantly mentioned, as is the high standard of the university accommodation, the warm and welcoming administration and the comprehensive help and many social activities available on campus.

The University of Birmingham: rankings

QS 2024 ranks the University of Birmingham 84th in the world, and UK rankings place it between 12th and 15th, domestically.

When it comes to subject rankings in the UK, the university stands out in a number of areas:

  • Creative writing – 1
  • Mineral and mining engineering – 1
  • Physiotherapy – 1
  • Dentistry – 4
  • History of Art – 4
  • Education – 5
  • Communication and media studies  – 5
  • Linguistics – 6
  • Materials technology – 6
  • Chemical engineering – 6
  • Law – 7
  • Computer science – 7
  • English – 8
  • Anatomy and physiology – 8
  • Nursing – 8
  • Drama, dance and cinematics – 9
  • Management – 10
  • Medicine – 10


The University of Birmingham has produced 11 Nobel prize winners and its research has been rated 13th out of 129 universities in the UK in the Research Excellence Framework.

Among the study areas being investigated at the University of Birmingham are:

  • Rheumatology
  • Technology for decarbonising energy and transport
  • Fossil findings in the Mississippi and their link to the expansion of Antarctica
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Formulation engineering
  • CDT in fuel cells
  • Changing attitudes to sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • How AI can identify eye diseases
  • Ageing and frailty
  • Microplastics
  • Conflict wounds
  • Oral anticoagulants
  • Pathogens
  • Using water fleas to remove pollution from waste water

The University of Birmingham: academic profile

The University of Birmingham has five faculties or colleges:

  1. Arts and Law
  2. Medical and Dental Sciences
  3. Life and Environmental Sciences
  4. Engineering and Physical Sciences
  5. Social Sciences

It offers 600 taught and research Master’s programs, along with a huge range of undergraduate courses.

The University of Birmingham business school is Triple Crown accredited and its medical school is one of the largest in all of Europe and works with 15 teaching hospitals in the West Midlands region.

The University of Birmingham not only excels in medicine and dentistry, but is highly rated for :

  • Engineering 
  • Aerospace  technology
  • Materials science and energy 

– all courses which are heavily oversubscribed from year to year.

The University of Birmingham’s  overall acceptance rate is 13.8 per cent and applications are processed through UCAS. Note, however, that the University of Birmingham does NOT participate in Clearing.

The University of Birmingham is renowned for its rich resources: the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, the Shakespeare Institute, its Observatory, the  Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts, including one of the world’s oldest Korans, the Winterbourne Botanical Gardens, its geology museum- and the fact that it is the only UK university to have its own railway station! It was also the first British university to establish a famers’ market on campus.

The University of Birmingham: campus

All first year students at the University of Birmingham are guaranteed a place in halls. The accommodation on campus is described as modern, well-maintained, comfortable and excellently managed. Hall representatives are on  hand to make sure that any minor issues are dealt with immediately. There are 7,000 rooms available in three student villages, and the costs range from £130 a week upwards depending on the type of room you choose, whether you wish to have ensuite or shared facilities etc. None of the villages is more than a 15 minute walk away from campus.

The Vale is peaceful and  built around an artificial lake, while the Selly Oak campus is known for its nightlife and wide range of amenities and Pritchatts Park is close to the railway station and near the medical school.

You will be able to cook for yourself or choose a meal plan, live in your own studio or share an apartment.

There are many activities to choose from and around 250 societies on campus for you to join.

The campus architecture ranges from the modern to redbrick-Tudor, and is visually striking and attractive.

University of Birmingham: sporting facilities on campus

The University of Birmingham has outstanding sporting facilities, as can be seen by the fact the Jamaican athletics team chose to train here before the 2012 Olympic Games. In addition, the University of Birmingham had the largest athlete village in the UK for the 2022 Commonwealth Games, and University of Birmingham teams and individuals have won many medals at both competitions. Some of this success can be attributed to the fact the university offers generous sports scholarships.

The University of Birmingham has 56 sports clubs on campus, as well as an outdoor activity centre located at Coniston Water in the Lake District. The university caters to every sporting activity imaginable, so if you are interested in rowing or hockey, climbing or just working out in a gym, track and field or swimming, you will be impressed by the university’s sports facilities.

University of Birmingham-campus life

You will have access to all types of advice and support on campus, whether you are looking for work or career counseling, general or legal help, volunteering opportunities, personal problems or simply want someone to talk to by calling Nightline, which offers welfare support of all kinds.

During final year exams, the university has even introduced therapy dogs into its six libraries, to support stressed students.

The University of Birmingham: international links

The University of Birmingham has an affiliated campus in Dubai, which was opened in 2022,and will accept students from 2024 –  and is the most modern, purpose-built institution of higher education in the Middle East. It will offer foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications across several departments, namely: business, computer science, education, engineering, law, mathematics and psychology. Its initial research themes will focus on health, sustainability, AI and data science.

University of Birmingham students can apply to spend a term or a year abroad at 300 and more destinations around the globe, from St Lucia to Uganda. You can also opt to attend  a summer school or take short-term placements and internships,  and apply for funding through the university. The University of Birmingham has a vast network of partner universities and encourages its students to expand their knowledge and skills by taking advantage of these links and possibilities.

And finally…

The University of Birmingham is an incredibly popular option for domestic and international students alike. It offers a complete student campus experience, excellent teaching, great resources and is highly rated by employers. Birmingham is an exciting, lively city with everything you could wish for, in terms of entertainment, cultural events, diversity and nightlife. It is therefore hardly surprising that students who have already enrolled have nothing but positive views of the university and its location.

Get in touch with Elab and let us help you take the first step in preparing your application to the University of Birmingham.  

Study at the University of Birmingham!

Leave your details and an Elab Education Consultant will contact you within 48 hours to turn your academic aspirations into reality.