Image Credit: UCB01, The Maltings student accomodation, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
- Fees & Finance
- Students' Union
- Student Support
University College Birmingham
University College Birmingham (UCB), situated in the heart of one of Britain’s most vibrant cities, is Europe’s leading specialist in management courses for the culinary arts, hospitality and tourism management. Their degree courses have a vocational edge, with experienced tutors and strong links with business to give students the skills they need to tackle a career in a range of rapidly expanding industries.
Degrees at UCB are accredited by the University of Birmingham which means that, alongside their own degrees, many of the foundation degrees, BA and BSc courses lead to degrees of the University of Birmingham.
Green Credentials (2019)
Young vs Mature
Male vs Female
UCB was originally founded as part of Birmingham’s Municipal Technical School in the 19th century, which offered cookery and household science courses. It later separated to form the Birmingham College of Food and Domestic Arts, and was granted the right to award its own degrees in 2007, giving it the status of a university, as reflected when it was renamed University College Birmingham. It was awarded full University status in 2012.
UCB is based in the heart of Birmingham with facilities spread over three sites and within a few minutes’ walk of each building. The main campus is at Summer Row, located by the bustling Colmore business district, which is buzz with top restaurants, trendy bars and cool cafés . The complete remodelling of the fourth floor has seen the launch of the University’s prestigious new £2 million Food Science and Innovation Suite, which features the latest food testing and diagnostic technology alongside state-of-the-art kitchen facilities.
McIntyre House is the University’s spectacular new purpose-built centre offering two 126-seat lecture theatres and a 250-seat flagship lecture theatre, seminar rooms, comfortable tutorial studies and private meeting rooms. There are also break-out spaces on all floors for informal discussions or a quick catch-up with colleagues and lecturers. ThinkSpace, on the ground floor, has glazed study pods for group work, such as presentation preparation and project planning. In total, there are more than 120 PCs available for students to use whilst EatSpace, McIntyre House’s café, serves breakfasts, lunches, snacks and drinks. The terrace on the top floor offers panoramic views across the city centre.
Richmond House is the University’s main site for further education courses including Youth and Community, Health and Social Care, Sport, Specialist Make-up and Spa, and Hair and Beauty.
- College of Food
- The Business School
- School of Education, Health and Community
- School of Sport and Creative Services
International & Industrial Opportunities
With a focus on vocational education many courses at UCB have a work placement built into the curriculum. There's a specialised team of employability tutors to provide you with the necessary skills in order to source a work placement. The University has excellent working relationships with a range of employers, both in the UK and beyond, and its commitment to vocational training, innovation and excellence are valued and respected by their industry partners.
UCB also arranges and funds many overseas residential elements included in tourism, sport and business courses. It also partners with more than 30 universities throughout Europe via Erasmus+ and students can also travel further afield to countries such as Australia, China, Malaysia, Thailand and the USA.
UK Students (2022/2023)
Scholarships & Bursaries
UCB offers six Academic Excellence Scholarships of up to £1,000 off the cost of tuition fees, for one year only to applicants from any country. Applicants must demonstrate excellence in academic achievement.
Six student sporting excellence scholarships are available each year. This includes: up to £1,000 off the cost of tuition fees for each year; UCB branded training kit; an individually tailored programme, which may include nutrition, sports psychology, strength and conditioning programme, mentoring support and social media training; weekly sports injury/massage; and up to £500 over the duration of the programme towards the cost of travel for training/events.
UCB has a number of Standard Tuition Fee Waiver awards. For new students starting a full-time undergraduate or PGCE course, the University will provide financial support in the form of 'The Kick-Start Scheme’, which you don’t need to pay back. Eligible students will receive credit of up to £800, which can be used on a dedicated website to purchase course-related materials or on certain items within UCB.
There is an extensive stock of books and journals across two libraries in Summer Row and Richmond House, whilst students can also access an extensive range of e-resources 24/7.
McIntyre House offers spaces where you can work quietly on a PC or choose an area designed to promote group collaboration including study pods where you can view your presentation on screen and practise your delivery. Summer Row has PCs in the ground floor whilst ThinkSpace on the 6th floor is a perfect place to meet and discuss group projects – and mind-map your ideas on the glass wipe boards.
The Academic Skills Centre offers a range of study-based help delivered by a team of specialist lecturers. All students can make 30-minute appointments for one-to-one help each week at the Summer Row building. Alternatively, you can also just turn up at one of the daily drop-in sessions held during term time. The sessions are driven by what you need, which might include help with: assignments and projects, including how to structure your work; essay writing; getting started with presentations – and how to improve them; building your portfolio of work.
UCB students can gain real industry experience preparing and serving everything from fast food to silver service in their restaurants that have a great reputation with the public and professionals alike. Their very own spa boasts: hairdressing studios, beauty therapy salons, specialist hair and media make-up studio, sports therapy clinics, a spa pool, steam room, sauna, plus a multi-gym and fitness assessment suite.
Canvas@UCB is the university’s Virtual Learning Environment. It is a learning support system that is accessible via the internet and is used by your lecturers to offer greater flexibility in how, where and when you can access your learning. For example, as well as having access to learning and assessment materials for your programme of study, you will also be able to collaborate with fellow students and lecturers through discussion boards, blogs, wikis and group activities.
UCB's sports facilities are open to students, staff and alumni. The facilities include two state-of-the-art gyms located at Richmond House and The Maltings accommodation, as well as a sports hall which is available for members to book free of charge at weekends.
Richmond gym offers a large, fully equipped, fitness suite, with an extensive range of exercise machines, whilst the Maltings gym offers a selection of equipment such as cardiovascular machines and a selection of free weights. The gym also has strength and conditioning equipment such as an Olympic lifting platform and a squat rack for more strength focused workouts.
The University's purpose-built sports hall at Maltings Hall is suitable for a wide range of activities including table tennis, badminton, tennis, volleyball, basketball, 5-a-side football and indoor cricket. Equipment for all these activities can be provided.
At the Spa, located in Richmond House, students can make use of the sauna, steam room, and jacuzzi, as well as attend sports therapy treatment or a massage. There is also a wide range of beauty and health treatments available alongside UCB’s own hairdressing salons.
Students can also take part in water sports such as kayaking, windsurfing and sailing at the nearby Edgbaston reservoir.
UCB's Students' Union, The Guild of Students, puts on various events throughout the academic year, giving its students that true ‘Student Experience’ and runs all things from the Freshers' week and events to Sport provision and societies. Many of the events are run to raise money for the charities the University supports. The Guild can also offer guidance and advice on many issues relating to university life, as well as social and personal situations. The Guild works very closely with other departments at UCB, especially Student Services, to ensure each student receives the help they require.
The Guild has over 250 societies, community volunteering groups and associations for you to join. The activities offered provide a fantastic platform to socialise and meet new friends whilst becoming actively involved in University life. Sport at UCB is vastly developing each year with their teams becoming even more successful in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) leagues.
The Guild Space is located at the Maltings Hall of residence, and is a hub for all students to gather for study or just to relax during weekdays.
Health & Wellbeing
The Nursing Service at UCB provides you with practical advice and assistance regarding medical needs while you are studying at the University. The Nurse can assist with a number of practical issues, such as: general health advice - smoking, diet, on-going illness or health concerns; provide non-prescription analgesics; treat cuts, burns, scalds and any other minor injuries; information on immunisations. Students are advised to register with a local health centre.
If you are experiencing a mental health difficulty, emotional or psychological distress, the Mental Health & Wellbeing Adviser can help you to identify your specific needs, provide practical support, and help you develop coping strategies. During the period of support, the Adviser may also work alongside the Curriculum Team for Academic and Pastoral Support, and can assist you in accessing external mental health and wellbeing services.
The University's Counselling Service can deal with issues such as settling in, or anxieties about the course, depression, anxiety, decision-making, self-esteem, relationships, eating disorders, bereavement and sexuality.
The Disability Service hosts a range of equipment to support specific learning needs, including loans of digital recorders, specialised computers and software. It also offers note takers, proof reading, practical class assistance and exam concession. There are also purpose-designed ground floor student flats. In addition, they have staff members qualified and experienced in supporting students’ needs, including visual impairment, hearing impairment, mobility and access impairment, dyslexia and psychological needs.
hired@UCB is the new careers, employability and enterprise service for students and alumni at UCB. They've a team of specialist and qualified staff with the knowledge and experience to support students to recognise and build the skills needed to be successful in the world of work. This is structured around six key themes:
Their team of Careers & Employability Advisers have specialist industry knowledge and experience to help you identify career goals and develop employability skills during your time at UCB. One-to-one career guidance interviews provide impartial and confidential careers advice to support you in your career decision-making process.
Support is available to develop the skills you need to achieve your career goals. These are delivered through the curriculum, careers, work placement and additional learning. Career presentations and workshops are available throughout the academic year on a broad range of employability topics including job searching, CV writing, interview techniques, networking skills, the use of Social Media, etc. They also provide a range of employability learning materials and information online.
To help you get experience, UCB provids work opportunities to help develop the skills needed for your chosen occupation. Work placements are available to help you gain experience in a professional environment, with the opportunity to discuss your career pathway with an Employability Tutor to determine the type of experience most suitable.
UCB can help you secure part-time employment and/or voluntary work through: Unitemps, the campus-based recruitment agency; Hired Connect, which provides students and alumni with online access to a wide variety of part-time, full-time and seasonal vacancies, specifically aimed at the student and graduate labour market; internships; and volunteering, The hired@UCB team works in partnership with local charities and not-for-profit organisations to support the recruitment of student volunteers.
The hired@UCB team works with partners to support you to develop the innovation, self-motivation and enterprise skills required to succeed in the world of work, and provide information on enterprise competitions, business grants, mentoring and networking opportunities.
The Enterprise Hive based in the hired@UCB suite provides an invaluable resource for budding entrepreneurs, looking to build their new business, whilst networking with other students and developing the skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur.
UCB supports you in making informed choices about your next steps, whether that is further study, employment or self-employment. Throughout the academic year, they coordinate a wide range of opportunities for you to meet with local, national and international employers and alumni. Events include recruitment fairs, employer presentations and alumni support through presentations, mentoring and networking.
Self-catered (per week) (2021/2022)
The University provides a comprehensive accommodation service, covering both University-owned and managed halls of residence and private accommodation within the city. UCB has a dedicated service to help you find the accommodation you need, open throughout the year, including the summer vacation.
More than 1,000 students can be accommodated in UCB's two purpose-built halls of residence in central Birmingham, and can be offered to all year and courses of study. There are different options to suit a range of tastes and budgets, with all being self-catered.
The Maltings is a 15-minute walk from UCB in a gated, secure site with landscaped gardens and facilities including a sports hall, fitness suite, and a convenience store. The Guild Space is located at the Maltings and is a hub for all students to gather for study or just to relax during weekdays.
Cambrian Hall is just 150 yards from the main Summer Row site and a couple of minutes’ walk from city centre shops, bars, restaurants, rail and coach stations. It is a purpose-built hall of residence providing 247 student places. Popular with mature and overseas students, it is a self-catering hall with each flat accommodating 10 students in single study bedrooms.
English Language Requirements
If English is not your first language the University asks for an average of 6.0 in IELTS with no less than 5.5 in any band or equivalent in order for you to be offered a place on a Bachelor's degree programme.
UCB provides a range of support for international students designed to encourage individuals to access Undergraduate and Postgraduate study and to be successful at UCB. This includes a range of scholarships. For example, UCB offers six Academic Excellence awards - Up to £1000 off the cost of tuition fees, for one year only; these scholarships are open to applicants, from any country. Applicants must demonstrate excellence in academic achievement.
A full list of the scholarships is available at the UCB website.
A quarter of UCB students are from overseas and from 65 countries. The International Student Centre has a wealth of experience of working with, and teaching, international students. They can help you with issues, including academic support, accommodation, welfare support, visa applications and immigration issues.
On certain dates throughout the year, UCB will have University representatives in the arrival halls at Birmingham International Airport to meet new students when they land. If you are flying into another UK airport, then coach services run frequently to Birmingham Airport which you can book through.
The one-week orientation programme takes place in September before your chosen course begins. It has been developed for all international students who are new to the UK and is an ideal opportunity to settle in, find out more about life at UCB, how you will be expected to work and study, and how assignments should be presented. The Orientation Programme also covers important aspects of living in the UK, such as registering with a doctor, opening a bank account and where to shop for bargains. It gives you the chance to meet other students and explore the social and cultural life of the UK.
UCB’s English Development Centre offers English development sessions and English language support for those whose first language is not English. These development sessions involve a range of taught classes to encourage international students to improve their academic reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Course-related skills such as effective note taking in lectures and essay and report structuring, are included.