• Birmingham city university

TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a University > University Guides > Birmingham City University

Birmingham City University (formerly University of Central England) is a large and diverse university with over 25,000 students.

Proudly based in Birmingham, students and visitors discover a vibrant and diverse learning community that is supported by world-class research, cutting-edge teaching and enviable links to business and industry.



The University has invested heavily in its libraries and learning centres to create some fantastic facilities. Over 715,000 books and nearly 28,000 print and electronic journals are are available to help students' succeed.

There are seven libraries in all, including The Mary Seacole Library, one of the biggest specialist health libraries in the UK. These resources, combined with the Learning Centre, support the different subjects and interests of the staff and students.

Kenrick Library

Kenrick Library based at the City North Campus is spread over several floors. The upper floor houses most of the books and a number of study rooms. The lower level houses an IT suite and photocopying facilities as well as more study rooms and specialist collections.

Mary Seacole Library

Mary Seacole is based at the health campus - City South. The library has an impressive range of specialist books and space for group study together with dozens of individual study spaces. There is also a good sized teaching/lecture room and a reference library that allows has access to a number of computer terminals. Over all the building feels welcoming and airy - a good place to study.

Conservatoire Library

This library is based at the Conservatoire in the City Centre and holds many thousands of music scores, CDs, and academic books. There is a mezzanine level for silent study, around 20 computers and various study areas, including an audio room.

IT and Computing

Kenrick Library has its own computer suites for all students to use. There are also photocopying and printing facilities available. These services cost 5p for a black and white print or A4 scan and 10p for a colour print or A5 scan.

Most departments have their own separate computer rooms and printing facilities for their students to use. There are various printers connected to a 'Uniflow' printing system. Many of these have the option of scanning documents and then emailing them to an address, which can be quite handy if you don't have enough printer credits or you want to be more eco-friendly.

Across all BCU campuses there is WiFi access provided either by 'BCU-wireless' or 'Eduroam'. Regardless of which campus you study at, you can access this at any other campus, provided you can remember your login details.



Birmingham City University is investing heavily in its student experience.

The £4.3 million Pavilion offers students a fantastic rate to hire a 5-a-side football pitch before 6pm during the week. A pitch can be hired for £15 an hour, so if you and nine of you friends want to go to the pavilion and play 5-a-side it will only cost you £1.50 for an hours football... Why not set up a league against other halls, house, faculties or courses! Or if you just want to get some practice in for the Union's Annual 5-a-side in May its an opportunity to get started before your competition...

The extensive sports facilities at the pavilion are a team players dream. The 18 hectare stretch surrounding the site, boasts 12 grass football pitches, a stunning flood-lit full sized all weather pitch, 2 rugby pitches and 2 cricket net lanes, together with ample parking facilities.

The provision of 22 changing rooms and specialist disabled changing areas means your team can relax in its own private environment on match days, with further allocation for referees and first aid room.

Our new £8m Doug Ellis Sports Centre, which opened in January 2010, boasts an 80-station fitness suite, an eight-court sports hall, and workout and spinning studios.

The centre offers state-of-the-art fitness training equipment and plenty of room for team sports including five-a-side football and cricket. 5-a-side all-weather cricket and football pitches adds the finishing touches to the centre, which is located close to the City North Campus.


Welfare is looked after by the Students Union and BCU Student Services. A representative from the SU usually travels round the campuses offering advice to students. Alternatively you can contact the staff at Student Services.


BCU Student Services provides a healthcare service from medical consulting rooms on the City North and City South campuses.

The healthcare team consists of three experienced female nurses, including a nurse practitioner/prescriber, plus visiting male and female doctors, provided by Handsworth Wood Medical Centre.

Healthcare staff are available for confidential help and information on a range of health-related issues. They can carry out treatment and make referrals to other healthcare professionals. Everyone should register with a doctor as soon as they arrive at Uni.

Don't feel pressured to register with Handsworth Wood as soon as you arrive - if you are based at a City Centre campus, getting to a consulting room may be more difficult than registering with a more local practice. (I made this mistake, and then realised there was a doctors surgery directly behind my halls - needless to say I switched practices!)

General Information
1971 (as Birmingham Polytechnic
Birmingham, UK
Birmingham City University,
Perry Barr,
B42 2SU,
United Kingdom
+44 (0)121 331 5000
SU/Guild website:
UCAS Code:
Public University

Total students:
Typical offers:
Applicants per place:


Birmingham is a shoppers' paradise, with glossy, modern shopping centres, restored Victorian arcades and a range of markets offering everything from designer labels to second-hand bargains. It is dubbed the shopping capital of Europe.

All the main high-street stores are here along with smaller boutiques and special interest shops. The recently opened Bullring is Birmingham's newest shopping destination. Built at a cost of more than £500 million, it offers about 160 shops, boutiques and restaurants covering an area equivalent to 26 football pitches in the city centre.

One Stop Shopping Centre

Near to the main City North Campus is the "One Stop Shopping Centre" which has all a student could ever need. There is many shops to name but a few, ASDA, Boots, Clintons, Wilkinsons, Pound Land, Home Bargains, Orange, T-Mobile, O2, Sports World, GAME, Comet, Dorothy Perkins, Burtons, Superdrug etc

There is also a newly built Tesco in Witton which is a 10 min walk away, again from City North Campus

Student's Union

The Union itself has a Select & Save Supermarket, Ria’s Unisex hair studio, Endsleigh Insurance, Laptop World and a Union Café.


The One Stop Shopping Centre has many "restaurants". You can find McDonalds, Subway, KFC, Burger King and Greggs

There are also many Takeaways around with great prices such as two for one pizza at Uni Pizza (next to Perry Barr train station). Your sure to get thousands off menu pushed under your flat doors and you can find them at the accommodation office at Oscott Gardens.


One Stop Shopping Centre is 2 Minutes away from City North Campus. This provides most major banks such as Natwest, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds tsb

Unfortunately for all those who are HSBC the only available one is in the city centre which is regularly overcrowded.



Major Bus Stops Just outside the University into the city centre


2 Trains every hour into Birmingham New Street, the major Birmingham Station right next to the Bullring Shopping Centre. Around £2.00 and £1.40 with railcard.


BIRCHFIELD CARS are the local Taxi company 100 yard from the perry barr campus. Their fares are £6 to the city centre any where anytime, £9 for a People Carrier. They pick up late night from city. 0121 777 1717 Great for when your going out.

Careers service

Part-time jobs

Religous facilities

Birmingham City Discussions

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Bars, Pubs and clubs


City North Campus, Located in the Student's Union. Cheap and Cheerful prices, good atmosphere and has a great Friday night event called "Toons"

Just had an amazing re-furbishment this fantastic venue offers everything you ever wanted and more from an on campus Union Bar!

Between lectures come and chill out in the bar on the comfy settees and enjoy the food offers while being entertained by the latest music. You can also hone your pool skills or try your luck on the quiz machines! At night the venue is transformed to host some quality nights catering for everyone with drinks offers




This cosy pub located slap, bang in the middle of Hamstead Halls is the perfect place to relax with your friends or get geared up for a night out.

With an local atmosphere this pub has everything from quality pool tables to a big screen playing all the sporting events to cheap drinks!!

With regular Pool competitions and Quiz's the village inn really is a brilliant bar to try out!




This brand spanking new bar is located at Edgbaston Campus just a stones throw from the halls of residence!

With the very comfy chairs and the relaxing vibe this bar promises to be a fantastic place to hang out in between lectures. At night time the bar has the ability to become a banging venue with a dance floor or a place to socialise and meet new friends. With a massive range of drinks from juices and smoothies to coffees and alcohol this is going to be a great venue throughout the whole of the day!




Being located just off College Road, near City North Campus, this two story facility is the prime location for all you sporting folk. And what better way to unwind after a match than in thepavilion bar. Even if your not taking part out on the field you can watch all the action with both indoor and outdoor seating. This beautiful £4.5m sports centre also plays host to a conferencing suite and banqueting facilities which are available for private hire.




Toons Every Friday night at Bar 42. With top DJs playing top tunes & unbeatable drinks offers Toons is the 'Best Student Night in Town'!


I Love Risa Every Wednesday night, this is the Union's 'Official Sports Night' and takes place a world class venue. Check out your local Union bar for amazing pre-club drinks offers!


The Big Squeeze Bar Crawl that takes place around three times a year and usually hosts around 800 students. Starting at all Union bars.


Carnage Bar Crawl 1,500 students, one street... If you haven’t heard about carnage... WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Oh, and it raises thousands for charity!

Clubs and societies

BCU Anime and Manga Society

Konnichiwa! Welcome to the awesome BCU Anime and Manga Society. We are a group of people oozing with friendliness and want to share our passion for anime and manga with you.

Our goals are to have anime screenings throughout the year, hold different workshops and organise exciting events on campus and away. There'll be something for everyone.

Official Website | Facebook Group


BCU LGBT - Birmingham City University Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transsexual Society.

Birmingham City University LGBT is a society within Birmimgham City Students' Union. It offers students support and advice on a variety of issues for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual people, from sexual health and coming out, to places to party and campaigning.

Official Website | Facebook Group


For more info on BCU Accomodation go Here

Accommodation policy

Room's in the uni's halls of residences are guaranteed to those who accept an offer on a full time course at Birmingham City University, apply by the beginning of the autumn term and do not live in Birmingham. Accommodation is not guaranteed to those who live in Birmingham but it subject to availability.


Oscott, Coppice and Oscott Road


Oscott, Coppice and Oscott Road are all provided with Free internet Connection to the BCU Network.This is given as soon as you have enrolled and are given you login details.

Washing and Drying Clothes

laundrettes are located at both Oscott and Coppice which are £1.60 for washing and £1 for drying. Though make sure you save your 20p's as the washing Machines only accept one £1 and three 20p's. Oscott Road can use these though they do have their own washing machines.

Phones Oscott, Coppice and even Oscott Road all have networked phones in each room so all three halls can call rooms by using extension numbers.

Facilities in a Typical Room for ALL BCU Halls of Residence

  • Single bed, pillow, mattress and mattress cover (students need to bring own bedding)
  • Curtains
  • Wardrobe
  • Chest of drawers
  • Study desk and chair
  • Easy chair
  • Mirror
  • Washbasin (in most rooms)


BCU has a number of accommodation blocks: 2 halls of residence for the main City North campus, 1 for Edgbaston and 1 for the Hamstead campus. BCU also has a number of rooms in the new Unite accommodation block, Curzon Gateway, reserved for its students. Details are given below in the Private Sector section.

Oscott Gardens

The Oscott Gardens halls of residence offers accommodation for 419 students. It is situated opposite the main City North Campus, so gives very easy access to the uni as well as the city centre. Each flat has 7 bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom consisting of a shower, toilet and wash basin. The flats are all self-catered and every kitchen has the basics of a cooker, microwave, fridge freezer, dining table and chairs. In addition, all the rooms also have their own telephone and Ethernet connection to Birmingham City University’s Data Network, allowing students to access both internal and internet based resources from the room.

Oscott Road Houses

As with Oscott Gardens, Oscott Road Houses are also situated opposite the main campus. There are 30 university owned houses which are used mainly by returning students. If the other accommodation blocks are full some first year students may be placed in there as well. Most of houses have 3 bedrooms, whilst some have 4. The houses also comprise a living room, bathroom and kitchen. Heating is inclusive and all houses have a washing machine, cooker and fridge freezer. As with the halls of residence, each room has its own private telephone and Ethernet connection to the uni's data network.

The Coppice

The Coppice offers accommodation for 432 students and is too directly opposite the main campus, but this time is situated off Wellhead Lane. Each flat has 6 bedrooms and the bathrooms, consisting of a shower cubicle, toilet and a bath with a overhead shower, are shared. These flats too are self-catered and the kitchens comprise of a cooker, microwave, fridge freezer, dining table and chairs. Like the others halls of residence, each room in The Coppice has its own telephone and ethernet connection.

Edgbaston Halls of Residence

The Edgbaston campus Halls of Residence accommodates 295 students and the site is located 2 miles from the City Centre and about 5.5 miles from the main campus at Perry Barr. Each room is for single occupancy and in addition to standard sized singles room, Calthorpe and Mariemont also have some large single rooms. All the accommodation here is self-catered with students sharing kitchen facilities of a cooker, fridge, freezer, microwave and kettle. The bathrooms are also shared. All rooms have a private telephone line and an Ethernet connection.

Hamstead campus Halls

The Hamstead campus is approximately 2 miles from the main City North campus, and there are frequent bus service to Perry Bar and the city centre. Hamstead consists of 700 bedroom with both catered and self-catered rooms available. In the Hall, breakfast and evening meals are provided on term time weekdays, with kitchen and bathroom facilities shared between 10-15 students. Self-catered accommodation consists largely of flats, accommodating either 2 or 6 students, with a self-contained kitchen and bathroom. Like the other halls, rooms in Hamstead also have their own telephone and ethernet connection.

Private sector

Curzon Gateway

Curzon Gateway is located 5 minutes walk from the TIC and is just a short walk from the Bullring. Buses to the City North campus are only a 10 minute walk away. It has approximately 220 rooms, split into a mix of 6, 5 and 3 bedroom flats- all are en-suite and have Internet connection and TV aerial sockets. The kitchen areas are communal and are shared by all occupants of a flat. The laundrette facilities are coin operated and cost £2.00 per wash and £1.00 for an hours drying time. The Heights (another Unite block) is a 10 minute walk from Curzon Gateway.

Opal One

-All bedrooms en-suite -FREE Broadband internet -Posesssions insurance -Membership of Gym and Leisure Centre (Optional Extra) -All water & electricity costs included -Common room with Wide-screen TV and Sky Package -Friendly flats from 4/5 people -Excellent security with CCTV, electronic access and 24 hour staff presence

Student union


The Students’ Union is a democratic membership-led organisation which aims to represent and support all students throughout their time at Birmingham City University, thus promoting a positive student experience whilst at university. In a nut shell, the Students’ Union is here for you and you are recommended to take advantage of the variety of opportunities and services it has to offer.

Have your say

If you have any issues or ideas to share, don’t hesitate to contact the Executive Officers – five elected student representatives who are the Directors of the Union and who will do everything they can to support and help you. You can also use the website and suggestion boxes at Union receptions/bars to give your feedback on Union matters.

Be inspired, get involved

The Union is dedicated to getting students involved in as many ways as possible. Find out how you can join sports teams and societies, and if you still can’t find anything exciting, why not set up your own? It’s a great way to meet new people and develop transferable skills. You can also get involved with student campaigns, volunteering, ‘Give it a Go’ activities, the DNA (training sessions) and even find out how you can become an Executive Officer yourself! Involvement with your Union means good fun and a great addition to your CV.

Advice and representation

University life is definitely exciting, fun and rewarding. There may be times that you might need to cope with money issues, housing problems or academic matters. It’s important to know you are not on your own. The Advice Centre is staffed by professional advisors and can assist with a range of issues and provide you with loads of useful information. As part of the Union, the Advice Centre can guarantee total independence and absolute confidentiality.

Services and facilities

Chill out at Union bars, work out at thepavilion sports facility, dress up and enjoy a night out at our venues. Also, check out Level 2 of the Union building in Perry Barr for useful shops like Select &Save Supermarket, Ria’s Unisex hair studio, Endsleigh Insurance and Laptop World.


Footie Special Pitcher of Fosters / Carlsberg for only £5 whenever there is a Live game on the Big Screen!


Friday Night Toons Snakebite - only £1.50 all night! Vodka + Mixer - £1.50 (Double up for an extra £1) Double Vodka + 1/2 Red Bull - only £2.50 Selected Shots - 3 for £5 Pints: Coke/Lemonade - 99p



!940's Terraced Housing meets 1970's Development

Local area

The 2001 Population Census recorded that 22,704 people were living in Perry Barr. 28.2% (6,410) of the ward's population was represented by ethnic minorities, compared with 29.6% for Birmingham in general.

Perry Barr was an urban district in Staffordshire from 1894 until 1928 when it was incorporated into Birmingham, and therefore become associated with Warwickshire. It then became part of the West Midlands in 1974 when Birmingham became a metropolitan borough in the county.

In the 1920s, Oscar Deutsch opened his first ever Odeon cinema here. The original cinema is now a conference venue, having also been a bingo hall.

The site of the former Perry Hall is now Perry Hall Park. Perry Park hosted the Birmingham Carnival in 2005.

Perry Barr Greyhound racing Stadium on the Aldridge Road has been located here for over 70 years. This has a 500 seat capacity, and was refurbished in 2004. It is the former home of the Birchfield Harriers, whose badge, in Art Deco style, it still carries. Birchfield Harriers are now based at Alexander Stadium. Perry Barr Greyhound Stadium hosts the Birmingham Brummies speedway team.

Birchfield Community Library was opened in 1874 as the "Perry Barr Institute". It was converted into a Carnegie-funded library in September 1897. In early 2007, this library was demolished, due to its dilapidated condition. A new building is to be commissioned. Another library in the area is Tower Hill Library.

There is a large shopping centre in the district known as "One Stop" Shopping Centre. This is owned by Birmingham City University and was built in the early 1990s.

Teaching quality

Applying to Birmingham City

Thinking of applying to Birmingham City University? Why not read some Personal Statements which were used for applying here?

Other Birmingham City Articles

Why not read these other Birmingham City University Articles?


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