• University of birmingham: student guide to accommodation

TSR Wiki > University > Choosing a University > University Guides > University of Birmingham > University of Birmingham: Accomodation



Catered Halls

The Vale

  • Shackleton
  • Aitken Wing
  • Meal plan flats are available at Maple Bank, Tennis Courts and Mason Hall

Self-Catered Flats

The Vale

  • Elgar Court
  • Maple Bank
  • Tennis Courts
  • Mason Hall

Elgar Court

Elgar Court was built in 2003 and comprises of 40 self catering flats arranged into four blocks at the top of the Vale. Each flat has six ensuite bedrooms and a large kitchen with a living room area. Single sex and mixed flats are available and the rooms at Elgar are some of the largest of any accommodation at UoB.

All students on the Vale can use the facilities at the Hub in Shackleton Hall, including Costcutter mini supermarket, Rio's coffee bar, Fusion restaurant, VideoBank and Bar 1. Elgar is a 20 minute walk away from the centre of campus; most people walk this, but there is a bus which runs every half an hour from the Vale to campus, and costs 50p per trip. There is a bus stop at the top of the Vale which runs to the city centre every ten minutes, and Elgar is only around 15 minutes away from Five Ways, where you'll find a train station, Tesco, Boots, Subway, banks, cinemas, a bowling alley and the top of Broad Street.

Although only a small hall with 240 people, Elgar residents have a strong sense of pride in their hall and a very active Residents Association, who look after residents and represent Elgar at the Guild. They also sell tickets to student club nights and organise events through Freshers Fest and beyond. In 2008, these included the best first year end of year ball (awarded by the VP Housing and Community), a trip to Alton Towers, a Cowboys and Indians night, charity fundraising casino night, and a gourmet meal at Bar Room Bar.

To sum up: we are fabulous!

Maple Bank

Tennis Courts:

There are 21 blocks in Tennis Courts (referred to as TC). Blocks 1-17 each contain 6 flats on three floors, with each flat accommodating approximately 5 students. Blocks 18-21 are arranged so that they form a square courtyard, referred to as "Centre Court". There are two bikesheds on site, as well as a laundrette and squash courts. Each of these have code locks on the door.

Tennis Courts has a capacity of 697 students and has its own website: http://www.tennis-courts.org/


Blocks 1-17 have code locks on the doors into the block, with the front doors to each flat and individual room having key locks.

Several of the blocks have now been refurbished (blocks 1-11 / flats 1-66).

For 2007, the university has made many more flats mixed-sex; previously, only a very small number were available as part of a trial.

Each refurbished flat has an open plan kitchen/lounge, a toilet, and a bathroom containing a sink, toilet and shower, and some with baths. Non-refurbished flats do not have the extra, separate toilet.

Centre Court does not have code locks restricting entrance to the blocks, but lockable front doors and rooms. Flats vary in size from 3-6 students.

The Tennis Courts Residents association, known as TECRA, has their office in Centre Court Block 21. They sell social event tickets and hoodies as well as organising several Tennis Courts events and representing the views of Tennis Courts residents to HAS (Hospitality and Accommodation Services), and the Guild. In the Summer they also provide volleyball nets and paddling pools! Tennis Courts is a brilliant community, with parking available, a newly refurbished launderette and a great atmosphere!

And, to top it all off, it's the closest accommodation to the main campus.

Pritchatts Park

  • The Spinney
  • Pritchatts House
  • Ashcroft
  • Oakley Court

Nightlife: Pritchatts Park has its own Social Center which has a bar, pool tables and mini football. The committee organise lots of events there such as fancy dress parties, quiz nights and is a good place for the preparty! but the best place is of course broad street. You can get a taxi to broadstreet from Pritchatts for £6 if you order it. They normally do Film nights on Sunday's from October onward. In freshers week the committee organise busses to take you there and back. Theres now also a free nightbus which stops off at Pritchatts Park from Oceana and other popular clubs and nights. If you're into Pubs, Harborne is good, The Plough and the Green Man are both pretty good. Not really ventured much further on than that. A lot of societies tend to go out in Selly Oak to places like The Soak and various others.

Shops: It's definitely as good as living on the Vale in Pritchatts because you're nearer to Harborne which has shops and stuff including Iceland, Sainsbury's Local, and then M&S Food and Waitrose which noone can afford, as well as Home Bargains which is good for random stuff you never thought you'd need, as well as alcohol. And you're also nearer the train station if you want to go into town and stuff. There's a big Tescos and 2 Cinemas at Five Ways, as well as a bowling alley and a few restaurants. It's about twenty minutes to half an hour or so walk (10 minutes on a bike probably) to Selly Oak (where everyone tends to live in Second year and above) where there's an Aldi, and also a big Sainsburys along with many takeaways and other shops like Currys, Comet, PC World, Next if you walk a bit further.

Other: Laundry is £2.20 for washing and £1 for the dryer. You get a card now at the beginning of the year and you add money to it by Paypal on the website given to you. Its great having halls together becuase it means there are lots of people about to make friends with but you also have your close friends in your hall. There is lots of friendly inter hall rivalry (especially when it snows!) and soon to be some inter hall sports competitions. The halls are all pretty close together so it doesn't matter where you're going because it takes less than 5 minutes to walk across Pritchatts. If you need something repairing you just fill out a repair request form and they are usually really incredibly quick at getting back to you and sorting it out. I haven't regretted living here for one second and think its given me a really good introduction to uni life which i LOVE!! It's pretty near to the Sports Center if you're into going to the Gym and stuff.


Ashcroft Location: Pritchatts Park on Pritchatts Road, post code B15 2QU. Its a 10 minute walk from uni campus and about 5 minutes to the uni train station. The medical school and hospital are practically next door so its good for all you medics!

Flats: In Ashcroft all flats are 6 people, shared bathrooms and kitchen, I've never had a problem sharing, its nice being able to cook together and apart from some strange items of clothing left in the bathroom I've never had to wait for a shower. In Oakley Court there are flats of up to 13. Mixed and single sex are both available in all Pritchatts halls. You have a key to your flat and your room but there is no lock to the blocks. The rooms are a pretty decent size with bed, noticeboard, wardrobe, desk, chair all that jazz. They all come with a phone which has free inter flat calls and internet connection but you will need a lead.

The Spinney

As part of Pritchatts Park, you've got access to all the things mentioned about Ashcroft above. It's worth noting that all of the kitchens were newly furbished as of September 2011, and they're pretty excellent. This has much bigger bedrooms than Ashcroft, and probably represents a better value for money. Flat size varies from 5 - 9 as far as I know. I'm pretty sure it doesn't have CCTV which is a disadvantage but I've not heard anything about people having things stolen. I'm in a flat of 5 and we have 1 Standing Fridge and also a Standing Freezer. There are actually 6 houses as part of this accomodation, and they have massive kitchens for the number of people in them, but it's pot luck whether you do actually get one of these as you don't get to choose, and you pay the same whether in a flat or a house.

Pritchatt's House

Probably some of the worst accommodation in the whole of the Uni of Birmingham's repertoire. Pretty old now and not very good value for money.

Oakley Court

Much nicer than Pritchatts House from what I've seen, and around the same price I think.

Other Self Catered accomodation

  • Hunter Court
  • Victoria Hall
  • Douper Hall
  • The Beeches
  • Jarratt Hall

Hunter Court

Location: Situated on Pershore Road, between the university campus and the city centre, is Hunter Court. It takes about 25 minutes to walk to campus, although there is a shuttle bus that runs frequently taking residents straight from Hunter Court to campus. Buses take 5-7 minutes to get into the city centre, although it only takes about 30 minutes to walk! 20 minutes from the Vale village

As a Hall of Residence: While it is managed on a day-to-day basis by the third party company Liberty Living, it is still an official hall and so all the residents are from the University of Birmingham, and it benefits from the representation and funding of a Resident’s Association (organised by the Hospitality and Accommodation Services along with the Guild of Students). Elected members work to improve the life of Hunter Court residents by representing their views and issues, as well as using an immense budget to put on social events (such as balls and nights out) and trips (such as Alton Towers or anywhere residents really want to go!). Pretty much 99% of residents are first year students, although there are a couple of second/third years who have stayed due to being mentors!

Logo Outside‎

The Flats: It is layed out in a courtyard style, there are 329 modern rooms, all ensuite (shower, toilet and wash basin) in mostly 5 bedroom flats, with a number of 7 bedroom. There is a large cabinet, and chest of drawers in the room, although there is extra storage compartments when you lift the mattress up. Rent includes high speed internet and personal contents insurance as well as all utility bills. The communal area is a brilliantly spacious area, with sofas and lots of storage (as well as all the usual fridge/freezer/microwave/oven/hob/sink etc) and a TV point.


Social Centre and other facilities: Hunter Court is one of the only halls to have its own social centre. There is a TV room (with DVD player), snooker room and games room (pool and table tennis) for use by anyone. It’s brilliant having a social centre as it really adds to the community atmosphere. Also by the social centre is the on-site laundrette, and one of the two security-code bike sheds. There is a huge amount of car parking space as well. Grassy areas great in the summer.

Security: Residents gain entrance to Hunter Court using a key fob which unlocks the gate, ensuring no one else gets in. There is CCTV on the outside areas of the hall, and there is 24 hour security who are always happy to help if you ever have any problems such as losing your key!

Local Amenities: Across the road there is: Chinese takeaway, chip shop, post office, hair dressers and two off licence convenience stores. There is also a pub due to open up. Round the corner is an Aldi, which is great value for any students looking to save money. Park nearby, Also situated right next door is the Edgbaston Cricket Ground! There is also a large Tesco and Asda 5-10 minutes drive away.

The Beeches

(refurbished over the summer of 2007 and now rather lovely!)

Everything is brand new. The kitchens are gorgeous with enormous breakfast bars, comfy sofas, the bedrooms are fairly good-sized and the staff are lovely.

Location: Edgbaston, Elvetham Road. Postcode: B15 2NL. Not too far from campus, you can walk it (about a 40-minute walk, which is a bit much for most) or get the train to Five Ways, a 3-4 minute journey with trains every 10 minuites (£1.50 return), or catch the free shuttle bus (which is very close to Broad street!).

Shops: There's a Tescos a 10 minute walk away, plus the Beeches is close to The Five Ways Shopping Centre and the amenities of broad street less than 10 minutes walk away. The city centre is perhaps 20 minutes away, with the delights of the Bullring to be experienced!

Nightlife: Very good! The primary access is to Broad Street, the hub of Birminhgam's nightlife, which is such a short walk away that taxis back at night are unnecessary. China Town and the Arcadian is also only a short walk away.

Security: All residents have a fob to the automatic gates that shut out members of the general public ;) There's nearly always somebody in reception, but if not there will be someone at Queen's Hospital Close nearby. They also change the locks quite regularly - we've had our flat door and bedroom door locks changed this year.

Other: the flats are all shared bathroom, but don't worry, it really isn't bad at all. There is never a queue for the bathroom (well, not in my flat anyway!) and there is a really good student atmosphere. The halls have a car park with loads of spaces, and there always 'car park' parties that move into somebody's flat! You can also have privacy if you want to, so don't let the prospect of sharing facilities put you off. The laundry facilities are enviable (£2 a wash), with a big sofa to sit and read a magazine on while you wait for your clothes - or better yet there is a countdown clock on the machines so you can go back to your flat and collect you clothes when they are finished! If your friends are in IQ5 or Queen's Hospital Close, the Beeches are very close by so you'll be able to visit them easily.

Jarratt Hall:

Location: Selly Oak, Dale Road. Postcode: B29 6FQ. Very Close to campus, access through Grange Gate. Near Victoria Halls.

Aldi's Supermarket: At the end of Dale Road is has cheap food, Useful for pretty much anything you need, Except branded goods. You'll find cheap imitations of Major food brands here, and you'll find it hard to spot the difference (half the time).
Sainsburys Supermarket: 3-5 Minute walk down the Bristol Road is Selly Oak's Sainsburys Supermarket. For anything Aldi's Doesn't have.
Tesco's Express:There's 2 now. One immediately up Dale road, opposite Aldi open 6am-11pm and another one 2-3 Minute walk down the Bristol Road (other way) Open 24/7 Good for milk & Bread at 4am, or Red bull for an all-nighter.

Gunnies: "Pound-a-pint-" Mondays
Goose @ the O.V.T: Popular with 2nd years, 3rd years, and the elderly.
The Soak: Good for pool.
Bristol Pear: Same Chain as Gunnies, Pound-a-pint Tuesdays.
Joe's: Located in the Guild, It's a 5-10 minute walk from Jarratt Hall, Located on Campus, Hosts Sports Night and Fab&Fresh.

All Pubs Except Joe's are on the Bristol Road. Scream pubs (Gunnies & Pear) have a loyalty card, "Yellow card" for discounted drinks. The Soak operates a "green key" for discounted Drinks. The Guild operates a Joe's card which gets you cheap drinks on non-club nights as well as deals of food too (i.e 2 for 1 pizza 5pm-8pm Monday-Friday)

Omco: Off-licence & Ticket outlet. For tickets for Oceana, Risa & The Works, as well as other student Nights, Tickets can be purchased from Omco, or The Guild.
Fast Food: The Famous Rooster House, Adam's Chip shop, Kebab Land, MammaWia (pizza) (and more) are all within a 3 minute walk from Jarratt Hall.
Restaurants: There are at least 3 Indian Restaurants on the Bristol Road, as well as an Italian Restaurant.
Shisha Bars: Several are Located on the Bristol Road.
Transport: Busses Leave from the Bristol Road, and the Local train Station is Selly Oak, a 5 minute walk away

Jarratt Hall Houses 740 residents, all self-catered and En-suite. Flat sizes range between 3 and 6, but most flats have 5 residents. It is the Third Largest hall in the University, and is due to be expanded in 2010 to make it the largest.From 2012/13 Jarratt Hall was mainly Freshers with plans for the 2013/14 to have majority Freshers but also a sizeable number of Postgrads and Returning student flats. Almost all contracts in Jarratt Hall last for 42 weeks. Jarratt Hall has disabled Access Flats.

A proportion of the flats in Jarratt Hall are being refurbished every summer, with Carpets in lounge/kitchen area replaced with Laminate flooring (Advantage: You don't have to explain the spills & holes you've made in the kitchen carpet). Most Freshers are given 42-week Contracts. The Freshers flats are then refurbished in ten weeks, ready for the following year's residents.

On Jarratt's Grounds there is a launderette with washers (£2.50) & Dryers (£1), Bike Sheds, and a Small (but perfectly formed) Social room with a 42" HDTV with Freeview and an Xbox. Seating for approximately 25. Parking is not available in Jarratt hall (Disabled permits only).

One of the major Selling-features of Jarratt Hall is it's security. There is high quality colour CCTV all over the site (including Night-vision... but I really don't see the point in that as there are lights everywhere Bobbit 02:42, 25 July 2007 (BST)), in the site's 8 years, there has been only one robbery, (8 years ago) through an Area which has since been floodlit. The entire perimeter is covered by CCTV, and the cameras can see down the entire length of all roads which approach it. There is a high fence around Jarratt, and access is through a security gate, opened by your university I.D card.

Jarratt's a close community with an up and coming reputation within the Birmingham Uni Halls, everyone knows everyone, Great for pubs, or ideal for study, as it's not as loud as some of the other halls. Jarratt is the best hall. We just let Tennis Courts think they're good, because we're the nice guys ;)

Private Halls


IQFive was brand new for 2007. For 2007-8 around half of rooms were block-booked by the University of Birmingham and some students who applied to Housing Services for university accommodation were allocated here. Everything is in one building, with about 12 floors. It costs £94 a week if you book privately with IQ5 or £99 a week through the university (includes insurance/mentor). If you're allocated through the university you are placed with other UoB freshers, but there are students from all years and from the other universities too.

Location: Five Ways, about a 4 minute walk from the train station. Trains to university station come every ten minutes at peak times (morning and evening) and every 20 minutes in the middle of the day. The train journey to the university is about 4 minutes. It costs £1.40 a day (you can't use your railcard before 10am on cheap journeys like this), or £29 per month. This is easier as you don't have to queue for a ticket every morning!

Rooms: Very good - plenty of room, ensuite is small but at least it isn't a pod, and it's fine for students! The rooms are well-decorated and furnished. Basic but modern - you can put your own style to it. Every room has basic internet but many people choose the optional upgrade (£80 for the whole year) which means you get faster internet and you can watch TV on your pc. This works surprisingly well, and you get lots of channels (freeview). There is one small radiator which, in my opinion, isn't really enough to keep the room warm in the Winter (but I get cold easily anyway). There are no phones but get Skype - it's free!

Kitchen: Modern but quite small. Fridge-freezer is a bit small but I've heard some kitchens have larger ones! Leather sofas are overated. Flat-screen TV is cool, and you get Freeview. You get an iron, ironing board, vacuum cleaner, mop etc too which all come in useful!

Shops: Petrol garage directly opposite. 10 minute walk from a fairly large Tesco, and there are various shops like the post office, newsagents etc en-route. There's also a Sainsbury's Local about 10 minutes away, on Broad Street. The Bullring is about a 20 minute walk but it is an easy walk just down Broad Street and through Brindley Place; or you can walk to the train station and get the train into New Street (journey takes about 5 minutes and trains come about every 10 minutes). The Bullring has a huge number of shops (comparable to Oxford Street, I think).

Nightlife: Literally five minutes from the top of Broad Street where the Cineworld cinema and the Works is (I think the pedometer counted 400 steps, to be precise.) Then there's Walkabout, Revolution etc. Ocean is pretty close too.

Security: There are security staff/maintenance in the building 24 hours a day and there are lots of cameras around. You need a key fob to get into the building although it would be quite easy for strangers to get in if they just wait for someone to come out! The door to each flat has a lock but many people leave this unlocked, then you have a room lock. The reception area is always well lit and the corridor lights are permanently on, so it feels very safe. As for walking from the station after lectures when it's dark, there are usually lots of students walking with you so it's fine.

Other: There is a central atrium style area with chairs, vending machines and a flat-screen TV. People gather there for fresher's events, to watch the football, halloween etc. Launderette is very convenient being inside the building whereas in other university accommodation you have to go to another building, so you might not want to do your washing late at night or something. The machines are simple to work, costs £2 per wash, £1 per dry.

Overall, the accommodation is very nice and although it's annoying having to get the train into uni, it's good to be nearer the City/Broad St. However, there isn't as much of a community spirit as in some of the other halls, although it's what you make it really. You can make friends easily but in my experience it feels a bit like a (budget) hotel rather than being homely.


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