How to Get Into Birmingham University


The University of Birmingham is a popular red-brick, Russell Group university in north west England. It is ranked in the top 100 in the QS World university rankings and 14th best in the UK, according to the Complete University Guide.

As well as being a well-respected, research-intensive university, Birmingham has a unique student culture and values extracurricular excellence greatly. Though the university is competitive, with the right support, hard work and preparation, you can maximise your chances of getting an offer. With key stats on the admissions process and insider knowledge from ex-admissions officers on how to make your application stand out, the Profs’ experts are here to help.

What is the Birmingham acceptance rate?

In 2021, the undergraduate Birmingham acceptance rate was 13.8% (based on data by UCAS). The university received 56,850 applications and granted places to just 7,865 students. However, with the help of The Profs’ expert Birmingham consultants, more than 90% of students receive an offer from their first or second choice universities, so get in touch with our team to maximise your chances of getting in.

What are the most competitive courses at Birmingham?

Birmingham University is ranked in the top 10 in the UK for more than 15 subject areas, including Chemical Engineering, Physics and Astronomy, History, Biomedical Sciences, and Creative Writing.

Although Birmingham does not require admissions tests for any subject other than Medicine and Surgery, its entry requirements for some of its most demanding courses are extremely high. For example, Mathematics applicants are required to achieve AAA at A level (or equivalent). If you need help reaching Birmingham’s entry requirements, get in touch with our A level or IB tutors today.

Is Birmingham a Russell Group university?

Yes, the University of Birmingham is one of the 24 Russell Group universities. It is a leading university in the UK and is ranked 12th in the country for Research Power. The Complete University Guide ranks Birmingham as the 10th best Russell Group university.

What are the Birmingham entry requirements?

Birmingham University’s entry requirements vary depending on the course you’re applying to study and the country you’re applying from. The table below shows the UK qualifications and some of the most common international qualifications accepted by Birmingham, and the entry requirements for each.

Qualification Entry requirements
A Levels A*AA-ABB, depending on the course.
International Baccalaureate (IB) Three Higher Level grades with a minimum overall mark of 32. Specific grade requirements range from 6, 5, 5 to 7, 6, 6 depending on the course.
Baccalauréat Général (France) A score of 13-15 out of 20, depending on the course. There may also be specific subject requirements.
Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) 544-5*55, depending on the course.
Arbitur (Germany) 1.7-1.4 overall, depending on the course.
Other international qualifications Check the full list of international qualifications by country and the grades required accepted by Birmingham on your specific course page.

Birmingham accepts a wide range of international qualifications. It displays international qualifications on its individual course pages, so always check there before applying. For more information on how to apply to Birmingham as an international student, check on the university’s own support page, read our guide for international applicants, or get in touch with The Profs for one-to-one support from one of our international admissions experts.

Does Birmingham give contextual offers?

The University of Birmingham does give contextual offers. Its contextual offer scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have impacted their achievement at school. Birmingham will take into account socio-economic data alongside UCAS information to help make the decision when making offers.

There are also other ways to receive lower offer grades to study at Birmingham, including the university’s Pathways to Birmingham programme. The offer for students on this programme is typically two grades below the standard offer.

5 tips for getting into Birmingham

1. Double check the entry requirements

The entry requirements for Birmingham differ greatly between courses – not just in terms of grades, but also the specific subjects required. For example, for Biological Sciences, applicants are required to achieve AAB at A level and must have studied either Biology or Human Biology and a second science. For Medicine and Surgery, the A level requirements increase to A*AA and must include specifically Biology and Chemistry.

If you need support improving your grades to meet Birmingham’s competitive entry requirements, then reach out to The Profs’ admissions consultants today. We’ll offer a free initial consultation to determine your likelihood of achieving a place at Birmingham and set up any additional support you may need.

It’s also important to check for admissions tests and interviews that are required for your course. The University of Birmingham only requires an admissions test and interview for one course: Medicine and Surgery. Applicants are required to take the UCAT and must also attend an MMI (Multiple Mini Interviews), a style of interview used by many universities for Medicine courses. Read our helpful medical guides to find out more about preparing for the UCAT and an MMI.

2. Think about the long-term plan

Getting into Birmingham is a great goal to have, but it’s also important to think about the long-term plan. Like Manchester, Durham, and other top UK universities, Birmingham will not only want to see a genuine passion and commitment to studying your chosen course, but also a plan of how the skills and knowledge you will develop on the course will help you achieve longer-term goals.

Birmingham is particularly interested in ways you have gone above and beyond the confines of school-level study. For example, it looks for evidence of volunteering and wider reading, and also values the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) – a programme that allows you to study an area you really love (whether it’s engineering, languages, sport or art-based) and showcase your independent study skills.

Whatever your long-term goals – whether it’s wanting to study a Master’s or PhD, follow a specific career path, or land a graduate job at your dream company – show Birmingham University that you are motivated to achieve them. You can also have a look at the industry links Birmingham has, its reputation amongst employers (the university is ranked in the top 120 in the world in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings), and what previous graduates (alumni) have gone on to achieve as inspiration.

3. Do wider reading and extracurricular activities related to your subject

When it comes to writing your personal statement, ensuring that you show a genuinely passionate and in-depth understanding of your subject goes a long way. As explained above, Birmingham University values wider reading, critical thinking and extracurricular activities as well as top grades, so it’s important that you don’t just limit yourself to school study.

If you want to get into top universities like Birmingham, it’s best to start expanding your reading list, getting involved in clubs or volunteering, and furthering your passions early on. Not only will it work wonders for your personal statement, but it will also help you get ahead with your independent study skills in preparation for university-level study, which is a significant step up from school-level. Reach out to our team of tutors today who can identify where your strengths are and help you develop your academic and extracurricular profile ready for submitting your application to Birmingham University.

4. Get relevant work experience

To help prove your commitment to your long-term goals outlined in your personal statement, you should look to gain relevant work experience in your field. Whether paid or unpaid, having experience working in your desired field will provide you with invaluable real-life knowledge about the industry.

For some courses, such as Medicine and Law, work experience is valued extremely highly, so it’s important that you get experience in relevant settings. For example, Medicine applicants should have work experience in at least one medical setting (e.g. a hospital, GP surgery, hospice, or another medical environment), while Law applicants should try to gain experience in a courtroom, law firm, charity, or governmental organisation. Read our guides to applying for Medicine and Law for more information on these two competitive degree programmes.

Some courses are harder than others to find direct work experience for. If you can’t secure work experience relevant to your chosen subject, try to engage in as many extracurricular activities related to your chosen subject area as you can instead. For instance, if you’re applying for Computer Science, you could join a school Computing club or learn a new programming language in your free time in order to gain valuable extra skills to supplement your application. This will still help to strengthen your application and show your commitment to the subject area.

5. Invest plenty of time into writing your personal statement

It may seem obvious given the tips above, but making sure that you’re investing plenty of time into writing your personal statement is crucial to your application’s success. For many of Birmingham’s most competitive courses, lots of applicants will achieve the grades required for entry. Admissions officers will therefore be relying on applicants’ personal statements to decide who to offer places to, so it’s really important to submit the best personal statement possible.

Use your personal statement as a chance to express what makes you unique. Describe your academic and career ambitions, detail your skills and experience, and explain why you would be an excellent candidate for your chosen course. The Profs’ experienced personal statement tutors can provide further guidance on how you can write a stand-out statement that is tailored to the University of Birmingham and your specific course.

How can we help?

At the Profs, we have many admissions consultants, many of whom are ex-Russell Group admissions officers, who can guide you through the process of applying to the University of Birmingham, as well as Oxbridge, Durham, Manchester, and other top universities. We offer our students the very best tuition in the business – in fact, only 3% of tutors who apply to our network are accepted to work with us. As a result, more than 90% of our applicants receive an offer from their first or second choice universities at undergraduate level.

Get in touch with our friendly team today to access our dedicated support.

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