How to Get Into Birmingham University

Many students ask me: ‘How do I get into Birmingham University?’ Luckily, I know the answer. Here at The Profs, 95% of our students get into their first or second-choice universities! 

Russell Group universities do not all look for the same characteristics. Birmingham University is unique. They have so many applicants that it can be hard to stand out. I’ll run through some tips on how to demonstrate the X factor in this article.

Many of our team members have worked in admissions for top-tier universities. So, if anyone has the know-how to make your application as perfect as possible, it’s us. In our experience, we’ve seen that very few students know how to write an undergraduate university application that targets Birmingham’s unique admissions criteria. Thankfully, we offer the right support and preparation to aid you in submitting an application that stands out and maximises your chances of an offer. 

Read on for insider information from our team of admissions experts.

Is Birmingham a Russell Group university?

The University of Birmingham is one of the 24 Russell Group universities. It is a leading university in the UK; the Complete University Guide ranks Birmingham as the 14th 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.

QualificationEntry requirements
A LevelsA*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 qualificationsCheck 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. Is your academic record as polished as possible?

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 discovery call 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.

Need help smashing your A levels or retaking your GCSEs to present the best academic record possible? Reach out to our expert tutors.

2. How to ACTUALLY go beyond your school syllabus

When it comes to writing your personal statement, showing a genuinely passionate and in-depth understanding of your subject goes a long way. 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.

Citing wider reading and other extracurricular activities you’ve done to specifically enhance your knowledge of your chosen subject area will help you stand out to them. Try to make sure that every book and article you’ve read, club you’ve taken part in, or organisation you’ve volunteered with is clearly relevant to your subject.

If you’re not sure how to prove that you’re well-read around your subject, reach out to our team of tutors today. We know all the tips and tricks. We can also help you to identify where your strengths are and advise you on how to develop your academic and extracurricular profile ready for submitting your application to Birmingham University.

Insider tip 1: You cannot include details about the specific Birmingham course you’re applying for in your personal statement because this statement will be sent to all of the universities you apply for. However, you can (and should) still do your research into your chosen course at Birmingham and use this information to subtly tailor your statement. 

For example, you could look at notable tutors/lecturers working in the department and see what research they have done and what modules they teach. If you see something that aligns with your interests, consider citing a piece of research or book they have written, or talk in depth about a specific topic they cover in a module. This could give you a one-up over other applicants when the department comes to making final decisions about who to offer places to.

Insider tip 2: Research Birmingham University itself! Take the time to explore the campus virtually or, if possible, visit in person on open days (or virtual events). Familiarise yourself with the facilities, libraries, and resources available to students. Mention specific aspects of the campus or facilities that appeal to you and how they will enhance your academic experience. It’s also a good idea to research your specific department at Birmingham so that you can reference special achievements or research and demonstrate genuine enthusiasm.

3. You’ve mentioned a solid 5-year plan, right?

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.

For more support on coming up with a career plan and making the most of this in your application, get in touch with our team.

Remember to be specific when you’re talking about why you need this degree and how you attend to apply it for your future. You shouldn’t sound like all your peers and mention generic goals! If you need any support nailing this step, just ask.

4. Lay the ‘groundwork’ for acceptance

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.

Similarly, extracurriculars are not to be overlooked! Try to participate in extracurriculars that are related to your subject, or improve transferable skills that are useful for your degree. And even better if you can take on a leadership role!

Unsure what extracurricular activities or work experience you should have under your belt to stand out for your degree? We can advise you. In fact, we can even help you with your access and applications to the ideal experience. 

Insider tip: Nottingham regards itself to be a global university. Emphasise your international mindset, cross-cultural experiences, or language proficiency to demonstrate your ability to thrive in a diverse academic environment. Mention any international experiences, such as study abroad programmes or involvement in globally-focused initiatives.

5. Invest in 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.

Insider tip: A good referee is important. Birmingham specifically mentions the importance of an applicant’s referee demonstrating their readiness for higher education and their suitability for their chosen degree programme. Get to know your referee so that they can get to know you. Obviously, you want them to speak highly of you, but ideally, they will highlight your skills and qualities that are relevant to your chosen degree. For this reason, as well as for the general impression of your application, it is best to choose a referee who teaches your chosen subject or within your discipline. It is also a good idea to choose a referee who knows you well enough to write you something of quality.

Note that all students applying to university for 2023, 2024 or 2025 will still be required to submit a UCAS personal statement as normal. However, from January 2025 onwards (October 2024, for Oxbridge applicants), there will be changes to the UCAS application process and students will no longer be required to write a personal statement. Instead, all applicants will answer a series of shorter, more tailored questions provided by UCAS.

Get 1-to-1 help from an expert admissions tutor

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 95% 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.

FAQs

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 95% 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 University good?

Birmingham is an established and respected Russell Group University. 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. The Guardian University Guide 2021 also ranked Birmingham 11th in the UK for employability.

How many students at Birmingham University?

Birmingham University has one of the largest student bodies of any UK university, with more than 38,000 students. Its student community is also notably diverse, with over 8,700 international students from approximately 150 countries and 32% of students being from a BAME background.

Is Birmingham a campus university?

Yes, Birmingham University is a campus university. Its main campus is located in Edgbaston, just southwest of the city of Birmingham, and has its own railway station and amenities, as well as student accommodation and academic buildings.

How long does Birmingham University take to reply?

Birmingham University usually makes decisions on undergraduate applications within 15 working days (3 weeks). However, if the relevant academic department needs to review your application further or interview you, it can take longer. All decisions will be made by the UCAS deadline for universities on the 18th May 2023.

How much is the tuition fee in University of Birmingham?

The University of Birmingham’s undergraduate fees are £9,250 per year for UK students and range from £21,000-£46,320 per year for international students. At postgraduate level, fees can range from £3,270-£19,980 per year for full-time UK students and £12,870-£30,001 per year for full-time international students.

Where is Birmingham University?

Birmingham University is located in Edgbaston, Birmingham, in the west midlands region of England. It is around 2 and a half hours north west of London by car, and there are regular trains between the two cities that typically take around 2 hours.

Does Birmingham University accept BTEC?

Many programmes at Birmingham University will accept the BTEC Extended Diploma qualification. However, not all programmes will accept BTECs alone for entry, and combinations of BTECs and A levels may be required in order to meet some subject-specific entry requirements.

Does Birmingham University give unconditional offers?

Yes, Birmingham University does give unconditional offers to students who it feels have already met all of the academic and non-academic requirements for entry.

Does University of Birmingham accept transfers?

Birmingham University does accept transfer students from other universities and it may be possible to transfer into year 2 if you have already studied year 1 at another university. However, you will need to get in touch with Birmingham University directly to check this with the relevant department, as some programmes may require you to resit first year at Birmingham. Transfers into year 3 or year 4 of an undergraduate degree are not permitted at the University of Birmingham.

Does University of Birmingham do Clearing?

Birmingham University does participate in Clearing and you may be able to secure a place on certain courses via this process. However, places will only be available on courses that are not already fully subscribed and some programmes at Birmingham are very competitive, so you should bear this in mind.