Student Support Services

The Academic Skills Centres (ASCs)

UCB has two Academic Skills Centres (ASCs) – one is located within the Fourth Floor Library at Richmond House and the other in the Upper Level of the Fifth Floor Library on the Summer Row Campus, with disabled access via SR603.

All students are welcome to use the Centres, which are there to develop academic skills as well as improve students’ coursework and examination outcomes. The ASC team seeks to give students opportunities to maximise their potential and move forward into further study or achieve the qualifications to enhance potential employability.

Additional Learning Needs

The ASCs offer a range of services for students with specific learning needs such as dyslexia or visual impairment; visit the ASC to discuss your individual needs and find out about the support packages which are available. You will be advised on the procedure to inform the Examinations Unit, based in the Academic Registry in Summer Row Room 629, about any special arrangements you may require in an examination, such as the use of a computer or the provision of a reader, if this is appropriate.

The Student Information Suite

The Student Information Suite is located on the 7th floor of UCB’s Summer Row Campus. It consists of three student support areas:

Student Services

Student Services is a one stop shop for all students, providing information, advice and guidance on non-academic matters. A range of support is available through the Student Services Unit and there is no need to arrange an appointment, just drop in and speak to a member of the team. They offer advice on:

  • Accommodation
  • Financial Support
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Mentoring

Accommodation

The University owns and manages accommodation for more than 1,000 students in two purpose-built halls of residence in central Birmingham.

The Maltings

The purpose-built Maltings student accommodation is owned and managed by University College Birmingham, and is situated in the heart of the city centre on Granville Street, between Broad Street and Bath Row.

The Maltings, whose name is inspired by the brewery formerly based at the site, is popular with students attending the University for the first time. It is conveniently located only 10 to 15 minutes’ walk from the main campus and comprises 827 study bedrooms, including 809 en-suite rooms, of which five are twins.

Further details, costs and virtual tours can be seen on the Accommodation section of the UCB website.

Cambrian Hall

Cambrian Hall is ideally located only 150 yards from UCB's Summer Row Campus and a couple of minutes’ walk from Birmingham’s city centre shops, bars, restaurants, rail and coach stations.

Cambrian Hall 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.

Further details, costs and virtual tours can be seen on the Accommodation section of the UCB website.

Residential Support Scheme

If the course you want to study isn’t available near your home, you may be able to get help with the cost of term-time accommodation. 

To be eligible for residential support, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be aged 16-18
  • The college must be more than 15 miles away from your home, or over a 2-hour return journey
  • There must be no similar course available that is more local
  • The course must be your first level 2 or 3 qualification
  • The course must be at least 16 hours per week and last for at least 10 weeks
  • You must be ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK.

To apply, you must complete a Residential Support Scheme (RSS) form and return it to:

Residential Support Scheme
7th Floor, Student Services
University College Birmingham
Summer Row
Birmingham
B3 1JB

Financial Support

It is important to manage your finances well whilst at College. To do this, you should ensure that you have access to any financial support that you may be eligible for. College students are able to apply through UCB’s financial support scheme for:

  • Discretionary Bursary
  • Help with travel costs (LSF)
  • Help with the costs of Uniform and Equipment (LSF)
  • Free College meals
  • Childcare

Please note: All forms of support have specific requirements for eligibility.

Discretionary Bursary Scheme (DBS)

The DBS comprises of a weekly payment to students from low-income backgrounds to assist with travel costs. In order to qualify, the student must reside in the UK.

There are two main categories:

  • Discretionary Bursary - for students aged under 19 (on 1 September 2017), whose gross household income is less than £25,000 per annum. Bursary payments of £20 per week will be made, subject to attendance checks and satisfactory behaviour criteria.
  • Mandatory Bursary - for students aged 16-18 who are identified as vulnerable. This can include: children in care, care leavers, and those on income support. Such students will be entitled to a guaranteed bursary of £1,200 per academic year.

Learner Support Fund (LSF)

The Learner Support Fund is a discretionary fund to assist college (further education) students with course-related costs such as essential uniform, equipment and travel.

The fund is available to students who have a total household income of less than £30,810 per year.

What is available?

  • Uniform and Equipment

First-year college students can apply for essential uniform and equipment costs for the following courses only: chef (professional cookery), bakery, hospitality, hairdressing, beauty, theatrical and media make-up.

A non-refundable contribution of £50 is required before the order can be processed.

  • Travel assistance

Students aged 19 and over (on the 1 September 2017) are able to apply for travel assistance which will be supplied as travel vouchers to purchase a bus pass only. Satisfactory attendance of over 80% is required for continued support. Students who are eligible for the Discretionary Bursary Scheme are expected to meet travel costs out of their weekly payment and will therefore not be eligible to receive travel vouchers.

  • Travel assistance (outside the Network West Midlands area)

Please contact Student Services to discuss additional support available to you if your home is outside of the Network West Midlands area.

  • Free College Meals

University College Birmingham provides free lunch-time meals to all students aged under 19 on the 1st September 2017, in full-time education and are deemed by the Government to be eligible for the scheme. Our aim is to ensure studying at UCB is open to everyone and we want to help our students manage the costs associated with full-time study.

Am I eligible?

You will need to be aged 16, 17 or 18 in a full-time college (further education) course and will need to have applied for our Discretionary Bursary Scheme (DBS).

To be eligible for free meals, the Government has identified students being in receipt of, or having parents who are in receipt of, one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit) and have an annual gross income of no more than £25,000, as assessed by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

Childcare

Childcare doesn't have to be an obstacle to learning at University College Birmingham. There are a number of schemes to assist UK students with childcare costs. If you need to find a suitable childcare provider you should contact the Family Information Service run by your local authority.

Students aged 16 to 19

Students aged between 16 and 19 on the start date of their course must apply for childcare support through the Care to Learn Scheme. To find out more information and how to apply, go to the Gov.UK Care to Learn site. Alternatively, call the helpline on 0800 121 8989.

College students aged 20+

Students aged 20 and over are able to apply for help with childcare costs through the Learner Support Fund if their total household income falls below £30,810 per annum. Funding is limited and allocated on a first come, first served basis. Students who make a successful application are expected to maintain an excellent attendance record for the duration of their course.

For further information on any of the above forms of support, please visit the Financial Support section of the UCB website.

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