A Student’s Guide to Christmas Closure
This page contains information that may be useful to current students at University College Birmingham during the Christmas closure period. The University will be closed between Friday 22 December and Sunday 7 January inclusive. We will open again on Monday 8 January. Please note, college students will not return until Tuesday 9 January due to a staff development day.
Which services are open over Christmas?
Open 24/7; accessible through the portal or directly at https://ucbirmingham.on.worldcat.org/discovery
Any book checked out in w/c 11 December will not be due back until w/c 8 January.
Online academic skills support
Accessible via Assignment Life Cycle (HE students) and FE CASE Toolkit (FE students).
Anyone with Canvas queries can use the Canvas 24/7 support line and/or live chat facility available via the “Support” menu on Canvas.
For Job searches, CV support, interview support:
If you require support with CV, cover letters, searching for a job or interview support, please use Hired Connect which can be found on your UCB Student Dashboard. There are many useful tools for you to utilise.
For students on HE placements over Christmas:
All urgent safeguarding matters should be reported to your line manager / HR team who can help you to escalate concerns, where required.
If the matter relates to a child, it is likely that any such incident will need to be reported to the Birmingham Children’s Trust; Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH) on 0121 303 1888 during office hours or otherwise contact the Emergency Duty Team on 0121 675 4806. The Local Authority Designated Officer (Position of Trust Team) on 0121 675 1669 can also assist if necessary. If the matter relates to a vulnerable person and aged 18+, it is likely that any such incident will need to be reported to the Adult and Communities Access Point on 0121 303 1234.
For advice on UCB Safeguarding procedures and what action to take 'out of hours', please click here.
The Safeguarding Team is not available over the UCB Christmas closedown period. Useful emergency and non-emergency contacts can be found on the UCB Portal and Canvas.
If you are an apprentice, you may wish to contact your employer in the first instance. Click here for our Emergency Contacts and Support Services Directory.
The Maltings office
We will operate at a reduced capacity over the Christmas period, but our Halls Assistants will be able available on the dates detailed below for support with parcels, guest pass approval and basic maintenance issues.
Security staff will be available 24/7 across this period, who can also assist with: lock outs, noting maintenance requests, handing in guest pass forms, or collecting approved passes. Visit them in the office or call 0121 666 7304.
- Friday 22 December: 9am - 5pm
- Saturday 23: 10am - 4pm
- Sunday 24 to Tuesday 26: CLOSED
- Wednesday 27 to Saturday 30: 10am - 2pm
- Sunday 31 December to Monday 1 January: CLOSED
- Tuesday 2 to Sunday 7 January: 10am - 4pm
- Monday 8 January – Usual opening times resume
For any additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All gyms will be closed over Christmas. Students can access our Canvas page, which has some online workout videos, cooking demonstrations, self-help tips as well as meditation and sound bath / singing bowl videos.
Late coursework submissions
For students who have an approved Extenuating Circumstances (ECs) claim, you will have 10 working days to submit your work. Because of the closure over Christmas and New Year, the dates below show your new, adjusted deadline.
Final Hand-In Date
Looking after your health over Christmas - support and advice
As it is cold and flu season, it is recommended that you stock up on medicine, just in case you become unwell. This will be especially important during the Christmas break as many shops and pharmacies will be closed.
If you have not yet done so, you should register with your local GP (doctor) so that you are able to access doctors’ appointments for further medical support. You can find your local GP here.
Bath Row Medical Practice
Attwood Green Health Centre, 1st floor, 30 Bath Row, Birmingham B15 1LZ
Closed 24-26 December and 30 December-1 January.
Usual opening times outside of these dates can be found here.
Attwood Green Health Centre
Closed 23 -26 December and 31 December -2 January.
Usual opening times outside of these dates can be found here.
Non-emergency medical advice
Call 111 – NHS medical advice helpline
Non- emergency GP alternative (appointments must be booked online or through 111 service)
Birmingham NHS centre
Lower Ground Floor (Inside Boots) 66 High Street, Birmingham B4 7TA
Opening times can be found here.
To be visited only in emergency cases of serious injury or illness (physical or mental).
Non-emergency illness should be self-treated or referred to the 111 service for medical advice.
Call 999 – request ambulance service (if you are a Maltings resident and call an ambulance, please inform the Maltings by calling 0121 666 7304 and providing your name and room number)
Should only be used in the emergency cases of serious injury or illness.
Looking after your mental health
We have provided some details below for mental health services that offer counselling and self-help resources that you may find helpful. Our Guild of Students and Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisors have also provided some wellbeing advice that is useful at any time of year.
Student Assistance Programme
All our students have access to a Student Assistance Programme that provides mental health and wellbeing support, plus advice about a wide range of issues including legal, financial and housing. This free and confidential service is designed to help you deal with personal or academic problems that could be affecting your home life, health, or general wellbeing.
The SAP service provides a complete support network with unlimited access to a 24/7 confidential helpline that offers expert advice and compassionate guidance. This includes the option of structured counselling sessions from trained, BACP accredited counsellors, over the phone. To speak to someone at any time of day or night, just call 0800 028 3766.
The My Healthy Advantage app is also available to download from Google Play or the App Store and offers access to health and wellbeing support at the tap of a finger anywhere and anytime. To register and gain access to the My Healthy Advantage mobile app you will require your ID code: MHA ID Code – MHA182909
Shout Crisis Text Line 24/7
Text SHOUT to 85258
Forward Thinking Birmingham Crisis Line 24/7
Call: 0300 300 0099 and select Option 1
Chat / web resources
Call: 0800 1111
Kooth Online Counselling
Chat with a professional counsellor, read self-help articles, and join peer-to-peer forums.
Five ways to wellbeing
The Guild of Students
If you find yourself in financial difficulties over Christmas, you can call the UCB Student Assistance Programme 24/7, free of charge, for advice and support (details in the section Looking After your Mental Health). You can also get in touch and we will respond as soon as possible after we when we return week commencing 8 January. These organisations can also help:
- Cost of living support | Birmingham City Council
- Tackling Financial Insecurity Together | Turn2us
- Helping Each Other Through Christmas | StepChange
- Citizens Advice
Other local health and wellbeing services
The Waiting Room has a comprehensive online directory of local services:
Alone at Christmas?
Many of our students may be unable to spend the Christmas break with their loved ones, which can sometimes lead to feelings of loneliness. Some of our students may be alone because they do not wish to spend time with their families over Christmas for various personal reasons, others because they can’t travel back home.
If you are alone this Christmas and a resident in The Maltings, why not make use of our social spaces during this time to meet with other residents who are in a similar situation?
For all our students who are alone this Christmas, there are lots of activities you can join in with, either for free or low cost. We have listed some that may be of interest below:
Local events and activities this Christmas
- Birmingham Christmas markets - running until 24 December, no entry fee
- Free Stand-Up Comedy Night in Solihull, Birmingham – Every Wednesday 19:30 -21:30pm
- Birmingham Murder Mystery Trail (Whodunit Treasure Hunt) by Killer Trails - £16.95 (multiple dates)
- British Junior Open 2024 – free-£7.50 (dependent on dates)
- A Taste Of Indus - A luxurious curry club at Park Regis Birmingham (14 & 21 December), food tasting event £20 PP
- Birmingham Language Exchange – Language practice group, every Thursday £1 entry
- Visit Cadbury World in Bournville - £21 PP (Various dates subject to availability)
- Thinktank - Birmingham Science Museum - £15.50 PP (Various dates subject to availability)
- National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham - £24 PP (Various dates subject to availability)
- Luminate Birmingham - Winter Lights Trail - Birmingham Botanical Gardens - £16.75 - £21.25 PP (dependent on dates)
- Escape Room - £30 PP (minimum two players required; price PP decreases with more players booked)
- Bear Grylls Adventure Centre – Prices vary based on activity (Various dates subject to availability)
- Boom Battle Bar - Prices vary based on activity (Various dates subject to availability)
Local Stores (for food and other supplies)
For exact opening times, please visit the company websites before travelling:
Tesco Express (Granville Street) – food and medical supplies
This Tesco is the closest store to The Maltings. You will find all your essential items and a small selection of medical supplies for common self-treatable issues.
Tesco Express (Mailbox) – food and medical supplies
The Mailbox Tesco is our second closest store to The Maltings. You will find all your essential items and a small selection of medical supplies for common self-treatable issues.
Boots (City Centre) – Toiletries and medical supplies (Pharmacy in store)
Boots has several stores across the city centre, where you will be able to purchase a wide range of medical supplies and toiletries. The store located on the High Street has a large pharmacy inside which you can visit to collect prescriptions and ask product advice for issues you may be having.
Superdrug (City Centre) – Toiletries and medical supplies
We have 2 local Superdrug stores in the city centre, here you will be able to purchase a wide range of medical supplies and toiletries.
Morrisons (Hagley Road) – food and medical supplies
Our nearest Morrisons is located on Hagley Road near Five Ways, alongside food and household items you will be able to find a range of medical supplies for common self-treatable issues.
Aldi (Edgbaston) – food and basic medical supplies
Our nearest Aldi is located near the Edgbaston Cricket Ground, alongside food and household items you will be able to find some basic medical supplies for common self-treatable issues.