Student Life
Higher Education

Your time here at University College Birmingham isn't all about study!  Here, we bring you information about accommodation, medical issues, how you can share your views about University College Birmingham and how you can spend your leisure time, including details about The Guild of Students.

Help at hand - academic teams

Key members of staff

The key members of staff you will have contact with are  your personal tutor, your module lecturers, your subject librarian, the Assistant Dean of your school and the Dean of the school.

Personal tutor

You should keep in contact with your personal tutor at all times throughout your course. They will provide help and advice on any matters which may affect your work and progression, together with personal advice.

You should use your time with them to discuss your academic performance and what targets you should set to achieve. They will also be able to give you feedback on your assignment and exam performance.

On your timetable, there is a tutorial hour where your personal tutor will be available. This is the time you should see them to discuss your academic progress, or any other general concerns that you may have.

Ensure that you find out and note the name and room number of your personal tutor.

Module lecturers

Over your years of study, you will receive lectures from many different staff. It is common for a module to be taught by a team of lecturers, who together will deliver lectures and seminars and mark your work. Details of the lecturing team for a module can be found on Canvas@UCB.

Assistant Dean 

The assistant dean of school has responsibility for the management of your course.

You can see them if your personal tutor is away, or if you have a problem relating to your course which you consider serious and would prefer to discuss with a member of staff at a higher level.

You should also speak to them if you wish to apply for exemption from any of the modules on your course.

Dean 

The Dean has overall responsibility for a range of higher education courses and reports directly to the Pro-Vice–Chancellor (Curriculum and Student Experience).

If you have a problem relating to your course, which you have not been able to resolve satisfactorily with your year manager or the Assistant Dean, you should discuss it with your the school Dean.

Notices about your course

You will find that information relating to your course is constantly updated on Canvas@UCB, our e-learning environment. Information can include times for tutorials, assignment information, guest lectures and residentials. You should check Canvas at least twice a week.

Details of when and where examinations take place and your results can also be found on Canvas.

Study support

Support for the academic needs of students is available through the Centre for Academic Skills and English (CASE). For advice and assistance, call in to CASE on the 6th floor of The Link. Further details can be found here.

Help at hand - Student Services

Student Services

Student Services is a one stop shop for all students, providing information, advice and guidance on non-academic matters. 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 Maltings

Purpose-built, The 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 10-15 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 found in our Accommodation section.

In addition to the loans and grants available, there are other means of financial support and funding for some students who fit particular circumstances.

Childcare

All full-time higher education students should apply to Student Finance England for help with childcare costs. The amount you can receive depends on your financial circumstances. The application form (CCG1) is available from the Gov.UK site.

Need help finding suitable childcare?

For information about childcare providers, please visit Birmingham City Council's childcare pages

Higher Education Access Fund

If you are a home or EU student studying a higher education course and you fall into financial difficulty, you may be able to access additional funding. In line with funding regulations, applications are prioritised for:

  • Students with dependent children, especially single parents
  • Mature students with existing financial commitments
  • Students with disabilities
  • Students who previously were in care or care leavers
  • Students who were homeless or living in a 'foyer' for young people

Please note: Each application is assessed individually by our student budget counsellor and the size of awards varies depending on individual circumstances and the level of need. Applying to the fund does not guarantee that an award will be made.

  • I haven't received my Student Finance, what do I do?

You may be able to access a short-term loan to cover your essential living costs until you receive your maintenance payments from Student Finance. You will need to provide the following evidence:

  • Proof of your application to Student Finance
  • A copy of your latest bank statement as evidence that you do not have the funds to financially support yourself

Care leavers

If you are a care leaver coming to study with us, you may be able to access additional financial support to help with your transition into university. The Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000 defines a care leaver as someone who has been in the care of the Local Authority for a period of 13 weeks or more following their 16th birthday.

Our financial support offer includes:

  • Funded pre-payment of rent (£275) and up to four weeks to pay your £200 security deposit if you choose to stay in our halls of residence
  • UniKitOut full kit out silver pack (www.unikitout.com) ready for when you move into our halls of residence
  • £200 cash payment in semester 2 (subject to satisfactory attendance)

The financial support offer is available to eligible students in their first year of study only.

In addition, you can access:

  • Pre-arrival budgeting advice and assistance with the Student Finance application process
  • Priority access to our HE Access Fund, if necessary
  • Summer accommodation at our halls of residence

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

Leisure at University College Birmingham

Free time at University College Birmingham

Whether it’s before, after or even between classes, we want you to make the very most of every minute here at University College Birmingham - and that means taking full advantage of all the amazing facilities, societies and hangouts we have to offer. Take a look below for a few pointers. 

Food and drink

No matter where you are on campus, we’ve got plenty of places you can get your morning coffee fix or grab lunch between classes – try Rooftop Coffee on the 8th floor of Summer Row for incredible views over the city, or The Café down on the 5th floor for delicious hot food cooked daily from scratch. Over at McIntyre House, we have a Starbucks concession along with a broad range of hot and cold food.  

At Moss House, you 

Dining at one of University College Birmingham’s top restaurants, The Brasserie or The Atrium, is an unmissable experience for any University College Birmingham student. The Atrium is a fine dining venue offering some of the best food in the city. The Brasserie provides the same quality ingredients and standard of cooking in a relaxed, informal setting. Both are incredibly good value. 

Cakes and Bakes is University College Birmingham’s very own onsite bakery with fresh bread, biscuits and cakes made daily by our bakery students. There are bargain prices, and it can all sell out fast – so get there early to avoid disappointment.  

Sport and Fitness

There’s a purpose-built sports hall at The Maltings with equipment for a huge range of sports including tennis, football, indoor cricket and much more. 

Joining one of the many sports societies available via the University’s Guild of Students will give you the opportunity to get fit, meet like-minded people and have a lot of fun along the way. From netball to basketball, zumba to mountain biking, and classes available at every level, there’s bound to be something that will suit you. 

The Guild of Students

When it comes to downtime at University College Birmingham, our Guild of Students has pretty much thought of everything – and membership isn’t just for our university students. College students are both welcome and strongly encouraged join in. Take a look at their website to find out about the different societies on offer (as well as how to start your own) on top of one-off activity days, events and chances to get involved taking place throughout the year. Make sure you never miss out: follow the Guild on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or get in touch direct via guildinfo@ucb.ac.uk

Health and Wellbeing

Here at University College Birmingham, we want to help you get the most out of your time with us. We recognise that good health and wellbeing are fundamental for effective study and a positive student experience.

There are many environmental stresses and personal difficulties which are likely to affect you as a student, so University College Birmingham has a free and confidential Health & Wellbeing Service which is open to everyone.

The service strives to promote and encourage healthy lifestyles and positive mental health and the team is on-hand to help you manage any difficulties or concerns you may have.   

Nurse and Medical Service

The Nursing Service is here to provide you with practical advice and assistance regarding medical needs while you are studying with us. The Nurse can assist with a number of practical issues, such as:

  • General health advice, such as smoking, diet, on-going illness or health concerns
  • Contraception advice and pregnancy risk assessments
  • Advice on how to register with a GP or a dentist and how to claim costs
  • Provide non-prescription analgesics
  • Treat cuts, burns, scalds and any other minor injuries
  • Information on immunisations
  • Advice with completing the HC1 form (which could entitle you to reduced costs on NHS prescription charges or dental treatment if you are eligible) 

The service, like all the others provided by Student Services, is free and confidential. There is no need to book an appointment with the Nurse. A drop-in service is offered in Room 730, 7th Floor, Summer Row.

The standard opening times of the Nursing Service are as follows:

8am – 4pm Monday to Thursday

8am – 3pm Friday 

Alternatively, you can contact the Nurse via:

Phone: 0121 604 1000 (ext.2296), Email: collegenurse@ucb.ac.uk

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Our Mental Health & Wellbeing Service, based on the Ground Floor of The Link building, is committed to helping you access the most appropriate support and information. As such, all first appointments relating to mental health and wellbeing take the form of an initial assessment with a member of the team. 

The purpose of this appointment is to provide you with an opportunity to discuss your main concerns and to explore your needs in a confidential and supportive environment. It will give you the opportunity to discuss what service and/or support is appropriate following the assessment.

The Mental Health & Wellbeing Adviser provides support, advice and guidance to prospective and current students of University College Birmingham. 

If you are experiencing a mental health difficulty, emotional or psychological distress, our Adviser can help you to identify your specific needs, provide practical support, and help you develop coping strategies. 

During the period of support, the Adviser may also work alongside the Curriculum Team for Academic and Pastoral Support, and can assist you in accessing external mental health and wellbeing services.

Counselling

Counselling is a talking therapy which provides the opportunity and space for you to talk about anything that is affecting you, whether it is linked to your studies or a personal issue. 

Counselling is about you being accepted, valued, and listened to, rather than being judged or criticised. It is not about being given advice or being told what to do. Counsellors are trained to help you gain a better understanding of your thoughts and feelings, enabling you to make changes.

Mentoring

What is mentoring?

Mentoring is when someone with more knowledge in an area helps a less experienced person. It is a learning partnership.

Mentoring is about helping people to make their own informed decisions and it has big benefits for both parties. At University College Birmingham, mentors don’t teach or tell learners what to do. Trust is essential – and the partnership can be great fun, too.

For further information on how you can take part, please visit the Mentoring section of the UCB website.

Drugs

It is possible that at some point during your time in Birmingham you will come across illegal drugs. All drugs produce some kind of change in the way a person’s body works and the availability of most drugs - be they aspirins, alcohol or amphetamines - is controlled by law.

  • Class A drugs are heroin, ecstasy, LSD, cocaine, crack, hash oil, and injectable class Bs. Illegal possession of a class A drug could lead to seven years in prison, and the maximum penalty for trafficking (dealing or manufacture) is life.
  • Class B drugs are amphetamines, barbiturates, cannabis and mephedrone. Illegal possession of these drugs could lead to five years in prison and the maximum penalty for trafficking them is 14 years.
  • Class C drugs are steroids, tranquillisers and benzodiazepines. Illegal possession of these drugs could mean two years in prison and the maximum penalty for trafficking is five years.
  • Someone prosecuted for illegal drug use will not necessarily be sent to prison, but could end up with a criminal record, which can make getting a job very difficult.
  • If a police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that you are in possession of a controlled drug, the officer can search you, your home and your vehicle and seize anything which seems to be evidence of an offence.
  • UCB will adhere to the law and take action if you are found to be in possession (or involved in the use or supply) of illegal drugs.
  • Please remember: the use of illegal drugs may cost you your place at University College Birmingham.

The UCB Counselling Service offers confidential advice on drug problems and has details of local organisations who can help. Information is also available on FRANK, the National Drugs Helpline Tel: 0800 776 600.

hired@UCB - Careers, Employability and Placements Service

hired@UCB is the careers, employability and placements service for students and alumni at University College Birmingham. Based in the Ground Floor of the new Moss House Campus building, we have a team of specialist and qualified staff with the knowledge and experience to support our students to recognise and build the skills needed to be successful in the world of work. Our work is structured around 6 key themes:

CAREERS INFORMATION, ADVICE AND GUIDANCE

Get Started

In addition to the support offered within each course, we have a team of Careers & Employability Tutors who have specialist industry knowledge and experience to help you identify career goals and develop employability skills during your time at University College Birmingham.

One-to-one career guidance interviews provide impartial and confidential careers advice to support you in your career decision-making process. To book an appointment, simply log in to Hired Connect and select the date and time that suits you.

Get Skilled

Support is available to develop the skills identified in order to achieve your career goals. These will be delivered through the curriculum, careers, work placement and additional learning.

Career presentations and workshops are available throughout the academic year on a broad range of employability topics including job searching, CV writing, interview techniques, networking skills, the use of social media, plus many more. We also provide a range of employability learning materials and information online.

University College Birmingham has launched Hired Connect, a portal that provides students with a wide range of careers and employability resources and e-learning to help you build the skills for your future career. This includes, amongst many other things: job profiles; e-learning materials; a CV builder and videos from employers.

Get Experience

We will help you to get work experience that will build your skills, confidence and knowledge so that you can successfully move into your chosen career when you graduate.

WORK PLACEMENT EXPERIENCE

With all periods of work placement, the aim is for students to gain experience in a professional environment. Students have the opportunity to discuss their career pathway with an Employability Tutor to determine the most suitable type of experience. They will suggest appropriate employers for your work placement, taking into account your experience and level of vocational knowledge and skills. Furthermore, the Employability Tutor will also be available to support you and the employer throughout the work placement.   

For many students, the work placement is compulsory whilst for others it is optional; therefore, students need to consider the overall benefits and implications regarding their course length and funding. When thinking about a work placement, it is important to remember that experiencing the world of work is the most effective way of improving and developing your skills so that you are employable upon your graduation. Most employers actively seek out graduates who already have industry experience within their sector. 

An important point to remember is that the work placement you experience may lead to a part-time job alongside the remainder of your studies and/or, for final-year students, a full-time position upon graduation.

Get Hired

We can help you secure part-time employment and/or voluntary work, which will further enhance your employability skills.     

UNITEMPS

Unitemps is our campus-based recruitment agency. Whether you would like part-time work during term time, seasonal work or full-time work during the academic holiday periods, Unitemps is here to help you. You can register by visiting the Unitemps website or visit our Recruitment Consultants within hired@UCB on the Ground Floor of the Moss House Campus.

HIRED CONNECT

Our Hired Connect portal provides students and alumni with online access to a wide variety of vacancies. There roles are provided to us directly by employers looking for University College Birmingham graduates. The search functionality will show you ALL jobs in the area and sector that you are looking for, and the ones uploaded for you by us will ALWAYS be at the top. This enables you to search for suitable vacancies wherever you are based. 

VOLUNTEERING

Volunteering is a great way to gain additional experience during your studies, and will support you in getting hired at the end of your course. The hired@UCB team works in partnership with local charities and not-for-profit organisations to support the recruitment of volunteers by:

  • Advertising volunteering opportunities around the university – online, on screens and on volunteering notice boards.
  • Hosting volunteer recruitment events on campus to give you the opportunity to talk to organisations face-to-face.
  • Organising one-off volunteering opportunities on and off campus for you to get involved with.

Get Enterprising

To help you get enterprising, the hired@UCB team works in partnership with the Business School who will support you to develop the innovation, self-motivation and enterprise skills required to succeed in the world of work or as an entrepreneur. To support this, the Business School, as part of a European Regional Development Fund project called BSeen will provide:

  • Skills development and new start-up support
  • Enterprise competitions
  • Business grant information to help kick start your business
  • Tailored mentoring to suit your business needs
  • Fantastic networking opportunities and events

Get On

To help you get on, we will be supporting you to make informed choices about your next steps, whether that is further study, employment or self-employment.

EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT AND ALUMNI SUPPORT

Throughout the academic year, the hired@UCB team coordinate a wide range of opportunities for you to meet with local, national and international employers and alumni. Events include recruitment fairs, employer presentations and alumni support through presentations, mentoring and networking.

Our Hired Connect portal provides students with support for up to 5 years after they complete their studies at University College Birmingham. This means that University College Birmingham will continue to help you secure the career you want whether you are still a student or part of our Alumni family.

Getting Your Views Heard

We are sure you will have opinions about your experience while you are studying at University College Birmingham and we would like to hear them. Perhaps you can suggest a way to improve your course, or perhaps you have a comment about the facilities at University College Birmingham?  You might have views on the way your timetable is arranged, the opening hours of the library, or the range of confectionery available from the Café vending machines.  Big or small, it is only by hearing your opinions that we can continuously improve the service that we offer to all our students.

There are many ways in which you can get your point across at University College Birmingham, but here are some of them:

  • If you have any matter relating to your course or University life that you would like to discuss with a member of staff, the best place to start is with your Personal Tutor.  You can also discuss matters relating to your studies with your module lecturers.
  • We host a student teaching and learning conference annually called The Listening Project. All Student Representatives, along with a random sample of students from across the programmes, are invited to collaborate with us on how we can enhance your learning experience at University College Birmingham. A number of activities take place throughout the conference culminating in a panel debate in which students are able to question members of the Executive Management Team of the University and representatives from the Guild of Students and have their voice heard.
  • You will have opportunities to complete satisfaction questionnaires at regular intervals throughout your course of study - after your first couple of months at University, at the end of each academic year, at the end of any extended period of work placement and after leaving (as part of our student destination monitoring).
  • Students on all courses are asked to nominate a student from their group to represent them at Subject Board meetings.  These meetings are held once a semester and give you the chance to air your views about your course and any matter relating to University College Birmingham. Academic matters raised at Subject Board meetings are carried forward to Board of Studies meetings, where staff and student representatives from all the Higher Education courses at UCB come together and matters arising from these meetings are forwarded in turn to the Academic Board, a meeting of senior academic and management figures at University College Birmingham. Student representatives are trained and supported by the Student Guild.
  • Each programme site on Canvas has a discussion board where students are encouraged to provide feedback on what they enjoy about their course and what they would like to see improved. This is monitored regularly and changes, where appropriate, are made accordingly.

If on the other hand you are unhappy about any aspect of University College Birmingham provision and you wish to make a complaint, please refer to the Student Complaints Procedure, which is available on the University College Birmingham Student Portal.

University College Birmingham Facilities

Sports Facilities at University College Birmingham

For an institution based in the middle of a large city, University College Birmingham has an array of very impressive sports facilities.

You may also want to make an appointment to have sports therapy treatment or even a massage. There is also a wide range of beauty and health treatments available alongside University College Birmingham’s own hairdressing salons. Use of the Spa is exclusively for current staff and students as well as our Alumni. Membership prices for the Spa are very reasonable at £45 for a full year for students, £35 for a half year for students and £80 for Alumni - so why not call in and take a look around?

Opened in November 2019, University College Birmingham's Aspire Aesthetics suite provides a number of beauty treatments for the face and body in our Summer Row Campus building.  These treatments include chemical peels, laser hair reduction and skin rejuvenation. Appointments can be made through the Spa Reception team on (0121) 604 1020.

University College Birmingham has a purpose-built sports hall facility located at the Maltings Halls of Residence, just a short walk away. Here you will be able to partake in a number of activities including badminton, indoor cricket, football, basketball, netball and many other sports. Information on how to access the facilities will be given during your induction and Freshers’ Week.

For the slightly more adventurous, students can partake in watersports such as kayaking, windsurfing and sailing at the nearby Edgbaston reservoir.

University College Birmingham also has an arrangement with the University of Birmingham’s Munrow Sports centre whereby students can make use of the exceptional facilities they have to offer. Student Services on the 7th Floor of the Summer Row Campus can provide further information on how to access these facilities.

Eating & Drinking

The Café is situated on the 5th Floor of the Summer Row Campus. With a colour scheme chosen by our students, the Café features a large servery providing a range of meals, snacks and drinks at reasonable prices.

There is an emphasis on healthy eating – with a salad bar – sustainability, fair-trade and environmentally-friendly food and containers.

At times when the servery is closed, The Café is also a social area for students, with wifi access available. There is also a smaller café in the basement of the Richmond House building.

Rooftop Coffee, on the 8th Floor of the Summer Row Campus, is University College Birmingham’s coffee shop. In the style of a High Street coffee shop, with wi-fi access and a spectacular view of west Birmingham, this is a place where students, staff and official visitors can come and socialise in a relaxing setting and is also perfect for informal meetings. In term-time, Rooftop Coffee is open from 9am until 6pm every weekday and customers can buy drinks, cakes, pastries and light lunches to enjoy.

EatSpace is based on the Ground Floor of McIntyre House on Holland Street. EatSpace offers hot and cold meals and snacks, cold drinks and hot drinks provided by Starbucks.  There is also an extensive, comfortable seating area where students and staff can relax and socialise.

University College Birmingham's newest spaces are The Living Room and The Dining Room, both based in Moss House on Holland Street.  The Living Room offers snacks, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks.  The Dining Room provides a diner-style menu and table service with hot and cold food throughout the day from brunch to late afternoon, with a state-of-the-art pizza oven.

University College Birmingham's two restaurants are The Atrium and the Brasserie. The Atrium is a fine dining restaurant, ideal if you are looking to push the boat out and experience some of the best food in the City at value prices. The Atrium offers classic cuisine with a contemporary touch and is open in the evenings. The Atrium is also open at lunchtime offering a less formal menu and service style.

The Brasserie offers a varied, bistro-style menu in a relaxed and friendly environment. Occasionally there are daily specials and menu rapide offers. Also during the academic year the Hospitality students stage a series of themed event nights.

Bookings - to avoid disappointment, please check with the restaurant reservations team on (0121) 604 1010 or email reservations@ucb.ac.uk.

Cakes and Bakes is our very own shop situated on the Ground Floor of the Summer Row Campus and is open to the general public as well as staff and students during term time. It sells a variety of delicious bread, cakes and biscuits, freshly baked each day by our own Bakery students, as well as ready meals produced by our Chef Catering students. Seasonal goods are also available in the run-up to Christmas and Easter and special items appear each week, so it's always worth popping in to see what's on offer.

Cakes and Bakes is open from 10.30am to 4.00pm Monday to Thursday and from 10.30am to 3.30pm on a Friday.

Administrative Services

The Link building, based at 65-77 Summer Row, is where University College Birmingham's student administrative services are based.

  • Lower Ground Floor - Resource Centre and quiet working space with PCs
  • Ground Floor - Student Services, Health and Wellbeing Team, Counselling Services
  • First Floor - Finance and Information Services Unit (FISU); enrolment, financial information and the University College Birmingham Cash Office
  • Second Floor - Marketing, Admissions and International Student Centre
  • Third Floor - Academic Registry; including the Attendance team and Examinations Unit

Take a campus tour

 All of our campuses are within a short walking distance of each other in the heart of the city centre.

 

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