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Vocational Advantage

Our Vocational Advantage programme celebrates the connections University College Birmingham has with local schools and colleges by encouraging progression and promoting pathways to higher education

We are passionate about supporting students from all backgrounds and helping them to progress to higher education through the vocational degrees we offer.

Through this programme, we hope that the barriers preventing students from entering higher education are broken down as they will get the opportunity to learn what life is really like at university.

Vocational Advantage Partner Institutions

  • Birmingham Metropolitan College
  • South and City College (including Bournville College)
  • Sandwell College
  • Dudley College
  • Cadbury Sixth Form College
  • Heart of Worcestershire College
  • Joseph Chamberlain Sixth Form College
  • City of Wolverhampton College
  • Halesowen College
  • Aston Manor Academy
  • Q3 Academy Tipton
  • Ormiston Forge Academy
  • Washwood Heath Academy

Interested in becoming a Vocational Advantage Partner Institution?

Are you a staff member at a school or college in the West Midlands not listed above? For more information on how your institution can join our Vocational Advantage programme, please email Rebecca Brown (r.brown@ucb.ac.uk) who will be happy to discuss the programme with you and pass on the entry requirements.

Advantages for schools

All of the benefits are completely free to our partner schools and colleges:
  • Priority access to our masterclasses and taster days including support with transport costs
  • University Experience Day for Year 12 or FE 1 students
  • Lectures for your students from University academics
  • Application and Study Skills support delivered by our hired@UCB team providing sessions on personal statements, research & essay writing techniques and UCAS application support
  • You will have a single point of contact at UCB to organise activities and liaise with UCB academic staff
  • Sponsorship of a subject-specific school award for achievement
  • Bespoke visits and events linked to subject areas and to inspire progression

Your students receive

  • A travel pass to cover the first Semester of study at University College Birmingham
  • Continued support and mentoring through the transition to university.
  • £300 Kick-Start Scheme plus an additional £500 in semester two if household income is below £25,000 per annum for each year of their course

Information for Students from the Vocational Advantage Partner Institutions

Entry Criteria for Students:

To be eligible to receive the student benefits of Vocational Advantage, you must:

  • Be on a full-time undergraduate course at University College Birmingham
  • Be a current Home, EU or Channel Islands Student (i.e. not be considered an International Student) as assessed by UCB. International students are ineligible for the scheme
  • Have been enrolled at a partner school or college in the previous academic year

Advantages for Students:

  • A reduced conditional offer of one grade
  • Continued support and mentoring through the transition to university. Several visits to UCB will be organised and staff from UCB will provide lectures at partner institutions. This partnership aims to make the transition to university a positive experience and ensure that you feel comfortable with your choice of course and future career plans.
  • £300 Kick-Start Scheme plus an additional £500 in semester two if household income is below £25,000 per annum for each year of their course. Often these funds become available before your loan from Student Finance begins.
    These funds can be used in a number of ways:
    • To purchase equipment and learning resources
    • At UCB’s Guild of Students for society membership fees or UCB branded clothing
    • Towards optional trips
    • To top-up your printing credit
    • Food and drink in the cafés at Summer Row and McIntyre House


If you have any questions or queries about the Vocational Advantage programme, please contact Rebecca in the Marketing team using the contact details below:

Rebecca Brown
Schools Liason Officer

Email: r.brown@ucb.ac.uk

Tel: 0121 232 4184

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