The Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme is designed to help students from families and communities in the West Midlands who have little or no experience of Higher Education find out about what studying at university involves.
The University of Birmingham has a long history of welcoming students from a wide variety of social and cultural backgrounds. We were one of the first universities to set up a fair access scheme for local students in 2000 and are proud to be able to offer prospective applicants the support of our A2B scheme if they are studying at one of our partner institutions. As a result of the scheme's success, we are actively involved in supporting the development of such schemes in other UK universities.
Telephone enquiries: +44 (0)121 414 6722
To apply for the scheme your sixth form or Year 13 teacher must first recommend that you have the potential to study successfully at the University of Birmingham. You also need to meet the following criteria:
Your parents have no experience of Higher Education in the UK or abroad.
The main income earners in your family are not in professional occupations, e.g., not teachers, doctors, solicitors or similar.
Your annual household income is £42,600 or less.
Your home postcode indicates that you live in an area of disadvantage with low rates of progression to Higher Education.
You attend a non-selective state school or college which is a partner in the A2B scheme. If you are in the sixth form at a selective state school (such as a grammar school) we will take into account the context in which you achieved your GCSEs.
You must be classed as a Home/EU student for tuition fees
In exceptional cases, if you don’t meet all of these criteria, we will also take into account any factors which may have disrupted your education and prevented you from achieving your full potential, for example if you have been in local authority care for more than three months or if you have a disability or long-term illness.
If you wish to be a partner institution in the Access to Birmingham Scheme, please contact:
Aston Webb Building
The University of Birmingham
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7801
Benefits of applying through A2B
A successful A2B applicant will receive two offers from the University of Birmingham, the standard one and an alternative A2B offer. The A2B offer is typically a reduction of up to two A level grades (eg BBB rather than AAB) or 40 UCAS tariff points. The two grade reduction in the offer from the University is not guaranteed for all subjects, but the successful completion of the A2B scheme will be taken into account when A2B offers are made.
How students should apply for the scheme
We ask schools and colleges to complete the following form with students:
This form should be sent to the University at the same time as submitting the UCAS application and before 30 November. The information on the A2B application form will be used by Admissions Tutors to assess the applicant's circumstances and judge whether they meet the criteria for the scheme.
Please note it is important to enter A2B in the Further Details section of the UCAS application form.
All A2B offers are provisional in the first instance and will be confirmed when students have firmly accepted our offer. A2B offers only apply when the student has made the University of Birmingham their firm choice. If an A2B application is not successful, the applicant could still be offered a place through the standard UCAS process at the University of Birmingham and/or at other higher education institutions.
Higher Education Learning Module
In order to receive the reduced entry offer, students must complete the A2B Higher Education Learning Module (HELM) which is designed to help students make the transition from school to university style learning. The HELM has three elements:
An online study support module to help with academic writing skills
A student shadowing experience, which will help students find out more about the style of teaching they can expect at university
An essay specific to the course applied for, set and marked by university tutors, completed after summer exams
A2B students will also be invited to an enhanced induction day before starting university to offer information, advice and guidance to prepare them for their important first term.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about A2B in the following document: