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
(Please write your home postcode and your current school/college in the subject line of your email enquiry)
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 shows that you live in an area with low levels 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.
If you have been a looked after child in local authority care for more than three months since the age of 14 you are welcome to apply through the scheme without meeting the above criteria. Do let us know in your application if any circumstances such as a disability or long-term illness has prevented you from achieving your full potential.
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 emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org in the same week as submitting the UCAS application. This is particularly important for Medicine and Dentistry applicants who will be invited for a mock interview before Christmas.
Access to HE student A2B applications will be considered until the closing UCAS deadline of 15 January.
For all other applicants we recommend applying for A2B as soon as the UCAS application is ready so that we can consider all your circumstances at the same time.
We will only accept application forms that have come from the A2B Coordinator directly.
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.
In order to receive the A2B alternative offer, students must complete the A2B module which is designed to help students make the transition from school to university. The A2B module consists of three elements:
An online study support module to help with academic writing
A student shadow or A2B visit day, which will help you find out more about what it’s really like to study at the University of Birmingham
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.
A2B Scholarship - If you successfully complete the A2B Module getting at least 75% in the skills4uni test and also get the exam results needed for your standard offer (rather than the alternative A2B offer), you’ll receive a scholarship worth £1,200 for each successful year of study at the University. This scholarship is awarded in addition to any other grant or bursary you may receive.
HSBC Scholarship – 5 scholarships will be awarded to the top performing A2B student in each of the University colleges to cover their full University tuition fee. To be eligible for the HSBC scholarship you must have a household income of below £16,190. To be identified as a top performing A2B student you must achieve the standard offer for the course and achieve the highest score in the A2B online module and assignment. Students in receipt of the HSBC scholarship must be prepared to support the Outreach department in its work with the Development and Alumni Business Engagement Office and Alumni donors as well as its Outreach work with schools.
Lloyds Scholars Programme – you may also be interested in finding out more about the Lloyds Scholars Programme which provides a complete package of financial support, paid internships and the opportunity to develop your employability skills.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about A2B in the following document, including advice if you have received an unconditional offer: