Meal Plan is part of our catered accommodation package, offering you a flexible way to eat well and manage your spend at uni. Wave goodbye to late-night shopping trips and meal prep and say hello to convenient, quality food and drink.
How does Meal Plan work?
Meal Plan is a completely cashless way to fuel your busiest days and nights.
Each week, your student ID card will be loaded with £63.20 for you to spend at over 30 food and drink outlets across campus and The Vale. From Campus Express to Costa, you can use your card in most University cafés and restaurants, giving you easy access to the best food on campus.
With an online portal to check your balance, it’s easy to keep on top of your spending. Plus, any money you don’t spend will roll over, giving you the flexibility to enjoy Meal Plan whenever you need it.
Prices and locations for 2023/24
We’ve been busy updating Meal Plan to give you even more choice and flexibility. From September, it’ll cost £63.20 per week for 34 weeks of your accommodation contract (we don’t top your balance up during the holidays), so you can enjoy more of the food you love during term time.
If you’ve got your eye on The Vale Village, you’re in luck. Meal Plan is an option at nearly all Vale locations, including Elgar Court, Mason, Chamberlain, Maple Bank, and Shackleton.
Food and Drink Your Way
Meal Plan is all about stress-free food. By having most of your food and drink covered for the week, you can spend less time worrying about budgeting and cooking, and more time enjoying your university experience.
With Meal Plan, you can also eat your favourite food or try something new, whenever suits you. From takeaway pizzas and burgers to fresh deli salads and hearty dishes that will remind you of home, you can make every mealtime exciting by trying new cuisines and dishes without having to set foot off campus. And, to top it all off, you can enjoy the food you love for less, with a 10% discount on food and drink (excluding alcohol) at all Meal Plan outlets.
“University accommodation is ideal because it offers you a place to study, eat, sleep and socialise in safe, informal surroundings. A place where you can be at the heart of student life, but find your own space when you need it”
Frequently asked questions
Does Meal Plan cover every meal?
Not exactly – and here’s why.
We know you need a flexible set of options to fit round your busy life. You might prefer to have breakfast at your place. Sometimes you might want to cook your favourite meal from home. At the weekend, you may want to get off campus and explore the city.
Meal Plan’s budget aims to give you two good meals a day, for any five days a week. You can get a cooked breakfast weekday mornings in The Lounge and at the Weekend in Infusion. You’ll have the same kitchen facilities as in self-catered accommodation, so you can cook for yourself whenever you like. And at the weekend, you can use Meal Plan – or head out to enjoy some of Birmingham’s great dining options.
I have dietary requirements. Can I use Meal Plan?
The University caters for a wide range of diets, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and halal. If you have a specific dietary requirement, let a catering manager at Infusion know when you arrive; they’ll make sure you get all the information you need.
If you have one or more allergies, the University will offer support, advice, and any accommodation adaptations you need.
More about student life with an allergy
Please note: unfortunately, at this time the University cannot cater for high-allergen diets such as nut free. All food is prepared in kitchens where these allergens are in use, and we cannot guarantee food is free from nuts.
What is my weekly budget?
You’ll have £63.20 to spend each week.
You’ll also get a Meal Plan-only discount of 10% off all food and drink.* That means when you’re dining on campus with friends, you’re better off on Meal Plan.
*Does not include alcohol.
How do I check my balance?
You can keep on top of your budget by visiting uobcashless.bham.ac.uk. This allows you to check your balance anytime, anywhere.
You can also check your balance when you pay with your ID card, by asking the cashier.
When can I use Meal Plan?
You can start using Meal Plan on the first Monday of Welcome Week. That’s after Moving-In Weekend, so be sure to have cash or a bank card to cover your first few days.
Meal Plan payments cover 34 weeks of your 42-week accommodation contract, and your weekly budget will be added to your card over those 34 weeks. Outside term time, catering offers a reduced service, but all the outlets that are open will continue to take Meal Plan, and you can keep using your budget. That means if you’re staying here during the vacations, you can use Meal Plan across the whole 42 weeks of your contract.
What if I don't spend all of my weekly budget?
Any money you haven’t spent will roll over to the next week. That means if you eat out or cook for yourself a lot one week, you won’t miss out. Just make sure you spend all your Meal Plan balance before the end of the 42nd week of your accommodation contract, as this won’t be refunded.
Can I top up my Meal Plan, or ask my parents or guardians to add money to my account?
There are plans underway to arrange this service. However, unfortunately this is not available yet.
If your budget runs out before the end of the week, you can still buy food at campus outlets with cash or a card, just like students who aren’t on Meal Plan. However, you won’t get the 10% discount.
What happens if I run out of money?
If you have financial or money concerns at any time during the year, please don’t struggle alone. There are plenty of services available to help you, including:
Can I opt-out of Meal Plan later in the year?
No. You’ll sign an accommodation contract that includes Meal Plan , and under the terms and conditions these cannot be separated. That means a student would be unable to stay in the same accommodation.