Bold scheme pioneered by the University of Birmingham attracts the brightest students

The University of Birmingham attracts the very brightest students by making unconditional offers to a targeted group of high-performing applicants.

The pilot initiative, launched in 2013, saw around 1,200 unconditional offers being made to students applying to study one of 12 subjects. The list of subjects, which ranged from maths to metallurgy and modern languages, reflected the broad range of disciplines on offer at Birmingham.


Last year around 3,000 offers were made in the scheme, out of around 30,000 offers in total, and around 1,000 were accepted.

The unconditional offers are made to individuals who have already demonstrated their motivation through exceptional academic performance in their schooling to date. In addition to having predicted grades in excess of 3As at A-level, the views of their current institution and teachers are taken into consideration, as well as the candidate’s personal statement.

Academic work

Director of Admissions at the University, Roderick Smith, commented: “This initiative enables us to target the very brightest students in certain subject areas. Students who we believe will make a significant contribution to the academic work of the University and will gain immensely from their time with us.’

The subjects included in the pilot were: Accounting and Finance, Business Management, Classics, Economics, International Relations, Mathematics, Metallurgy and Materials, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology.

Requirements for getting an unconditional offer from Birmingham

Culture and collections

Schools, institutes and departments

Services and facilities