University is your next step on the road to independence and it's important that you find a place to call home when you get here. We have exciting plans to help you become part of our community from the moment you arrive, and are putting in place activities to make sure you are safe, happy and healthy when you join us so that you can focus on getting to know one another and settling into your new home.
There will be a wide range of measures in place to ensure that your accommodation is safe and clean, but we still want you to have fun! You can still expect a tailored induction to your University experience, and there will be a range of events and activities to help you meet other students. You'll have continued support from our Student Mentor Scheme and Hall Reps - just like in any other year - and you'll be part of an inclusive community straight away.
When you arrive this year we’ll be using pre-arranged time slots over an extended period for you to arrive safely and to ensure that we’re in line with social distancing guidelines. You’ll be able to book slots when your accommodation is confirmed in August. Once you’re unpacked, our student teams are preparing a varied and exciting programme of events to welcome and support you - current examples in the works include outdoor cinemas, treasure hunts, mini golf, outdoor laser tag, outdoor yoga, online quizzes and activities that you can do with others in your flat, such as decorating or cooking together.
If you want to know more about what to expect from a year in our accommodation and discover top tips, such as what essential items you will need to bring with you, then check out the advice from some of our current students...
Travelling to the UK
If you have to self-isolate when you arrive in the UK and you are planning on living in University or partner accommodation, you'll have free accommodation for up to 14 days - two weeks before your accommodation contract and Welcome Week is due to start. During this period you'll be able to access a range of support and services. From additional language courses to help you perfect your English, through to online wellbeing support and academic preparation skills, as well as online socials, we're putting in place a programme of activity to make sure that even in self-isolation you're well prepared for your life and studies in the UK.
If you cannot come to Birmingham for any reason, you will be able to cancel your contract without penalty and have any payments returned if you cancel before 7 September. This applies to students with a booking in University-owned accommodation and with our partner providers.
Undergraduate travel advice
Below is some further information on the measures we are putting in place to ensure all students in our accommodation are safe from the moment of your arrival and throughout your time with us here in Birmingham.
Cleaning and hygiene
You will see enhanced cleaning regimes across all of our sites, and all buildings across campus will be given a thorough clean and service prior to reopening, using anti-viral products.
Hand sanitisers, soap, and paper towels will also be provided.
Booking on your terms
If you cannot come to Birmingham for any reason, you will be able to cancel your contract without penalty and have any payments returned.
This applies to students with a booking in both University locations and with our Partner providers.
If Birmingham is your firm choice on your UCAS form and you have applied by 31 July, you will be guaranteed accommodation for your first year.
Offers will be sent between 13 August and 4 September. The time period to accept your offer and make payment will be seven days (as opposed to the usual four days). This guarantee also extends to Study Abroad, International Exchange Programme, and articulation (e.g. 2+2) students outside of the EU. Visit the Accommodation section of our website and view our virtual tours to remind yourself of the different accommodation options open to you. You can still apply if you haven’t yet done so.
After booking your room, you will be able to choose an arrival timeslot for your new home.
Timeslot options will be carefully spaced out to ensure that only a limited number of people are arriving to campus at one time.
We expect social distancing will be required in your accommodation. We will abide by the 1m plus rule throughout campus, and reminders will be provided through clear and concise signage.
Before you arrive, you'll be able to undertake a full online induction experience.
Your accommodation pass will include information on your accommodation and the support available, as well as information specific to Coronavirus, and the responsibilities we have to each other.
All of our accommodation villages are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and so is our campus - with our own Security team on hand if there's ever an emergency. Your health and safety is our number one priority.
Flexibility to changing environment
In the event of an extended period of campus closure where students are asked to return home by the University, a framework for early release from your accommodation contract (Surrender of Tenancy) will be established.
Technology will help us
If you are in University accommodation or living with our Partner, Unite Students, you will be able to report maintenance requests or check the status of laundry machines from an accommodation app, minimising physical interaction.
Living at home or in private accommodation
We recognise that some students live at home and commute or arrange their own private accommodation. If you’re looking for accommodation independently, we are working with private landlords and private hall providers to encourage them to offer flexible packages. If you’re planning to commute to campus please look out for further information for students living locally across our 2020 website pages.
Find out more
When will I find out about my accommodation?
If your application forms part of the Guarantee Scheme
your accommodation, you will receive your offer by email from 13 August 2020.
We send offers of accommodation to students in waves, so this can take up to ten working days. You will have seven days to make your Advance Payment (maximum of £550).
If you haven't met the criteria of one of our Guarantee Schemes we cannot guarantee you accommodation. However, where rooms are not available in our accommodation we will do our best to assist you to find suitable alternatives
How will you allocate accommodation?
Accommodation will first be offered to students that have met the criteria of one of our Guarantee Schemes. We do not allocate accommodation on a first come first served basis. Instead, students within the Guarantee Schemes are allocated in a random order whilst taking into consideration the preferences on their application form.
Please note that your preferences are not guaranteed, as building sizes and demand can vary significantly.
You might have heard some rumours about accommodation being allocated by course. We can also confirm that this will not be the case at Birmingham.
How will the arrival timeslots work?
Once you've reserved your room and completed our online induction - the Accommodation Pass - you'll be asked to book an arrival timeslot. You will have the freedom and flexibility of choosing your own slot, as opposed to being assigned one. However, the pool of available timeslots will be carefully managed by the University as to ensure that social distancing can be maintained when groups of students are arriving to campus.
More information about when different groups of students can arrive will be published in due course, and full information will be in your Accommodation Pass.
Can my parents help me move in?
We understand that the majority of students will need their parents or guardians to help them move into accommodation. In order to ensure that social distancing can be observed, we will be encouraging you to only bring one guest and for both of you to wear a mask if possible. At this stage, you will also not be permitted to have an overnight guest although the Edgbaston Park Hotel
may be able to facilitate a stay for your guest.
Will my flat be my bubble?
Yes - when you arrive to your accommodation, you will be forming a new household with your flatmates. This means that you will all be part of the same 'bubble'. It's essentially the same as it would be if you were living with your parents or relatives - if a person starts displaying symptoms or tests positive for Coronavirus, the entire flat will need to self-isolate.
What facilities will my flat have?
The facilities for your flat will not be any different to under normal circumstances. As you will be forming a household bubble with your flatmates, there is no need for regulation on social distancing within the flats and using shared spaces such as your kitchen.
You will also have access to a mobile app which enables you to report any maintenance requests and view the status of the laundry machines in your nearest laundrette.