Advice for parents and carers

As the parent or carer of someone thinking of applying to university, it is very likely that you will have your own questions about how the process works. We've laid out some practical information below that will help you support your child to make informed decisions about their future.

Five reasons your child should consider university

  1. To study something they enjoy and learn more about a subject they’re passionate about
  2. To pursue a specific profession that requires a degree-level qualification
  3. To enhance their employment prospects and earning potential
  4. To develop new skills, knowledge and interests
  5. To meet people from different countries and backgrounds
male and female graduates in gowns and hats walking
Hear from parents of University of Birmingham graduates

Supporting decisions at school and sixth form/college

When your child begins secondary school, university might seem a long way in the future – but making the right choices in earlier years can improve options for further education and employment.

I didn’t go to university – the opportunity never arose for me. But when Hayley said she wanted to go, we supported her all the way. She’s inspired her brother and he’s applying to universities for next year. Other parents might be concerned, like I was, but I would say you should follow your child’s instinct. They know where they want to go in life and what they want to achieve and they will get there with your 100% support. I’m just so proud of her

Mother of Hayley Vernon-Freeth, Business Management graduate

Preparing for student life


Your child may decide they want to move into university accommodation. If this is the case, they should spend some time thinking about what type of accommodation they are looking for. The cost of accommodation will vary depending on the student’s preferences and budget. At Birmingham, we understand that for most students, university accommodation will be their first time living independently, therefore we offer a fantastic variety of living arrangements, all of which provide a safe, secure and sociable start to university.


You could help your child to create a budget plan for them to work to whilst at university. They can learn to identify their termly income and expenditure (e.g., food, travel, socialising) and, from this, work out a weekly allowance.

If students are looking for part-time work to support their lifestyle, they should be able to find work either at the university or in the local area. At the University of Birmingham, we offer on-campus work for students throughout the year. Undergraduate students are able to work up to 15 hours per week. Hours are flexible and students can accept or decline work to fit around their studies.


The easiest way is by train. Birmingham is the only University in mainland UK to have its own railway station on campus, known as University Station. The journey takes around 7-10 minutes from Birmingham New Street and up to six trains an hour depart for the University on the cross-city line (final destination Bromsgrove or Redditch). Several bus services travel to the University’s main Edgbaston campus.


Knowing how to wash and iron clothes is a necessity if students are looking to move away for university. Teaching your child the basics, such as reading clothing labels and knowing the proper amount of detergent to add, will support them in becoming more self-sufficient, confident and independent.

Meal planning

Your child should understand the importance of a balanced diet. Over the summer before university, you could practise some student-friendly recipes together that do not require a lot of ingredients or equipment. This will give you peace of mind that your child is eating well if they decide to move away.

Support at university

Universities will offer a range of support services to ensure that students are well supported in all aspects of their university life. You can find out more about how we support students from finance to well-being advice.