Access to Birmingham

A programme for eligible students in non-selective state schools across the West Midlands

The Access to Birmingham (A2B) programme helps University of Birmingham applicants with little or no higher education experience to explore 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 you the support of our A2B scheme if you are studying at one of our partner institutions.

Applying to A2B

Applications for the 2023/24 A2B scheme are closed. Applications for A2B 2024/25 will open in September 2024.

Completing the programme will bring you a range of benefits including an alternative offer and funding. We encourage you to explore our programme information and eligibility criteria. If you meet the eligibility, we hope you consider applying when applications open again. We also welcome applications from mature learners.

Benefits of taking part in the programme

Once you complete A2B, you will receive two offers from the University of Birmingham, the standard offer and a Pathways to Birmingham offer. The Pathways to Birmingham offer is typically a reduction of up to two A level grades (e.g. BBB rather than AAB). 

As well as the Pathways to Birmingham offer, you will also benefit from:  

  • Financial support
  • Continued support and guidance from an experienced and dedicated A2B team
  • Preparation for the transition from school to university study
  • The opportunity to make new friends at a special induction event before you start university
  • Becoming a Birmingham Scholar upon starting university
  • Interview support sessions for courses where relevant (Medicine, Dentistry, Dental Hygiene and Therapy, Pharmacy, Social Work, Nursing, Physiotherapy and Computer Science degree apprenticeship)

I would greatly recommend making an application for A2B for year 13 students. With simplified grade offers and a straightforward canvas course to get through, there really is nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.

A male student smiling and wearing glasses and a hoodie, standing infront of a redbrick building and greenery
Usaid, A2B graduate

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for Access to Birmingham, you must be applying to study a full-time undergraduate course at the University of Birmingham. You must also meet the Pathways to Birmingham eligibility criteria.

Additionally, you must have achieved the minimum academic requirements for your chosen university course at GCSE - please check the University of Birmingham course pages for more information. There are separate academic criteria for Medicine and Dentistry applicants.

What A2B involves

To be eligible for the benefits, you must complete the A2B programme. The programme is designed to help you make the transition from school to university and consists of three elements:

  • A Launch Day which will help you understand what you need to do to pass the A2B programme
  • Skills4Uni (an online study support module) to help you identify and build the skills you need to be a successful university student
  • A2B Academic Activity – a lecture and small group discussion or lab session in the subject you have applied for led by an academic tutor followed by a short written reflection.

You will also be invited to an enhanced induction event before starting university where you’ll get information, advice, and guidance in preparation for your first term.

Contact us

If you have any questions, you can email us at

Are you a teacher or adviser supporting an A2B applicant?

A2B applicants must be studying at one of our partner institutions and have a nominated teacher to support their application. Read our Pathways to Birmingham (P2B) coordinators guidance for more information.