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Students relaxing on the green heart

Campus life

Explore why our students love Birmingham…

Campus is the place where our diverse community comes together to learn, relax and socialise. Our green and spacious campus is like a town of its own and is just minutes from the hustle and bustle of the UK’s vibrant second city. With 35,000 students of more than 150 different nationalities on campus, at Birmingham you will have the opportunity to explore new activities, develop new skills and make friends for life.

“During the busy seasons or exams, the green spaces become areas to relax, with students gathering for a break, to eat lunch or maybe just get a bit of studying done in the fresh air! Everything is in one place but is only a short and cheap train ride away from the rest of the city”

Rachel, from Bury, Biological Sciences
My favourite place on campus
Student Perspective: My Favourite Place on Campus

A campus full of opportunity

Campus is a hive of activity all year round. In winter, you’ll find the Winter Festival on campus, complete with a big wheel and hot chocolate. In summer, we host our Summer Ball on campus with live music and a funfair. With regular student socials, research showcases, family fun days, live sporting events and more, there is always something exciting happening.

Our campus is a place where history meets innovation. Historic buildings and contemporary structures mirror the University’s heritage and originality, while stunning green spaces offer a place for peace and reflection. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is a stunning art deco building at the centre of campus and plays host lunchtime concerts, evening lectures and literature workshops, as well as being the home of art from the likes of Monet, Manet, Renoir and many more. Winterbourne House and Garden is a beautiful Edwardian house with botanic gardens nestled in a leafy corner of our Edgbaston campus. Wander the peaceful grounds and enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake in the tea rooms – a perfect place to explore with visiting family. Our recently-renovated Lapworth Museum of Geology is one of the oldest specialist geological museums in the UK, whilst the Bramall Music Building is home to a 450-seater auditorium hosting fantastic events year-round including concerts and comedy shows. Our cultural assets are just the tip of the iceberg and the University has a plethora of research and cultural collections accessible to students throughout the year via a variety of activities.


Student support

We are committed to supporting you from before you arrive right through to your graduation and beyond to ensure that you get the most out of your university experience. Everyone is different and our range of support services are tailored to your personal needs.  Coming to university is a big life change, and you might feel the need for support during your transition and whilst you’re here. Whether you’re feeling stressed about your workload or worried about a situation at home, there's lots of support available to you at Birmingham.

The Guild of Students (our students’ union)

As a student at the University you’re automatically a member of The Guild of Students – our students’ union. The Guild exists to help you develop skills outside of study, have fun, meet new people, and make sure everyone gets the most out of their university experience.

University is a time for growth and self-discovery and many students choose to fill their time outside of their course by finding likeminded individuals and joining a club or society. At Birmingham there is something for everyone with over 500 to choose from. From Acapella to Harry Potter, and Shakespeare to Match of the Day, whatever your interest there’s something here for you. And remember, if there’s not a club that interests you, you can always start your own.

The Guild operate an extensive social calendar including club nights, workshops, fairs, debates and more. The University works in close collaboration with The Guild to organise Welcome (our name for Fresher’s) to ensure that new students have everything they need from the moment they arrive.

There are also lots of volunteering opportunities and campaigns you can get involved in through The Guild of Students. They’ll also help you to find a part-time job alongside your studies, and the Guild is also home to a wide range of support services to help students navigate their way through university life.

Find out more at The Guild of Students website.

Student life on campus

The Mermaid fountain at The Guild of Students
Students playing table football during welcome week
Outdoor film screening at The Vale.
Battle re-enactment society pose together with a green sheild.
The Battle Re-enactment Society.
Students gather to pet alpacas in Chancellor's Court.
Alpaca petting zoo in Chancellor's Court during welcome week.

Food and drink

At Birmingham there are plenty of options for eating and drinking on campus, with a range of cafes, restaurants and pop-up food outlets where you can grab a bite to eat between lectures. There are also lots of places to pick up food so that you can cook for yourself – an important part of finding your independence! There are regular farmers markets on campus to pick up raw ingredients and tasty takeaway treats, and there are student bars where you can get a drink and catch up with friends. The University has a Catering Charter which details how we uphold our commitment to providing students and visitors with high-quality food and drink, produced with sustainability in mind.

Sport and fitness

Sport and fitness at Birmingham are a way of life. From social leagues to competitive squads, from fitness classes to Try a Sport courses - there's something for everyone, so come and join our team!

The eyes of the world will be on Birmingham in 2022 when we host the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The city and the University are Official Partners for the Games, and together we are perfectly positioned to host such an event, at the centre of the UK with vast experience of hosting world-class international events in our vibrant and diverse city.

In the top 7 of UK university sport and with 55 welcoming sports clubs to choose from, whether you’re an international athlete or want to play sport casually with friends, you’ll be at home at Birmingham. Birmingham is already well-known for its sporting pedigree and playing our part at the centre of a major international tournament further cements our position amongst the global sporting elite. We can’t wait to showcase our vibrant city to the world as part of our commitment to sports for all.

Dedicated development squads are a great place to socialise and learn new skills, and we have a sports scholarship programme which has supported many national and international student athletes. Our friendly, recreational Campus Leagues are open to all, and over 2,500 staff and students take part in weekly games throughout term time.

Our UB Sport & Fitness club includes a 200+ station gym, 180 fitness classes a week, a huge range of Social Sport and Try a Sport sessions, a 10m climbing wall, six glass-back squash courts, and Birmingham's first 50m pool. For students based in Selly Oak, there is also a gym-only facility, Tiverton Gym, offering a convenient and well-equipped workout in the local student village.

Find out more about sport at Birmingham

University of Birmingham student athletes in varsity kit.
Pride: a group of lions forming a unit

After my gap year, and juggling everything university life has to offer, I missed exercising and the impetus it gave me to look after my body and make healthy dietary choices. So, I got into a new routine and found that I could do it all!

Courteney, English and Creative Writing student

Buildings and spaces

We are continually investing in our campus to make sure that it is fit for you, our students. In recent years we have invested in a new Main Library; a new Sports Centre and sports facilities, including the region’s first 50m-length pool; a beautiful Green Heart parkland at the centre of campus to relax and study; a Collaborative Teaching Laboratory enabling us to rethink how STEM subjects are taught; a Teaching and Learning Building providing outstanding modern facilities for individual and collaborative learning; and a School of Engineering to strengthen the relationship between our teaching and research with contemporary and flexible spaces. We continue to develop our campus to ensure students have access to the very best educational facilities, with a new Molecular Sciences coming soon.

Campus - Old Joe viewed from the green heart

Sustainability on campus

 Caring for the environment is at the centre of campus life, including a range of initiatives around plastic waste, green travel, biodiversity, energy usage, and embedding sustainability across all that we do. Our Green Community accommodation offer is a unique offering for those keen to explore sustainable living methods within their home, and our Guild of Students hosts a range of groups and societies for those interested in the environment. We even have our own forestry research centre looking at the impact of climate and environmental change on woodlands. We embed sustainable design into our new buildings, there are cycle and e-scooter hire schemes on campus, and we actively support students in becoming sustainable members of the University community.