Two members of staff sat talking around a table. Two biomedical science banners in the background

Guidance for Pathways to Birmingham Coordinators

Pathways to Birmingham (P2B) is a suite of outreach programmes for students in Years 12 and 13 who attend our P2B partner schools. These are usually non-selective state schools. Coordinators in our partner schools play an important role in raising student awareness about these opportunities and in supporting their programme applications.

Pathways to Birmingham programmes support individuals from groups currently underrepresented in higher education with learning about and gaining access to university study. Each P2B programme has a distinctive offering, but they all provide students with an insight into university study and graduate employability. They also offer support with the university application process and enable successful transition to higher education.

P2B students are an important part of our University community. Since the first programme launched in 2000, we have welcomed nearly 4,000 P2B students onto undergraduate degrees at the University of Birmingham. In the past few years, around 10% of the annual undergraduate intake has come through a P2B programme.

We work with colleagues from across the University to deliver the programmes. We are committed to ensuring that students from less advantaged backgrounds can access the opportunities offered at the University of Birmingham.

As well as gaining an insight into higher education and learning more about university life, there are two specific benefits for students taking part in a Pathways to Birmingham programme.

Students who successfully complete a P2B programme will be eligible to receive an alternative offer to study at the University (typically two grades below the standard offer found in the prospectus). They may also be eligible to receive enhanced financial support during their studies. P2B funding is not a loan so does not need to be repaid and is on top of any other funding a student receives.

How schools support students applying to Pathways to Birmingham

As a P2B partner school, your students will need your support with their application. All applications are submitted electronically, and your Pathways Coordinator is responsible for supporting the applications of students within your school.

Once accepted onto a Pathways to Birmingham programme, students will receive communication directly from the Programme Lead at the University. The Pathways Coordinator will be notified of the students’ progression throughout the programme.

Routes to the Professions, Inspired@Birmingham, Academic Enrichment Programme and Access to Birmingham are for students attending a partner school in the wider West Midlands. National Access Summer School is for students who live outside the wider West Midlands.

The role of a Pathways to Birmingham Coordinator

Where a school/college would like to become a partner school, the University requests that you nominate a member of staff to be the Pathways to Birmingham Coordinator. Typically, this role is undertaken by a careers adviser or head of sixth form. As Pathways to Birmingham programmes span Years 12 and 13, you may wish to allocate more than one coordinator.

The role of Pathways to Birmingham Coordinators is incredibly important to the success of our programmes. Coordinators will:

  • Raise awareness and support recruitment within the school/college
  • Support Pathways to Birmingham applicants by providing electronic references using the online application portal
  • Attend an annual Pathways to Birmingham Coordinator launch event
  • Be a key point of contact between the University and your school/college

Upon becoming a Pathways to Birmingham partner school, we will send your allocated coordinator some more information about using the online portal, and details of whom they can contact if they require any further support.

Each year, your coordinator will be invited to attend a Pathways to Birmingham Partner Schools meeting. During the event, we will provide more information about Pathways to Birmingham including eligibility criteria, benefits to students, financial support, and the application process. We encourage your Pathways to Birmingham Coordinator to attend this meeting to avoid missing any vital information.

Support for Pathways to Birmingham partner schools

As a Pathways to Birmingham partner school/college, you will have the opportunity to access a range of support.


You will receive priority access to outreach events and activities at the University of Birmingham including our Masterclass series which is designed to ease students’ academic transition between sixth form and university. 

School visits

We understand that young people are required to make key decisions during school that can affect their future progression to university and employment. For that reason, we are keen to support our Pathways to Birmingham partners by attending guidance and progression evenings.

We also deliver a variety of presentations to support your careers work, on topics like ‘Why university?’ or ‘Understanding Student Finance’ or ‘Choosing a course and student life’.

Campus visits

When possible, we offer tailored school/college visits to the University campus. A typical day runs from 10.00am to 2.00pm and involves taster lectures and an opportunity to explore the campus and our facilities.

Online events

We can host online events for students and staff in your school or college. Such events can be tailored to the needs of your students but could include information on applying to university, writing personal statements, and how our P2B programmes work. We can arrange events to include Q&A sessions for your students.


Our online study skills resource, Skills4Uni supports students with their studies and prepares them for university. It has seven interactive zones to work through, including revision techniques, note-taking, finding information, and referencing styles. The platform also features tips from current university students and quizzes.