Access to Birmingham (A2B)

The Access to Birmingham (A2B) programme supports applicants to the University of Birmingham, who have little or no experience of higher education, discover 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 prospective applicants the support of our A2B scheme if they are studying at one of our partner institutions. 

Applications for Access to Birmingham (A2B) 2019/20 are now open. 


What is involved in A2B?

To be entitled to the Pathways to Birmingham offer, students must complete the A2B module which is designed to help students make the transition from school to university. The A2B module consists of three elements:

  • A Launch Day which will help you understand what you need to do to pass the A2B module
  • Skills4Uni, a online study support module, to help with academic writing 
  • An assignment specific to the course applied for, set and marked by university tutors, completed after summer exams

Applicants applying for Medicine, Dentistry, Social Work, Nursing and Physiotherapy will also be invited to attend an interview preparation session. 

A2B students will also be invited to an enhanced induction event before starting university to offer information, advice and guidance to prepare them for their important first term. 

Benefits of applying through A2B

A successful A2B applicant 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, students will also benefit from:

  • Continual support and guidance from an experienced and dedicated A2B team
  • Participation in the A2B Module which will prepare students for the transition to university study
  • Practice interviews for particular courses where relevant
  • The chance of a Pathways to Birmingham Bursary worth £1,000 and a Pathways to Birmingham Scholarship worth £1,500 per year of study
  • The opportunity for students to make new friends before they start at a special induction event
  • Continued support from the experienced and supportive A2B team

Application criteria

To apply for Access to Birmingham, students must be applying to study a full-time undergraduate course at the University of Birmingham and meet the Pathways to Birmingham eligibility criteria - check to see if you are eligible!

In addition to this, students must have achieved the minimum academic requirements for their chosen university course at GCSE - please check the University of Birmingham course pages for more information. There is separate academic criteria for Medicine and Dentistry applicants.

We welcome applications from mature learners, if you would like to hear more about the experiences of mature learners studying at the University of Birmingham then please view our mature students film

How to apply

To apply for Access to Birmingham please firstly check the eligibility criteria and then complete the online application. Once you have completed the application your sixth form/college coordinator will receive an email alert to support your application.

The deadlines for applications to our 2019/20 A2B programme are listed below:

  • Medicine and Dentistry applicants must submit an on-time UCAS application and complete their A2B application by 22 November 2019.
  • For all other courses, students who have submitted an on-time UCAS application have until 21 February 2020 to submit an A2B application. 

A2B offers only apply when the student has made the University of Birmingham their firm choice. If an A2B application is not successful, the applicant could still be offered a place through the standard UCAS process at the University of Birmingham and/or at other higher education institutions. 

Hear from our current A2B students and recent graduates

Students who choose the University of Birmingham through our A2B scheme have enjoyed many successes during their studies here and after they graduate. 

For instance, last summer, 25 first year A2B students had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong. The trip was delivered by Study Abroad with support from DARO and Outreach, with the aim of increasing global mobility among students from widening participation backgrounds. Whilst in Hong Kong, our A2B students undertook a weeklong leadership training delivered by Common Purpose in Hong Kong. During their free time, students had time to explore Hong Kong and all its cultural delights! Two of our A2B students chose to document their experiences of the trip - read Georgia's blog and watch Sophie's vlog to see what they got up to!

As well as this, hear what our recent A2B graduates say about about their experiences as an A2B student at the University of Birmingham.

Access to Birmingham (A2B)



Previous A2B student

“Originally I didn’t think I was good enough to go to a Russell Group university, it’s odd to look back because I just got a first, so I clearly was good enough! Without the encouragement of the A2B programme I would never have applied to Birmingham. The summer essay meant that I was more confident writing in an academic style when I arrived, I knew my seminar leader personally and knew my way around campus. It seems trivial but it made me feel more like I belonged. All this put me in a good and confident position to excel socially, professionally and academically.”