Academic Enrichment Programme

Summer2The Academic Enrichment Programme is an immersive five day residential that gives students an insight into the full university experience, including taster lectures from a range of academic subjects, living in accommodation and new social experiences.

This programme is only available to students who live inside the Greater West Midlands region and are currently in Year 12. The next programme begins with a week long residential at the University from Monday 26 – Friday 30 August 2019.

"The best part of my whole summer"


About the Academic Enrichment Programme

Each student will experience first-hand what life studying and living at a research-led university is like by staying for five days and four nights in the University halls of residence and attending academic sessions in an area of their interest. During the evenings, students will be able to take part in social activities and will also have the opportunity to take a tour of Birmingham. Throughout the residential, there will be a team of current undergraduate student ambassadors on hand to support within a relevant academic stream to support and advice.  

In the Autumn Term, students will attend the first of two study support sessions, the date and content of which will be confirmed nearer the time.  In addition during Year 13, students will also be paired up with a current undergraduate from the University and will have further support through e-mentoring on a weekly basis.

There are 4 broad streams that students can choose from; this must be related to their current studies or relevant to the degree programme they wish to study. The academic streams will include some of the following areas, but these are all subject to availability of academic staff:

  • Humanities and Social Sciences – covering Geography, English, History, Law, Politics, Social Policy, Public Policy, Social Work, Sociology, Theology, Psychology
  • Business – Accounting, Economics, Business, International Studies
  • Physical Sciences – Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Maths, Chemistry
  • Biological and Health Sciences – Physiotherapy, Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Biology, Biomedical Material Science

In addition to academic lectures and seminars there are contributions from external organisations.

Benefits of the Academic Enrichment Programme

Students who successfully complete the Academic Enrichment Programme and apply to the University of Birmingham will receive special consideration from admissions tutors. If their application is successful, they will receive two offers from the University of Birmingham, the standard offer and an alternative offer. The alternative offer is typically a reduction of up to two A level grades (e.g. BBB rather than AAB). For Medicine, the alternative offer is a reduction of up to three A level grades (e.g. ABB instead of A*AA).

As well as the alternative offer, students will also be eligible for the Pathways to Birmingham Bursary worth £1,000 and an Pathways to Birmingham Scholarship worth £1,500 per year of study.

Students who are successful in gaining a place on this programme will benefit from the following:

  • First-hand experience of academic learning at a research-led institution
  • Support with raising students’ academic grades through two study skills sessions in Year 13
  • Experience of living in university accommodation and socialising with like-minded students
  • Support from current undergraduates via e-mentoring
  • Support with their decision making process
  • An invitation to attend a celebration event that recognises the hard work of all the participants on the programme

Application criteria

The Academic Enrichment Programme is suitable for Year 12 students who have a strong commitment to study at the University of Birmingham and who are studying A Level, IB or a relevant BTEC course. Applications are open to students who meet the following Pathways to Birmingham criteria.

To apply for Academic Enrichment Programme, students must:

  • Currently attend a school outside the Greater West Midlands and have attended a non-selective state school while completing their GCSEs


  • Has had experience of public care

Or meet at least two of the following:

  • Home postcode is in an area with low levels of progression to higher education . Measured by POLAR3 or POLAR4 young participation quintile 1 or 2. Consideration will be given to applicants from underrepresented groups who live in a quintile 3 area. To check your postcode, visit the Office for Students postcode look-up.
  • Be in the first generation of their immediate family to attend higher education
  • Have an annual household income that is below the national average (£42,875 or less before tax)
  • Have experienced significant extenuating circumstances that has had (or is having) a detrimental impact on academic attainment
  • Have a disability and be in receipt of a personal independence payment
  • Be a young carer
  • Be estranged from parents or guardians

Our full eligibility criteria is available to view if you require any further information. 

How much does it cost?

The costs of the Academic Enrichment Programme are completely covered by the University. This includes travel to and from the University, accommodation, all meals during the residential element and all social activities.

The University of Birmingham would like to thank the Sir Josiah Mason Trust for their generous contribution in supporting the students on the Academic Enrichment Programme for the next three years. The support of the Sir Josiah mason Trust has allowed more students to benefit from the programme and will help to realise their educational and career aspirations.

How to apply

Applications for the Academic Enrichment Programme 2018/19 are accepted from January 2019, however you are able to register your interest now. If you register your interest, we wil contact you when applications open. 

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Academic Enrichment Programme, please get in touch via e-mail or phone on 0121 414 7169.