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 2,000 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 A2B 2020/21 are now open.

Apply to A2B now

Read our COVID-19 FAQs for future students

Watch as Andrew takes you through the benefits, criteria and components of A2B
Eaad talks about his A2B experience and what he got out of it

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, an 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
  • Financial support
  • 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

Applications for the 2020/21 A2B Scheme are now open. 

Apply to A2B now

The deadline for applications from applicants to Medicine and Dentistry is Friday 13 November 2020

For all other courses, the deadline for applications is Friday 19 February 2021.

Students who completed A2B in 2019/20 and are reapplying to the University of Birmingham in the 2020/21 cycle, DO NOT need to submit a new A2B application. However, if your UCAS ID number has changed, please inform the A2B Team at as soon as possible.

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 some of A2B graduates say about their experiences as an A2B student at the University of Birmingham.




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.”