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 the 2023/24 A2B will open in September.

Get a quick overview of A2B

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 you identify and build the skills you need to be a successful university student
  • A2B Academic Activity - a lecture and small group discussion in the subject you have applied for led by an academic tutor, followed by a short written reflection. 

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 also 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 have a look at our mature students film

How to apply

Applications for the 2023/24 A2B scheme will open in September.

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 graduation.

For example, in previous years 25 first-year A2B students had the opportunity to visit Hong Kong. The trip was delivered by Study Abroad with support from the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DARO) and Outreach, with the aim of increasing global mobility among students from widening participation backgrounds.

While in Hong Kong, our A2B students undertook a weeklong leadership training delivered by Common Purposeg. During their free time, students explored Hong Kong and all its cultural delights! Two of our A2B students documented their experiences of the trip. Read Georgia's blog and watch Sopie's vlog to see what they got up to!


Former A2B student

“My confidence has soared since my A2B seminar. At first, the concept of having to contribute to a [group discussion] was very much daunting for me as a less confident public speaker with an anxiety disorder. In reality, I found it to be a very fulfilling, enjoyable, memorable experience.... As a result, the programme has enhanced my communication skills, heightened my confidence, and strengthened my adaptability to adjust to new environments.”