Academic Enrichment Programme

The Academic Enrichment Programme is an immersive five day residential that gives Year 12 students an insight into the full university experience, including taster lectures on a range of academic subjects, living in accommodation and new social experiences.

This programme is only available to students who live within the Greater West Midlands region who attend a University of Birmingham Pathways to Birmingham (P2B) partner school. Please speak to your Head of Sixth Form if you are not sure whether your school is part of the scheme. The majority of schools in the West Midlands are partner schools. If your school is not part of the Pathways to Birmingham Scheme, then please apply for our National Access Summer School instead.

The specifics of how the residential will run this summer are subject to Government and Public Health England guidelines on COVID-19 and therefore may change accordingly. If the residential programme goes ahead as planned, it will be delivered between 23-27August 2021. If the programme is delivered online, sessions will be delivered between 16-27 August 2021. 

The 2020 programme was delivered online but we are confident that however the programme is delivered this year, the experiences will be really valuable for you and will support your higher education aspirations.

Applications for 2020/21 are closed.

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. 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. 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 four broad streams that students can choose from. The stream 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 also contributions from external organisations.

Why take part?

Students who successfully complete the Academic Enrichment Programme and apply to the University of Birmingham will receive special consideration from admissions tutors as well as: 

  • An alternate offer to study at Birmingham which is typically two A level grades below the standard offer for the course (e.g. BBB rather than AAB)
  • Guaranteed interviews for Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing
  • A suite of scholarships and bursaries up to the value of £3,500 per year of study

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

  • First-hand experience of academic learning at a research-led institution
  • Support with raising 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 the decision making process
  • An invitation to attend a celebration event that recognises the hard work of participants on the programme

Eligibility criteria

The Academic Enrichment Programme is suitable for Year 12 students who have a strong commitment to study at a Russell Group institution like the University of Birmingham and who are studying A Level, IB or a relevant BTEC course. Applications are open to students who meet the Pathways to Birmingham criteria. Check to see if you are eligible.

Students applying to the Academic Enrichment Programme 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. Medicine and Dentistry applicants have separate academic criteria which you can view on our Pathways pages.

Due to the competitive nature of this programme, applications will be selected based on the socio-economic criteria as listed for the Pathways to Birmingham Programmes and on academic grades in line with our entry requirements.

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.

How to apply

Applications for 2020/21 are closed.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the Academic Enrichment Programme, please email

Watch our video to learn more about the Academic Enrichment Programme

Students share their experience on the Academic Enrichment Programme