As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. At Birmingham we advocate an enquiry based learning approach, from the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers. We want you to be challenged and will encourage you to think for yourself.
How you'll learn
The main way you’ll learn is by attending lectures, but in some modules these are supplemented with classes which allows you to meet with a tutor in small groups to further your understanding of the material covered in lectures. You’ll also have the opportunity to work in groups and make presentations – both skills that are highly valued by employers.
The timetable for lectures and classes covers around 22 hours a week, allowing time for you to do your own reading and learning.
Undergraduate students can expect around 15 contact hours per week, depending on year of study and optional module choices made. The remainder of the working week consists of self-guided study based on degree programme content and requirements of specific modules.
How you'll be assessed
Your progress is assessed through coursework and exams. Coursework takes a variety of forms, including reports, essays, group presentations, class essays and computer assignments. Exams are held in May/June. You must achieve satisfactory results to proceed to the next year. Your final degree is based on marks gained in the second and third years and credits which you build up throughout the whole programme.
Your personal tutor
From the moment you begin your studies, you’ll be allocated a personal tutor who is a member of the academic staff. He or she will take an interest in your general wellbeing and academic progress, meeting you on a regular basis either individually or in a small group throughout the year.
Professional Development Module
This is an optional 20-credit final-year module which includes a work placement and aims to bridge the gap between your academic studies and your future professional life. It is an excellent opportunity to learn in a professional setting related to your interests and/or degree programme, supporting your professional and personal skills development, and consolidating your learning through reflection on your placement experiences.
The placement must be of at least 40 hours’ duration and can be taken during the summer vacation or in the Autumn Term. Your placement could take place at a wide variety of organisations, such as a summer internship with a major employer or an unpaid voluntary project at a charity. You will have access to support from our dedicated Placements Team, to help you to identify the most appropriate opportunity for you.
Resources and facilities
The Business School has a number of PC clusters with wireless connectivity and data projection. We also use a virtual learning environment to support our teaching, which can be accessed from any internet-connected computer and is used to provide electronic copies of lecture materials, links to online resources, multiple choice quizzes and discussion areas. It’s also used for a range of administrative tasks such as online submission of assignments and the provision of programme news.
The University Library houses over 2.5 million volumes and boasts extensive data retrieval services. The Library offers a range of valuable services to help you during your degree programme, including library-training sessions, subject guides and database skills. You’ll also have access to e-Library, a vast online collection of text books that can be accessed free of charge from other libraries.
Studying at degree-level is likely to be very different from your previous experience of learning and teaching. You will be expected to think, discuss and engage critically with the subject and find things out for yourself. We will enable you to make this transition to a new style of learning, and the way that you are assessed during your studies will help you develop the essential skills you need to make a success of your time at Birmingham.
You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module that you take. You will be assessed through coursework which may take the form of essays, group and individual presentations and formal exams.
During your first year it is important that you have a smooth transition into University. You will be able to talk to your tutors about this and discuss if there are particular areas where you need support. This is in addition to the personal tutor who is based in your school or department and can help with any academic issues you encounter.
At the beginning of each module, you’ll be given information on how and when you’ll be assessed for that particular programme of study. You’ll receive feedback on each assessment within four weeks, so that you can learn from and build on what you have done. You’ll be given feedback on any exams that you take; if you should fail an exam we will ensure that particularly detailed feedback is made available to enable you to learn for the future.