Study options

At Birmingham, we offer one of the broadest range of academic courses of any UK university. Therefore, one of the first choices you need to make is what type of course you would like to study.

The term ‘programme’ at this university refers to a course of study – so our course finder provides the full list of degree and other programmes available to study here.

Undergraduate studentsSingle Honours

If you know what subject you wish to study and want to concentrate on that subject, then a Single Honours degree programme is for you, such as Geography or English.

Joint Honours and Major/Minor programmes

If you like the idea of studying more than one subject for your degree, you have a number of options:

  • Joint Honours degrees allow you to study two subjects equally, such as ‘English and History’, or ‘Mathematics and Computer Science’.
  • Major/Minordegrees allow you to study the first subject - the major - for around 65% of your time. The second subject - the minor - is studied for the remaining 35% of your time. You can identify Major/Minor combinations from their titles, which will state the Major subject 'with' the Minor subject, such as ‘Modern Languages with English Literature’.

Foundation Year programmes

Student at a computer cluster

We offer one-year Foundation programmes which prepare you for degree-level study in a range of subjects. We also currently offer a Foundation Degree in Professional Golf in conjunction with the PGA. If you do not yet have the qualifications and experience needed to undertake an undergraduate honours degree and are interested in these programmes, please visit Studying Foundation Year courses.

The credit system

All Birmingham degrees are set within a credit framework designed to measure your academic achievements. We expect all students to accumulate 120 credits in each full year of study which is equivalent to 40 hours learning a week. Learning is considered to include contact learning (lectures and seminars), private study, revision and assessment. 

Credits are built by taking compulsory and optional modules, which are part of each degree programme. These are distinct units of learning and may be based around a single subject or a small part of a much broader area.