About us

The College of Life and Environmental Sciences is dedicated to exploring the diversity and evolutionary challenges of life in all its forms.

Across the breadth of life and environmental sciences, we discover, apply and translate science, forging major advances in human and environmental health.  From exercise, biomedicine and mental health to climate change, food security and resilience we combine original thinking and real-world experience with clear focus and rigour. This is underpinned by our enabling technologies, which combine state-of-the-art equipment with expert staff.

We are home to one of the best stand-alone Schools of Psychology in the UK, as well as being ranked consistently in the top five in the world QS league table for Sport and Exercise Sciences.  Supported by a major gift from a philanthropist, we have developed the unique Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BiFoR), which is investigating the effect of rapid climate change on tree canopy development and pathogens.

The College is comprised of four Schools: Biosciences; Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences; Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences; and Psychology. We combine our discipline expertise with those across the wider University to address the most significant human and environmental questions of the present, past and future.

Our extensive engagement with partners across academia, industry and communities deliver growing impact on the local, national and global stage.

Talented staff

With a faculty of more than 700 academic and professional services staff working in partnership, we are actively engaging with University initiatives to make high quality appointments in the College’s established and emerging centres of research excellence. Among our academic staff are a number of outstanding, high potential, early career researchers, appointed as part of the University’s sector-leading Birmingham Fellowship programme. Our professional services staff provide valuable support to academic colleagues, enabling an exceptional educational experience for our students, and help us to grow our influence regionally, nationally, and globally.

One of our core aims in the College is to help our staff to look after themselves. We have a range of apps, programmes and information available to our staff to improve and support both their physical, and mental health.

LES Staff Wellbeing

World-leading research

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) the majority of our research was rated as world leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*). Our world-leading multidisciplinary research areas include:

In recent years, the College has placed significant investment into key interdisciplinary initiatives including the Centre for Computational Biology and, recently, the Centre for Human Brain Health. Established in 2017, the Institute for Mental Health will largely focus on transforming NHS services from an evidence base of the highest quality research. These investments build on the College’s outstanding infrastructure and reputation for enabling technologies.

Find out more about our research

Teaching excellence

The College is home to around 5,000 students studying a diverse range of more than 100 undergraduate, postgraduate taught and research programmes.

The combination of outstanding research, training, fieldwork and facilities enables our students to engage with the most exciting and pioneering research through to its impact and application to real world challenges. As a result, they learn both transferable and discipline-specific skills giving them the confidence and experience to succeed in a wide range of careers across the globe.