Year 13 Activities

Applying to universities in Year 13 should be an exciting process, but can sometimes be made more difficult if students have little or no family history of attending university. The successful and well-established Access to Birmingham scheme aims to address this issue and is open to prospective applicants for all courses.

Access to Birmingham (A2B)

Azeefa's A2B experiences

The Access to Birmingham (A2B) scheme is designed to help students from families and communities in the West Midlands who have little or no experience of Higher Education achieve their aspirations of studying at University. Students participate in a range of activities to support their application to University and successful applicants benefit from receiving two offers from the University of Birmingham, the standard one and an alternative offer. The A2B offer is typically a reduction of two A level grades but for Medicine it is a reduction of three A level grades. Successful applicants may also be eligible for a range of scholarships. 

Find out more about the A2B scheme 

View A2B student profiles

Liam BarrettLiam Barrett, former A2B applicant and current MBChB student 
“I found the academic assignment element of the A2B module a challenge, but also exciting. There isn’t a lot of opportunity for individual research during your normal school life, so the chance to meet with an academic in your field to discuss an area of medicine to research for the essay was great. The assignment enabled me to improve my style of writing, learn about referencing and learn about communicating with an academic. These are all key skills to being a successful medical student, and it gave me a lot of confidence when faced with an essay title when at university.”


Masterclasses in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences will give you the opportunity to find out more about the ground-breaking and world-leading research we do at the University of Birmingham and how this research is aligned to our undergraduate degree programmes. By joining in with the interactive activities in each Masterclass, you will have the opportunity to experience what learning is like at a selective Russell Group University. All our Masterclasses run on Wednesday afternoons during the autumn and you can find out more about each of them below.

Molecule to market: an interactive exercise in drug product development

6th November 2019 13:00-15:00 Pharmacy/Biomedical Science/Medicine

Choosing the right career path is usually not simple decision - as a pharmacist, one has a wealth of opportunities. This session will use scenarios to consider the chemistry and biology of drugs to inform decisions on the development of a new medicine. Students will use real-life issues to decide how they would balance speed of development with patient safety and product quality. No prior knowledge of drug development is required! This session will introduce new and not-yet-considered roles and specialization possibilities in the pharmaceutical industry and increase students’ knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry and drug development.

To book:

Nurses – how do they assess human health?

13th November 2019 13:00-15:00 Nursing/Medicine

Nurses have a key role in assessing whether or not a patient is healthy. Have you ever considered whether the way this is done in children and in adults is the same or is different? This masterclass will give you the opportunity to learn more about how nurses clinically assess patients and you will have the chance to get some hands-on experience of how this is done in practice. If you’re thinking about a career in nursing or healthcare, or if you’ve ever been a patient and wondered why medical examinations are done in a certain way, this is the masterclass for you. Come along and find out more about the nursing research that is done at the University of Birmingham and how this influences the way in which the next generation of nurses are trained and how it influences every day clinical practice.

To book:

Monoclonal Antibodies as Anti-cancer Drugs

20th November 2019 Biomedical Science/Medicine/Pharmacy

In this session we will cover the vaccination of mice with human proteins or tissues. We will look at how it is possible to select lymphocyte clones producing mouse monoclonal antibodies specific for selected targets and engineer mouse monoclonal antibodies to generate chimeric (mouse/ human) and fully human monoclonal antibodies as therapeutic drugs. By the end of the session you will learn how these drugs work as mechanisms of action.

To book:

Biomaterials: helping you live longer?

20th November 2019 13:00-15:00 Biomedical Materials Science/Dentistry/Biomedical Science/Medicine/Pharmacy

Biomaterials are crucial for treating a wide variety of diseases and disabilities and they are found in things like artificial blood vessels and heart valves, hip- and knee-replacements, artificial limbs and dental implants. You might even have already had a biomaterial used on you. As our population now lives for longer, developing new biomaterials will become increasingly important. This interactive masterclass will give you the opportunity to find out more about a huge range of biomaterials, their design and how their specific components are chosen. You’ll hear about the ground-breaking, key areas of research into biomaterials currently being carried out at the University of Birmingham and you will have the chance to see some of these materials and biomedical devices in action.

To book:

Where do medicines come from?

27th November 2019 13:00-15:00 Medicine/Pharmacy/Biomedical Science

Have you ever wondered where our medicines come from? Do you know the history of drugs like aspirin and botox? This masterclass will give students a chance to explore these questions and to learn about drug discovery and development. This fascinating Masterclass will also provide an opportunity to think about the role of pharmaceutical companies, the significant costs of research, and discuss ethical tensions in prescribing decisions, the role of NICE, conflicts of interest, and why doctors need to interpret evidence and understand pharmacology.

To book: 

Can seaweed prevent intestinal disease?

4th December 2019 13:00-15:00 Biomedical Science/Medicine/Pharmacy

Biomedical Science has a key role in driving the discoveries that change the ways in which we target disease and promote human health. This masterclass will give students the opportunity to conduct an experiment to assess how a polymer extracted from seaweed could be the answer for preventing iron driven intestinal disease and could be used as probiotic for the enhancement of general health. Iron is important for human health (deficiency can lead to anaemia), however, in excess it can prove highly toxic to the body - it has been implicated in inflammatory bowel disease and bowel cancer. Research in Birmingham has shown that this is likely to be driven by the amplification of a number of cancer-causing molecular pathways and also through a modulation in the intestinal bacterial composition. This has led to the development of a number of therapies and students will have the opportunity to test one of these in this masterclass, gaining an insight into the life-changing research that takes place at the university.

To book:

The Eye: Fact or Fiction

11th December 2019 13:00-15:00 Medicine/Biomedical Science

Can you really lose a contact lens behind your eye ball? Is sitting close to the television screen really bad for your eyes? Do babies see the world in black and white? Is it dangerous to sneeze with your eyes open? We will answer these questions and more as we explore common beliefs and myths about the human eye.

This workshop will teach students about the eye and visual system by separating 'fact' from 'fiction'. Students will be invited to learn about one of the most fascinating and important organs in the human body, and why you shouldn't always believe what you see on television!

To book:

Why should I look after my gums?

11th December 2019 13:00-15:00 Dentistry/Dental Hygiene and Therapy/Biomedical Materials Science

Dentistry is an ever-evolving profession. In this Masterclass, students will have the opportunity to explore the ground-breaking research being undertaking in Birmingham Dental School and how this influences the training of the next generation of Dentists, Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists. Students will discover what it is like to be a dentist, what exactly the training and job entails, how dentists interact with other healthcare professionals and the career paths available to those interested in a career in this industry.

To book: