We might be a bit biased but Birmingham (also known as Brum) is an ideal student city. Our campuses are well-connected for local and national transport links, making it easy for you to find your way around. Whether you're a commuting student or new to Birmingham, we've got you covered. Have a read through some of our top tips.
For more detailed travel information, take a look at our Sustainable Travel pages.
1. Finding your way around campus
With a mix of red-brick buildings and modern architecture, plus lots of green spaces, our campus truly is a beautiful place to study, and relax in. From the moment you step foot onto campus, we know you'll enjoy exploring our impressive buildings and grounds. Top tip: if you lose your bearings on campus, just head towards Old Joe (officially known as the Joseph Chamberlain Memorial Clock Tower) opposite our Aston Webb building!
The University is also surrounded by some exciting and emerging local areas for you to explore including Selly Oak and Harborne. If you're looking for shops, banks, pharmacies, and other services without wanting to go into the city centre, then these areas are easily accessible from campus.
Walking is a good way to explore our campus, and it's the most popular option for students getting around on a daily basis. Many students choose to live within walking distance of the campus, and the Vale Village, Pritchatts Park, and Selly Oak Village are all within easy reach of the main Edgbaston campus. A dedicated footpath links the Vale Village and campus, providing an easy route away from traffic. Most places are on your doorstep, so are easy to get to on foot.
Many students choose to cycle at the University, and if you'd like to join them then check out our services and benefits for cyclists. If you have your own bike, we have over 1,800+ bike racks for you to use. As a UoB student, you can get your bike security marked and a FREE D Lock via Security at regular events on campus including Welcome. You can even hire a bike for a term or academic year, which is a great way to try out cycling without a long term commitment.
We also have nine docking stations for West Midlands Cycle hire.
Cycle hire available 24/7 across Birmingham and the West Midlands
Find out about bike parking and showers on campus
Campus maps and directions
Get familiar with our Edgbaston and Selly Oak campuses before you arrive. Visit our campus maps and directions pages to learn more where the different campuses are located, and key buildings including information on disability access. You can also access the campus map through the MyUoB app so make sure you download it as soon as you've completed your online registeration.
2. Getting around the city
If you're new to Birmingham, you'll find a lot to explore in our multi-cultural city. Often known as the UK's second city (outside of London), it's home to many museums and galleries, cultural attractions, places to eat, a buzzing nightlife, and high street and designer shops.
Getting around Birmingham, and the wider region, is simple from walking and cycling to using the tram (Metro), as well as rail and bus options.
If you'd like to travel to other parts of the UK, we recommend travelling by rail or coach. You can check train times, routes and ticket prices using the National Rail website, as well as other ticket providers (some examples are the Trainline, RailEasy, and TicketySplit).
The two main inter-city coach companies in the UK are National Express and Megabus and can often offer cheaper (although usually longer) travel options. If you've registered with student discounts like UNiDays, TOTUM and Student Beans, you can unlock discount codes for tickets too.
It's worth considering the best options for the different journeys you plan.
Plan your journey
You can use the Transport for West Midlands (TFWM) journey planner to plan your journey by bus, train and tram across the West Midlands.
What areas are included in the West Midlands? Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Solihull, Walsall, Dudley, Coventry, Sandwell and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Swift Go is a smart and contactless way to travel around the West Midlands. Make as many journeys as you like across different operators, and Swift Go will automatically cap you at a day or weekly ticket. Simply tap and go on trams and most buses.
The £1.50 hop service
A special University Hop fare is available for UoB staff and students, allowing you to travel for £1.50 one way between Selly Oak and Birmingham city centre when you show your University ID card. Find out more about the short hop fare from National Express West Midlands, who also offer a range of student bus passes for travel across the West Midlands.
3. Buying tickets and deals
There are lots of ways you can buy your travel tickets and these can be confusing at times. We've picked out a few good options to get you started...
The National Express bus portal is specifically for UoB students to allow you to decide on and buy the best bus pass to suit your needs. For pricing, you can also check out the National Express student bus pass page.
There are a number of local bus services connecting the University to the city centre, as well as Harborne, Edgbaston, Bearwood, Northfield, Longbridge, Solihull and further afield.
Visit National Express for more information on all timetables and ticket details. You can also download the National Express app mTicket app | NX Bus West Midlands to pay for and download tickets - or search NXBus mTicket on Android and iOS.
The University has its own train station - simply called University [UNI] - right on the main Edgbaston campus, so that's an obvious option for many students. Selly Oak [SLY] and Five Ways [FWY] stations are also nearby, and particularly handy for some of our student accommodation.
Many students decide to get a 16-25 Railcard (also available for those over 25 who are in full-time study) or a 26-30 Railcard to save money on rail travel.
The University station can become busy at peak times - you can avoid the queues by buying your tickets or collecting pre-booked tickets at a ticket machine located at the Murray Learning Centre (R28 - Edgbaston Campus), or by using a train ticket app. You can buy your Railcards online to avoid needing to queue at the station.
Trains operated by West Midlands Railway and CrossCountry stop at University station, and tickets can also be directly bought through their websites. West Midlands Railway offer station-to-station season tickets on their train lines - perfect for students who'll only use the train for commuting to campus and back.
There are also some combined bus and rail passes available from providers if you need that.
National Express bus portal
4. Traveling to campus
Moving to campus
If you're moving into University accommodation and planning your journey to campus for the first time, check out our moving in Welcome pages. You'll need to book your time slot and work out your travel plans before you arrive. There'll be specific guidance from our accommodation teams about drop off plans and where to park during this time.
Commuting to campus
If you're planning to commute to campus each day, it's likely that you'll already have worked out the best ways to travel, as outlined in the information above.
You may still find some of the information on this page useful - there are always new options available and you might also like to read our tips for commuting students.
Driving and parking
When considering travel options, travelling by car will be necessary for some students in some situations.
You may be eligible for a student parking permit, otherwise parking on campus is available on a pay and display basis. Parking at student accommodation is very limited and requires a permit from the accommodation reception.