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Welcome to University College Birmingham

Choosing what and where to study are two of the most important decisions you will make. The choices available to you are greater than ever before so it is important that the decisions you make are the right ones for you. These choices will affect not just your time in education but also your future career prospects and life chances.

So why should you choose to study with us at University College Birmingham? Well, we have a well-deserved reputation for outstanding support for students, high quality vocational programmes that fully prepare our students for employment, superb practical facilities and strong, highly effective links with industry. That view is shared by the thousands of students from the UK and overseas who choose to study with us each year.

Birmingham is an exciting and fun place to live. Whatever your interests there is something for you with the range of social, sporting and cultural activities that only a major city can provide.

We believe University College Birmingham is the right place for you to study but don't just take our word for it. Why not come along to one of our Open Days, have a look at what we have to offer and take the opportunity to speak to staff and current students? I know that if you take the time to check us out you will want to join us.

I hope that you will give careful thought to your choice of programme and I look forward to welcoming you to University College Birmingham.

Professor Ray Linforth

About us

University College Birmingham is based in Birmingham City Centre, there are 7,500 students on Further and Higher Education programmes including 1100 international students from 63 countries.

Facilities available

  • Cakes & Bakes Shop
  • Coffee Pod Coffee Shop
  • Competition Kitchens
  • Flotation Therapy Suite
  • Food Development Laboratories
  • Four Beauty Therapy Suites
  • Hired@UCB for careers advice and employment opportunities
  • Knowledge Transfer & Research Centre
  • Large Sports Hall
  • Multi-Gym
  • Resource Centre
  • Roof Top Coffee Restaurant
  • Sauna
  • Spa Pool
  • Steam Room
  • Student Accommodation
  • Student Services Unit
  • Theatrical Make-Up Studio
  • Three Hairdressing Studios
  • Three industrial bakeries
  • Two Libraries
  • Two Sports Therapy Suites
  • Two Student Cafes
  • Two award-winning training restaurants both open to the public

Additional support

The Academic Skills Development Centre offers support to all students enrolled at the College. The kind of support offered depends on the individual need of the student, but may include:

  • Help with assignment/project work, for example structure, format
  • Help with essay/report writing
  • Help with presentation work
  • Building a portfolio of work
  • Help with obtaining examination concessions for students with additional needs
  • Subject specific workshops
  • Proof-reading for students who have Specific Learning difficulties such as Dyslexia
  • Referencing
  • Support in the classroom
  • Paper-based resources
  • Online Resources

The Academic Skills Development Centre also co-ordinates support for students with additional needs. We liaise with a range of external agencies including Local Education Authorities and Student Finance England. We can also carry out an initial assessment and refer students to either an in-house dyslexia assessment or an Educational Psychologist as required.

Students with additional needs are warmly invited to discuss their particular requirements with Academic Skills Development staff before starting their course. Staff are also available to informally discuss any additional needs students may have at Open Days. They are also asked to indicate any Additional Needs on their application forms, so that the necessary support can be put in place.


Learner success

University College Birmingham (UCB) regularly wins accolades from a wide range of awarding bodies. We are renowned and respected as a provider of first class teaching and learning programmes in our four main curriculum areas: Food, Bakery and Hospitality; Childcare and Education; Hair, Beauty and Complementary Therapies and Sport and Tourism.

We are an accredited college of the University of Birmingham. Many of our Full-time Degree, Foundation Degree and Postgraduate courses lead to qualifications awarded by the University of Birmingham with others being awarded by UCB.  We are also a first class employer.

Here are just a few examples of our successes:


Top results from Ofsted, gaining an overall Grade 1 Outstanding for provision. 

An unprecedented further nine Grade 1’s 'Outstanding' were awarded for areas including teaching, learning, safeguarding, equality and management and leadership.  A further Grade 2 'Good' was also awarded.


Thanks to the dedication and enthusiasm of all staff, UCB was once again awarded the Investors in People standard, a status held since 1997. The standard helps organisations to improve performance and one of the key indicators is the development of its people.


  Outstanding Inspection of Initial Teacher Training : Only three years after the commencement of teacher training programmes at UCB, OFSTED inspectors awarded the highest grade possible to both key aspects of training: Grade 1, Outstanding. The report noted very high levels of support for trainee teachers and high quality teaching and learning. The close working relationships with schools in providing teaching practice and helping guide teacher training provision were also recognised.


Reaccreditation by the University of Birmingham : An intensive review of the programmes offered at UCB under the accreditation agreement with the University confirmed the high quality of provision. UCB's commitment to the partnership with the University was reaffirmed and the review panel recommended that the agreement be renewed for a further 5 years.

Charter Mark Award : For the fourth time running we achieved this important recognition of excellence in customer service by the UK Government's Cabinet Office. The summary of the report confirmed that we continued to provide an exceptionally high quality of service.


Change of name to University College Birmingham : A comprehensive consultation on proposals to change the name of the institution met with widespread support and, in late December 2007, the Privy Council of the UK Government gave its approval to the preferred new name of University College Birmingham.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers : Following a year-long assessment by the Quality Assurance Agency, the Privy Council of the UK Government gave the institution the powers to award our own foundation, bachelors and masters degrees. The programmes offered under the Accreditation Agreement with the University of Birmingham continued, with the new powers making it possible for the College to award degrees in subjects outside of the University's expertise.

Hospitality Assured Quality Accreditation : Following the latest visit by inspectors, the College has kept its accreditation with our highest-ever score. This was our seventh assessment for Hospitality Assured since achieving it for the first time in 2000 (at our first attempt). Our score of 75.6 per cent was the highest of any college or university which has the accreditation. Because of our continuing high achievement we have now been granted special status and will have our next assessment in two years time, compared to the annual assessments most organisations must go through. More information can be found on the Hospitality Assured website.

Matrix Standard : The Careers Development Centre has been awarded the national quality standard for organisations that deliver information, advice and/or guidance on learning and work. Over two days, an assessor interviewed a range of staff, partners and students and identified particular strengths in our work with external agencies, the Jobshop, our accessibility and equality of opportunity, our library resources and the overall promotion of the service. The centre was also commended for very high student satisfaction levels. The award is for three years.


QAA Institutional Audit : The Quality Assurance Agency audited the college in January and February 2006. The report concluded that broad confidence can be placed in the soundness of the college's current and likely future management of the quality of its programmes. The auditors praised the college for its student support, organisation of placement activity, staff development programmes, the commitment of its employees and its work with industry. The full report can be found at the QAA website.

Beacon Status is an initiative devised to celebrate learning providers that deliver outstanding teaching and learning, and are well led and managed. University College Birmingham was the first Higher Education Institution to be declared a top performer in February 2006. The college now works with the Learning and Skills Council and the Quality Improvement Agency to share its good practice with other colleges and plays a leading role in improvement and reform in the education sector.

Catey Education and Training Award : College principal Eddie McIntyre CBE won the 2006 Catey Award - presented annually by Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine - for Education and Training. He was voted onto the shortlist by readers of the magazine, and chosen for the top prize by a panel of industry experts. The judges said Mr McIntyre had turned the college into a model institution since he became principal in 1983.


Annual Report of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools : Building on our excellent Ofsted inspection in 2004, the College was honoured to receive a special mention in February's report. The College is named in the list of particularly successful schools and colleges.

College Restaurant of the Year : In March, our revamped fine dining restaurant - The Atrium - won the regional final in this competition and scooped an overall Highly Commended ranking. The judges described their visit to UCB as an outstanding experience.


Matrix Quality Standard Award : This scheme recognises the provision of high quality advice and guidance and we were pleased to be given it in recognition of our excellent careers advisory service, which offers students advice on education, employment and training. The service also provides help with application forms, mock interviews and CV writing and assists students making the transition from further to higher education and from undergraduate to postgraduate study.

Outstanding Ofsted report : Ofsted inspections are notoriously gruelling, but not only did we survive the challenge - we passed with flying colours! We were given a Grade 1 - Outstanding result for  all of the areas inspected. In fact, the College was named as the best of any further education college inspected. The full report can be found at Ofsted's website.

Quality Assurance Agency : We were given a highly positive result by this agency, who expressed its confidence in the quality and standards of all of our higher education programmes.

Hospitality Assured Quality Accreditation : In November, external assessors visited us and renewed our Hospitality Assured accreditation. The score they gave us is among the top 5% of all scores awarded. This award is the hospitality industry's benchmark scheme and is designed to recognise and encourage excellence in customer service.


Centre of Vocational Excellence : We were given this status in recognition of the expertise being developed in the areas of Hair, Beauty and Holistic Therapy. This is a programme run by the Learning and Skills Council, which aims to improve the quality and quantity of vocational courses on offer in the UK.

Investors in People : This award is promoted and assessed by the Learning and Skills Council on behalf of the government and it recognises excellence in staff training and development to achieve business objectives. We were awarded this status for the third time in 2003.

Best Hotel School in the UK : We received this title for the second time in 2003, as UK winners of the Culinary Star of Europe competition.


Charter Mark Award : For the third time we won this coveted accreditation. This government-led initiative recognises excellence in customer service by public sector organisations. The letter of confirmation from the Cabinet Office reported that we provide an exceptionally high quality of service.

Hospitality Assured : The College was given this kite mark for the third time in succession. The College was the first educational institution to gain the award for all of our operations; most educational establishments only win this accolade on the basis of their conference facilities.


Best Hotel School in the UK : The College won this title in the Culinary Star of Europe competition: a joint project between the International Executive Chefs Club and the European Commission.

Pathfinder Centre of Vocational Excellence : In July 2001 the College became one of only 16 institutions to receive this status. This development is part of a major government initiative to improve quality and increase the capacity of FE colleges to develop high-level skills. As one of the colleges at the forefront of the initiative, we are working to drive up standards and develop innovative approaches to meeting the nation's skills needs.


Queen's Anniversary Prize for Excellence in Higher and Further Education : Students and staff attended Buckingham Palace in June and were presented with this prize by Her Majesty the Queen. The award recognises the expert advice and assistance provided by the College to hospitality and tourism organisations and training providers throughout the world.


How to apply

If you want to apply for courses, you will need to contact University College Birmingham directly.

Last updated date: 06 October 2016
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Key information


  • A: Summer Row
    • Address:
    • University College Birmingham
    • Summer Row
    • Birmingham
    • B3 1JB
    • Telephone number:
    • Main: 01216041000
    • Website:
    • Email address:
    • More information:
    • Summer Row is just 5 minutes walk from the centre of Birmingham and is in itself a destination with restaurants and bars to suit all tastes. 

  • B: Richmond House
    • Address:
    • 84
    • Newhall Street
    • Birmingham
    • B3 1PB
    • Telephone number:
    • Main: 01216041000
    • Website:
    • Email address:
    • More information:
    • Richmond House was opened in 2001 and is a teaching facility designed specifically for students following Further Education programmes in Hairdressing and Beauty, Childcare, Caring, Tourism and Leisure. It is located in Newhall Street, just around the corner from the Summer Row site and consists of eight floors of teaching, student and staff facilities. The first three floors contain stateof-the-art hairdressing studios, beauty salons, make-up studio, fitness suite, spa pool, steam room,sauna and solarium. Lecture theatres and classrooms are located on the upper floors. A specialist reference library is situated on the fourth floor along with Student Services, Study Support andCareers Support facilities and there is also a Student Common Room, a Student Guild Office andCafé in the basement.

  • C: University College Birmingham
    • Address:
    • University College Birmingham
    • Summer Row
    • Birmingham
    • B3 1JB
    • Telephone number:
    • Main: 01216041000
    • Website:
    • Email address:
    • More information:
    • The Summer Row site contains the original college building and was opened in 1968. It consists of
      thirteen floors of teaching and support facilities and is the base for all our Higher Education
      programmes and central administrative services. The Summer Row site also contains our specialist
      catering, restaurant and bakery facilities and all vocational catering and bakery courses are
      undertaken on this site. The Main Library, Learning & Skills Development Centre, Modern
      Language Centre and Student Information Suite are also located at Summer Row.