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Academy Review: University College Birmingham

University College Birmingham (UCB) is located in the second largest city in the United Kingdom - Birmingham. It was founded in 1957 as a catering and hospitality college. It gained university college status in 2007 and was later granted full university status in 2012.

University College Birmingham also has a Sixth Form Centre and offers programs at Level 3 A level, including Computer Science. Some of the UCB programmes at Bachelor and Master levels, accredited by the University of Warwick, a prestigious Russel Group university ranked 8th in the UK by the Guardian 2023 and 67th globally by QS World University Rankings 2024 league table.

While UCB primarily focuses on practical education, it also engages in research activities, particularly related to its areas of specialization.

Famous Alumni

Some notable alumni have been produced from University College Birmingham:

  • An acclaimed British chef, Glynn Purnell, studied catering at University College Birmingham. He is known for appearing on cooking shows like “Great British Menu” and “Saturday Kitchen.” He owns a Michelin-starred restaurant called “Purnell’s.”
  • Holly Hamilton: A British television presenter, Holly has worked for various media outlets, including BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport.


University College Birmingham is located in Birmingham, United Kingdom. The university is central, so students have excellent access to everything this city offers.

Birmingham has some amazing sights to behold, let's look at some of the main attractions that give the city its edge:

  • Scenery - Birmingham is renowed for its extensive canal network, which provides scenic pathways for leisurely walks and boat rides.
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery - this museum houses an impressive collection of art, artifacts, and historical items, including by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
  • Bullring and Grand Central - fantastic shopping locations with local shops and high-street favourites.
  • Live Music Venues - the O2 Academy Birmingham has hosted bands such as Oasis, Arctic Monkeys, and The Killers. The O2 Institute Birmingham has hosted artists like Ed Sheeran Bastille, Ellie Goulding, and many more. Birmingham Symphony Hall is a renowned concert hall with exceptional acoustics. Symphony Hall hosts classical music performances, orchestral concerts, and other live music performances.
  • The National Sea Life Centre - discover marine life and underwater creatures at this family-friendly attraction.
  • Bond Street - known as the entertainment district of Birmingham, Broad Street is home to various restaurants, bars and clubs.
  • Digbeth - this creative quarter has a unique and alternative vibe. You will find a mix of independent venues, art spaces, and underground clubs.

Student Life at UCB

Let’s summarize what student activities University College Birmingham offers:

  • Student Societies and Clubs - UCB has many student-led societies and clubs covering diverse interests such as sports, arts, and culture.
  • Volunteering and Community Engagement - University College Birmingham offers volunteering opportunities for students who want to give back to the community or gain valuable experience.
  • Networking and Career Development - UCB organizes career fairs, industry talks, and networking events where students can make connections in the industry.

Computing Study Programs

The University College Birmingham offers two Bachelor level programs that we will look at in depth.

BSc (Hons) Computer Science

The Computer Science program at the University College Birmingham is a 3-year program with an opportunity for a placement year. This program aims to teach students how to develop solutions to complex problems using the skills and knowledge they have learned at university.

The average salary after graduation is approximately £25,000 working in positions such as Web Developer, IT Technical Support Officer. Other roles can be paying up to £70,000 such as Computer Security Consultant and Systems Analyst.

Why should you choose this program?

  1. Work Placement - you can apply your skills in computing to the real world with the optional paid 48-week placement, with no tuition fees during your placement year.
  2. Learn in our purpose-built computer labs- as a student, you will have access to the brand-new Cyber Security Lab.
  3. Research projects- In your final year, you will take on a substantial research project that allows you to explore a specific aspect of your computer science degree in depth.

Some of the Computer Science program modules will include:

  • Computer Systems
  • Databases
  • Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming
  • Mathematics for Computer Science
  • Cloud Computing
  • Cyber Security
  • Web Development
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mobile Computing
  • Agile Software Development

BSc (Hons) Cyber Security

Cyber Security has become an important part of our everyday lives. It also represents one of the major threats to national and global security. This program will help the students to become part of the solution and join a rapidly - growing sector gaining considerable interest. Cyber Security programs are still quite niche, and not every university in Europe will offer it.

The average salary in cyber security is approximately £50,000 per annum.

Why should you choose this program?

  1. Optional 48-week paid placement with no tuition fees during your placement year.
  2. Higher Technical Qualification-students on this Cyber Security university course will receive a Level 4 HTQ (Higher Technical Qualification by National Careers Service) upon completing the first year of study.
  3. New Cyber Security Lab-it enables students to experiment and experience a range of cyber security scenarios safely using a discrete network.

Some of the Cyber Security program modules will include:

  • Networks and Communications
  • Secure Systems Analysis and Design
  • Research Methods for Cyber Security
  • Securing Networks
  • Cyber Security and Emerging Trends
  • Cyber Security Individual Project

MSc (Hons) Computer Science

UCB's computing master’s course explores various core topics for working in the IT industry. Some areas will include artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, web engineering, object-oriented programming, databases, networks and human-computer interaction (HCI).

Students will also learn to develop and apply vital problem-solving attributes, behaviours and competencies towards planning and implementing IT solutions.

Why should you choose this program?

  1. Optional 12-week paid placement with no tuition fees during your placement year.
  2. Explore a topic within computing and technology in depth by conducting your own master’s research project

Some of the modules for this course include:

  • Object-Oriented Programming for Software Development
  • Data Warehousing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Virtualisation

Entry Requirements

Here are some general entry requirements for both programs - Computer Science and Cyber Security.

A-levels: An A-level grade profile of CCC

T-levels: A T-level graded Pass with a core component of grade C.

BTEC: A BTEC grade profile of MMM

GCSEs: You should also have a minmum grade of 4 in GCSE Mathematics or Functional Skills Level 2.

The acceptance rate at the University College Birmingham is 85%.

Admissions Calendar

You can apply directly via the university's website if you want to apply exclusively to the University College Birmingham. If students wish to apply to a mix of institutions across the UK, they should fill in the application via UCAS.

You can complete the direct application form on the university's website.

Here are the reasons why it is more convenient to apply directly if possible:

  1. There is no application fee if you apply directly on the website. There is an application fee if you apply through UCAS
  2. You do not need to prepare a personal statement
  3. It is easy to fill out the form. It does not take a lot of time
  4. There is an admission team that is always ready to help


The official UCAS deadline for UK and EU applicants to be guaranteed equal consideration is usually the end of January. However, the University College Birmingham accepts applications until the end of August..All applications submitted after the official deadline will still be considered.

Please be advised that if you require a visa, we suggest that you apply as early as possible.

Here is what we suggest if you consider applying to any institution besides the University College Birmingham on UCAS.

October: UCAS opens

January: UCAS application deadline


  • Decisions usually come back from universities for January applications.
  • You should reply to your offers.

July: you should send your final diploma results. If accepted, you will receive a CAS letter (Confirmation of Studies) from the university, and you can now apply for a visa. Do not postpone your visa application; it can take longer than expected!

Cybernews Academy Note: this plan has been devised based on the dates of school graduations in Europe. If you receive a school leaving certificate in your country earlier, we recommend proceeding with these steps as soon as possible.

Here are some things that you will need to prepare when applying for a Bachelor's program:

  • ID
  • Contact information
  • Migration information (international students only)
  • Grade transcript (or diploma if you have graduated secondary school)
  • Personal statement and a reference.
  • Consider any relevant experience (courses/ training) supporting your application