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University College Birmingham
Established 1957
Type Public
Principal Ray Linforth
Students 13,970[1]
Undergraduates 3,195
Postgraduates 440
Location Birmingham, United Kingdom

University College Birmingham, is an university college in Birmingham, England. It is an affiliated university college of the University of Birmingham and as such all undergraduate and postgraduate degrees studied at University College Birmingham are awarded by the University of Birmingham.

The college is located in central Birmingham and offers both vocational education and academic education (both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees). The university college specialises in the areas of hospitality and the culinary arts, hairdressing and beauty, tourism, business enterprise, marketing, business management, accounting, finance, events management, sports management, sports medicine, sports therapy and Early Years education.



The college was originally founded as part of Birmingham's Municipal Technical School in the 19th century, but became a separate College of Bakery, Catering, Domestic Science and Associated Studies (later Birmingham College of Food and Domestic Arts) under the control of Birmingham City Council in 1957. It moved to its present site in Summer Row in 1968 and was renamed BCFTCS in the 1980s to reflect the breadth of courses it by then offered. Its name was changed again, to UCB, in 2007.

As part of a general re-organisation of further education in the United Kingdom, the college became independent of council control on April 1, 1993. Continued expansion led to the college being re-classified as part of the higher education sector from August 1, 2002, although it continues to offer further education courses as well. Its degrees are awarded by the University of Birmingham.

The college opened a second teaching building in 2001 at Richmond House, in nearby Newhall Street which houses its hairdressing and beauty salons and sports therapy suites, both of which are open to the public. Further Education courses in sport and tourism are also taught there. In 2008, UCB opened its new multi-million pound Postgraduate Centre at George Street - a dedicated teaching and research facility for its postgraduate students.

The main Summer Row building

In addition, the college has Halls of Residence, with space for 872 students, at The Maltings and Cambrian Hall, which are both situated just off Broad Street, the main entertainment district in the city. The new development at The Maltings also includes a sports hall, shop and student bar.

Currently the college has 13,970 students in total, including 440 postgraduates, 3,195 undergraduates and 10,335 further education students,[1] around 10% of whom are from outside the United Kingdom. Its further education programmes were rated as 'outstanding' by OFSTED in 2004.[2] It is also one of the few universities or colleges in the UK with Hospitality Assured status.[3] It also currently holds the Beacon Status, Catey Education and Training Award, Investors in People, Charter Mark and the Matrix award.

The college was granted the right to award its own degrees by the Privy Council in November 2007, giving it the status of a university college.[4] In January 2008 this was reflected when it was renamed University College Birmingham.[5]

Student facilities

The new college library

The college has a range of specialist facilities including training restaurants, a fully equipped health and leisure club, libraries, hairdressing and beauty therapy salons, food and beverage test laboratories, a video production suite, demonstration theatres and computer suites including a facility for Early Years students.

The Student Services Unit exists to provide a range of services including the day-to-day operation of two halls of residence, career advice and guidance from the Career Development Centre, the administration of Learner (Access) Support Fund, advice and support with finding and funding childcare, full-time counselling and nursing services and academic support for students from their Learning and Skills Development Centre. The Unit runs an accommodation database for students who wish to live in the private sector and provides guidance and administrative support to international students in areas such as visa applications.

The Learning and Skills Development Centre co-ordinates support for students with additional needs. The Centre is able to liaise with external agencies including Local Education Authorities on behalf of the student. It can also carry out an initial assessment for dyslexia and will refer students to an Educational Psychologist if necessary.

Industrial placements

All of the college's courses include opportunities to obtain work experience, and many degree-level courses give the option of a 48-week paid placement, which takes place approximately halfway through the course. The type of organisation reflects the interests of the student as well as the requirements of the programme being studied - for example, hospitality students may choose to work in hotels, restaurants, country clubs, theme parks, conference and exhibition venues, leisure centres, all-inclusive resorts, or in contract and retail caterers.

Many students undertake their placement in the UK, but there are also many opportunities available each year elsewhere in Europe, as well as the USA and Canada. Typically, students work in a number of departments to gain first-hand experience of different parts of the operation.

Guild of Students

The Student Guild is run by a team of eight, making up the Student Guild Executive, all elected by other students at the college. The principal aims of the guild are to represent the student body within the college, to provide guidance and advice to students and to organise an ongoing programme of social and sporting activities.

The school participates in a variety of sporting activities such as cricket, football, rugby union, hockey, basketball, netball and Jitsu with teams competing against rival universities in the British Universities Sports Association leagues in the Midlands area. The Guild also promotes a number of weekly social activities and yearly events such as the Summer Ball, Christmas and New Year's Eve parties and a charity week.


External links

Coordinates: 52°28′54″N 1°54′22″W / 52.4817°N 1.9062°W / 52.4817; -1.9062



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