Birmingham City University

Study at Birmingham City University

Birmingham City University (abbreviated BCU) is a modern university in Birmingham, England. With roots dating back to 1843, it is the second oldest Birmingham City Council-run higher education institution after Birmingham University. The University is located in the Edgbaston area of central Birmingham, close to the University of Birmingham, Aston University, and the Sutton Coldfield campus of Coventry University.

The university had a total of 48,535 students in 2016. In 1903 it became a Municipal School of Technology and Art under the control of the Birmingham Education Committee. It became a College of Advanced Technology in 1949 and was renamed South East Centre for Science and Technology when it merged with Walsall College of Technology in 1970. The college expanded again in 1977 when it absorbed many facilities and graduates from Aston Business School, improving its reputation for vocational courses. In 1992 it merged with Aston University to become Birmingham City University which now operates from both sites at Edgbaston Campus and Sutton Coldfield Campus in Sutton Coldfield.

The international reputation for teaching and research excellence gives its students access to a world-class education that prepares them for success in their chosen careers. They are building a world-class institution with partners around the globe, providing opportunities for our students to study abroad, work in industry and gain valuable work experience.

The University has three campuses: Edgbaston, Chelmsley Wood, and City Centre. We also have locations in China and India.

Top Subjects

The university has traditionally been home to professional schools such as architecture and planning but has expanded into other areas, including performing arts, social sciences, and teacher training.

The university has various faculties.

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Business & Management
  • Education & Social Sciences
  • Engineering & Built Environment
  • Law & Social Sciences
  • Life & Health Sciences

It is home to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which has exhibitions across seven galleries yearly and holds an extensive collection of over 40,000 artworks. The institute also has international links through exchange programmes with institutions such as The Courtauld Institute of Art in London and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) in Buenos Aires.


The University has a growing reputation for research excellence and consistently ranks among the top 200 universities globally for research impact by Thomson Reuters. In 2017, it ranked as one of the top 100 universities for innovation by Times Higher Education. It was named one of the best higher education institutions in Europe by QS World University Rankings. Additionally, the University has been ranked as follows:

  • QS – World University Ranking: 801-1000 in 2021
  • THE (Times Higher Education) – University Ranking: 601-800 in 2021
  • The Complete University Guide – University Ranking (UK): 99(2018), and 84 in 2021
  • The Guardian – University Rankings: 101(2018) and 83 in 2021

Scholarship opportunities

Birmingham City University offers international and local students many scholarship opportunities. Students can apply for scholarships based on their academic performance, financial need, and community service. The scholarships are based on merit, leadership potential, and financial need.

Students can apply for these scholarships any time during their course, but the deadline for applying is 30th June each year.

They also offer several bursaries for international students living in the UK on a visa. Need-based funding is available from the Student Loans Company (SLC) if you have applied for a loan and have been accepted onto your course.

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