The second largest city in the UK, Birmingham is one of the most popular destinations for students coming from this country and abroad. It is a vibrant city full of culture, art, sport, great food and attractions, and with our comfortable Birmingham student accommodation you’ll be living in the heart of the action. There is a dynamic nightlife to explore as a Birmingham student, with plenty of bars, nightclubs, and traditional old pubs, as well as a plethora of tasty cuisine from all over the world.
Our student accommodation in Birmingham has been designed with the modern student in mind and comes with a choice of spacious studios and shared apartment living. No matter what you choose you’ll be living in a comfortable space, with en suite bathrooms, plenty of storage space and great study areas. The building has a collection of fantastic communal areas, including an on-site gym, making it easy to make new friends and to enjoy your time as a student in a new city.
There is a free shuttle bus to take students to the universities (there are five universities in Birmingham), and you’ll be living on the doorstep of some of the best sites in the second city, right from your comfortable Birmingham student accommodation.
Birmingham is one of the largest centres of higher education that can be found anywhere outside of London, due to there being five universities in the city. What this means is that not only do you have your pick of some fine educational establishments, but that you are plugging into a city that has a thriving student heartbeat.
The University of Birmingham is a Russell Group university and is home to over 20,000 students in total. It is a large institution, with a cherished history and is easily recognisable due to its distinct red brick buildings. The University of Birmingham has been recognised as a global university since 1900, and was the first civic university to allow students from all backgrounds to study there. It provides high-level research-intensive teaching, including Nobel Prize winners on staff, and has over 300 programmes available. With such high quality teaching provisions it is no surprise that there are over 1.8 million print and 500,000 online books available through the library service.
The Guild of Students has a long and successful history of student representation and runs over 250 student groups and societies to cater for all tastes and interests. Intervol sends 100 students around the world to take part in volunteering projects each year, including aids awareness in Cambodia and conservation work in Africa. Lapworth Museum is one of the oldest specialist geological museums in the UK and is home to diamonds, dinosaurs, and everything in between.
Aston University is regularly ranked as one of the top universities in the UK for teaching (in fact ranked number 2 in 2017. It offers plenty of work placement opportunities as part of study, with around 70% of students experiencing a year of work as part of a course at Aston University. It was one of the first institutions to offer placement years in the 1950s, and has continued this approach to teaching.
It is centrally located and provides students with the perfect chance to turn a favourite hobby and subject into a full-blown profession. The large on-campus library is open 24-hours during the exam period and has a wide range of resources available, as well as over 50 computer laboratories and free high-speed Internet throughout campus.
There is a brand new Students’ Union at Aston University for 2019, providing an even bigger and better space for social meetings, events, and everyday student life. There are over 400 course reps to represent the interests of students, with over 100 societies and clubs to join.
Birmingham City University can be found located across three campuses throughout the city. It is very popular with local students and is known for its network of local work placements and educational opportunities.
University College Birmingham is a university that focuses more on direct vocational training alongside coursework and theory. Students here can expect to tackle vocational training in professions such as tourism, beauty, hairdressing, and business enterprise.
Newman University is based in the suburbs and prides itself as a beacon of inclusivity as a relatively new university.
You’ll have access to a well-designed and functional kitchen at your home away from home at our student accommodation in Birmingham, but it is nice to know where you can eat out from time to time. If you are studying at the University of Birmingham for instance, you’ll never be short of an option during the day. Whether you fancy a quick coffee to perk up for the next lecture, a bite to eat at lunch, or something a bit heartier with friends before a post-study drink, there are over 30 cafés, bars, restaurants, and food courts and takeaway options to be found across campus.
Away from university though Birmingham is an absolutely incredible destination for fine cuisine, with specialist food found all over the city and from all corners of the earth. There are a few different areas that you have to explore, and all are within easy reach of your student accommodation in Birmingham.
Balti Triangle can be found just to the south of the city centre and is home to the highest concentration of curry houses in the entire city. You’ll find not only some of the best in the area, but also some of the best curries in the whole of the UK in the Balti Triangle. Some of the curry houses here are the oldest around, with Birmingham said to be the home of the Balti. It’s well worth a visit if you are partial to a curry. The Chinese Quarter on the other hand is home to plenty of top-notch Chinese restaurants, with plenty of places offering a Chinese buffet at cheap prices and friendly and welcoming environments. This can be the perfect place to spend a student budget on food without compromising on the quality of what you’re eating!
It’s all about searching for those hidden gems when you first move to a new city as a student and somewhere we cannot recommend highly enough is Digbeth Dining Club. It has won a national Street Food Award in recent times and is open Thursday – Sunday every week, hosting a range of independent street food stalls and world cuisine outlets. Keep an eye out throughout the year for the different cuisines on show, from Vietnamese to Indian, US barbecue food to Pizza and Pasta. Plates are usually priced around the £6 mark. Another student friendly place to eat includes Damascena, a Syrian Coffee House with three branches in the city. Tasty snacks include falafel, kofta, hummus, fresh kibbeh, and much more, whist you can wash it all down with a soothing mint tea. Meze platters here cost as little as £6.95 – a great way to share delicious food with friends. Min Min Noodle Bar is a firm favourite with Birmingham students, home to the best Vietnamese food on a budget, including prawn, fish, and seaweed stuffed Vietnamese rolls, big bowls of nourishing noodles and a great, relaxing ambience.
University is all about knuckling down and studying hard right? Of course, there is more to life than just studying, and from your base at our comfortable Birmingham student accommodation you’ll want to know exactly where is best to head out for a night on the town. As it is such a big city, you’ll find something no matter what your major interests are in a place like Birmingham.
If you are into indie music there is a pretty lively scene here. We all know what it’s like to throw our hands into the air and start singing along at the top of our voice as the first few lines of Mr Brightside is played by the DJ at an ungodly hour of the morning. It’s been a student institution to do just that for the last 15 years, so why should it stop now. Snobs is one of the places where there is a fantastic indie student night where you can do just that. Wednesday is the big student night, playing indie classics, hip-hop, and dubstep, and entry for under a fiver. Uprawr is another student classic at The Asylum, hosting various metal, punk, and rock nights just outside the city centre, towards the Jewellery Quarter. Eddies Rock Club takes place at The Tunnel Club once a month, playing rock and metal all night and is the perfect home for the alternative crowd.
Birmingham is also a city that is full of fantastic live music venues, where you can find everything from local bands playing live for the first time, to megastars of music coming through on tour. The O2 Academy on Bristol street is the biggest venue in the centre of Birmingham, alongside its sister venue at O2 Institute in Digbeth. Digbeth Arena is an open air venue that hosts mini festivals and touring bands, whilst The Mill plays host to alternative bands and up and coming bands locally and nationally.
If you are on the hunt for something a little more mainstream there are plenty of options open to you in Birmingham. Popworld is a student favourite, playing all the cheesy pop hits from throughout the decades, and there’s a great student night called Zoo on a Wednesday involving cheap drinks and number 1 hits all night long. Nightingales is another great place to head for student offers – on a Thursday here. The LGBT-friendly venue can be found in the heart of the gay village.
For urban music head on over to SugarSuite on Broad Street. It’s a popular venue every night of the week, but on a Friday they play solely R&B and Hip-Hop, playing the latest releases alongside classics from back in the day. Players on a Tuesday is the place to be with three different rooms of DJs, all playing bangers, and great student offers for drinks.
Birmingham has always been a centre of dance music, and this continues to be the case. PRYZM is one of the best dance music nightclubs in the UK, with four huge rooms and an Ibiza vibe all year round. It can be a little expensive for a student budget, so keep it for special occasions and big nights out. Lab 11 is in the Digbeth warehouse district and is the perfect place to get lost in the stark surroundings and dance away for the night. The Hare & Hounds is another venue with a great reputation for fantastic DJs and underground artists over in Kings Heath.
Sport is massive in Birmingham, and from your home at our Birmingham student accommodation you are within easy reach of some amazing sporting venues and events. Football is king here, and it is no wonder with so many professional football clubs in the city and surrounding region. Aston Villa are former European Champions, so head on over to Villa Park to see Dean Smith’s side play in the Premier League. In the Championship Birmingham City play at St Andrews, but on top of that you have both West Bromwich Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers not too far away on public transport.
Cricket is also big in this part of the world, and Edgbaston not only plays home to Warwickshire, but also to England cricket (with an Ashes test and Cricket World Cup Matches taking place there in 2019). Birmingham is a city that is well renowned for being a fantastic venue for live, competitive sport. The British Basketball (BBL) Cup Final is due to take place at Arena Birmingham in 2020, highlighting the draw of the city. Other upcoming big events include the 2020 All England Open Badminton Championships and the Müller Grand Prix – which is one of the most prestigious fixtures on the IAAF calendar for live athletics. If you are into running, The Great Birmingham Run takes place every year, with local and national competitors taking on the challenging course.
Sport always plays a massive part in university life if you want it to and it is no different with the range of sports clubs and classes that you can undertake as a student at any of the universities in the city. It could be that you are just looking for sport as a way of making new friends and having fun, in which case there are plenty of sports teams available for relaxed games, whether it is football, rugby, hockey, or cricket. Individual sports to help you keep fit, such as tennis, swimming, badminton etc. are also available. For those with a mind to compete at a higher level however, there is something for those too, and through university sports teams you can compete against other universities in the BUCS league.
Birmingham is a town that provides plenty of scope to stay active, whether alone or as part of a team, with great transport links to the surrounding areas where you can cycle, walk, hike, run, and see the countryside with a sporting intent.
Living at our student accommodation in Birmingham you’ll need to find the supermarkets and shops where you’ll buy your staple groceries. In such a big city as Birmingham you’ll find your standard supermarket chains that you recognise from wherever you have lived before, as well as discount stores, and local outlets. Birmingham is a culturally diverse city, with plenty of authentic food and items from different parts of the world for you to purchase and enjoy. What about high street shopping though?
For most people living in Birmingham The Bull Ring is the place to shop. It is a massive retail centre set in the very heart of the city, and is home to over 160 shopping outlets, including a flagship Selfridges. Between Bull Ring, LinkStreet, and Grand Central, you can find all of the best and brightest brand name shopping that you know and love. Grand Central is home to a massive John Lewis, and is also home to a Cath Kidston, Hobbs, and much more. Between the three there are over 200 shops to be perused, which makes it one of the premier shopping destinations in the entire country, not just in Birmingham.
Away from the main shopping centres though Birmingham is richer for its love of regal arcades and pop up stores. There is certainly loads to choose from in this regard, including Great Western Arcade, Burlington Arcade, and Piccadilly Arcade. Custard Factory is the heart of the creative and digital district and is home to plenty of innovative and quirky pop-ups, all located within restored Victorian Factories, whilst the Great Western Arcade is home for a completely unique way of shopping that has to be visited to really understand.
One of the biggest areas of British jewellery in the country, the Jewellery Quarter is home to a thriving arts scene, loads of great bars and restaurants and some fantastic independent shopping experiences (over 100 independent retailers). It is an area that is home to some brilliant gifts, diamond rings and much more (over 40% of British jewellery is reported to be made in the Jewellery Quarter). It is a magical area that is home to over 200 listed buildings, stretching back 200 years.
There is plenty to experience and explore when shopping in Birmingham, and certainly plenty for you to look forward to over the course of your studies in the city. From your base at our Birmingham student accommodation you’ll be close to everything you could ever need.
It is no surprise that there is so much to see and do in a city as big as Birmingham. One of the biggest places for entertainment in the city is Star City, located just 10-minutes away from the city centre. It is home to the biggest cinema in the UK (30–screens), a laser station and a mammoth 22-lane bowling alley. As well as that you’ll find plenty of food and drink at Star City. If you are looking for a big night out of fun and laughs with friends Star City is a great shout, and easily reached from your student accommodation in Birmingham via public transport.
For seasonal attractions Birmingham has some fantastic events throughout the year, including the mesmerising Christmas markets that begin in late November. Bonfire Night is another massive event each year, with plenty of displays throughout the city in its many public parks. Birmingham Film Festival brings some of the finest filmmakers and movies to the city during November, and the Magical Lantern Festival at the Botanical Gardens is a magical night out. Other big festivals throughout the year include Birmingham International Dance Festival in June, and Birmingham Comedy Festival in September.
In terms of attractions and cultural locations there are brilliant examples of art and history throughout the city. Barber Institute of Fine Arts was founded in 1932 and is located in an Art Deco Grade II listed building. It is a tremendous example of fine art, one of the best in the country. For contemporary art IKON Gallery is an internationally acclaimed venue located in Brindleyplace. Museums are fantastic in Birmingham, with such a rich history to draw upon. The Coffin Works is a relatively new museum looking at the social history and cultural changes that have influenced the Jewellery Quarter over the years. The British Motor Museum is home to the largest collection of British cars anywhere in the world (including the very first Land Rover), whilst Cadbury World is an amazing experience where you can discover the history behind the greatest chocolate in the world at the site of the original Cadbury factory in Bournville.