University of Birmingham College

University of Birmingham College

University of Birmingham crest

About us

Based in the heart of the UK’s biggest regional city, University College Birmingham is highly respected by employers and industry for providing career-focused education and training.

UCB specialises in vocational courses in both the Higher Education and Further Education sectors with a growing portfolio of Apprenticeships.

Most of our undergraduate degrees are accredited by the University of Birmingham, one of the world’s top ranked academic institutions, and our reputation for excellence means the University is a popular choice for international students, who join us from more than 60 countries.

We are committed to providing the best facilities for all our students and are investing £100 million on a comprehensive package of improvements that will secure our reputation for excellence.

History of UCB

With more than 7,500 students enrolled on hugely diverse courses, the modern-day University College Birmingham is unrecognisable from the small Victorian classes to which its origins can be traced.

Today, hospitality managers, aviation executives, dazzling hairdressers and makeup artists, educators, chefs, bakers, tourism industry experts and creative entrepreneurs learn skills for life at a university hailed for its vocational training, academic achievements and cultural diversity.

The institution has earmarked in excess of £90 million on the now completed Phase 1 development, known as McIntyre House, and the neighbouring Phase 2 building in the Jewellery Quarter. The ambitious projects represent a bold statement of intent beyond the dreams of Birmingham’s early educational pioneers.

There is, however, a common theme. Then, as now, cookery was of the moment; and students and employers in the 21st century owe a debt of gratitude to municipal reformers such as Joseph Chamberlain who backed the cause of cookery at UCB’s forebear, Birmingham Municipal Technical School, in the 19th century.

A report in the Birmingham Daily Post of November 7, 1874 recalls a meeting of the Birmingham School Board, presided over by the then chairman, one J Chamberlain. The Board was told that the Education and School Management Committee had considered the “advisability of introducing instruction in practical cookery and household work as part of the ordinary school course.”

The committee suggested “experimental buildings” should be built at two schools to replicate the “ordinary size and ordinary character found in the cottages of working people.” There should be “no special appliances for cooking” and the girls would be taught to cook with “ordinary utensils, at the ordinary fires, the ordinary food of the class to which they belonged.” It was a visionary, albeit no frills, educational development.