Birmingham City University Birmingham

Birmingham City University logo

Birmingham City University Birmingham

Birmingham City University (abbrev. BCU) is a modern university in the city of Birmingham, England. Initially established as the Birmingham College of Art with roots dating back to 1843,it was designated as a polytechnic in 1971 and gained university status in 1992.

The university has three main campuses serving four faculties, and offers courses in art and design, business, the built environment, computing, education, engineering, English, healthcare, law, the performing arts, social sciences, and technology. A £125million extension to its campus in the city centre of Birmingham, part of the Eastside development of a new technology and learning quarter, is opening in two stages, with the first phase having opened its doors in 2013.

It is the second largest of five universities in the city, the other four being Aston University, University of Birmingham, University College Birmingham, and Newman University.It is ranked third of the five according to the Complete University Guide, below both the University of Birmingham and Aston University.Roughly half of the university’s full-time students are from the West Midlands, and a large percentage of these are from ethnic minorities. The university runs access and foundation programmes through an international network of associated universities and further education colleges, and has the highest intake of foreign students in the Birmingham area.


Throughout its history the university has been spread across a number of different sites in Birmingham. As of 2016, the university is at the following campuses:

  • City Centre Campus, located is the home of Birmingham School of Acting and the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment inside Millennium Point. The new Parkside Building, adjacent to Millennium Point and connected to it via a bridge, opened its doors in 2013, housing Birmingham School of Media and design courses from the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media. The Curzon Building houses the Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences and the School of English, as well as the library, Students’ Union and other support services;
  • Vittoria Street in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter, home to Birmingham School of Jewellery;
  • Margaret Street, home of the School of Fine Art, formerly home of the Birmingham School of Art;
  • Birmingham Conservatoire, based in Birmingham city centre (scheduled to relocate to the City Centre Campus in 2017);
  • City South Campus, on Westbourne Road in Edgbaston, home to both the university’s health courses and a moderate amount of student accommodation;
  • City North Campus is located in Perry Barr, Birmingham. This campus houses the School of Education (scheduled to relocate to City South in 2017);
  • Bournville Campus, home to Birmingham City University International College.

The university is part-way through a “flagship” extension to its campus in Birmingham City Centre, next to the existing facilities at Millennium Point. The City Centre campus is a £150 million scheme, as part of Birmingham’s Eastside development, with design and media students moving into Phase 1 of the development in 2013, from the former Gosta Green Campus and City North Campus, respectively. Business, English, law and social sciences followed when Phase 2 of the new building was completed in 2015.


University House (formerly known as the New Technology Institute or NTI) is located close to the City Centre Campus and is home to a number of the University’s professional service departments. The International Project Space (IPS) is an art gallery located at the Bournville Centre for Visual Arts.

Moor Lane is a venue for sports, business training and conferences near to City North Campus. Previously, a dedicated sports centre was located behind The Coppice, a student accommodation block next to the City North Campus, and included tennis courts, bowls, football and rugby pitches, running track and a social club. The university announced a £7 million sports complex would be built on the site, formerly the Ansells Sports Club, with construction to start in mid-2008 for completion in 2009. The centre, Doug Ellis Sports Centre, opened on 4 January 2010 and includes a fitness suite, workout classes, and a sports hall.Lawyers at Wragge & Co have advised Birmingham City University on the outsourcing of work for the sports centre to international service company Serco. Under a new 10-year agreement, the FTSE 100 company will run both the sports centre and the existing Pavilion sports facility in Perry Barr.


The Coppice and Oscott Gardens are residential halls of residence located adjacent to City North Campus. The university also offers accommodation in a number of privately owned halls of residence, these include Jennens Court, My Student Village: Birmingham (formerly clv Birmingham) and Curzon Gateway in the city centre.There are also halls of residence at the City South Campus, primarily used by nursing students.