Everyone knows who the first person was to step on the moon. But not many people know who the second person was (Answer – Buzz Aldrin). In this vein, London takes all the limelight when it comes to literally anything related to the UK. For the longest time, the ‘Buzz Aldrin’ of the UK has been lowly Birmingham, and fittingly, Birmingham is commonly referred to as the ‘second’ city of the United Kingdom. More students call Birmingham home than anywhere else in the UK outside of London. The huge number of students who come here to pursue higher education means that there is a large number of student houses in Birmingham to choose from. Here’s a little student housing guide Birmingham that will help you seamlessly transform into a Brummie (a term derived from the city’s nickname of “Brum”) in no time!
When To Start Looking For Birmingham Housing?
Beginning your search as early as possible, ideally between January and April, can greatly increase your chances of securing your preferred housing and avoid last-minute rush or limited availability. Timing your search strategy is essential, as demand for student accommodation in Birmingham can fluctuate throughout the year.
Consider the following factors when planning your housing search in Birmingham:
- University Calendar: Be aware of key dates in the academic calendar, such as when university offers are typically made and when enrollment periods begin. Starting your accommodation search before or during these times can help you secure suitable housing options.
- Popular Intake Periods: Birmingham experiences increased demand for student housing during certain months that align with academic intakes and university admissions. These peak demand periods are often observed from May to July when students finalize their university choices.
- Summer Preparations: August and September also see a surge in demand as students prepare for the upcoming academic year. Many individuals aim to secure their accommodation before the start of the new term, leading to increased competition for available housing.
Things To Keep In Mind When Choosing Accommodation
When choosing student accommodation in Birmingham, keep these key factors in mind:
- Location: Opt for proximity to your university and essential amenities.
- Budget: Consider accommodation within your financial means, including additional costs.
- Safety and Security: Prioritize secure accommodations with surveillance and staff presence.
- Facilities and Amenities: Assess available features like laundry, study areas, and internet access.
- Room Types: Decide on preferences for bathrooms, bedrooms, and furnishing options.
- Lease Terms: Read the agreement carefully, noting contract length and flexibility.
- Reviews and Recommendations: Seek insights from current residents and university resources.
Types Of Student Accommodation In Birmingham
In Birmingham, students have access to various types of accommodation tailored to their needs. Purpose-Built Student Accommodations (PBSAs) are a popular choice, offering a range of amenities and services. Here are the common types of student accommodation available in Birmingham:
- Studios: These self-contained units provide private living spaces with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette. Studios offer independent and complete living experiences for individual students.
- Ensuite Rooms: Individual bedrooms within shared apartments or flats, ensuite rooms come with attached private bathrooms, ensuring privacy and convenience.
- Non-Ensuite Rooms: Also known as standard rooms, non-ensuite rooms are individual bedrooms within shared apartments or flats. Students share communal bathroom facilities with their fellow residents.
- Twin Studios: Designed for two students, twin studios feature two single beds, a shared bathroom, and shared kitchenette facilities. They offer a cost-effective option for students who prefer to live with a roommate.
- Shared Apartments and Flats: Larger accommodations are shared by multiple students, shared apartments and flats provide private bedrooms along with shared living areas, communal kitchens, and shared bathroom facilities. Students have the opportunity to socialize with their flatmates while enjoying their personal space.
Popular Neighbourhoods In Birmingham For Students
When considering student housing in Birmingham, there are several areas that present distinctive features and advantages. Whether you prefer the urban energy of the city centre, the artistic allure of Digbeth, the green serenity of Bournville, the suburban charm of Solihull, or the tranquil ambience of Edgbaston, each area has its own appeal. Explore these options to find the perfect place to call home during your time as a student in Birmingham.
Birmingham’s city centre is a bustling hub of activity and a prime location for students. Its central position offers convenience and easy access to universities, making it an ideal choice for those who prefer a vibrant urban lifestyle. With a growing number of purpose-built student projects, you’ll find a wide range of accommodation options tailored to student needs.
Known as the “coolest neighbourhood in Britain,” Digbeth stands out as a distinct and trendy area in Birmingham. It boasts a vibrant arts and cultural scene, with independent stores, art galleries, live music venues, and unique pubs. Students residing in Digbeth can immerse themselves in the bohemian atmosphere and enjoy its lively and eclectic character.
Bournville, often referred to as Birmingham’s garden suburb, offers a peaceful and green escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. This picturesque area is renowned for its leafy parks, open fields, and charming architecture. Home to the Cadbury chocolate factory and The Clean Kilo, the largest zero-waste supermarket in the UK, Bournville embraces an eco-conscious lifestyle, making it an attractive choice for environmentally-minded students.
Situated on the outskirts of Birmingham, Solihull is a well-regarded suburban area with a rich history. It offers a thriving town centre with a range of amenities, including theatres, cinemas, restaurants, and shopping centres. Students living in Solihull can enjoy a lively nightlife scene, excellent transport links, and a sense of community in a more relaxed setting.
Nestled just a short distance from Birmingham’s city centre, Edgbaston strikes a perfect balance between tranquillity and convenience. It is a leafy and affluent neighbourhood known for its elegant Victorian and Georgian architecture. Edgbaston is home to renowned attractions like the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and the iconic Edgbaston Cricket Ground, offering students the opportunity to enjoy peaceful surroundings while still being within easy reach of the city’s amenities.
Popular Student Accommodation In Birmingham
While the university halls of residence are available in plenty, many students prefer off-campus student housing considering the freedom, convenience as well as value-for-money offers available. With that, some of the most popular student houses in Birmingham that are located off-campus but close to the top universities are listed below –
Meadow Court – Meadow Court proffers flats and townhouses for 3 to 6 people. The townhouses have a very traditional style and layout, and the flats are over two levels. Every student is allocated a double bed, a study area, a furnished en-suite and access to on-site facilities as well as superfast broadband. The University of Edinburgh is a 12-minute walk. There are various cuisine restaurants within an approximately 15-minute walk radius, including Thai, Indian, and Moroccan. There are numerous bars and pubs in the vicinity of the Birmingham accommodation. The nearest hospital is a 7-minute drive away.
27 King’s Stables Road – This student housing Birmingham proffers studio apartments. Irrespective of the room choice, the studio comes equipped with a bed, a fully equipped kitchen and an en-suite bathroom. Studios are perfect for students wanting their privacy. The University of Edinburgh is a short walk away. Princess Street is the closest train station at 6 minutes on foot. The Exchange (Stop XG) is a 5-minute walk. There are numerous restaurants serving food from different cultures and ethnicities within a 10-minute walking distance. Different themed bars and pubs are within walking distance.
Vita Student Fountainbridge – Vita Student Fountainbridge is surrounded by Edinburgh’s famous attractions, historic castles and a plethora of things to explore. With Haymarket station just a 10-minute walk away, it is very convenient for students to travel in & out of the city. Students of The University of Edinburgh can reach the campus in just 10 minutes from the student apartments in Birmingham. The apartments include Classic Studio, Disabled Accessed Studio, classic plus, penthouse, classic penthouse, premium studio and deluxe rooms. They are fully furnished, plus each apartment offers a Smart TV, a well-fitted kitchen, Wi-Fi and en-suite bathrooms.
Panmure Court – This student accommodation in Birmingham provides studio rooms. These studio rooms can host dual occupancy at no extra cost. A bed, a laundry room, a Wi-Fi connection, and 24/7 on-site staff. It has ANUK and National Code. This private student accommodation in Birmingham is ideal for students of the University of Edinburgh and Holyrood Campus. There are a plethora of pubs, restaurants and bars located nearby. Chalmers Edinburgh Hospital is the nearest hospital here.
McDonald Road – Provides studio accommodation in Birmingham and en-suite rooms. Expect a high-tech kitchen, a Wi-Fi connection and a common room with a large TV and seating area. Students can rely on the 24/7 on-site staff to handle all their doubts and queries. The University of Edinburgh is the nearest university here. There are many restaurants, pubs and clubs in this vicinity, with Vittoria on the Walk being the nearest. York Place is the closest light train station, and Shrubhill is the nearest bus stop. The nearest hospital is The Hospital Group.
Best Properties in Birmingham For Students
|Property Name||Price (£)|
|The Old Fire Station||£155/week|
|iQ Studios 51||£187/week|
|iQ Broderick House||£158/week|
|Host Student Apartments||£204/week|
Things To Do In Birmingham
Birmingham, the bustling city with endless opportunities, offers an exciting student life like no other. If you find yourself comfortably settled in your student accommodation, it’s time to step outside and explore the vibrant surroundings.
Explore Birmingham’s Cultural Gems:
- Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Home to the world’s largest collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings.
- Brindley Place and the Canal Quarter: Renovated canal-side restaurants for delightful dining.
- Cadbury World: Indulge in delicious Cadbury products while exploring captivating exhibits.
Experience the Thrill of the Arts:
- Symphony Hall: Unforgettable gigs and concerts.
- Hippodrome: Premier theatre venue for a night of entertainment.
Feel the Sporting Spirit:
- Villa Park: Home ground of passionate Premier League club Aston Villa.
Discover Birmingham’s Hidden Gems:
- Library of Birmingham: Vast collection of books and resources.
- The Barton Arms: Historic pub with Victorian architecture and excellent drinks.
- National Motorcycle Museum: Impressive collection of vintage motorcycles.
- Peaky Blinders tour: Explore locations from the popular TV series.
Restaurants In Birmingham
Birmingham’s restaurant scene is a culinary paradise that will leave you craving more. Let’s explore some standout eateries that make this city a food lover’s dream.
Simpsons, Adam’s, Purnell’s, Peel’s, and Carters are among the esteemed Michelin-starred restaurants in Birmingham. These culinary gems offer exceptional dining experiences, with imaginative dishes, artful presentation, and a focus on locally sourced ingredients.
Captivating Indian Cuisine:
Raja Monkey is a beloved Indian restaurant in Birmingham. Indulge in their delicious thalis, a traditional Indian platter, and savour street-food snacks like dosas and uttapams for an authentic taste of India.
Discover Birmingham’s hidden speakeasies tucked away behind unassuming fronts. Experience the intimate atmosphere of 18/81, enjoy craft cocktails at 40 St Pauls, and step into The Peaky Speakeasy for a vintage-inspired drinking experience.
Universities In Birmingham
As part of this student housing guide Birmingham, we’ve listed some of the highly-reputed universities in Birmingham that are the main allure for overseas students from all over the world.
University of Birmingham
Where? Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.
About the University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham (informally known as Birmingham University) is located in Edgbaston, Birmingham. It is the 4th largest university in the UK in terms of student population. This university includes 22,440 undergraduate and 12,395 postgraduate students. The Barber Institute of Fine Arts sits in this university, houses work by Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso. The University of Birmingham boasts an impressive alumni list that includes Manchester United Chief Executive David Gill, Minister of Defence of Kenya Mohamed Yusuf Haji, and co-creator of ‘Riverdance’ Jean Butler, among others.
Where? Aston St, Birmingham B4 7ET, United Kingdom.
About Aston University
This university actually started out as the Birmingham Municipal Technical School in 1895, only to eventually become the UK’s first College of Advanced Technology in 1956. Aston University holds the distinction of being the second-best teaching university in the UK, an award bestowed by Times Higher Education. Ranking-wise, Aston University was ranked 34th in the University League Tables 2020. An interesting statistic to know is that more than 70% of Aston students take a placement year, the highest percentage in the UK.
Birmingham City University
Where? 15 Bartholomew Row, Birmingham B5 5JU, United Kingdom.
About Birmingham City University
Birmingham City University is a university based in Birmingham, with roots dating back to 1843. The university has three main campuses that serve four faculties. It offers courses in education, art and design, computing, business, environment, engineering, English, healthcare, and much more. There was a £125 million extension to its campus in the city centre of Birmingham.
Cost Of Living In Birmingham
Birmingham falls in the top top 15 most expensive cities in the UK. Therefore, it is advisable that students use their money sparingly. Making a rigid budget goes a long way in saving money and will definitely help students combat the high cost of living in Birmingham.
The average monthly expenditure of a student is as follows (subject to lifestyle) –
|Item||Cost (Per Month)|
|Total Cost of Living with Off-Campus Accommodation (Per Month)||£1,389|
|Total Cost of Living with On-Campus Accommodation (Per Month)||£1,341|
Transport In Birmingham
Transportation is an important aspect to consider as an international student. As part of this student housing guide Birmingham, let’s check out the best transportation options for students.
Birmingham is a major transport hub due to its proximity to central England. If you’re looking to get around the city, using public transport will be your best bet. National Rail and Coach services offer regular journeys into Birmingham and take the hassle of parking charges away.
Buses are the chief mode of transportation in Birmingham. You can find the nearest bus station within a short distance of several student studios in Birmingham. There are almost 50 operators of registered local bus services in the West Midlands. National Express, the biggest bus operator in the area, accounts for over 80% of all journeys. National Express’ flagship NXL Shuttle service operates services to London with frequent services to all major airports and cities in Britain.
Nightlife & Lifestyle
There’s unmistakable energy that pulses through the city once the sun goes down. That’s when the plethora of clubs in Birmingham comes to life. Some of the trendiest, most happening nightclubs and bars are mentioned below –
In the Lakeview area, you’ll find Oasis Bar, Tin Roof and Nana Funks, which have three different vibes. Young adults usually prefer hanging out at Tin Roof, whereas older people flock to the other two clubs and stay there till the wee hours of the night.
In the Downtown area, we have The Roof. This is one of the few rooftop bars in Birmingham and is perched on the historic Redmont Hotel. It offers indoor and outdoor seating that allows young professionals and hotel guests to view the city’s skyline while enjoying a live band or DJ. Rogue Tavern and The Nick are also some impressive bars to hit with your friends.
Coming to Birmingham’s entertainment district, Five Points South, there are a variety of bars and restaurants located around the circle. The J Clyde, Zydeco, Highlands Bar and Grill, and The Garage Café are known for their exceptional variety of craft beers, fresh ales and lagers, as well as tasty bar food like burgers, fried pickles, housemade kettle chips and more.
There are hundreds of diverse grass-roots sports clubs ranging from internationally famous teams, associations and venues in Birmingham. Sports have always been important for Birmingham, which was even more invigorated after it won the first city to have been awarded the title the National City of Sport by the Sports Council. Some of the biggest teams in Birmingham include Aston Villa (football), Birmingham City (football), Birmingham Moseley Rugby Club (rugby) and Warwickshire County Cricket Club (cricket). Other popular sports include basketball, hockey, netball, softball, volleyball and water polo.
Important Questions to Ask Before Choosing Student Housing
- Proximity to University: How far is the accommodation from your university campus? Consider commuting time and transportation options.
- Neighbours and Neighbourhood: What are the neighbours like? Get a sense of the community and overall atmosphere.
- Transportation Access: How close is the nearest bus, tram, or subway stop? Check transportation frequency for convenience.
- Furnishing: Are the rooms fully furnished? Determine if you need to bring your own furniture or if essentials are provided.
- Safety and Security: Evaluate the neighbourhood’s safety and inquire about security measures at the property.
- Utility Bills: Are bills included in the rent? Clarify if utilities are covered or need a separate arrangement.
- Decorating Policy: Are you allowed to redecorate? Understand any restrictions on personalizing the space.
Packing Checklist for Students
- Important documents (ID, university admission letter, etc.)
- Electronics and accessories (laptop, phone, chargers)
- Weather-appropriate clothing
- Stationery for university (notebooks, pens, folders)
- Kitchen essentials (utensils, cutlery, microwave-safe dishes)
- Bedding (sheets, blankets, pillows)
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toiletries bag, shower essentials)
- First aid kit and any necessary medications
Tips to Avoid Rental Scams and Frauds
- Avoid cash payments or non-traceable methods; use secure payment options.
- Always visit and view the accommodation in person before finalizing any agreements.
- Refrain from sharing confidential or sensitive information unless you are certain of the legitimacy of the landlord or agent.
- Talk to current tenants to gather their experiences and opinions about the property and neighbourhood.
- Trust your instincts and ensure that you feel comfortable and confident in your interactions with the landlord or agent.
Hope this student housing guide Birmingham helps you find your way around the city.
1. Can I find student accommodation in Birmingham close to the city centre?
Yes, you may locate student housing in Birmingham near the city centre. Many private halls of residence and private rental housing are located in or near the city centre.
2. Where do most students stay in Birmingham?
Because of its vicinity to the University of Birmingham, Selly Oak is by far the city’s most popular student area. Along with the city’s new purpose-built flats, Harborne, Edgbaston, and – farther out – Kings Heath are popular areas for student living.
3. Is Birmingham a good city for international students?
Besides London, Birmingham is known to have one of the largest international student communities with over 10,000 students hailing from around 150 countries.
4. How can I find student housing in Birmingham?
You can find student accommodation in Birmingham by searching online, visiting university housing offices, or contacting local housing agencies. You can also look for accommodation through student forums or social media groups.
If you enjoyed reading this blog on “Student Housing Guide Birmingham” then make sure you check out our other informative and insightful blogs linked below!
- Cost of living in Birmingham for students
- Birmingham city university, a complete student guide
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