University of Birmingham Medical Society - listen learn and enjoy

Advice to new Students

Hello! In the sections below you will be able to find answers to questions about finance, accommodation, your course and much more.


Why Choose Birmingham?

What’s the social life like, here in Birmingham?

At Birmingham MedSoc, there are many events that you may have access to, alcoholic and non-alcoholic. With medics, flatmates, uni mates, or even other groups that you meet in the vast space that is Birmingham. General nights can be found on our Freshers Page. This is not including the usual hang outs in Selly Oak at such places like The Goose, The S'Oak, or Urban Village. Every now and then, we have some “friendly” Medics vs Law bar crawls, and other social events organised by MedSoc/ENTs; and let’s not forget MedBall(massive event) and the weekend away. We may also organise non-alcoholic socials, such as Go Karting and Paintballing events.

Why should I choose Birmingham?

Well, it’s obvious, because we’re the best – You don’t believe it? You think we’re biased? Let us prove it to you:

  • Birmingham is the second biggest city in the UK, ie: There’s so much to do, yet it is not as crowded as London is. Source: Hopkins, Eric (2001). Birmingham: The Making of the Second City 1850-1939. Tempus Publishing. ISBN 0752423274.
  • Birmingham University is a campus university (a university situated on one site, with student accommodation, teaching and research facilities, and leisure activities all together.
  • The Medical School at Birmingham Uni is the second biggest in the UK, with an intake of almost 400 undergrads and 60 GECs per year. [citation needed]
  • Graduates of this Medical School are of the top five performers in the MRCP (Membership of the Royal College of Physicians) exam. Source: McManus et al (2008). Graduates of different UK medical schools show substantial differences in performance on MRCP(UK) Part 1, Part 2 and PACES examinations. BMC Med. 2008; 6: 5.


Below are a series of useful links for the separate courses – the most accurate and up to date information will be found here or within the course booklet you will receive at the beginning of your year. The virtual learning environment known as Canvas is kept up to date with all the information you should need for assessments and your learning along with ‘Intramed’ – a second learning environment, where you will receive your examination grades. Both require a username and password that you will receive before you arrive here. Have a good look around and again, don’t hesitate to contact a committee member or Medical School staff member if you still are unable to answer your question!

College of Medical and Dental Sciences website

Another username and password locked page is the my.bham portal. This is your personalised University of Birmingham access point and will provide you with many more links and information pointers than the above link. Once you have your details go ahead and investigate!

Key Websites

(Also ask the library and cluster staff as they will be able to help with researching papers!)


Most students will have some debt at one point during their time at university but if you manage your finances well then you should be able to minimise this.

  • For free advice head to the ARC in the Guild or follow this link.
  • For holiday jobs check out the Job Zone (also in the Guild) or head to the website.
  • If you want more information on student financial support, bursary and grant opportunities then see the student finance pages.


  • The SMS – Student Mentor Scheme – is run throughout the university and intends to provide a ‘Mentor’ student for each new Birmingham student. Follow the link for more information.
  • ‘Nightline’ is a confidential and student run helpline that also operate out of St Francis Hall 6pm-midnight. They are available on the phone from 6pm-8am every day of the week. See the number on the back of your ID card and follow the link below for more details:

Tel: 08000 274 750
Niteline website

  • Community Wardens is a scheme set up to make Selly Oak and Bournbrook (the student housing areas) cleaner and safer. See their website for up to date information.
  • The University of Birmingham provides a professional counselling service. Please follow the link or call the number below for current information:

Tel: 0121 414 5130
Counselling service website

Students not living in halls

Life is a little different if you live at home or in residential housing instead of in hall. Here are some FAQs and answers too!

How do I get involved with the other students?

Sports teams, charities and societies both within MedSoc and also within the wider University are a great way to integrate yourself into Birmingham University and also help you make loads of new friends! Visit the MedSoc Fresher’s Fayre, University Fresher’s Fayre (held in the Guild during Fresher’s week) and Refersher’s Fayre in January for an easy way to sign up. Otherwise check out the MedSoc/Birmingham Univeristy/Munrow websites for contact details and meet times.

How am I going to travel to MedSchool?

Luckily for Birmingham students there is a University Railway Station less than 100 metres from the steps of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences. There are also multiple bus stops (you want to aim for the University or Queen Elizabeth Hospital stops). Parking is a little more of a challenge but for a couple of pounds a day you can park in Pritchatts Road (at the rear of the Medical School on the campus map). (More info on parking)

What facilities are there on campus?

Head into the University Centre for a hairdressers, Spar, electronics shop, Waterstones, Natwest, Ryemans, Farm foods pasty shop and a fruit and veg market. The medical school has a café below the Wolfson common room if you’re looking for a bite to eat.

The Munrow Centre is the university sports centre; visit their website for more information.

Where can I get internet access?

The Medical School have a whole room of computers as well as some as the rear of the entrance hall as your enter the gates. There is also excellent WiFi access throughout Medschool. On the main campus head to the main library for internet and computer access.

International Students

Welcome to the University of Birmingham! There is plenty of support out there for you and a whole host of planned events to help make your move here as easy and smooth as possible. Take a look at the links below for further information:

International Relations Team
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 2894

International Student Advisory Service
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 8464

Medschool/University Parking

Am I eligible to apply for a student parking permit and where can I park my car?

There is a criteria for allocation of student parking permits, to see if you are eligible and to complete an application form please visit the university's website by clicking here.

Disabled students should attach a copy of their blue badge with a completed application form, they will then be entitled to free access to the campus.

For students like us who are based at the Medical School, it is best to park at the Pritchatts Road Car Park (corner of Pritchatts Road and Vincent Drive – 5 min walk from Med School) and Pritchatts Park Village.

Alternative student parking is available at the North East multi storey (pay on foot car park).

Out of Hours Parking:

Non-eligible students can apply to park outside of core hours only, i.e after 4.30pm weekdays and at the weekend, please e-mail


Current Parking Charges to student permit holders: £1.00 per day pay & display (or pay on foot) Mon – Fri until 4.30pm If you are a non-eligible student and you choose to park on campus you will be liable to pay the full visitor tariff dependent upon your length of stay.

Tariff for non-permit holders:
  • Up to 1 hour £2.00
  • 1-3 hours £3.00
  • 3-5 hours £4.00
  • 5-8 hours £6.00

Student ID Cards

This is your ticket into and out-of Medical School so do not lose it – you WILL NOT be allowed in without it, even if you have to miss teaching! To replace a broken or stolen card head to the Aston Webb Student Hub within the Great Hall building and inform reception of your problem. You can also visit here

If you lose your green Medical student badge, visit the university shop here. At cost of £10, a new one will be sent to you.


You will be assessed throughout your course here at Birmingham in many different ways; essays, oral exams and written exams all have their place in your degree. MedSoc cannot advise you on the best way to pass your exams we can merely support you. Needless to say hard work is the key to success!

For detailed assessment information speak to your respective head of year or check your Course Manual (which you receive at the beginning of the year). Do not be afraid to ask about your assessments – they are important!


This coming year in Birmingham Medical Society, there will be a series of new and exciting careers events including an ‘Interactive and Virtual Careers Fayre’ as well as a series of speciality careers evenings and much more. Keep your eyes peeled for email and posters around MedSchool or visit the careers website.


‘Fit-to-Sit’ is the newly introduced rules on sitting examinations at the University of Birmingham. It replaces the now outdated ‘mitigations’ process. It essentially means that if you sit an exam you are declaring yourself “Fit-toSit” and cannot submit mitigating circumstances after the exam has begun. (Please note there are allowances for exceptional circumstances). For the full details of the “Fit-to-Sit” practice follow this link.

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14 May 2021

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