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Birmingham Conservatoire

UCAS Code: B34

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands Show on Map

Site: Single site in city centre

Specialist music college, part of Birmingham City University

Student Population

Total Students:585
FE Students:10%


Total undergraduates:450
Full Time:90%
UK Students:90%

Teaching Staff

20 full-time, 190 part-time.

Broad study areas

Music: performance, composition, jazz, music technology, community music, musicology, world music


Admission Information:AS-levels accepted in combination with 2 A-levels.
Points on Entry (Mean):80
Accommodation:All first years housed unless local


Founded:1886 as part of Birmingham and Midland Institute.
Structural features:Part of Birmingham City University (formerly UCE Birmingham) since 1970.
Site:City centre.
How to get there:Birmingham is at the centre of England’s rail, coach and road networks: mainline stations (New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill); coaches connect directly from 500 destinations; many motorway links; Birmingham International Airport close by. Conservatoire 10 minutes’ walk from New Street and Snow Hill railway stations, 15 mins from coach station.
Special features:Individual teaching, workshops and masterclasses with internationally renowned musicians. Purpose-built complex includes 150-seat recital hall customised for performance with live electronics, 520-seat Adrian Boult Hall and specialist music library. Many CBSO principals teach at Conservatoire.

Student services & facilities

Student advice & services:Wide range of support services available through the University.
Accommodation:See Birmingham City University

Study opportunities & careers

Library & information services:Library with over 8000 books, 1300 orchestral and band sets, 1100 sets of vocal scores, 100,000 individual scores and parts, 12,000 sound recordings, including over 6000 CDs. Audio room with suite of listening and recording equipment, plus two cubicles for listening and viewing. 23 fixed computers, 15 MacBooks, 3 catalogue terminals, plus printing facilities (plus 9 PCs and 16 specialist music computers in separate labs).
Study abroad:Exchange links with several European and American universities and colleges.
Careers:Professional development embedded in course structures.


Living expenses budget:Minimum budget of £6000–£7000 pa (excluding tuition fees) recommended by university.
Term-time work:Students allowed to work part-time, some on campus as eg cleaners, porters, concert stewards.
Financial help:Own hardship funds. Entrance scholarships awarded on audition results. See also Birmingham City University. 
University tuition fees:Home students pay £9000 pa for first degrees. International students pay £13,750 pa.


Academic features:

BMus, first study performance or composition with range of options (eg world music, early music, chamber music, jazz, improvisation, conducting, music technology and recording, teaching skills and school studies). Also specialised BMus course in jazz. Final year of BMus (music or jazz) can be taken over two years with integrated PGCE. Good record of professional placements; professional schemes with eg CBSO, BRB, BCMG, Philharmonia Orchestra.

Awarding body:

Birmingham City University

Main undergraduate awards:


Length of courses:

4 years (BMus), 5 years (BMus with integrated PGCE)

Main subjects offered:

  • Jazz
  • Music
  • Music Technology
  • Performance Arts
  • Teacher Training

Student view


Ideally situated, in modern purpose-built city centre development. Easy access to relatively cheap transport (no parking at college) and main arts centres, including town hall, symphony hall and repertory theatre. Recent developments (library, canteen, keyboard lab and further practice rooms) together with concert hall, listening room and computers make the college well-equipped. Ample opportunities for dedicated musicians with emphasis on professional discipline within a lively and friendly atmosphere. Courses combine a high level of practical and academic standard with concentration on the first study; modern teaching methods used in all areas. Established orchestras, choirs, bands and chamber music and students encouraged to develop own activities with staff guidance. Ethnomusicology and community music being developed – both courses and work experience. Staff/student relationships excellent. Growing emphasis on student welfare with active on-site student body and help and advice from students’ union office. Hardship funds available in some cases. Places in halls of residence for most first years (Cambrian Hall most accessible, four minutes’ walk); other accommodation also available. Birmingham social life ranges from cheap student pubs to international clubs, reasonable restaurants, sports facilities and good shops. Some work available, including gigs and stewarding, although often competitive. Very few students fail to complete the course and most leave Birmingham having enjoyed their time there.


Housing: Uni housing list can be expensive. Halls good, some very close. Eats: Lots of reasonable restaurants and sandwich bars. College canteen reasonably priced. Drink: Summer Row and Broad Street on the doorstep, Shakespeare (M&B), Prince of Wales (Ansells), The Grapevine, The Wellington, Atkinsons (local ale). 4 union bars across the city. Nightlife: Rock and classical concerts with regular big names. City centre excellent for a good night out; everyone catered for. Sports: Can join any uni sports clubs. Student reductions at most sports centres and shops. Travel: Good public transport, discounts with taxi companies, cheap buses. Financial help: Limited funds available. Jobs: Some Xmas shows offer work plus chance to gain experience; pub work in term-time; stewarding at the symphony hall. Can use musical talents to earn money, eg gigs or teaching, but very competitive. 

Past Students

Ernest Elemont (violinist), Peter Aston (singer/songwriter), Brian Ferneyhough (singer), Jean Rigby (opera singer).

More info?

Ring SU President on 0121 331 6811.



Birmingham Conservatoire
Paradise Place
B3 3HG
West Midlands


0121 331 5901/2





Student enquiries:

The Registrar


CUKAS (Conservatoires UK Admissions Service)

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