Advantages University campus well laid out. Barber Institute is an excellent departmental HQ
Disadvantages City centre is a 15-20 minute bus or train ride away
Birmingham is Britain's Second City, but the University of Birmingham is second to none.I first attended the University of Birmingham as an undergraduate from 1975 to 1979, where I gained a BA(Hons) in Music and German. I am now nearing the end of two years of part-time study for the degree of M.Phil. in music by research. After some 20 years away, there was no other place where I wanted to study for a postgraduate degree when the opportunity arose.
The teaching staff in the music department are excellent. There are many practical activities for students to get involved in - chamber orchestra, wind band, early music, music theatre, electro-acoustic music just to name a few! At undergraduate level there is plenty of instrumental tuition. At postgraduate level there are opportunities for composers, musicologists, editors, etc. There are currently postgraduate students from many countries as well as the UK, including New Zealand, Germany, Canada and the USA.The Music Department Library is well stocked, and there is a booking system for the music practice rooms. There are laboratories for electronic music, and a collection of viols and other early instruments. Concerts take place in a variety of venues, including the University Great Hall, Symphony Hall and Birmingham Cathedral as well as the department's own concert hall in the Barber Institute. During term time there are free lunchtime concerts on most Fridays, open to everybody.
Sir Edward Elgar was the University's first Professor of Music. Famous graduates include Dame Janet Baker.The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, which houses the music and fine art departments, has a wonderful art gallery, which is free to visit! Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces and Pre-Raphaelite delights. Also a fascinating coin collection. I reckon all students should take a look round at least once during their stay in Birmingham.
To succeed in the music department you do need to have a commitment to hard work, but you'll play hard too and have a great deal of fun!!Others have been commenting on social/nightlife/sports etc. aspects of the university - I don't have anytyhing to add to their opinions, except to say that the University campus is within walking distance of some of my all-time favourite Indian restaurants on the Bristol Road in Selly Oak.
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