About The Birmingham Project

The Birmingham Project

The Birmingham Project is the University's most exciting opportunity exclusively for undergraduate first year students (Birmingham campus students only)!

Working as part of an interdisciplinary team, students tackle a 'real-world' challenge by conducting research and creating an innovative online resource. Participants gain invaluable skills and experience which will benefit their studies and set them apart when applying for internships and jobs.

The project was piloted in 2013/14 with 60 students taking part and due to its success, it was expanded to take 200-300 students in 2014/15 and 2015/16. In 2016/17 we saw our largest number of participants with 300-400 students taking part.

When does the project take place?

The Project takes place during the final two weeks of the summer term, after the exam period.

The Birmingham Project 2019/20 will take place from Monday 08 - Friday 19 June 2020 (excluding weekends).

Who can participate?

The project is exclusively available to first-year undergraduate students (Birmingham campus students only). 

What does the project involve?

Working in a mixed discipline group (up to 10 students per group), students will tackle one of several 'real-world' challenges which are set by our Challenge Leads (usually a University of Birmingham Academic) and our external business partners. Examples of last year's challenge titles, based around six diverse themes, include:

Example of themes and challenges
 Theme Challenge
 Celebrating Culture  e.g. "Can culture change the world?"
 Designing the Future of Transport  e.g. "What role will driverless cars play in the future of transport?"
 Developing Health and Community  e.g. "How can we help communities become dementia friendly?"
 Exploring Technology and Innovation  e.g. "How can technology revive high streets?"
 Shaping Global Society  e.g. "Is preventing crime more important than preserving personal privacy?"
Responsible Business e.g.  "How can consumers take account of a product’s carbon footprint in their purchase decisions?"

With support from their Challenge Lead and TA, each group conducts research and attends bespoke workshops in order to develop an educational online resource to answer the challenge they’ve been set. Online resources have included; mobile phone apps, websites, blogs, games and digital magazines.

To find out more about the challenges and online resources from previous years, see our Digital Outputs page.

Who supports the project?

This is a student-led project with assistance from University of Birmingham Academics, Professional Services staff and Teaching Assistants (TA), as well as involvement from several external organisations.

Our partners will be available to support you with your project as well as offer any advice for the future. Previously, we have worked with global external organisations including; PwC, IBM, KPMG, Transport for West Midlands, Culture Central, CIMA, CBSO, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group and Jaguar Land Rover.

During the two weeks of the project, students will be able to attend training sessions which aid their projects:

  • Project Management (delivered by external partners)
  • Research Methods and Social Science skills (delivered by our Academics)
  • Team building (delivered by Academic Skills Centre)
  • Myers Briggs Type Dynamics Indicator (delivered by Careers Network)
  • Intellectual Property Rights, Copyright and Licensing (delivered by Library Services)
  • Digital Media training - mobile app, Photoshop, website, digital magazine (delivered by Digital Media Skills team)
  • Presentation skills (delivered by Academic Skills Centre)

Each group is allocated a small budget which they may use to purchase resources or organise a trip relevant to their research project.

How will my participation be recognised?

The Birmingham Project is formally recognised as a pass/fail module on your University transcript, however, the project is non credit bearing, which means it does not count towards degree credit.

The Birmingham Project assessment is formed of two parts; a group presentation (50%) and a peer evaluation (50%). The online resource created by the groups is not assessed. Please see the assessment page for a more information.

The skills and experience learned during the project are demanded by global employers! You will be able to enhance your CV and job applications using your experience and skills developed through the project. You will also be able to talk about the Project at job interviews and evidence that you participated in this unique initiative using your official University transcript and The Birmingham Project participation certificate. 

What happens at the end of the two weeks?

On the morning of the final day of the project, all group presentations will take place. 

A celebration and awards event will be held in the afternoon of the final day of the project to celebrate the achievements of all project participants during the project fortnight! One group from each theme will be awarded a prize by their theme's external partner at the afternoon event. Winning groups will be selected for both the innovative design of the output and their skill in presenting it.

How can I enrol?

Enrolments open in January 2020 but you can register for newsletters and alerts by signing up to our mailing list.

Careers Network and 10,000 Lives Group

Careers Network is working in partnership with the Development & Alumni Relations Office to support the 10k Lives Appeal, which is a celebration of opportunities for 10,000 young people.  Your participation in this activity may be counted as part of the campaign. Your name and student ID number will be shared with DARO and further information about how they use your data can be found in their “Frequently asked questions” section.


Professional Services