What to Expect from University

Students-in-group-studyingUniversity is an amazing place to explore, learn, grow, and make lifelong memories. It is all about embracing independence, both academically and personally. Feeling nervous or unsure is totally normal, and we are here to support you every step of the way!

You will hear more about your academic programme during Welcome Week. In the meantime, we have put together some resources to help you prepare for the university environment – feel free to explore the sections below:

Before you arrive

Online Registration

Students-registeringOnline Registration Online Registration is the process for confirming that you will be studying at the University of Birmingham and by which you agree to abide by the University's regulations. You will need to confirm your personal details, your programme details, and how your tuition fees will be funded (including student loans and sponsorship). You will also be asked to upload a passport-style photo for your student ID card.  

Registration opens in June for students with unconditional offers and those who have already met the conditions of their offer. You will receive an email when you are eligible, which will include your student username and password. 

Essential IT for new students

Student-with-headphones-on-writingGetting connected with your digital resources is an essential part of preparing for university – IT for new students will help you with everything you need. This resource includes: 

  • Online Registration
  • MyUoB App 
  • Student Email 
  • Free Microsoft Office 365 and Teams 
  • Student Intranet 
  • Connecting to Wifi 
  • Studying Online 
  • IT Service Desk  

Information for International Students

International Students Studying on the lawnFor students who require a visa to study in the UK, once you have received your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), you will be asked to start completing the My Right to Study process. The process will be available through to September.  

As an international student, you may need to collect a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card and register with the local police. Your visa will tell you whether this applies to you. Find out more about BRP. 

The International Student Team (IST) has lots of information specific to new and returning International Students, you can access their webpages here. Please note that the only people who are legally allowed to advise you on visa and immigration related questions so please contact IST when needed. 

 Preparing to study

Preparing for Study at University

What to expect of learning at UoB 

bbs and studentsFor most students, independent study will be a new concept and so we’ve put together some useful tips on learning at university. This resource includes: 



  • What can I expect?
  • What is a lecture?
  • What is a seminar? 
  • Personal Academic Tutoring  
  • Assessments and exams 
  • Feedback

Returning to Education (for Postgraduate and/or Mature Students)  

Returning or continuing in education can be daunting. This may be a step further from your undergraduate programme or a return to education following a break. Here's a video with some helpful tips for those of you who are returning to study. 

Returning to Education Video

You can also check out the Academic Skills Centre’s Canvas course which will help you on your transition to PGT study.

Reading lists 

Want to get started on some reading for your programme? Once you’ve registered, you’ll be able to access the University’s Resource Lists which is where your lecturers will list reading for your modules. This is just to give you an idea of the kinds of things you’ll be reading to support your studies, don’t think you have to read everything yet! 

There is also a guide on how to engage with academic texts here which will help you give you an introduction ot the different kinds of reading and note taking. 


ResourceLists@Bham Video

Assessing and building your skills

The Skills4Uni is a platform that all UoB students can access and supports you to build your academic skills. Log in to find out more and reflect on what skills would be useful to develop while you’re here. 

The Academic Skills centre can help with all kinds of academic skills development through workshops, one to one appointments and online resources. Check out the Academic Skills Centre. 


Female and male student smiling while studyingOnce you have registered and received your University Login details, you can access your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) (canvas.bham.ac.uk) used here at University of Birmingham. It's similar to other VLEs that you may have used in other institutions such as Moodle or Blackboard. You can use Canvas to do the following: 

  • Access your course materials online 24/7
  • Submit assignments
  • Access grades and feedback
  • Find lecture recordings
  • Access Zoom meetings for live teaching sessions and Online Weekly Group Tutorials
  • Access multimedia content and resources for learning outside of the lecture
  • To discuss and share ideas 

Once you’ve logged in, you will see modules relating to your programme and your extracurricular development (please note, some of these may not be ready until teaching). Canvas will be vitally important to your studies so make sure you have a look around. 

Once you have completed Online Registration, log into Canvas here: canvas.bham.ac.uk 

You can view our Canvas tutorial to help you understand how to use it, or access 24/7 Canvas support if you have any problems. 

If you have any problems with your username or password, you will need to contact the IT Service Desk. 


When you are here

When You're Here

Accessing Library Resources 

Students studying with computersYour programme will involve a lot of independent study and so you can find most of the journals, text books and other resources you need via Findit@Bham. You should be able to access most of these resources online for free.  

The University has a number of Libraries which are hubs of information, study space, IT support, printing, laptop loans and much more. Find out more about our libraries.   

Study spaces  

There are a multitude of different kinds of study spaces on campus to suit any style of learning – from quiet spaces to group work spaces, you’ll be able to find something for you. Just look out for the blue study spaces logo across campus!  

Check out our study spaces.  

Birmingham International Academy 

The Birmingham International Academy (BIA) supports international students develop their academic English skills – even if you think you are proficient in conversational English, writing an essay in a second language can still be challenging. The BIA can help develop your skills in this area through a variety of ways, check out their support. 

Attendance and Engagement 

Teacher in classroom with student hand raisedWe want to ensure you make the most of your time with us and are supported throughout your degree and so regularly attending your taught sessions is the first step to success.

This provides UoB with vital information to identify any areas where you may need support. Likewise, this evidence can be used to demonstrate you are meeting your attendance requirements for your course and (where appropriate) your Visa. 

Students are required to record their attendance at classes (lectures, seminars, workshops, labs) and other sessions, through your MyUoB app on your smartphone or device. The system, My Attendance, is linked with your personal timetable, showing you the sessions you need to attend and register your attendance at.

Please remember the following: 

  1. You should receive an individual 8-digit number code from the tutor at every timetabled teaching session. If you do not receive one, please ask the tutor during the session. 
  2. You should enter the code on your MyUoB app once you receive it and no later than 1 hour after the scheduled end time of the session. You will not be able to register your attendance retrospectively after this time.
  3. Do not worry if your session is cancelled, no attendance will be taken for cancelled sessions and this will not count against you.
  4. If your attendance is falsely added and the tutor knows you were not in attendance, the tutor or Compliance team will amend your attendance records and action will be taken. Therefore, please do not share the codes and only add your attendance if you were there in person on campus.
  5. If you have entered the wrong code or entered attendance incorrectly, please contact the CoSS Compliance Team by emailing CoSS.Compliance@contacts.bham.ac.uk.
  6. Students are currently unable to view their attendance records.
  7. Remember, logging your attendance is for all students. No matter if you are an international student, Erasmus student, home student, you should be recording your attendance. This will support any visa requirements, professional programme requirements and reasonable diligence requirements. If your attendance is unsatisfactory, you will receive notification emails from the CoSS Compliance Team who check your attendance and engagement regularly. 

To find out more about My Attendance and how to use it, check our webpages.

To report an issue registering your attendance using My Attendance please complete this form 

If you have any questions about attendance recording support, you can contact our Compliance Team at CoSS.Compliance@contacts.bham.ac.uk.
If you miss a teaching session due to sickness, please complete this Absence Reporting Form.

If you require planned time away from your studies, please discuss this with your Personal Tutor and the Wellbeing team.

You can then apply for either a Leave of Absence (taking a break from your studies) or if an Authorised Absence (for international students only studying away from the UK).

Useful Videos for Learning Skills

The Academic Skills Centre have put together some videos to support your learning whilst at university: 

Time Management 




Working collaborately


Note taking for lectures and reading

 Guide to University Language


Professional Services