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Founded in 1968, Newman University is a community-focused institution based in Bartley Green, Birmingham. It has built strong partnerships with many local businesses, charities and schools, making it an ideal choice for students wishing to gain practical experience during their degree.
Newman University offers foundation degrees alongside undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in a tranquil environment overlooking Bartley reservoir, outside Birmingham city centre. The small class sizes mean lecturers have plenty of time for every student, and help to build a friendly, community feel that garners positive reviews from both current and former students.
The majority of students are school leavers, though mature students are also well-represented, with a number of degrees offered on both a full-time and part-time basis. You’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of an internship or work placement during your undergraduate degree, as well as the option of studying abroad.
Whatuni students say:
“My overall experience at Neman Uni has been fab! I have created friends for life who I couldn’t image my life without now!”
“I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The atmosphere is so relaxed and extremely supportive.”
“I have loved my time at this university as it has helped me believe in myself as a learner and enabled me to set new goals for my learning that equally help me in my work. The staff have been fantastic, academic and pastoral and the Chaplaincy is a great space with people who model how to put your faith into practice. I love it all.”
Newman University creates career-ready graduates, which is reflected by the fact that an impressive 91% of students are in work or further study within six months of graduating.
New organisations are frequently added to the University’s list of partnerships, enabling students to take advantage of more and more work placement opportunities. Newman’s business partners also work closely with students on campus, informing the curriculum to reflect current industry needs and offering career advice, so Newman University graduates are in high demand by local employers.
Whatuni students say:
“Newman Uni helps to increase employability in a variety of ways! There is a range of career workshops run by the careers department at the uni in which you can do things such as updating CV, looking at volunteering opportunities, graduate fairs and application help! Newman offer a work placement in the 2nd year, which opens up many opportunities and help you to explore places you never would have thought of! I’m still at my work placement a year on and loving it!”
“Work placements, lots of careers events.”
“The careers department is very proactive in holding employability events and workshops that help with things such as interview techniques, writing CVs and personal statements, diversity/equality in the workplace and much more.”
Students at Newman University are positive about both their courses and lecturers, with the University ranking 9th out of 131 institutions in the ‘Course and Lecturers’ category of the 2019 Whatuni Student Choice Awards. Impressively, it came top out of all the universities in Birmingham, placing it ahead of more established universities, such as the University of Birmingham and Aston University.
Newman University consists of two faculties: the Faculty of Arts, Society and Professional Studies and the Faculty of Education. Lecturers are often experts in their fields, with the University’s research named as of world-leading quality in three areas: Education, History and English. Staff are passionate about sharing their knowledge with students and a small student-to-staff ratio allows them to give all students one-on-one attention.
Whatuni students say:
“The history course is taught in such an engaging way! The lecturers are genuinely passionate about the modules and help you to achieve the best from each! There is a range of assessment techniques from presentations, exams, essays and digitally resources which means that everyone has some form of assessment that they feel more confident with but the lecturers are there to guide you every step of the way!”
“The classes are small with well-prepared inputs and the staff are brilliant at making sure you reach your potential.”
“Small class sizes allow for more informative and interactive classes which are focused on student engagement and discussion. In first year there is more lecture led classes to ease students in, but by third year there's a shift to seminars whereby students are able to be more proactive and lead discussions and create an open and communicative learning environment. We're given numerous opportunities to provide feedback on modules and they're always working to making tweaks and improvements in the areas that its needed to ensure students have the best possible experience.”
The Newman University Students’ Union is an on-campus charity run by and for students. Students are represented by the Executive Committee, to whom they can voice any questions or concerns. The Union’s aim is to have a positive impact on students’ lives by offering activities, support and career development opportunities.
There are plenty of student clubs and societies that you can get involved with, and you can participate in a range of sports. Budding broadcasters and journalists can also contribute to Sixty8 Media, the Students Union’s very own radio station and news channel!
Whatuni students say:
“They are in a very prominent place now and have become a lot more visible over my time at uni. There is always something going on from green week to free period help. They are very present and seem willing to help and interact if desired!”
“I love how everyone is so supportive and open to opinions and things to improve on. I am a student rep.”
“The SU are a great voice for the students and have worked hard to tackle issues raised by students. Many of my friends that are involved in the SU have enjoyed it. The SU and student engagement seems to have vastly improved in the three years I've been a student. There are a lot of active societies and clubs (I'm part of the history society) and lots of fun events and charitable campaigns that the SU hold throughout the academic year.”
The University offers a wide range of accommodation options in their on-campus residence halls. You can choose between the brand new Cofton Hall, built in 2018, and more budget friendly builds including Edgbaston, Littlemore, Maryvale, and Oxford Halls.
Cofton Hall boasts en suite accommodation comprised of studio flats and spacious double bedrooms with a shared kitchen and lounge. The living areas even come complete with TVs and comfy sofas, making them ideal for socialising with your new friends and flatmates.
The other accommodation options also have everything you need, including a fully fitted kitchen equipped with fridge freezer, cooker, microwave, toaster and kettle; and bedroom with single bed, wardrobe, desk and chair, and lockable storage space. You can choose between a bedroom with a shared bathroom and kitchen, an en suite room with shared kitchen or a studio flat. There are also accessible en suite bedrooms suitable for students with disabilities.
All of the University’s accommodation is close to the many campus facilities, including cafés such as Starbucks, the on-site restaurant, and the student bar.
Whatuni students say:
“University Halls - cosy room with large windows with beautiful views, nice kitchen, etc... we have a large beautiful chapel and even have a multi-faith prayer room. I’m an Erasmus student, and I felt right at home here at campus from the very first day! Also many thanks to all the friendly staff!”
“Cofton Hall, is very new I love the living experience, I would definitely live here again.”
“Accommodation is warm, well managed by the university and I really enjoy living there. The kitchens could do with an update, however they are functional and practical and provide good service. The rooms are lovely and cosy with everything you would require, ie. a desk, chair etc.”
In the atrium of the St Chad building you’ll find the Atrium Café, which serves Starbucks coffee, as well as sandwiches, biscuits and cakes. The Sanctuary is the University’s main cafeteria, where you can have a hot meal or grab a snack and fill up at the salad and pasta bars. In the Barber building, the Sanctuary is also home to the Grumpy Mule café, where you can warm up with a comforting hot drink.
All of your entertainment needs will be met at the Senses Bar, the on-campus student pub and venue. As well as serving up a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, the bar hosts live comedy, music and TV sport. You can get comfy on the sofas, or make use of the pool table, too.
It’s not all about socialising at Newman University – you’ll also have access to the three-floor library, opened in 2011 as part of a multi-million-pound campus development programme. There are three separate learning spaces in the building: the Learning Zones, for group and collaborative work, Quiet Study Zones and Silent Study Zones. It’s open from 7:30am to midnight seven days a week, and overlooks the scenic reservoir.
Ready to get active? You’ll find everything you need to meet your fitness goals at the Sports Centre. Make use of the Cardio suite and range of gym facilities, all tended by experienced staff on hand to give you personalised nutrition and training recommendations. The Sports Centre is open to all students, as well as staff and members of the local community. There’s no joining fee, and membership rates are competitive in the area, to suit your student budget.
Whatuni students say:
“The university’s facilities are great! There is loads of computer rooms which help when the library is busy! Many resources are now digitised so can be accessed from home! The library staff are always happy to help, and nothing is too big or small for them to help you with! The canteen is a good size and there is always a nice range of food for everyone to choose from! The uni has lots of facilities that everyone can make use of and there is always support there if needed e.g. social spaces, canteen, gym, library, quite zones, chapel,”
“Brilliant, all easily accessible.”
“Excellent. Highest quality gym equipment, cafeteria and immaculate rooms.”
Located in the heart of the West Midlands, Birmingham is the UK’s second largest city, so you won’t find yourself short of things to do! The Bulling is one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, not to mention a verified work of art! You’ll find all kinds of shops here, from high end to high street, alongside plenty of independent stores, restaurants, cafes and bars.
Birmingham is also home to the Symphony Hall, where you can enjoy classical music and opera, or catch contemporary pop and rock at the ICC, O2 Academy Birmingham or O2 Institute in nearby Digbeth.
There are club nights to suit all tastes in Birmingham, from Ministry of Sound dance house classics to a healthy underground rock scene. You’ll find great venues all along Broad Street: the place to be on a Saturday night.
Feel like getting away? Birmingham New Street station serves both local and national destinations, plus you’ll be within easy reach of Birmingham International Airport, so even more far-flung destinations are still within your reach.
Whatuni students say:
“Birmingham's city centre is about a 40-minute bus ride. The city has a great night life for those that are interested (personally I'm not a city-type), a wide variety of great attractions - Cadbury World, Botanical Gardens, Thinktank and Library of Birmingham to name a few - and a variety of events that take place across the year.”
“You are not far from Birmingham town centre so there is always something to do there. Bartley green is quite quiet but with the reservoir across the road it’s very natural! There are lots of local facilities such as shop, post office, pub, and many bus routes that can get you to a range of places without much hassle.”
“I have lived in Birmingham my entire life. I have been to several other cities in the UK and I can honestly say the nightlife is the best in Birmingham. Especially the gay scene. The bullring is also amazing for shopping and there is lots of activities available like crazy golf and Flip Out Bounce Zone.”
There’s a student group for everyone at the Newman University Students’ Union, from the Anime and Manga Society to the Debating Society, Christian Union and Cheerleading squad. Don’t see your interest represented? Anyone can start a society at Newman, so get involved, and put your hobby on the map!
There are plenty of competitive sports teams at the University for budding athletes, but something that is special at Newman University is the commitment to inclusive sports opportunities. Newman strives to provide sports sessions for students of all ages and abilities, who don’t want to join an official team. You could try out a range of sports, such as racket ball, squash, and even boccia! There are also disabled sports regularly played, such as sitting volleyball.
Whatuni students say:
“Recently there have been lots of improvements to societies (as part of the SU's revamping) and an improvement in student engagement. Many new societies have been created recently and currently there are around 15 societies ranging from ISoc (Islamic Society) to Gaming to LGBTQ+ and Debating society. In addition, there are a variety of sports clubs that students can get involved with.”
“A wide variety of societies at the uni and it is really easy to set up societies.”
“LGBTQ+ society has very friendly people, active for good causes too (e.g. ‘Sconewall’ for Stonewall).”
The Newman University Students’ Union is home to the Student Advice Clinic, a one-stop-shop for student support. The Student Advice Clinic can offer general advice on university life processes, as well as guide you through academic or misconduct appeals or complaints. It is a free, independent and confidential advice service run by trained student advisors.
Newman University has a dedicated Student Support team who provide a wide range of services to ensure students are able to make the most of their university experience. Academic support including preparatory courses, library support and study skills support and also personal support including dyslexia, disability and mental health support is available to all students. There is always someone on hand to provide mental health and wellbeing support whenever it is needed, and counselling services are available as well.
Student services also provides detailed help and advice online, and the Chaplaincy represents the heart of the University, where students of all faiths can come to worship and enjoy some quiet reflection and advice.
Whatuni students say:
“The support from the history department is AMAZING. The staff really care about the students. They have an open door policy and respond to emails very quickly (usually within 24 hours).”
“Extremely good, they hold an open door policy and are always there for help and reassurance.”
“The support is always excellent. The lecturers suggest where I can do better and know what I did well. They always are there for me. The student support on the academic side, mental health side and counselling is great, they are always willing to offer help, to make sure I am okay.”
Newman University offers Erasmus programmes for students at the university and for those of other universities to visit Newman University, and in the 2017-18 academic year, students from Greece, Ireland, Italy, Romania and Singapore were enrolled at the University. There is a dedicated International Office where international students can get answers to any queries.
Birmingham itself is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the UK, with residents from countries all over the world, meaning that no matter where you are from, you will be made to feel at home.
Newman University has a small but strong postgraduate department, representing 20% of the overall student body. Postgraduate degrees available at the University include MAs and MSCs, as well as PG Certs and PGCEs Initial Teacher Training. Many postgraduate degrees can be studied part time, and there is a great deal of flexibility offered to students already in employment while pursuing a postgraduate degree.
EU students currently pay the same fees as domestic students. If you are from outside of the EU, please contact the International Office at Newman University for more information on fees.
The Newman University Support Fund is available to any student suffering financial hardship. The Disabled Students’ Allowance is also available to Newman University students suffering from a disability.
All master’s degree students under 60 years of age will be eligible for a governmental postgraduate loan of over £10,000. The University itself also offers a 10% discount for Newman University graduates returning to study a master’s degree.
Newman University has a long history of educating future teachers and this is seen as one of the University’s key academic strengths. Since the University was initially founded to follow a Catholic ethos, there are many courses around Catholicism and Religion, and the University is also noted for Theology. Finally, Newman University is also recommended for the humanities, meaning there is a broad range of subjects that are well-regarded at the University.
Entry requirements for undergraduate degrees vary by course, but in general you can expect to need a UCAS score between 96-112 points or over from qualifications including A levels, BTEC, Access Diplomas and Baccalaureate, dependent upon the course of interest.
For postgraduate study, the University generally requires a good undergraduate degree, usually at least a 2:1. However, the University is known for its flexibility, particularly concerning students who can offer a lot of relevant work experience or professional training in lieu of A levels or a prior degree.
Newman is always happy to discuss contextual admissions criteria for individual circumstances; students who achieved good grades at a school that scored significantly below the national average for students achieving five GSCEs at grade C or above may be offered a lower average UCAS score for entry, as may students who have spent 6 months or more in care.
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