Category Archives: Uncategorized

New NHS Bursary Scheme Arrangements from 2012/13

The Department of Health has announced that, from 1 September 2012, all new eligible students on eligible healthcare courses will be able to apply for:

  • a non-means tested £1,000 grant
  • a means tested bursary
  • a non-means tested maintenance loan (the loan will be provided by Student Finance England)

The tuition costs for non-medical courses are paid directly by the NHS so eligible students are not required to pay tuition fees.

It should be noted that these new arrangements will not apply to students who have already commenced training prior to 1 September 2012.

For more information about the new funding arrangements, please visit the DoH website and for other updates about NHS Bursaries, including information about eligibility criteria, please visit the NHS Business Services Authority’s website.

Links Round-Up 10.09.10 | Freshers’ Special

Here’s a brief round up of useful links for our new freshers!

Additional Student Places Available on Selected Art and Design Courses

As a result of our ongoing commitment to excellence in the arts and successful employer/industry engagement, the government has recently awarded Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) additional student course places for full and part-time undergraduate study commencing September 2010.

For further details please contact BIAD on 0121 551 5800 or email biadadmissions@bcu.ac.uk.

Insight Out needs creative graduates with good ideas

If you graduated between 2007 and 2009 from any course at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design or a Performance, Media & English degree then the Insight Out course could be the springboard for managing and launching your career in the creative industries.

Times are tough for graduates at the moment, but if you have an amazing creative idea that you want to explore there should be nothing to stop you applying for this 5 week Insight Out: Managing a Portfolio Career programme, designed with fresh new entrepreneurs in mind.

The trend for graduates from creative degrees is to enter into ‘a job contract, self-employment and portfolio working, the choices for art and design graduates.’ (Source: gradireland.com, Art & Design graduates: what to expect after graduation) Portfolio working is essentially juggling a series of part time or freelance roles with full or part time paid work, that leaves little time to use your talents and skills to their maximum potential.

With some planning and the right knowledge of the available support when you first start out in your career, a balance between what you love and what you need to do to financially support yourself can be achieved. This course explores the benefits that can be achieved through tools such as mentoring, investigative thinking, the development of entrepreneurial skills and attributes such as confidence, developing a collaborative approach, creative problem solving, taking initiative, and the all important networking!

Successful applicants can receive up to £850 for attending and completing the course.

Further details can be found on the website http://www.mediacourses.com/insightout/portfolio.asp or you can call 0121 204 9887 to chat to the team.

Foundation courses in art and design

One of the questions we are most commonly asked by students who are thinking of applying for an art and design degree is ‘Do I need to complete a foundation course?’

There is now a wide, and often confusing, range of qualifications available to students preparing for entry onto degree level courses in art and design.  These include BTEC qualifications and AVCE double awards as well as A levels so a Foundation course is no longer the only route to degree level study.  However, many successful applicants do still take the Foundation course route and in many cases this remains the most widely preferred route to degree level study in Art and Design. 

In the experience of university admissons tutors, students who have completed a Foundation course are often equipped with better practical skills, more design maturity and a stronger portfolio than some other applicants.  This can give applicants from Foundation course the edge over other applicants who are applying with A levels alone.  It is worth bearing this in mind if you are applying for a very popular or oversubscribed course where there is intense competition for places.

Here at Birmingham City University we take on students with BTEC National Diploma qualifications, students who have followed the Foundation course route and also sometimes students who have developed a strong portfolio from A level or AVCE qualifications alone.  Applicants are considered on an individual basis and the admissions tutor will look at the strength of an applicant’s portfolio along with other indicators of their suitability for the course including their previous education and experience in art and design. 

Will a Foundation course in art and design be suitable for me?

Foundation courses in art and design are suitable who have already completed A level or AS level study in Art and Design.  They are also suitable for mature students with more limited experience in art and design.

What will I learn on a foundation course?

You can expect to learn through a structured programme of activities, workshops and drawing classes.  This will help you to identify your skills, strengths and interest.

A good Foundation course should be lively, stimulating and enjoyable.

Continue reading Foundation courses in art and design

Student Finance

If you’re a home student planning on studying on a full- or part-time undergraduate course at university this September, you’ll need to apply for financial support to determine your eligibility and individual support package. Eligibility for certain elements of support is usually assessed on your household income, so it’s important that you apply for assessment well in advance of the course start date so that you are able to plan ahead.

Standard student support arrangements can include loans for fees and living costs and a maintenance grant*. For more information about funding for the 2009/10 academic year, visit the Direct website. 

You can apply online for student support at Student Finance Direct or download a form to complete. Further information is available from your Local Authority or by visiting www.studentfinancedirect.co.uk. Through this application you can be assessed for eligibility for tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and a maintenance grant. Many universities also offer a bursary to their students, with each university determining its own policy with regard to how bursary money is allocated to eligible students. You should contact individual institutions to enquire about their particular University Bursary arrangements.

For more information about fees and finance for Birmingham City University courses, please visit our website.

Students from EU countries can find out more about funding by visiting the section about funding for EU students on the Direct.gov.uk website.

*Please note that those who will be studying on NHS-funded degree or diploma courses have different funding arrangements and are advised to consult www.nhsstudentgrants.co.uk for information about this.

Forthcoming Subject Specific Open Days – January and February 2009

If you missed the chance to visit Birmingham City University at one of our main open days, a number of our faculties will be holding subject specific open days throughout the academic year. Information about confirmed dates is updated periodically on our website at http://www.bcu.ac.uk/opendays/faculty/.

Many courses also offer the opportunity for prospective students to attend a visit day once they have applied to us. Subjects such as Media and Communication and undergraduate Education courses don’t have specific subject open days but can offer these opportunities for applicants to visit at an appropriate point in the admissions process. Continue reading Forthcoming Subject Specific Open Days – January and February 2009

The Creative Talent Directory

With finding work becoming more important than ever, Birmingham City University’s Media Content Lab have recently relaunched Media Talent Bank, a supportive new website to help businesses in the creative industries source talent and freelancers to find work.

The freshly revamped website allows businesses and creatives to upload a profile, CV and portfolio onto an online directory which can easily be browsed by potential employers or collaborators.  There is also a dedicated ‘Jobs’ page.

“Media Talent Bank has been designed to help break down some of the barriers to the creative and media industries,” says administrator David Allen.  “Although run from Birmingham, the site acts as a platform for creative workers from across the UK to actively promote themselves, as well as allowing businesses both within and outside the sector to efficiently find skilled freelancers to work with.”

The site is currently on the look-out for creative industry professionals interested in contributing to the Media Talent Bank blog.  Those interested in becoming a voluntary blogger or finding out more should contact info@mediatalentbank.com or telephone David Allen on 0121 204 9886.

Professional Development Courses

Many employers see the benefits of ensuring that their employees have opportunities to develop themselves both personally and professionally during the course of their careers. In this article, we look at a range of options which may be available to you to enhance your professional development.

What types of course are available?

Professionally-accredited courses provide the opportunity to study for a qualification which is recognised in a specific field. At Birmingham City University, we offer a range of professionally accredited programmes endorsed by professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the Chartered Institute of Building, the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Royal Institute of British Architects. These can be offered at various levels including professional certificates/ diplomas, degrees or postgraduate qualifications.

Some courses actually provide options to develop professionally from ‘unqualified’ to ‘qualified’ status, such as teaching or nursing. Teaching assistants and care assistants may progress to the next stage of their career by achieving such a qualification. 

Foundation degrees are a relatively new type of course which may appeal to those who are working in a particular area and want to complete a Higher Education qualification. Continue reading Professional Development Courses

Application methods for part-time and postgraduate courses

Applications for part-time and postgraduate courses are usually made directly to the university. In some instances, applications may need to be made through another agency. For example, Birmingham City University’s full-time Graduate Diploma in Law course fields applications through the Central Applications Board, whilst the part-time version requires applicants to complete a university application form. Information about the method of application for individual courses can usually be found in the university’s prospectus or on their website, but if you’re unsure, contact the university for confirmation.

Deadlines for applications made directly to universities can vary widely, so it’s advisable to check with the individual universities to clarify whether or not a deadline applies to the course you’re applying for.