Although studying at university is largely based on your own efforts in order to succeed, at BCU our ADM courses offer various forms of support to ensure you are able to be as successful in your efforts as best as you can.
All students will need to be able to work independently to some degree – things such as attending classes, working to deadlines and time management are all things that will help you to succeed during your time here. However, we understand to achieve the success you desire, the University, Faculties and staff within each school also have a role to play to enable you to be the best version of yourself when you graduate.
The Faculty of Arts, Design and Media (ADM) at BCU has multiple types of services for your support. Read on to discover the different services we provide for our students.
Visual Communication specific support
Run by Visual Communication Employability Coordinator Tracy Allanson-Smith and Graphics Communication lecturer Jane Anderson, the Keep Track team offers support for both alumni and current students for Visual Communication courses only. The team helps our students get their feet in the door with getting into the industry by inviting guest speakers and seeking out job opportunities that will be beneficial for those on our courses, crucial to their development once they leave university grounds and enter the creative industries.
Faculty specific support
Centre for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts (CEDIA)
The Centre for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts (CEDIA) is an initiative that promotes and challenges issues of equality, diversity and inclusion across the arts. It hosts a range of talks, public lectures and workshops, offering a practical space for students.
Students can use Siso to access various resources they may need whilst studying an ADM course at Birmingham City University. Each student has their own account assigned with Siso, meaning they can access it anywhere at any time. The software includes booking out rooms, creating appointments with technicians, or loaning specialist equipment, as well as many other things. You may need to complete a risk assessment to carry out the usage of anything through Siso, which can also be accessed on your personal log in page.
Across ADM, there are multiple technicians which students can interact with. Although some may only be able to be seen through appointment-like formats (booked through Siso), others may be present during classes, offering any technical support students may need. There is the opportunity to take part in workshops these technicians may host, offering a different type of support compared to lecturers and tutors.
Your first points of contact will be your personal tutor, which will be assigned to you upon enrolling with us. Your personal tutor will most likely be part of the teaching staff on your course which means they will be accessible to you always, providing support for all things course related. You are not limited to using your personal tutor as we encourage you to interact with as many members of staff as possible, however your personal tutor will most likely get to know you best, meaning they can provide the most sufficient and knowledgeable advice for you personally.
All of our teaching staff offer an open-door policy for all students which means you aren’t limited to only being able to contact them during teaching times. Staff may provide one-to-one sessions to give extra support for students who require it. You can also get in touch with them online if you have a query about something – but do be mindful of their days and times of availability.
With the recent pandemic, we had to adapt our courses to be accessible through online formats. Whilst the majority of our teaching now takes place face to face as it did prior to the pandemic, we have observed how certain things were more suitable online such as lectures and guest talks, meaning they can be recorded by staff and played back by students at any given time. There may be times where teaching will take place online, however, your tutors will give you notice of this in advance.
Similarly, the library also provides online services where students and staff alike can search and read millions of academic appropriate books, articles, videos and more. They also offer a 24/7 chat option for students who may seek guidance on finding something in particular or if they have general trouble shooting problems.
The pandemic has allowed us to be much more understanding of the resources and tools we can provide to students online, meaning our support extends further than the walls of the University.
The centre for Academic Success run Success+, which is based on the first floor of the Curzon Building, is the University’s central learning development service. The service helps students develop things like their academic and technical skills, which are imperative skills for students to have in order to progress through their course. The centre covers things such as:
- Academic essay and report writing
- Computing and Programming
- Maths and Statistics
- Presentation Skills
- Project Management
- Study Skills
Birmingham City University offers two University-wide services which allow students to push their skills to ready them for the industries that await them. Both of these services are based in the Curzon building.
Graduate+ is an awards scheme to help provide future employees see your growth as an individual outside of your skills required for your degree. Some examples of this are CV writing and interview skills. The service works through a tier system of bronze, silver and gold, with the core aim of this to enhance your CV so you stand out to potential future employees when you graduate. This service is online based, meaning you can complete it whenever and wherever best suits you.
Careers+ is our universities career service, which enables students reflect on their skills and explore potential options for future careers. The service provides the chance for students to book appointments for video and telephone calls to get advice about employability, as well as the chance to receive feedback on your CV or job application for example. The service can give you an understanding of what is best for you after you graduate - this could be to continue your studies by completing a Master’s Degree, getting the chance to complete work experience or networking, for example.
There is a professional mentoring system that allows BCU alumni and current students to pair up with industry working professionals in order to enhance your skills and ready you for the job you seek to have in the future. The programme runs for 10 weeks, giving current and past students the chance to experience first hand the things required in order for them to achieve their career goals.
Within Birmingham City University, we have Student Success Advisors. Their role is to help students get the most out of their university experience. Working alongside Graduate+, Careers+, Library services and the Centre for Academic Success, our Student Success Advisors encourage students to utilise and make use of the opportunities these teams advertise as much as possible.
Our Students' Union (BCUSU) is independently run by students, for students, giving an unbiased voice for the students it represents.
The purpose of the Students' Union is to ensure our students enjoy their time at BCU. The team runs the university’s sports teams and variety of societies on offer, which are for all students to join and attend. All types of interests which are covered, from cheerleading to crafting and video games. There are also societies specifically for various religions and beliefs, ensuring we are as inclusive and dynamic as possible.
The team operates at The Point, giving all students the chance to put forward any enquiries and answer any questions they may have. This does not have to be limited to course-related only.
They also offer services around mental health and well-being. Our counselling and well-being staff also provide professional support services which all students can access including individual or group sessions, general advice, guidance and support through workshops and drop in sessions, which is further supported by our Mental Health First Aiders student society.
We have eight halls of residence at Birmingham City University which are all located near our campuses. If you are having any issues regarding accommodation, we have an Accommodation Team who are your first point of contact. They also offer advice on issues happening in non-university owned housing, as well as putting you in touch with local property owners when you need to move out of halls.
For those of you who are coming to study with us from over seas – we understand how challenging things may be for you, which is why we have a specific team to help you with some of the problems you may face with moving to a new country to study.
The team’s support covers various things, including advising you to ensure you have the correct paperwork and visa in order to study with us. There are numerous schemes to help international students during their time at BCU.
Many students who choose to study a degree may worry about their finances. We know the importance of this which is why we have a Finance and Money Matters Team in Student Affairs to help give you guidance with any queries or issues you may have relating to finances. Depending on your course and level of study, you may also be eligible to receive financial support for your tuition fees and living costs during your time of study with us.
We have a Disability and Mental Health Advisers team which are available for students who may need support with a disability, illness, medical condition and mental health or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
For people who are considering applying to university or already have whilst also being a parent, we have a Childcare Adviser to help provide support for you. Having a family of her own as well as a degree, we believe our Childcare Adviser can offer you the best support on offer as she herself has a great amount of knowledge and experience in this area. She can offer advice on anything related to this including childcare funding, tax credits and what to look for when choosing childcare.
Find out more about the support services we offer.