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University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Posted on: June 11, 2011.

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UCB—How it came to be

Like a journey of thousand miles which begins with a single step, a dominion of hundred boroughs begins with a single hamlet.

Origin is placed in the late 19th century, when it first began as a Municipal Technical School offering cookery and household science courses. The first cookery room was established in 1916, followed two years later by domestic cookery classes. Renamed to Central Technical College in 1927, it became the College of Technology nearly more than 23 years later following which, a department of Bakery and Domestic Sciences was established. After Birmingham’s Chief Education Officer, E L Russell, recommended to the Local Education Authority, the setting up of a separate college dealing with catering, bakery and domestic science, the new College of Bakery, Catering, Domestic Science and Associated Studies came open to students in 1957. The title soon lost hold and it became the Birmingham College of Food and Domestic Arts, the following year.

In 1968, the Duke of Edinburgh opened the main site in Summer Row, before which time the College had been operating on many sites across the city. In an attempt to unify the diversification of the College’s programs, its name was changed, in the late 1980s, to Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies (BCFTCS).

A second teaching building was opened in 2001, at Richmond House in Newhall Street, near Summer Row. The building housed its hairdressing and beauty salons and sports therapy suites—both open to public—besides taught Further Education courses in Sport and Tourism. In January of 2006, it became the recipient of a prestigious award, conferred the Beacon status by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS)—the first higher education institute to achieve this mark for excellence and innovation within the Learning and Skills sector. Major changes occurred post-submission of an application to be given rights to award taught degree.  Following a year-long audit, the Privy Council bestowed taught degree awarding powers in November 2007 and thereby creating an opportunity to include University College in its title. After an extensive consultation process the following month, the Privy Council gave its consent for the title upgrade to University College Birmingham, publicly signaling its status as a higher education institution. In 2008, UCB opened its new multi-million pound Postgraduate Centre at George Street, a dedicated teaching and research facility for its postgraduate students. UCB is accredited by the University of Birmingham—students of undergraduate and postgraduate programs graduate with degrees from one of the world’s leading universities.

A Sophisticated Backyard

For starters, Birmingham is UK’s Second City; Britain’s most populous urban area, after London. Birmingham (pronounced Birming-gum) is a city and metropolitan borough at the heart of England’s West Midlands County, once in 1791, hailed as the “first manufacturing town in the world”. Once a village, later a market town, today Birmingham is a major international commercial centre and an important transport, retail, events and conference hub, ranked as a gamma−world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. First recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, as a small village worth only 20 shillings, Birmingham had an estimated city GDP of 90 billion dollars in 2008—today, its urban economy is the second largest in the UK and the 72nd largest in the world. It is also the largest centre of higher education in the United Kingdom outside London. Its major cultural institutions, including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, enjoy international reputations.

People from Birmingham are known as ‘Brummies’, a term derived from the city’s nickname of ‘Brum’. Origins stem from the city’s dialect name, Brummagem, a possible derivation from one of the city’s earlier names, ‘Bromwicham’. An early 7th century, Anglo-Saxon farming hamlet on the banks of the River Rea, the name ‘Birmingham’ is itself a derivative of “Beorma inga ham“, meaning ‘farmstead of the sons (or descendants) of Beorma’. There is a distinctive Brummie dialect and accent, both of which differ from the adjacent industrial towns of Black Country.

Beyond the Gate

The city of Birmingham is situated in the Birmingham Plateau and interrupted by Britain’s main north-south partition between the river basins of Severn and Trent. The Hills of Lickey, Clent and Walton lie to its south-west and have extensive views over the city. Much of the area now occupied by the city was originally a northern reach of the ancient Forest of Arden. The city’s dense oak tree-cover and the large number of districts such as Moseley, Saltley, Yardley, Stirchley and Hockley (“-ley” in Old English means “woodland clearing”) are places where the former presence of Arden Forest can still be felt.

The City of Birmingham along with the largely residential borough of Solihull to the south east and the city of Wolverhampton and the industrial towns of the Black Country to the north west, together make up the West Midlands Urban Area. The former Mercian capital of Tamworth and the cathedral city of Lichfield in Staffordshire, the industrial city of Coventry and the Warwickshire towns of Nuneaton, Warwick and Leamington Spa, and the Worcestershire towns of Redditch and Bromsgrove, form the Birmingham Metropolitan Area.

Digging into the School Bag

Undergraduate Satchel—Fore Zip

While most of the degrees are awarded by the University of Birmingham, two distinct ones, home to UCB, are self-awarded. The undergraduate programs are provided as B.A., B.Sc., Honors in B.A. and B.Sc. and Foundation diploma courses, clustered within four separate schools;

  • School of Business and Marketing

(FdA Business, Honors in Business Enterprise, FdA Marketing with Event Management and FdA Marketing Management),

  • School of Hospitality, Food and Events Management

(management courses in Culinary Arts, Food & Consumer, Events, Hospitality Business, Hospitality & Food, Hospitality & Tourism [also International Fd], Hospitality with EM and Hospitality & Tourism Business Management),

  • School of Recreation, Sport and Tourism

(Management courses in Adventure Tourism, Entertainment, International Tourism, Sports, Tourism Business),

  • School of Childhood and Recreation

(Early Childhood Studies)

  • School of Sports Therapy and Salon Management

(BA [Honors]Salon Business Mgmt., FdA Salon Business Mgmt. in Hairdressing or Beauty Therapy [both the BA and FdA are awarded by UCB], Spa Mgmt. with Hospitality, Sports Therapy)

Postgraduate degrees at UCB include…

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