Disability, My Life, Student Life

Birmingham City University – Media Production

Birmingham City University was my first consideration when I first thought of further education.

This was due to the fact the university was the closest to where I lived as well as offering a course that I wanted to do.

Since I was local, I already knew the surroundings and the atmosphere around the university. Some people may say that looking at universities in near where I lived is the easy option and I should branch out further.

I don’t see looking at universities and courses in Birmingham as the easy option. To me, it’s exploring my options, if anything it’s a fallback.

The course that I found at Birmingham City University (BCU) was very similar to the Media Culture & Production at Southampton Solent.

The course was broad, covering all sectors of the media. TV, Radio, Photography. Another aspect within the course that caught my eye – was it covered event management and journalism. My perfect course.

Through the course and units, we were able to access the radio studios, television studios and photography studios as well as newsrooms for when we did our journalism units.

Moving off the course, we looked at the ‘uni life’ side of BCU. As the campus for media was in City Centre, you could see or go anywhere within a short time.

There was always something for us to do or go. The atmosphere around the university was friendly and active. A lot of activities, clubs and societies were available.

So far the university was ticking all the boxes…

The support team was good. Just like other support teams they took my needs into account and would help me get the right level of support to complete the course.

However the campus did not have any hoists in disabled toilets. Unfortunately for me, I am unable to transfer independently and need a hoist to help me get in and out my chair.

We inquired about whether there were the appropriate facilities; they denied this, stating that the equipment would be into place in the following academic year.

We were disappointed that there wasn’t any currently there, but pleased that they were getting things into place.

However at current time, it was a challenge, but a challenge we could overcome. I was definitely considering this university so my parents said they would communicate with the necessary people to see if we could get the right adaptions put into place.

Lastly we looked at the accommodation. When speaking to the disability team we found out that the only disability-adapted accommodation belonging to the university was in Perry Barr, which is at the opposite end of town to the campus I’d be studying at.

This was both annoying and disappointing. If I went to live in the adapted accommodation in Perry Barr, this would cause me to do a large amount of travelling every morning and evening.

It would also put me at a disadvantage socially as my friends would be living around where the course was base and I would be at a different location. It would be do-able for a while, but soon I’d feel isolated and uncomfortable.

This would soon affect my progress on the course. Why? Media is an industry that revolves around teamwork and if I didn’t get on with many on my course then this would make my success on the course more difficult.

It was decided that if I did choose to study at the university I was going to live at home.

Overall, if the necessary equipment and adaptions were put into place. I would definitely consider the university and course as an option.

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