Exploring the UK

An overview of: Birmingham

Where is the Birmingham?

Birmingham is a city located in the West Midlands region of England. It’s the second-largest city in the UK, after London, and is known for its rich industrial history, diverse culture, and vibrant city life.

About the region

The region of West Midlands in England is located in the central part of the country. It has a mix of urban areas with bustling cities and towns, as well as rural areas with picturesque landscapes and countryside.

The most prominent city in the region is Birmingham, which serves as the regional capital. It’s known for its cultural diversity, with a population representing various backgrounds and ethnicities. Other notable cities include Coventry, Wolverhampton, and Stoke-on-Trent.

Overall, the West Midlands region is a dynamic and diverse area with a rich historical background, modern developments, and a welcoming atmosphere. It’s blend of urban centres, natural landscapes, and cultural attractions makes it an intriguing destination to explore and experience.


Birmingham is well-served by a variety of transport options, making it easy for residents and visitors to travel within the city and connect to other parts of the UK.

  • By Car: Birmingham is well-connected by road, with several major highways converging in the city. The M6 motorway is one of the primary routes, running north-south and connecting Birmingham to other major cities like Manchester and London. The M5 motorway runs southwest towards cities like Bristol. The M42 motorway circles around the eastern part of the city and provides access to the Birmingham Airport.
  • By Train: Birmingham has an extensive rail network, with several major train stations:
  1. Birmingham New Street: The main railway station in the city centre, providing connections to various cities across the UK.
  2. Birmingham Snow Hill: Located in the city centre, it serves destinations in the West Midlands and beyond.
  3. Birmingham International: Situated near the airport, this station connects to the West Coast Main Line, providing fast services to London and other major cities.
  4. Birmingham Moor Street: Also in the city centre, it connects to local and regional routes.

By Air: Birmingham Airport (BHX) is the primary international airport serving the city. It offers flights to various domestic and international destinations, making it a key hub for air travel in the region.

  • Public Transport: Birmingham has an integrated public transport system consisting of buses, trams, and trains managed by various operators:
  1. Buses: The city has an extensive bus network operated by several companies. The National Express West Midlands is the largest bus operator in the area.
  2. Trams: The West Midlands Metro is a modern tram system connecting Birmingham with Wolverhampton and other nearby towns.
  3. Local Trains: Apart from the major train stations mentioned earlier, the local rail network connects various parts of the West Midlands, making it convenient for residents to travel within the city and surrounding areas.

Living in the area

As the second-largest city in the UK, Birmingham has a lot to offer in terms of culture, entertainment, education, and employment opportunities.

Known for its cultural diversity, Birmingham has a large and diverse population representing various ethnic backgrounds and nationalities. This diversity is reflected in the city’s food, festivals, and cultural events.

The city offers several types of housing, including apartments, terraced houses, semi-detached and detached houses, as well as shared accommodations. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment varies, with city centre options ranging from £700 to £900 per month and those outside around £550 to £750. Basic utilities for a standard apartment might cost about £120 to £150 monthly. Public transportation costs average £50 to £70 monthly, and groceries could amount to £150 to £200 per month for a single person. Dining out at mid-range restaurants might cost approximately £20 to £40 per person, while fast food could be around £5 to £10.

Birmingham’s blend of historical landmarks, modern developments, and a range of amenities creates a dynamic and exciting living environment.

Whether you’re looking for educational opportunities, career growth, cultural experiences, or a vibrant social life, Birmingham has something to offer for everyone, making it an appealing place to call home.


Birmingham, as one of the UK’s largest cities, offers a vast range of educational opportunities at all levels.

  • Primary Schooling: Birmingham is home to a plethora of state-maintained primary schools that serve its diverse communities. There are also several independent primary schools, offering alternative education choices.
  • Secondary Schooling: Birmingham houses numerous state secondary schools, including many that have received outstanding Ofsted ratings. The city also has a selection of grammar schools which admit students based on the 11+ examination.
  • University Education:
  1. University of Birmingham: A prestigious member of the Russell Group, it offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs.
  2. Birmingham City University: Known for its emphasis on professional education, it has faculties ranging from arts, business, and health to technology.
  3. Aston University: Located in the city centre, it’s particularly recognized for its business and engineering courses.
  4. Newman University: A smaller institution, it provides a range of humanities, social science, and teacher training programs.
  5. University College Birmingham: Primarily offers courses related to business, hospitality, tourism, and culinary arts.

There are also several colleges in Birmingham that provide further education and vocational training, bridging the gap between secondary schooling and higher education or employment.


Birmingham, often dubbed the “Second City” of the UK, offers an eclectic mix of leisure activities that blend its rich industrial heritage with contemporary attractions.

The city centre is a hub for shopping enthusiasts, with the Bullring & Grand Central being one of the UK’s largest retail destinations. Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter showcases a blend of historical architecture and modern boutiques, making it a unique spot for both shopping and sightseeing. For arts and culture aficionados, the Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery houses an impressive collection, while the Symphony Hall hosts world-class musical performances. Canals meandering through the city provide picturesque walking routes, with Brindleyplace offering a vibrant array of restaurants and bars.

In summary, Birmingham ensures that there’s always something exciting to do, catering to the interests of people of all ages and backgrounds. The city’s inclusive and welcoming atmosphere makes it an enjoyable place to explore and experience a wide array of leisure activities.


Birmingham has a well-established healthcare system and is home to several hospitals, both within the city and in the surrounding areas.

Some major hospitals include Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Heartlands Hospital, Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and Birmingham Women’s Hospital. These hospitals offer specialised care in areas like trauma, transplant, cardiology, paediatrics, and women’s health. Birmingham’s healthcare system ensures residents have access to comprehensive medical services and treatments.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) is one of Birmingham’s largest and most prominent hospitals.

QEHB is part of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, one of the UK’s largest and most respected NHS trusts. QEHB offers a wide range of medical services and specialities. It is a major trauma centre that specialises in serious injuries resulting from accidents or emergencies. The hospital also offers specialised surgery, cardiology, oncology, organ transplantation, and other medical treatments.

  • You can find the website for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust here.
  • You can find the website for Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust here.

Relocation support

How do Doctors Relocate assist with your relocation?

In addition to providing personalised career guidance, facilitating interviews and managing negotiations to secure the right job opportunity for each individual, we offer ongoing relocation support to our candidates, helping with practical matters such as accommodation arrangements, banking, and setting up other essential services.

Our dedicated team is readily available to address any concerns or queries that you have along the way, ensuring that you feel supported and confident throughout your relocation.

With our guidance, you can confidently navigate the relocation journey, focusing on your professional and personal growth in the UK.

Your essential reading list: Top blogs to help with your relocation to the UK

Moving to the UK: Planning and packing tips

Driving in the UK with an overseas license

Buying a car in the UK

The UK education system

School Holidays in the UK

Supermarkets and grocery stores in the UK

Public holidays in the UK

International airports in the UK

Urgent and emergency care services in the UK

Useful information and contacts in the UK

Registering with a GP and Dentist in the UK

Childcare in the UK

Arranging accommodation in the UK

If you’re a doctor interested in NHS positions, please contact our team to discuss the opportunities available to you.