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Accessibility information

Despite being an old building (built in 1928), the University of Birmingham Guild of Students has been extended and redeveloped over the years and was recently described by the Guardian newspaper in an article on accessibility, as being a “haven of accessibility”. If you're visiting the Guild of Students building, please see below for information on the building's accessibility.

General external approaches and parking

There are two dedicated parking bays – on the front car park to the left of the main doors and to the side of the building - on the entrance to the mermaid square.

Disability car parking at the front of the guild
Disability car parking to the side of the Guild  of Students and ramp access

The main entrance is difficult to negotiate without assistance but the mermaid square has ramped entrances to the retail area, Joes bar and the Guild reception. The front of the building is generally flat but the access from the front car park to mermaid square is along a steep slope to the side of the building. The Guild building is linked to the main campus from Mermaid square across a bridge which has suitable access ramps.

During our evening events there are drop off points to the side of the building close to the mermaid square entrance.

General level and physical access

The building is very open and it is easy to move around the Ground and First floors. The lower ground floor has a steep ramp in its middle and the second floor corridor is long and relatively narrow - but can be negotiated. A full access statement is available upon request.

The Guild ensures adequate level access to all our services – use of temporary ramps are part of ensuring level access. We have the provision of lowered counters and priority seating in our venues especially our main bar on ground floor – Joe’s Bar. 


The Guild building is spread over four floors, ALL of which can be accessed by a lift located in the retail area near to Spar and FIX IT. Although the lift is small (5 person maximum load 375KG), it is big enough to fit a large wheelchair (internal dimensions 1030 x930). There is a second, larger, lift located by Reception which provides access to three of the four floors (lower ground, ground, and first floor). This is an 8 person lift with internal dimensions of 1390 x 1080.

Lifts are generally in use as long as the building is open, however, lifts may be turned off during selected evening events, but Venue staff members will have access to a key and will be able to assist anyone with mobility impairments who need to use the lift. The Guild has a Venues procedure that ensures disabled persons will wait no longer than five minutes to use the lift in these circumstances.


There are accessible toilets on the lower ground floor next to the female toilets near the Underground, on the ground floor next to the lift by reception, and on the first floor next to the female/male toilets near Costa Coffee.

Image - Disabled toilet
Image 1st floor disabled toilet facilities

All disabled toilets require a radar key and the Guild assumes that the person wishing to avail of these services will carry a radar key – in addition the Guild ensures that reception staff, security staff, and bar staff will be able to provide these keys within five minutes of one being requested at all times.

Mobile accessible toilets are used when our events are held externally - We aim to have a variety, with at least one that can accommodate users of large motorised scooters/wheelchairs.

Refuge Points

There are 7 refuge points located on each floor of the Guild. On arrival, staff will be able to inform disabled guests of the whereabouts of these points but they are clearly marked and signed. The emergency procedure has clear guidelines for the safe evacuation from these areas should that be deemed necessary. Evacuation chairs are located by every staircase throughout the building and the two main bars in the Guild have lower areas so that wheelchair users can see and communicate with the bar staff easily during any emergency.


The Guild of Students is located within the Selly Oak campus of the University of Birmingham and is easily accessible by road and rail. Maps and directions can be accessed here: Directions

If you are travelling by car or public transport (including train), you can find useful information here: Getting here - Selly Oak Campus


Any student with a Student Support Agreement is entitled to benefit from the '2 for 1' ticket scheme for the following Guild events: Fab 'n' Fresh, Sports Night, Grad Ball, and Sports Ball. This enables disabled students to bring a carer to these events free of charge. To obtain the offer, disabled students should show the front page of their agreement to the staff when purchasing their ticket, in order to receive a free ticket in return. This agreement must again be shown on the night of the event.

If purchasing your ticket online, choose your event here: Events list, then complete the purchase of one ticket as a single transaction, and bring proof of your Student Support Agreement with you on the date of the event, in order to gain entrance for your carer. If you do not have internet access, an alternative way of booking tickets would be to purchase from Joes bar between 11am-11pm.

An early entrance option can be made available upon request, email

Contacting Venues/ Collection of Tickets

If you need to contact our venues department in order to discuss options for booking or collection of tickets, email

Viewing Platforms

The Guild ensures adequate viewing platforms at some of our key events such as Grad Ball – these are large enough to ensure +1 companion but prior notification of this requirement is advised.

Strobe Lighting

If strobe lighting is intended to be used at an event, a general warning will be issued with clear information provided about how and when it is to be used. Warnings will be given both before and during performances.

Image - example of strobe lighting used inside the Guild of Students for major events

Trouble reading this information?

If you are having trouble reading this information, we would be hour Accessibility Information pack as a Word file in a larger font size or font of your choosing. To request this, please email

Alternatively, please click HERE to download this document now.

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