Student Services

Update: Pause@University of Birmingham Drop-in service

Please note that unfortnately due to lockdown restrictions Pause@UoB will be temporarily unavailable for face2face support on campus for the forthcoming weeks. We are currently open for telephone support service Monday - Friday 10am-5pm.

Students can register (24hrs) for a session using the below online form:

Alternatively students can register by leaving a message on our registration line:

020 784 14470 (Please note local call charges do apply), one of the team will get back as soon as soon as we can to arrange a session.

These details are available on the UoB intranet and FTB webpage and is the same registration process for all those accessing PAUSE services - Students who do not attened UoB can also use the above contacts to register for a session with PAUSE Digbeth.

We are consistently reviewing our service-model including our weekly workshop programme to ensure we are meeting the needs of the students as we can throughout this time. We will update you of any queries in the meantime, or would like to support with a particular case, please drop an e-mail.



Medical Certificates

The University has a system of medical certification for students based, primarily, on the assumption that most courses are designed to take account of minor illnesses and occasional periods of sick leave and that these episodes should not normally require a doctor’s note.

A standard University form has been designed to be completed by the student, followed by their doctor (see details below), for any period of absence due to illness at exam or significant assessment times or for significant medical problems at other times. You should bring a completed certificate with you to your appointment otherwise an unecessary delay will occur. A certificate will be issued only if the doctor thinks the condition merits it and note that a charge may be made for its completion.

The form may be signed by a GP, hospital doctor, relevant nurse or counsellor, who has been involved in your care.

Please note that a medical note is never needed so urgently as to require seeing the duty doctor. Please book an appointment with your usual doctor or the doctor who has already dealt with the problem.


Categories of Certification

  • Significant medical problem. e.g. glandular fever, hospital admission or illness lasting more than 7 days.
  • As above but retrospective i.e. applied for after the illness has ended or late in the course of the condition. This will carry significantly less weight with the University.
  • On-going or chronic, significant illnesses e.g. diabetes, severe asthma, CFS etc. A letter may well be required by your department from the doctor completing the medical certificate outlining the effect of your illness on your studies.
  • Sudden disruptive illness (only at exam time or during assessments counting towards your degree).

Students must make their personal tutor/supervisor/mitigations officer aware of the impact which they believe that this illness has had on their performance in the assessment. This information should be provided as soon as possible and certainly before the meeting of the relevant Board of Examiners.

The University may well also require completion of a mitigation form as part of the process of illness assessment - this does not need to be seen by the health professional completing your medical certificate.


To download the University of Birmingham Medical Certificate please click on the link below:

University of Birmingham - Medical Certificate.pdf

Counselling and Wellbeing Service (CAWS)

The Counselling and Wellbeing Service ("CAWS") is provided by the University and is located in the Aston Webb Building on Main Campus. The counselling service is fully independent of the medical practice but we are in close contact in individual cases if this is clinically necessary. The counsellors are experienced in dealing with a wide range of psychological problems particularly exam stress and depression usually in a one-one setting.

Any student of Birmingham University may 'self refer' for counselling services by filling in a brief self-referral form at the CAWS reception. Students may also be referred by their tutor or GP.

Routine Appointments with CAWS

An initial appointment is sent to students within 48 hours of completion of their self-referral form. This appointment is always the first available appointment and is usually within seven days from time of referral though at peak times it may be longer. The maximum wait for an appointment is fourteen days.

Urgent Appointments with CAWS

A rota system ensures that there is a counsellor on consultation duty during normal service hours to respond to students requiring urgent assistance. These crisis management appointments are brief and allow for either immediate action e.g. referral to medical personnel or follow up by a routine counselling appointment. 

Self Help Guides for Students

The university have put together a series of self help guides. Please follow this link in order to access these:


If you or someone you know needs help for a mental health crisis, or breakdown, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment. In an emergency, call 999.
It's important to know that support is available, even if services seem busy at the moment. NHS urgent mental health helplines are for people of all ages. You can call for:
• 24-hour advice and support – for you, your child, your parent/carer, friend or someone you care for

• help to speak to a mental health professional

• an assessment to help decide on the best course of care
You can find a local NHS urgent mental health helpline (England only) here. Please note that there may be different numbers for your home and university areas so make sure you check which number to call. 

You can also contact the following free listening services from the voluntary sector:

• Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans 24/7, or email: for a reply within 24 hours

• Text "STUDENT" to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text "YM" to the same number if you're under 19 for support from Young Minds.

• If you're under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline on their 24 hours helpline. The number will not appear on your phone bill.

• Text THEMIX to 85258 to contact the Mix

• If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, phone Hopeline UK on 0800 068 41 41, or text them on 07786 209 687 between 9am – 10pm weekdays, 2pm – 10pm weekends or email 

• Call the CALM helpline on 0800 58 58 58 between 5pm and midnight.