In the countdown to Christmas 2020 we’ve been sharing festive-themed academic research videos and insights as well as fun and family-friendly activities. You can catch up on social media at #UoBChristmas @birminghamalum or find the highlights below.

Watch our fascinating videos

Stories from our campus community

The Great Hall has seen many events, challenges and milestones in its long history. It was a hospital during the First World War and has recently been a Covid testing facility for students, helping many to safely travel home for Christmas.

We are immensely proud of the students, staff and alumni who volunteered to help their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Meet some of our superheroes.

Congratulations to all our winter graduates and welcome to your alumni community! Our Three Wise Brummies discuss the importance of leading with empathy, listening to different perspectives and saying yes to daunting opportunities.

English Literature graduate Jessica Whitworth, who founded My Green Christmas with Mathematics grad Joshua Wood in 2019, selling an alternative to traditional Christmas crackers and cards, give their advice to budding entrepreneurs.

Take part in our family friendly craft activities and quiz

Festive research from our academics

Reading a book with the family by a roaring fire, tree twinkling in the corner and snow falling outside. It's an image worthy of a festive card, but what is the importance of reading together and why is it extra special at Christmas time? Dr Nicola Smith from the School of Education and some of our alumni teachers tell us more about the joy of Christmas reading and recommend some of their favourite books.

Is A Christmas Carol more than a ghost story? It is certainly a festive classic, but Mary Hind-Portley from the College of Arts and Law asks if Christianity and the true meaning of Christmas are truly present in the Dickens tale.

Many of us will be looking forward to tucking into holiday favourites like chocolates and cheese. Did you know that the University of Birmingham's College of Engineering and Physical Sciences is home to the largest Chemical Engineering-based food research group in the UK? The group been busy working to develop techniques allowing manufacturers to produce food that is still delicious but has less sugar, fat and salt.

From garlands and wreaths to Christmas trees as we know them today, evergreens symbolise life among the darkness of winter. But why are our traditional pine, spruce and fir Christmas trees looking so thirsty and drunk?