What you will study
Students benefit from an average of 19 class hours in addition to regular individual tutorials and a social programme.
- enhance your level of English language to satisfy entry requirements
- improve and develop your academic skills for BFA study
- use English grammar effectively and accurately in academic tasks
- improve your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills
- use source material effectively in written tasks
- practise strategies for expanding your vocabulary
- use time management and general study skills
- develop social communication skills
More generally, past students have reported increased confidence in their use of language and skills for academic study which better prepares them for the Birmingham Foundation Academy. You can read a student testimonial in the learning and teaching section.
Length of course
We offer courses of between 6 and 20 weeks immediately before the September and January start dates. However, you may need a longer Presessional English programme, depending upon your current English language level. If this is the case, we offer longer courses of 31 weeks or 42 weeks. Upon successful completion of the programme, you can transfer to the Foundation Academy without needing to take another English language test.
If you're starting in September, the dates of available presessional programmes are:
- 20 week course: 27 April - 18 September 2015
- 15 week course: 1 June - 18 September 2015
- 10 week course: 13 July - 18 September 2015
- 6 week course: 10 August - 18 September 2015
If you're starting in January, the dates of available presessional programmes are:
- 11 week course: 28 September -11 December 2015
- 6 week course: 2 November - 11 December 2015
Find out what length of course you need
Your grade for the course will depend on grades for work you do during the course and your final score in exams.
To complete the course successfully you must reach the minimum final marks required by your intended BFA pathway and have a minimum of 90% attendance. On successful completion of the course, you will progress to the BFA programme without retaking IELTS.
During your presessional course you will be guaranteed accommodation within walking distance of the university campus. Our student accommodation will allow you to enjoy your life in Birmingham in safe and welcoming surroundings.
Further information about our accommodation, including virtual tours of bedrooms and kitchens, can be found online.
If you have further questions please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fees and funding
Fees and deposit
To book a place on this course, self-funding students will need to pay a deposit of £450 (this will be deducted from your tuition fee). You are asked to pay us the balance once you have started the course.
The following fees and deposit amounts currently apply:
Deposit and fees by course length
||12 January 2015 - 18 September 2015
||27 April - 18 September 2015
||1 June - 18 September 2015
||13 July - 18 September 2015
||10 August - 18 September 2015
There are several ways you can pay us.
You can pay using our online shop. We recommend this method, since you do not have to pay any bank fees and the payment happens immediately.
If you pay using a bank transfer, please make sure that you have added enough money to cover all bank charges. If we have to pay any bank charges, we will ask you to pay us these charges back when you arrive.
You must have an offer for a place at the University of Birmingham Foundation Academy.
The minimum IELTS you need for this course depends on the BFA Programme for which you have an offer. If you have an offer letter from the University of Birmingham BFA, it will tell you the required IELTS test score needed for entry to the BFA.
Please note that in order to meet UKVI entry requirements you will need to show evidence of attaining at least a B1 level of English in all skills, proven by a Secure English Language Test (SELT). The UK Home Office recently made changes to the rules about English language tests for presessional courses. Please see our Update.
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply
To apply for the 31-week, 20-week, 15-week, 10-week or 6-week course you will need to send us the following:
You can send us these forms and documents:
By e-mail: e-mail scanned copies of the forms and your documents to email@example.com
By post: send us your forms and copies of your documents to:
English for International Students Unit,
University of Birmingham
Deadline for receipt of applications
The deadline for applications is four weeks before the start date of the course that you wish to apply for. If you are applying after this date, please contact Esther Reeves first at firstname.lastname@example.org to check that there are still places available.
It is then very important that you check you are able to get a visa in time to be present on the first day of the course, as unfortunately students are unable to start the course late. You will also need to check the availability of your flights.