Frequently asked questions

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You may have some questions about the Birmingham Foundation Academy, such as how we will support you in arriving and settling in, visa advice or questions about the programme and its pathways.

You may have specific questions about our January and September programmes, or what to do if you are an applicant under the age of 18. Common questions can be found below:

If you are under 18 years of age

Is there a minimum age for admission?

Yes, for the 2015-16 academic year, you must be aged 16 or over by the start of the BFA academic year (21 September 2015). This date is fixed whether you have a September or a January start date.

Please note: You can be under 16 years at time of application.

What are the entry requirements?

All of our entry requirements are exactly the same for anyone over or under 18 years.

For more information, visit entry requirements specific to your country and qualification. 

Is there accommodation available if you are under 18 years?

If you will be under the age of 18 at the start of the course, accommodation in Mason is compulsory, where you will be supported by the Customer Service Manager. However if you would prefer to live with a local relative or designated guardian, this is possible, by prior agreement.

Please see further information on accommodation within the full list of frequently asked questions below.

Our January Programme


When is the January start date?

The start date is proposed as 7 January 2016, to include induction. Teaching will commence on 11 January 2016. 

You will be able to check into your accommodation from 3 January 2016, and with the help of your Customer Service Manager, will be able to familiarise yourself with your surroundings. 

What are the term dates?

The course will be completed in time for the students to start their undergraduate programme in September. 

Term dates for 2015 - 2016 are:

  • Term 1: 11 Jan to 25 Mar (11 wks)
  • Term 2: 25 Apr to 24 Jun (9 wks)

Is a January start available for all of the pathways?

We are pleased to offer a new January start date for available programmes  in the Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law pathway only.

This programme will be a nine-month programme following the Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law pathway, allowing you to progress to your chosen undergraduate programme beginning in September of that year. 

Please note: There isn't a January start date for the Engineering and Physical Sciences pathway or Medical, Life and Geo Sciences pathway. These will start in September only

When is the deadline for applications for a January start?

The deadline date for applications is 7 November 2015

How do I apply for the January programme?

All applications will be via the online BFA application form, you will be able to choose between the two programme options: January or September. (This function will be live shortly; only September is an option currently.)

You will need to:

  • Detail your academic qualifications so far or predicted grades in the examinations you are currently studying for,
  • write a short personal statement explaining your motivation for applying, 
  • Choose the Pathway and undergraduate degree you want to study upon completion.

Once you have submitted your application form you will receive an instant acknowledgement which will provide you with your University ID number, which you must quote in all correspondence. You will then be sent a further acknowledgement email confirming receipt of your application.

How do I apply for my accommodation?

You are guaranteed a place in University accommodation; it will be arranged for all January applicants, provided you have applied by Monday 30 November 2015.

Once you have received an offer of a place to study here, you will need to apply for your accommodation online. You will need your student ID and an email address to apply.

Please note: There is no application fee and no obligation to come to Birmingham at this stage.

LIVING, the University's Accommodation Service, will then send you an offer of accommodation once you have met all of the conditions of your offer and become unconditional. The offer of accommodation will contain instructions on how to accept your accommodation and how to set up payments.

You will also need to make a pre-payment of £550 when you accept your offer of accommodation in full at the start of the year, or in instalments. You can pay for your accommodation using our Western Union Bank Transfer platform, ensuring your payments arrives in full and on time.

Can I study a presessional English course if I start in January?

There will be an 11-week and a 6-week pre-sessional programme prior to the January 2016 BFA programme. These will take place:

  • 11-week course: 28 September -11 December 2015
  • 6-week course: 2 November - 11 December 2015

These are at an additional cost to the Birmingham Foundation Academy programme.

Please see further information on our presessional programmes, in the full list of frequently asked questions below.

Our September Programme

When is the September start date? 

Teaching beings on 28 September 2015: however, you should arrive at the University during arrivals weekend (19-20 September 2015), which will allow you to familiarise yourself with campus, make friends and settle in to student life.

You will be able to check into your accommodation during the arrivals weekend, and, with the help of your Customer Service Manager, will be able to familiarise yourself with your surroundings.

When does the course finish?

Your final summer term, will finish on 17 June 2016.

What are the term dates?

Term dates for 2015-2016 for September, are as follows:

  • Autumn term: 28 September to 11 December 2015
  • Spring term: 11 January to 25 March 2016
  • Summer term: 25 April to 17 June 2016

When is the deadline for applications for a September start?

The last date for application for 2015 entry is Friday 7 August 2015.

How do I apply for the September programme?

All applications will be via the online BFA application form, you will be able to choose between the two programme options: January or September.

You will need to:

  • Detail your academic qualifications so far or predicted grades in the examinations you are currently studying for,
  • write a short personal statement explaining your motivation for applying, 
  • Choose the Pathwayand undergraduate degree you want to study upon completion.

Once you have submitted your application form you will receive an instant acknowledgement which will provide you with your University ID number, which you must quote in all correspondence. You will then be sent a further acknowledgement email confirming receipt of your application. Application guidance notes are available,

How do I apply for my accommodation?

Accommodation will be arranged for all September applicants. 

Once you have received an offer of a place to study here, you will need to apply for your accommodation online. You will need your student ID and an email address to apply.

Please note: There is no application fee and no obligation to come to Birmingham at this stage.

LIVING, the University's Accommodation Service, will then send you an offer of accommodation once you have met all of the conditions of your offer and become unconditional. The offer of accommodation will contain instructions on how to accept your accommodation and how to set up payments.

You will also need to make a pre-payment of £550 when you accept your offer of accommodation in full at the start of the year, or in instalments. You can pay for your accommodation using our Western Union Bank Transfer platform, ensuring your payments arrives in full and on time.

Is my accommodation guaranteed?

You are guaranteed a place in University accommodation provided that you have applied for your accommodation by 31 July 2015and have confirmed you are coming to Birmingham by 1 September 2015.

You will also need to make a pre-payment of £550 when you accept your offer of accommodation in full at the start of the year, or in instalments. You can pay for your accommodation using our Western Union Bank Transfer platform, ensuring your payments arrives in full and on time.

You can download our full set of frequently asked questions, which you may find useful to answer any questions you may have.

If you still have further questions, then you can contact us in a number of ways.