Supporting Documents

I applied to Birmingham previously. Do I need to submit new documents?

As part of the application process you will need to re-upload copies of your transcripts/references. We may be able to use your previous application to verify your qualifications etc. if we received certified or original documents. This would be viewed on a case by case basis.

I am a current/former student. Do I need to provide a reference/transcript?

We would advise Birmingham applicants to upload copies of their references as part of the application process . If you haven't graduated recently we would advise you to upload a copy of your degree certificate and/or transcript as part of the application process and we will verify your qualifications internally wherever possible. Applicants with qualifications obtained from the University of Birmingham after 2000 do not need to provide verification of them, as we can verify them electronically.

Where should I send my supporting documents? Will you acknowledge receipt?

You will scan your documents as part of the application process. You will be able to view the documents you have uploaded in your applicant portal. In addition you can see a list of outstanding documents we require.

Will you accept scanned copies of documents?

We accept scanned documents as part of the application process, however we may request original or certified documentation if we make you an offer.

My supporting documents are not in English?

All documents must be in English (or be accompanied by a certified English translation). For help with translating them, go to an organisation such as the British Council, your institution or a University of Birmingham overseas representative in your country. If an offer is made, you may also be asked to provide an original document or a certified translation and a copy in the original language.

How many references do I need to submit and who should provide them?

You will normally need to submit two academic references (or if appropriate to the programme applied for, one could be from your employer).

If you haven't been in education for a long time, you can, for example contact the institution where you took your degree and they should be able to supply you with a standard reference to confirm that you were a former student and what qualification you obtained. We would also accept an employment reference if it is relevant to the course you were applying for. If you are in any doubt as to the suitability of your reference we would ask you to contact either Admissions or the Admission Tutor of the course you wish to apply to for advice. For CPD courses two relevant employment references may be acceptable but please check before applying.

Please note: A family member or friend cannot act as your referee.

My tutor is no longer at my university. Who can provide my reference?

The student records department of the institution where you studied should be able to produce an academic reference.

Will you contact my referees on my behalf or do I need to do this?

Your referees will be contacted automatically by email, if you have provided their correct contact details, and will be asked to provide a reference as part of the online application process. Alternatively, you will have the option to upload a reference from your referee. If you choose to upload a document as a reference the system will not contact the referees directly. It will be your responsibility to contact the referee/upload the reference.

Please note that the University of Birmingham reserves the right to contact the referee independently.

Do I need to upload all the supporting documents with the application? 

You have the choice to upload documents at the time of application or you can upload them at a later date. Please note that some documents are mandatory depending on which course you apply for. In some cases we may not be able to consider your application until all your documents have been uploaded. In such cases your application will be delayed until all your documentation is received.

I've sent in my original documents - will I get them back?

We can either hold your documents in Admissions to collect when you start your course or we can post them back to you. We will put them in a hard backed envelope to protect the contents. Please advise what you would prefer in a covering note.

What Supporting documents do you require?

The supporting documents we require will be tailored to the course that you apply for. The following information will usually be needed before a decision can be made on your application:

• Two references and a Degree certificate/transcript(s),

• Certificate to show competency in the English Language, if English is not your first language

• Personal Statement

• Research proposal, if you are applying for a research programme

What kind of references do you require?

Two academic references (or if appropriate to the programme applied for, one could be from your employer)

We expect the reference to come from an official source and be a satisfactory reference.

Please note: A family member or friend cannot act as your referee.

What is a Transcript?

A transcript is a list of the modules/units taken and grades earned by a student throughout a course. It is a copy of a student's permanent academic record, including all grades received. Please contact the institution that you attended to provide you with a transcript of your studies.

You may provide us with a scanned copy of your transcript/Degree/Graduation Certificate in support of your application. Original language transcripts need to be accompanied by a certified translation.

Please note: we may request original or certified documentation if we make you an offer.

What is a certified copy?

A certified copy is a copy of an original document which has on it an endorsement or certification stamp confirming that it is a true copy of the original document.

Who can certify my documents?

• Your institution (school/college/University)

• A notary

• A University of Birmingham overseas representative in your country.

• Some branches of the British Council

What are the English Language requirements?

What is a personal statement?

Personal statement: approximately 5000 characters, explaining why you are interested in studying on your chosen programme. Alternatively, you can type this within your application

Are any other documents required?

You may also be required to submit further documents e.g. a sample of work or research proposal in support of your application. If this is necessary for a decision to be made on your application, the document will become a mandatory part of your application. See guidance notes.