Once you have an offer

The following FAQs aim to provide you with answers and advice from Admissions about the queries we have received from applicants about their offers.

When do I need to make a decision on my offer? Is the deadline strict?

The deadline for acceptance gives you a date by which to make a response to your offer. Once the deadline expires we will assume you do not wish to accept the offer and we will decline the offer on your behalf. Please note: You will only become responsible for the payment of your tuition fees when you formally register for your programme, not when you accept your offer of a place. If you wish to extend the deadline please email your admissions contact (provided with your offer). If you wish to accept the offer after your place has been declined on your behalf please email your admissions contact (details provided with your offer) and see if the offer of a place is still available.

Please note: This deadline is for acceptance of offer and not the deadline for fulfilment of offer conditions.

If I'm made an offer does that definitely mean I have a place?

You definitely have a place providing you meet the conditions of your offer and you accept the offer within the deadline for acceptance*.

We normally make two kinds of offer:

A conditional offer which has conditions attached which have to be met before you can become unconditionally accepted by the university and guarantee your place. If you fail to meet the conditions of your offer, the offer of a place may be declined or withdrawn.

An unconditional offer is made with no conditions attached and needs to be accepted by the applicant in order for the university to unconditionally accept them and guarantee their place at the university.

*The deadline for acceptance gives you a date by which to make a response to your offer. Once the deadline expires we will assume you do not wish to accept the offer and we will decline the offer on your behalf.

Please note: You will only become responsible for the payment of your tuition fees when you formally register for your programme, not when you accept your offer of a place.

If you wish to extend the deadline please email your admissions contact (details provided with your offer). If you wish to accept the offer after your place has been declined on your behalf please contact admissions and see if the offer of a place is still available.

I applied for a PhD but my offer is for an Mphil/MSc by Research?

This is correct. At the end of this programme it may be possible for you to progress to the PhD if you have met the required academic standards.

Why is my offer for a different course than the one I applied for?

There are a few reasons why you may be offered an alternative course. You may have asked us to consider you for another programme. The department who reviewed your application may feel that you are more suited to another course and may recommend you an offer on a different programme or at a different level depending on your qualifications and experience. It may be that your first-choice programme is over-subscribed, and we have been unable to admit you to that course. There are also occasions where courses are changed or, due to unforeseen circumstances, withdrawn. Our University, like any university, has the right to withdraw a programme, without giving notice. If you have any questions regarding this then please contact the University using the contact details on your offer from us.

I have unconditionally accepted my offer but wish to change course. What do I do?

This will depend on whether or not you have registered for your course. If you have already registered for your course you will need to change course as an internal transfer. If you haven't registered for your course you need to make your request to admissions in writing and although we may be able to change your course it is not guaranteed. It will depend on which course you wish to change to and other factors, for example there may be different entry requirements and we may need to amend/re-issue CAS statements etc.

I have been away and so was unable to accept the offer in time. Is it too late to accept?

Extensions to acceptance may be provided if the applicant asks. Please email your request to the contact details provided in your offer.

The offer letter quotes a tuition fee, but I'm funded?

Tuition fees for all courses are listed on offer letters for information. If an applicant is having their fees paid by a sponsor, this is the amount that they will be invoiced. You will need to send your sponsors address, the amount they are paying and any reference/purchase order numbers to sponsorsadmissions@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

When do I become eligible for registration?

You will become eligible for registration once your application has become unconditionally accepted with us. Please make sure you check your status regularly and ensure you have met all the conditions of your offer. If you are already unconditionally accepted then you'll receive your registration instructions from July onwards. If you are made UA after this date then it usually takes between 24-48 hours until you receive your registration email.

I have changed my address. Who do I need to notify?

You can update your address details through the applicant portal. If you have not applied through the applicant portal then contact the Admissions office.

How can I contact the Admissions Office?

ATAS

Advice for applicants whose course requires ATAS clearance

One of my conditions is that I obtain ATAS clearance? What is this?

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme was introduced in November 2007 and is a mandatory requirement for non-EEA students on certain programmes. The Scheme is run by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and is an essential part of the UK’s commitment to counter proliferation.

How do I apply for ATAS?

Please submit your application via the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office). You will need the statement of research provided with your offer letter (if applying for a Research programme) or the details of modules covered by the programme of study, if applying for a Postgraduate taught programme of study (details will be sent to you with your offer) Please refer to the website for details of other documents that the FCO will require as part of the application process.

Do I need to have ATAS clearance before I can receive an unconditional offer or CAS?

Yes. If ATAS approval is a requirement for your chosen programme of study then you will need to have obtained clearance in order to have fulfilled the condition of offer. Only when you have met all the conditions of your offer can we issue you with an unconditional offer and a CAS.

How long does it take to obtain ATAS Clearance?

The FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office) advises that you should allow at least 20 working days for processing your application, however, at busy times of year (ie during the summer when volumes of applications are high) it can take longer than this. Please refer to the ATAS website for up to date information

When do I apply for ATAS?

We recommend that where possible you should apply for ATAS not less than 3 months before the start of your programme. An ATAS certificate is valid for 6 months from the date it is issued and must be valid at the point of admission. If your ATAS clearance expires before this your visa application may be refused. You should therefore not apply for ATAS more than 6 months before the start date shown in your offer letter.

Conditions of offer

Advice based on conditions of offer

One of the conditions is that I complete a DBS check? What does this mean?

Some courses (for example those where students work unsupervised with children or vulnerable adults) will require the satisfactory completion of a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check (formerly known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check) which is a UK wide legal requirement. The DBS check will make the University aware of any spent or unspent criminal convictions you hold, and the University will then consider whether any convictions are compatible with membership and a place on a particular course.

One of my conditions is that I complete a Health Declaration. What is this?

Some courses (for example clinical courses) will require the satisfactory completion of a Health Declaration. The Health Declaration will make the University aware of any health concerns, disabilities or special needs you may have to ensure the right support can be provided before you even begin your studies. Find out more about the support available.

My course is subject to fitness to practise regulations. What is this?

Some courses (for example clinical courses) are subject to Fitness to Practise regulations. This is a code of conduct you will need to adhere to should you join the programme.

I have to provide a certified copy of my transcript/degree. What is this?

Your degree transcript/certificate are documents that should have an original certification stamp, certified by a notary, an organisation such as the British Council, your university, or by a University of Birmingham representative in your country. Please note that scanned copies of these documents are not acceptable (unless they have come via one of our international representatives) and you will need to post these documents to the Admissions Office at the address on your offer.

Do I need to meet the conditions of my offer in order to accept the offer?

No you do not need to meet the conditions of the offer in order to accept the offer. Although there isn't a specific deadline for meeting the conditions of your offer you should be aware that we won't be able to make an offer unconditional or issue a CAS statement without you meeting your conditions.

What happens when I send in the documents to meet the conditions in my offer? Will I automatically be unconditionally accepted?

Applicants will become unconditional when they satisfy the conditions of their offer. Read your offer conditions carefully as they will explain what we are looking for.
Please note: we often request original or certified copies at the offer stage.

I have submitted all the supporting evidence online but my status still seem to be conditionally accepted. Why?

You can view the specific conditions of your offer online if you applied through the applicant portal. It's likely that you won't be able to provide all the evidence requested electronically. For example, usually originals, or certified copies of your results are required, which should be posted to Admissions. Please check your offer for details.

I have posted all the supporting evidence to you but my status still seems to be conditional. Why?

Please check the status of your application online if you applied through the applicant portal to see if your documents have been received. If not, it may be that they have not been received by the Admissions Office. If they have been added to your application recently, your offer should be amended or you will be contacted shortly. If they were received some time ago, please contact the Admissions Officer as detailed in your offer letter.

I missed the conditions of my offer when I received my exam results. Will you still accept me?

Please contact your Admissions Officer (via the details described in your offer letter) to advise that you have missed the terms of your offer. The Admissions Tutor may still be able to accept you onto the programme and if so, you will need to provide the documents as described in your offer letter (e.g. by posting an original or certified copy, in English, or your degree results).

I have met all my conditions. How long will it take to confirm my place?

Depending on your individual application's requirements and current workload it may take up to 10 days to have your place confirmed once you have met the conditions of your offer. The Admissions office aim to process each application as quickly and efficiently as possible.

You will receive your registration details via email prior to starting your course after your offer has being changed to unconditional and you have accepted the offer. Registration details are usually sent out from the end of July onwards. A conditional offer becomes unconditional once you have provided evidence of all the requirements stated in your offer. You will have been asked to accept/decline your offer within two months of the date of the offer in order to secure your place (if there is a different deadline for acceptance, your offer will state this).

Please log into your applicant portal to accept/decline to confirm your decision. You will need to accept your offer in your portal by the date specified in your offer, or the offer will be automatically declined on your behalf.
If your offer is already unconditional you will just need to accept your offer in the portal in order to become unconditionally accepted on the course.

English language

Advice based on English language requirements and qualifications

I took my English test several years ago. Do I need to take a new test?

If you are a native speaker of English and already have an English language qualification, it may be enough. Your offer will inform you as to whether you need to take a further test or not: if the offer is unconditional, you will have done enough; if it is conditional, you may have to do more. If you are an international student and English is not your first language, see our entry requirements for international students to find out what level of English is required and which tests we will accept.

Please note: English language qualifications are only valid for 2 years and must be no more than 2 years old at the time of admission.

I am an Overseas student taught in English. Do I need to take a test?

If you can provide evidence that you have been taught in English we may remove the English language requirement. Please contact the University regarding this using the contact details sent to you in your offer from us.

Start date 

What is the start date for courses at Birmingham?

Courses usually begin at the end of September or early October, Welcome week will begin the week prior to the beginning of your course giving you time to acclimatise to campus life. You can check the exact start date for your specific course with the Admissions Tutor or you can find it on your offer letter. Admissions Tutors contact details can be found in course finder.

Is it possible to start the course late?

There is usually a welcome week, which is a very important part of most courses. It is much harder to settle in if you start any later. For these reasons you will only be given permission to delay your start date by the Course Director in exceptional circumstances. You will need to write to your Admissions Officer (contact details in offer) as soon as possible detailing the reasons for requesting a late start and what date you would be intending to arrive.

Is it possible to change the start date of my PhD?

Yes, it may be possible to change the start date of your PhD. Please put your request in writing so we can contact your Admissions Tutor and see if it is okay with them. Please note that most PhD's can start in any month except July/August. For some PhD's (e.g. Business School) and for funded studentships it may not be possible to change the start date. Please contact your supervisor for details.