Information for applicants

We understand how important a decision it is when choosing the right course and university. To make it easier for you we have gathered together some useful information to help you in your decision about studying at the University of Birmingham.

If the University offers you a place and you decide to accept this offer, a contract will be formed between you and the University. Your rights and obligations to the University and the University’s obligations to you arising under that contract will be set out in the documents listed below, and these will form the terms and conditions of your student contract. The documents include:

  • Your offer letter
  • The Undergraduate or Postgraduate Prospectus, as appropriate
  • The University’s Royal Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations and Codes of Practice, known as ‘University legislation’
  • University policies and guidance
  • The programme information and requirements set out on our website

A summary of key terms and conditions is set out here.

University legislation is made up of Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations and Codes of Practice. A summary of each of the Codes of Practice is set out below. University legislation is regularly reviewed, with any changes normally taking effect at the start of the new academic year. A summary of changes to University legislation which have already been agreed for the start of the next academic year is published on our website where we will also publish any further significant changes which may be agreed before the start of the new academic year. 

Students also need to be aware of, and comply with, University policies, including;

Course information

Information about each of our courses can be found on the Coursefinder pages of our website. 

International students

Information for potential international students can be found on the International Students Advisory Service (ISAS) pages of our website. 

Disability, dyslexia and learning support

Information on disability, dyslexia and learning support can be found on the Disability and dyslexia support pages of our website.

Fees

Information about the fees for your programme for 2016 entry and any other costs associated with the programme are set out on the Coursefinder pages of our website and will be confirmed in your offer letter.  The tuition fees stated in your offer letter will apply for the duration of your programme (subject to any changes in the law or government requirements).  

Information on fees and funding for part-time students is available on the Undergraduate fees and funding pages and the Postgraduate fees and funding pages of our website.

It is your responsibility to make sure your fees and all expenses relating to your programme are paid in full and on time. The University’s requirements on the payment of fees can be found in Regulation 5.  If you are paying your tuition fees yourself, you must either pay the full amount at the beginning of the academic year or apply to pay by instalments using the University direct debit scheme.  If you are a sponsored student, you are responsible for payment if your sponsor does not pay your tuition fees.  

Unless your offer letter says otherwise, the tuition fee quoted in your offer letter does not include any charges for residential accommodation, examination re-sits, extensions to the designated period of study, travelling expenses or any other miscellaneous expenses which may be related to your programme of study (such as the cost of field trips).  Details of any other miscellaneous expenses you are likely to incur on your programme are indicated on the Course Finder section of our website.

If you do not pay your tuition fees in full or on time, the University may impose penalties which are set out in Regulation 5.  As a result, you may not be allowed to progress on your programme or you may be expelled from the University.  The University may also take legal action against you to recover any unpaid fees.    

If you do not pay any other (non-tuition) fees or other sums you owe, the University may take action to recover those sums.  This may include withholding any service for which you owe money (for example, if you do not pay library fines you may not be allowed to access the Library or use some or all of its facilities) or taking legal action against you.  However, you should note that if as part of your programme you spend time in another university, institution or organisation in the UK or abroad, the rules and regulations of that university, institution or organisation will apply to you while you are there.   Some overseas institutions might impose academic sanctions, for example, they might refuse to release your marks, if you do not pay either tuition fees or any other fees or costs (such as accommodation or meal plan fees) which you owe them.  This might mean that you are not able to complete your programme as planned.

If you withdraw from your programme, you may still be required to pay your tuition fees. The policy on how withdrawal date affects your fee liability is available on our fees pages. This does not affect your statutory cancellation rights (see below).

Cancellation Rights

After you have accepted an offer of a place, you can cancel your acceptance within the cancellation period without giving us any reason. The cancellation period runs for 14 days from the date we receive your acceptance. If you cancel your offer within the cancellation period, any deposit or administration or other fees you have paid will normally be refunded in full. If you start your programme during the cancellation period, the University will charge you a reasonable sum for the programme provided.

You can cancel your acceptance by informing the University’s Admissions Office by email at admissions@bham.ac.uk or by writing to the Admissions Office, the University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT using the Cancellation Form below.

Cancellation Form:

To the University of Birmingham Admissions Office:

I give notice that I cancel my offer of a place to study on the ........................................... programme.

Name of Applicant:

Address of Applicant:

Applicant/ID Number:

Signature of Applicant (if cancellation is by letter)

Intellectual property

If you, with material input by the University’s academic staff or as part of a collective project, develop an invention, device, discovery, material, product, process, computer software or any other potentially valuable result or innovation, Regulations 3.16 and 5.4 will apply to you in the same way as they apply to members of staff. In other cases, the University will apply the Intellectual Property guidance which is set out below. 

When does the University require an assignment of intellectual property (IP) from a student?

There are two main scenarios:

i) Where the student is working as part of a team of researchers in the University and the IP developed by the student is either:

  1. Relevant to the problem being addressed by the team and forms part of a solution to the problem being developed by the team; or
  2. Jointly owned by the University, as the IP was jointly created with another member of the team;

and in both cases the University is intending to try and commercialise the IP.

ii) Where the student in the course of their study or research develops some IP jointly with a member of staff of the University or where the input from the staff member is material and the University is intending to try and commercialise the IP.

There may be other cases where the University would require an assignment but these would be dealt with on a case by case basis according to the circumstances, and the University will discuss with the student the reasons for the assignment and how the student would benefit.

How does the student know that such an assignment is reasonable and fair?

The procedures and arrangements for notification and exploitation are set out in Regulation 3.16.  Any such assignment under this Regulation would cover:

i) Only the IP and its uses that are necessary to allow the University to commercialise a technology which incorporates the IP either directly or indirectly; and

ii) The financial benefit the student would receive in return should the IP be successfully commercialised.

The student would also have the right to be named as an inventor on any patent application where the student met the criteria for being acknowledged as an inventor under the law and the right to be named on any scientific journal articles according to normal academic practice.

What can you do if things go wrong?

The University is committed to providing a high quality educational experience, supported by a range of academic and administrative services and facilities. From time to time, however, things do go wrong, and if the matter cannot be resolved informally, the University provides students with a system for raising concerns and complaints about both academic and non-academic matters. Code of Practice on Student Concerns and Complaints sets out a procedure for dealing with students’ complaints fairly, consistently and as quickly as possible.  Students who are dissatisfied with a decision relating to a complaint they have raised may be able to complain to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) an independent body which reviews student complaints. Code of Practice on Admissions sets out the procedure for asking for a review of decisions made in the application and admissions process.

Summary of Codes of Practice

Codes of Practice describe the operational procedures that the University uses to deliver teaching and learning, and supporting services. Codes of Practice of particular interests to applicants and students are:

Code of Practice on the Admission of Students

Outlines the application and admissions processes, including deadlines and some relevant URLs. The Code also includes the process for the review of any unsuccessful application, as well as specific guidance on transferring registration from another Higher Education Institution (HEI).

Code of Practice on Academic Appeals

Guidance on eligibility and the grounds for Academic Appeals, as well as the rules for each stage of the appeals process.  Appendices set out the potential Academic Appeal Committee Hearing stage and evidence requirements.

Code of Practice on Student Concerns & Complaints

Explains the procedure for students raising concerns or complaints about the University. The Code outlines the stages of the process and gives direction as to how the policy is to be applied. A section describes mediation, an alternative option in seeking to resolve complaints.

Code of Practice on Student Attendance and Reasonable Diligence

Contains stage-by-stage information on monitoring student attendance, as well as the expectations of a student with respect to attendance and diligence including timescales. It also discusses some of the options available to staff in looking to resolve problems related to attendance or diligence.

Code of Practice on the Supervision and Monitoring Progress of Postgraduate Researchers

Sets out the expectations of postgraduate researchers as well as supervisory teams and Schools, in terms of the support and monitoring that is to be provided to students, as well as the responsibilities of the students themselves. This includes detailed information on the level of supervision and dealing with absence.

Code of Practice on Assessment of Research Degree Theses

Guidance on the arrangement and conduct of the examination of Research Degree theses, including guidance for the examiners and the criteria for their nomination.

Code of Practice on the Conduct of Centrally Co-ordinated Formal Written Examination

Clear guidance on the conduct of centrally co-ordinated formal written examinations, including variations such as alternative assessment, overseas sits, and timetables. This document also gives guidance to examiners on the production of the question paper.

Code of Practice on Taught Programme and Module Assessment

Explanation of the requirements for assessing work, and giving feedback. This includes sections on marking, progression and awards, and gives guidance on profiling. This document also explains the roles of Boards of Examiners and the University progress and Awards Board.

Student conduct

Code of Practice on Plagiarism

Information on what is considered plagiarism, as well as the processes for detecting and dealing with cases of plagiarism. This document also discusses possible consequences and penalties, as well as the College Misconduct Committee.

Code of Practice on Discipline in Residences

Outlines the procedures for dealing with breaches of University Accommodationcontracts. This document discusses the initial procedure as well as some of the options open to Investigating Officers. 

Code of Practice on Procedures for Misconduct and Fitness to Practice Committees

This Code details the procedure for the arrangement and conduct of College and University Misconduct and Fitness to Practice Committees, including the Order of Proceedings, potential sanctions, and closing considerations.

Student support

Code of Practice on Extenuating Circumstances

A document giving information on the Extenuating Circumstances procedure, the grounds for Extenuating Circumstances and what sort of evidence should be submitted. The document also discusses the options available to Extenuating Circumstances Panels including the Extenuating Circumstances grading criteria.

Code of Practice on Leave of Absence Procedures

Information on the types of Leave of Absence applicable in different circumstances, including a discussion of the consequences of a period of Leave of Absence, alternatives to Leave of Absence, and what happens if someone fails to return from a period of Leave of Absence.

Code of Practice on Personal Tutoring and Academic Feedback

An outline of the responsibilities around the Personal Tutor – Student partnership. The Code  also sets out the requirements for giving academic feedback, as well as sections on Career and Skills Development and Quality Assurance.

Code of Practice on Health, Wellbeing and Fitness to Study

Sets out the processes for addressing issues of students’ health and wellbeing in relation to their academic progression and University life in general