FAQS Entry Requirements

Please see some specific questions about the entry requirements for the Birmingham Foundation Academy:  

What are the academic entry requirements for the BFA?

You can find the entry requirements specific to your country and qualification .

If your qualification is not listed here, then please contact us:

We will be happy to advise you as to whether your qualification is accepted for entry to the Birmingham Foundation Academy and if so, what grades you require. 

What English language requirements will I need?

All your teaching will take place in English so you will need to demonstrate that you have a good standard of written and spoken English before you start your Foundation Academy programme.

To do this you must have reached a specified level in a recognised English language proficiency test. The level you will need depends on the pathway you wish to take and whether you register for the one-year or the four-year programme. If you have taken IELTS or the Pearson Test of English (Academic) you can find the required level for your chosen pathway under English language entry requirements.

Do you accept IGCSEs?

IGCSEs, and other qualification that are at the same level as GCSEs in the UK education system, on their own are not considered sufficient for Entry to the BFA. We would normally expect qualifications to be broadly equivalent to the UK AS-Level qualification. IGCSEs would be considered if offered together with additional qualifications.

Do you accept AS levels?

AS Levels may be acceptable on a case by case basis. If you are studying for AS Levels we would strongly urge you to continue your studies to A Level as this will provide you with more options for higher education study. If you choose to study to AS Level only and apply for the Birmingham Foundation Academy you will be asked to provide information as to why you did not continue your studies through to A Level and this information will be taken in to account when assessing your application. 

Do you accept A levels? 

If you possess UK A levels you will not normally be considered eligible for the foundation. However, we do accept good A Levels for students who wish to take the BFA as an adjustment year. In this case, you would be required to have at least an ABB profile, to include Mathematics for the Engineering and Physical Sciences pathway.We may also consider applicants with a combination of A Levels and other international qualifications. 

Do you accept International Baccalaureate Diploma or A level equivalences?

If you possess high school leaving qualifications equivalent to UK A levels you will not normally be considered eligible for the foundation.

However, we do accept these qualifications for students who want to take the BFA as an adjustment year. For an adjustment year, we require at least 28 points overall, to include 5 in Mathematics Higher Level for the Engineering and Physical Sciences pathway.

Do you accept International Baccalaureate Certificate?

We do not accept this qualification on its own.

Do you accept the Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)?

Yes, this would be acceptable if you have achieved at Grade A and the certificate is no older than two years at the time of admission.

For further information on our other English language entry requirements specific to your intended pathway 

I've studied English at my school.Do I still need to take an English test?

We will only accept English from countries where English is the primary language.

Please refer to the country-specific requirements at entry requirements . This list indicates where an additional English test is not required.

Can I still join if I don't meet the English language requirements?

You must meet the minimum English language requirements before joining the Foundation Academy programme.

If you do not meet the English language requirements at the time you apply, we may make you an offer that is conditional upon you meeting these requirements.

To enable you to do this, you can attend a specific Foundation Academy English presessional programme that takes place before the start of your first term. This programme can be 6, 10, 11, 15, 20 or 31 weeks in duration, depending on your current English language level. Successful completion of this programme will allow you to progress to the Birmingham Foundation Academy without retaking another English language test.

Please note: The tuition fees for the BFA Presessional English programme are not part of the Birmingham Foundation Academy Package.

For more information please see the Presessional English programme section.

Is the BIA right for me?

The Birmingham international Academy (BIA) is suitable for you if you have completed your high school education to a high standard and you would normally require a foundation year before being eligible for first-year undergraduate entry to universities in the UK.

The BFA is not suitable for you if:

  • You would not normally require a foundation year but have not achieved the grades normally acceptable for direct entry to University of Birmingham undergraduate degree programmes.
  • You hold a degree (either a Bachelor degree, Masters degree or Research degree). Your qualifications may be suitable for other programmes.Please visit Course Finder for details of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes which are available.

I am a UK student; is the BIA suitable for me?

The Birmingham International Academy (BIA) is primarily aimed at students whose education system is not directly comparable to that of the UK. This means that, even if you have completed your high school education to a high standard, you would still normally require a foundation or a bridging year before being eligible for first-year undergraduate entry to universities in the UK.

The BFA is not suitable for you if you have been educated in the UK, and would not therefore normally require a foundation or bridging year, but you have not achieved the grades normally acceptable for entry to the University of Birmingham.

The BFA is not recommended for you if English is your first language, as you will still need to take modules in Academic English and Study Skills as a compulsory part of your programme.

I am an EU student; is the BIA suitable for me?

The Birmingham International Academy (BIA) is suitable for you if you have completed your high school education to a high standard and you would normally require a foundation year before being eligible for first-year undergraduate entry to universities in the UK. Most education systems in the EU are similar to that of the UK and you would not normally require a foundation year before starting an undergraduate degree programme. However, if you meet our stated entry requirements for the BIA, you are welcome to apply.

You can also choose to join the BIA if you meet the stated entry requirements for direct entry to University of Birmingham undergraduate degree programmes but you would like to take a foundation year in order to improve your academic English and study skills and familiarise yourself with the UK.

If English is your first language, the BIA is not recommended for you, as you will still need to take modules in Academic English and Study Skills as part of your pathway. However, if you are a high-level English language speaker, with an IELTS score of 8 overall (or equivalent) you can replace the Academic English and Study Skills modules with Advanced Academic Skills module – this 20 credit module will enable you to extend your academic and communication skills intensively and to use you language flexibly for a wide range of academic purposes.

Please visit Entry requirements for the BIA.

The cost of the Birmingham International Academy Package for Home Students (EU) in 2015–2016 is £9,000.

This includes:

  • One year’s tuition fees
  • Books and all classroom equipment
  • Full access to all campus facilities and University services

Please note:

  • Accommodation fees are not included in the BIA package
  • If you have received a BIA offer for a Bachelor’s Degree with Integrated Foundation Year (four-year programme) only, you are eligible to apply for financial support with the Student Loans Company. Unfortunately you are not eligible to apply with the BFA one year offer only.

I am a mature student; is the BIA suitable for me?

The Birmingham International Academy has specific entry requirements based on the education system that you have followed and the level you have attained. English language entry requirements also apply. If you meet the specified entry requirements, you are welcome to apply.

Can I just apply for direct entry to an undergraduate programme?

The Birmingham International Academy is primarily aimed at students whose education system is not directly comparable to that of the UK. This means that, even if they have completed their high school education to a high standard, they would still normally require a foundation or a bridging year before being eligible for first year undergraduate entry to universities in the UK.

If the education system you have studied in and the qualification you have achieved are normally accepted for direct entry to UK undergraduate programmes and you meet the entry requirements for the University of Birmingham, then you are welcome to apply directly for an undergraduate programme via the UCAS system. 

However, if you meet the undergraduate requirements but would like to take a foundation year in order to improve your academic English and study skills and familiarise yourself with the UK, you can still choose to join the BFA.

Please note:

  • You can check if your qualification is accepted for direct entry to our undergraduate programmes
  • Entry requirements for A levels and the International Baccalaureate are listed within each undergraduate programme entry in our Course finder.
  • English language requirements for our undergraduate programmes.
  • Applications for direct entry to undergraduate programmes can be made through www.ucas.com
  • You can find a range of entry requirements for the BFA for international education systems and qualifications.
  • Applications for the BFA are made online directly to the University, via the BFA homepage.

Is there a minimum age for the BIA?

Yes, for the 2017-18 academic year, you must be aged 16 or over by the start of the BIA academic year (25 September 2017). This date is fixed whether you have a September or a January start date.

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