Undergraduate entry requirements

We welcome applications from students offering A levels and other relevant qualifications.

As well as meeting the specific entry requirements of your chosen course, which can be found on course specific pages in our course finder, you must also be accepted by the Admissions Tutor for your course.

In addition, we require literacy and numeracy skills which can normally be demonstrated if you have the following: GCSE English and GCSE mathematics (including IGCSEs), both grade C or above.

Some programmes may require a particular grade in one or both of these subjects. This will be noted with the course entry in the course finder. Applicants must normally also be 17 years old by 1 October of the year in which their programme starts.

We accept the following qualifications:

  • Three GCE A levels (including International A Levels)
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • SQA Highers and Advanced Highers (many programmes will accept Highers without additional Advanced Highers)
  • The Cambridge Pre-U (minimum three separate subjects)
  • A mix of A levels and Cambridge Pre-U subjects (minimum three in total)
  • The Irish Leaving Certificate Higher Level
  • The European Baccalaureate

Other qualifications may be considered for some programmes, for example:

  • The Advanced Diploma
  • Appropriate BTEC National or Higher National Qualifications achieved with merit and distinctions
  • An Access to Higher Education qualification

Alternative qualifications

If your qualifications differ from those listed here, please contact the Admissions Tutor of the course that interests you, or the Admissions Office, for advice.

Email: admissions@bham.ac.uk

Telephone +44 (0)121 415 8900

Accreditation of prior learning

The University maintains a policy and procedure for accrediting prior learning of students who may have studied in part at another higher education institution -

Additional qualifications

Qualifications over and above your main exams (such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Understanding Industry Award or General Studies) will strengthen your application by demonstrating that you have sought to develop skills that will be useful in higher education study.

Although we do not normally make offers based on such qualifications, we do encourage applicants to take them and note them on their application forms.

BTEC

The University of Birmingham currently accepts the BTEC Extended Diploma for some of its courses, and the BTEC Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma, combined with A levels, for many others.

We welcome the revised specifications to level 3 BTEC qualifications for first teaching in Autumn 2016 (first entry to university in 2018), particularly the move towards examinations and external assessment, and the new emphasis on research skills, all of which will better prepare students for university study.  

The University has undertaken a comprehensive course-by-course review of the revised specifications. We will not be making any immediate changes to our entry requirements as a result of the new specifications. However, we will continue to monitor application patterns and student performance on a course-by course basis, and regularly review our entry requirements in the light of this. Entry requirements are available on our website.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University of Birmingham has reviewed its position on the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and for 2016 entry we will be including the EPQ in our offers where students are taking this in addition to 3 A levels*. Applicants who offer the EPQ and meet our offer criteria will be made the standard offer for their programme of choice and an alternative offer which will be one grade lower plus a grade A in the EPQ. For example where our standard offer is AAA, the offer would be AAA or AAB plus A in the EPQ.

We believe that this recognises the importance of independent learning and the value of this qualification as preparation for Higher Education.

*with the exception of our Medicine (A100) and Dentistry (A200) programmes

IB Diploma

The University has always valued the IB Diploma as a broad and balanced curriculum which provides students with a thorough preparation for degree studies as well as a rounded personal development programme. While we have always recognised the suitability of the IB for admission to our programmes we realise that our entry requirements for IB students have not evolved sufficiently in recent years to ensure that they are comparable to our A-Level requirements.

As a result the University of Birmingham has recently undertaken a review of our position on the acceptance of this qualification for admission to degree programmes and we have subsequently revised our IB offer policy for 2016 entry which we believe provides greater parity between the offers made to IB and A-Level students while acknowledging the essential differences between these two curricula.

The emphasis in our new IB offer is on performance in the Higher Level subjects which indicate the depth and breadth of study needed to flourish on our degree programmes. The retention of a minimum overall points requirement reflects our acknowledgment of the value of the Diploma as an integrated programme of study including the Standard Level subjects and the Core. 

Our IB offers for entry in 2016 onwards will be:

IB offers for entry in 2016
 A-LevelIB Diploma
 A*AA 7,6,6 at Higher Level (to include any required subjects) with a minimum of 32 points overall 
 AAA 6,6,6 at Higher Level (to include any required subjects) with a minimum of 32 points overall
 AAB 6,6,5 at Higher Level (to include any required subjects) with a minimum of 32 points overall
 ABB 6,5,5 at Higher Level (to include any required subjects) with a minimum of 32 points overall

Introduction of a wider contextual offer at the University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is delighted to announce the introduction of a new nationwide contextual offer for 2017 entry to add to its extensive suite of widening participation activities

Our contextual offer will be one grade below the standard prospectus offer, with academic discretion around the subject to which it is applied.  To qualify for the contextual offer students will need to meet the following two indicators:-

  • Be from postcodes with low participation to Higher Education, as measured by the HEFCE Polar 3 Quintile 1 indicator
  • Be attending or have attended a school/college where performance is below the national average

We will also continue to include all students who applied to us following engagement in our following outreach activities and who did not qualify for A2B:

  • Academic Enrichment Programme
  • Higher Education Insight
  • Routes to the Profession

We also apply the same process to some programmes agreed with the University of Nottingham which have been agreed as part of a ‘Mutual Recognition System.’ These programmes are indicated by students on their UCAS application form via a drop down menu.

  • Nottingham Potential Summer Schools
  • Sutton Trust Summer Schools
  • Pathways to Law

For the contextual offer to apply students must make us their conditional firm choice. The contextual offer will be made in writing after a standard offer has been made.

Students in the West Midlands who qualify for the A2B Scheme, and students who are part of Realising Opportunities will continue to apply through those routes. We know that the study module and activities associated with these programmes have significant benefits for transition to Higher Education study and future progression and success on degree programmes.  

Fitness to practice

For some courses there are very specific entry requirements concerning a students' fitness to practice their chosen course of study. For information concerning these requirements, please visit the following page which also contains important information concerning the University's conditions of study: