Business Management English (BME) Presessional

Start date
2020 Entry: please see course details
20, 15, 10 and 6 weeks
Course Type
Postgraduate, Presessional English

Start dates for Business Management English 2020: 27 April 20 week, 2 June 15 week, 13 July 10 week, 10 August 6 week.

If you hold a conditional offer for the Birmingham Business School, with the exception of Economics, you should apply to study on the Business Management English (BME) run by the Birmingham International Academy (BIA) at UoB.

On successful completion of the BME Presessional programme, you can transfer to the Birmingham Business School in September without needing to re-take IELTS.

The BME Presessional is an intensive, motivating and intellectually challenging programme which focuses on the language, key concepts and study skills necessary for academic success in postgraduate study. You will explore case studies, journal articles and business texts in both the written and spoken forms. You will also attend lectures given by speakers from the Business School.

All students have full access to the University library resources, IT and sports facilities and social opportunities.

Length of course

The length of course you need depends on your existing level of English, and on the score specified in the offer letter for your University of Birmingham degree.

20 weeks: 27/04/20 - 18/09/20
15 weeks: 02/06/20 – 18/09/20
10 weeks: 13/07/20 – 18/09/20
6 weeks: 10/08/20 - 18/09/20

Admissions policy regarding length of course you can attend

If you are eligible for the 20-, 15-, 10- or 6-week course, it may be possible to consider you for a longer course if there are sound academic reasons for doing so.

If you are interested in this option, please contact:

Why Study this Course?

Presessional programmes aim to develop:

  • Accuracy and fluency in English for academic study
  • The ability to write academically using accurate referencing and avoiding plagiarism
  • A range of reading skills for academic texts
  • Grammatical competence
  • Vocabulary and study skills
  • Seminar and presentation skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • The ability to listen to lectures and discussions and take notes
  • Skills for working independently and with others

On the BME you will also:

  • Explore case studies, journal articles and business texts in both the written and spoken forms. 
  • Attend lectures given by speakers from the Business School
  • Analyse and critically evaluate business case studies
  • Learn to read business texts and develop your business vocabulary
  • Acquire strategies for speaking in seminars and small groups
  • Refine your notetaking strategies
  • Develop individual and group presentation skills
  • Learn library, referencing and research skills
  • Work autonomously and intensively in teams to meet tight deadlines



Once you arrive, you will need to pay the full balance of the course fee.

The following fees currently apply:

Course length  Start dates (All courses end on 20 September 2020)   Full fee       
20 weeks 27 April  £7,200
15 weeks 02 June £5,400
10 weeks 13 July £3,600
6 weeks 10 August £2,160
How to pay these fees is detailed on the Methods of Payment for the Presessional English Courses page.

How To Apply

2020 Presessionals


The following deadlines for Presessional applications apply in 2020:

  • 20-week Course - 27 March
  • 15-week Course - 02 May
  • 10-week Course - 15 June
  • 6-week Course - 10 July
  • 4-week Course - 10 July

Before applying please read the following:

Important information about presessional courses at the University of Birmingham

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online.

Apply now 

 If you have any queries pleasecontact:

Academic requirements

In order to study on the BME, you must be an international student with a conditional offer to do a GDBA, MBA, MSc, MPhil, DBA or PhD at the Birmingham Business School. The BME Programme is particularly useful if you plan to study:

  • Accounting & Finance
  • Business Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • International Business
  • Investments
  • Marketing

IELTS requirements

Your offer letter will tell you the IELTS score you need for your degree programme at the Business School. There are different entry requirements for each BME course length. Find out what length of course you need.

Please note that in order to meet UKVI entry requirements all presessional applicants who need a Tier 4 visa must provide a valid official Secure English Language Test (SELT) certificate, attaining at least a B1 level of English in all skills.

If you do not have the minimum IELTS score for the BME course you could consider applying for entry onto the  42-week or 31-week EAP Programme which leads into the BME programme at the 20-week stage.

You will have 15 hours and 30 minutes of tuition  (or 19 classes of 50 minute lessons). Each 50 minute class is followed by a 10-minute break.  Classes are scheduled between 9.00 am and 6.00 pm, Monday to Friday.  You will also be expected to do between 12 - 14 hours of independent study  a week.  Our maximum class size on the BME Presessional is 15 students, so tutors can give you individual attention and regular tutorials to help you meet your progression requirements. All our tutors are qualified and experienced.  You will be supported along the way by personal tutors and a welfare tutor, who can help with both academic and welfare issues.

Teaching methods within the classes are interactive and student centred, combining teacher presentations and teacher led discussions; student presentations and student led discussions; language analysis, language practice and problem solving activities.


"…The teaching staff were so helpful and have a high level of knowledge, and they understand the differences between cultural customs and traditions. With this, they dealt with different situations skilfully…" - Bdriya Hijazi, 20-week BME student (Saudi Arabia)

Contact Hours

Typical timetables

 These  sample timetables   (PDF, 139Kb) provide you with an idea of how your weekly study will be arranged.

Classes are Monday to Friday. All classes are university standard 50 minutes in duration. 

There is no teaching on Saturday or Sunday. There is a one week break between 6 to 10 July 2020. 

The University closes for 15 days in each academic year, from 1 October to the following 30 September. Eight of these days are public holidays: Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year's Day holidays; Good Friday and Easter Monday; May Day; Whit Monday; August Bank holiday Monday. For all bank holidays and University-closed days please click here

Assessment Methods

To pass the BME you must achieve the appropriate mark in each assessed component of the course. The passmark will vary depending on your course-length, but will include all or some of the followingsummative assessments:

  • An Academic Research Paper (ARP)
  • Answering Set Questions on a case study (ASQ)
  • A listening test
  • An individual presentation


The requirements for successful completion of your EAP BME presessional programme:

  • Achievement of the appropriate final mark for all assessed work (examinations and assessed coursework)
  • A minimum of 90% attendance
  • Meeting the appropriate contact points (a UKVI regulation) for your course
  • Fulfilment of university requirements for reasonable diligence

At the end of your course we need to make a decision on whether your English has reached the level required by your department to admit you for your course of study. We need to assess your level of English in order to make this decision. We do this through summative assessments which comprise an Academic Research Paper (ARP); Answering Set Questions on a case study (ASQ), a listening test and an individual presentation. 

The table below outlines how these assessments formed  final, aggregate summative EAP BME Presessional marks in 2017:

 Percentage  Assessment
Coursework 30%

Academic Research Project (2,500 words)

  20% Listening  (40 minutes)
Final Exams 30% Case Study (ASQ, 2.5 hours)
  20% Individual Presentation on ARP topic (10 minutes + Q&A)

Less than 40% - Fail: the student is unlikely to be able to pursue academic study through the medium of English without close formal departmental support and monitoring by BIA during the academic year

This score is the equivalent to a B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference and is belowthe UKVI requirement for continued studies

Please note: failure to complete the BME Presessional course successfully will mean that you will not have fulfilled the conditions of your offer. The University will not be able to accept any other English language results after this point. Therefore, your offer to study at the University of Birmingham will be withdrawn for that academic year.

You may, however, wish to resubmit your application or defer your entry to the following academic year while you continue to improve your level of English  to meet our language requirements. Alternatively, you may be eligible to apply for a 24-month programme after the BME. 


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