Business Management English (BME) Presessional

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.


10-week BME student (Benin)

“The BME course offers you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with academic writing, case study analysis, research skills and plagarism issues, and it helps to improve your speaking and vocabulary. On top of this, you get introduced to the UK culture and get to interact with people from other continents. All these boost your confidence to be successful and take on challenges in the Business School.”

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: 29/04/19 - 20/09/19
15 weeks: 03/06/19 – 20/09/19
10 weeks: 15/07/19 – 20/09/19
6 weeks: 12/08/19 - 20/09/19

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

Fees and funding

Fees and deposit

To book a place on this course, you will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of £450.  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 2019)   Full fee       
20 weeks 29 April  £7,000
15 weeks 06 June £5,250
10 weeks 15 July £3,500
6 weeks 12 August £2,100
How to pay these fees is detailed on the Methods of Payment for the Presessional English Courses page.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

In order to study on the BME, you must be an international student with a conditional or unconditional 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.

How to apply

2019 Presessionals

The following deadlines for Presessional applications apply in 2019:

  • 20-week Course - 29th March
  • 15-week Course - 03rd May
  • 10-week Course - 15th June
  • 6-week Course - 12th July
  • 4-week Course - 27th July

Before applying please read the following:

Important information about presessional courses at the University of Birmingham

To apply for the course, you will need to send us the following:

Making your application

You can send us these forms and documents:

By e-mail: e-mail scanned copies of the forms and your documents to

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 8 to 12 July 2019.

Public holidays are on:
19 and 22 April 2019
6 and 27 May 2019
26 August 2019

University closed days are on:
23 and 24 April 2019

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. 


Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal. 

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CV’s and job applications will help give you the edge. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Your Birmingham degree is evidence of your ability to succeed in a demanding academic environment. Employers target Birmingham students for their drive, diversity, communication and problem-solving skills, their team-working abilities and cultural awareness, and our graduate employment statistics have continued to climb at a rate well above national trends. If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

At the BIA, we organise day trips for international students to places of cultural and historic interest. These day trips are organised throughout the year, during term-time and the summer.

The cost of day trips is included in your tuition fee; however, occasionally we may run a day trip where subsidised costs may apply. You will always be advised when costs to any of our day trips or social activities apply.

In addition to the day trips, we organise a full and lively social programme for all summer presessionals. This starts in July and includes sports activities, trips to the cinema and local museums.  Some extra costs may apply for local trips (up to £10).

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

 "…A series of academic lessons, fantastic day-trips, and teamwork across cultures stimulated me to discover a pleasurable and colourful life in the UK: The warmth, encouragement and support which I gained from the BME course made me feel confident to prepare for my future postgraduate course..." - Ya-Ting Ji, 15-week BME student (Taiwan)

BME_student life


Before your presessional starts, you can book self-catering accommodation on the University campus and obtain information on accommodation in the private sector through the University accommodation website. For under-18s, we offer a special level of support and house students in Mason hall or Shackleton. If you are under 18 at the start of the programme, this accommodation is compulsory.

Meal Plan (term-time only)

If you live at the Vale Village, you may be allocated into a Meal Plan room. The Meal Plan is not available during the summer.

During term-time, the Meal Plan gives you a flexible weekly allowance that you can spend on food in University catering outlets including Infusion, The Melt and Pizza Shack on the Vale, as well as 17 other cafés and snack bars across campus. It is a great opportunity to meet other residents and socialise over meals, and helps free up time for studying, as you don't need to worry about food shopping, cooking or washing up.
Most dietary requirements can be catered for.

Under the Meal Plan package, meals are available during term times:

  • 1 October 2018 to 14 December 2018
  • 14 January 2019 to 29 March 2019
  • 29 April 2019 to 21 June 2019

For all queries about accommodation, please contact Housing Services

Information about accommodation for Presessional students.

Further information about our accommodation, including virtual tours of bedrooms and kitchens, can be found online.

If you have further questions please contact: