English for Academic Purposes Presessional

The English for Academic Purposes Presessional course is for international students who have a conditional offer to study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at the University, but who do not currently meet the English language requirements. The course is tailored to your level of English and allows you to meet the English language requirements for your programme without retaking IELTS.

 The EAP programme runs throughout the year and offers different programme lengths ranging from 42 weeks to 6 weeks. The length of course you need depends on your future course, your existing level of English and the level of English you need to progress to your main University programme of study.

 If you do not have the minimum IELTS score for the 20-, 15-, 10- and 6-week courses, you could consider applying for entry onto the 42-week or 31-week EAP 1 which leads into the BME and EAP PG programme at the 20-week stage.

 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.

  • 42 weeks: 01/10/18 - 20/09/19
  • 31 week: 14/01/19 - 20/09/19
  • 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

Find out what length of course you need

Admissions policy regarding length of course you can attend:

If you are eligible for the 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: presessional@contacts.bham.ac.uk

For students with offers to start their PhD in January or April:

11 weeks: 01/10/18 - 14/12/18

                   14/01/19 - 29/03/19

22 weeks: 01/10/18 - 29/03/19

Why study this course

All our EAP Presessional courses aim to develop:

  • Accuracy and fluency in English for academic study
  • The ability to write academically using accurate referencing and avoid 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

The Programme has been designed to support the development of your language and academic skills in preparation for your future departmental studies.

Additionally, on the EAP UG Presessional the course focuses on developing key study skills such as

  • Note-taking
  • Referencing
  • Critical thinking
  • Working in groups
  • Managing independent study

Whilst on the course, you will be supported by our experienced teaching team who will encourage you to take ownership of your learning in order to achieve your academic goals.

Additionally, on the EAP PG Presessional you will:

  • Study from a course handbook which contains the learning materials for your particular cohort
  • Learn how information is structured in textbooks, dissertations, journal articles and reports
  • Look at the role and structure of the paragraph; thesis statements, topic sentences, introductions and conclusionsm, and  linking and bridging within texts
  • Gain a better understanding of the word families that the academic words you're studying  belong to, both generally and specific to your programme.
  • Develop your analytical and critical thinking by encouraging you to distinguish between a writer's facts and a writer's opinion.
  • Acknowledge external sources of information in your own writing: using bibliographies, and direct and indirect quotations.

Fees and funding

Fees and deposit

To book a place on this course, self-funding students will need to pay a deposit of £450 (this will be deducted from your tuition fee).

The following fees and deposit amounts currently apply (see following table for PhD student information): 

Fees by course length
Course lengthDatesFees
42 weeks 01 October 2018 - 20 September 2019 £14,700
31 weeks 14 January – 20 September 2019 £10,850
20 weeks 29 April – 20 September 2019 £7,000
15 weeks 03 June – 20 September 2019 £5,250
10 weeks 15 July – 20 September 2019 £3,500
6 weeks 12 August – 20 September 2019 £2,100

The following fees and deposit amounts currently apply for PhD students: 

PhD student Presessional fees by course length
Course lengthDatesFees
11-week option for PhD students 01 October - 14 December 2018 £3,850
14 January - 29 March 2019 £3,850
22-week option for PhD students 01 October 2018 – 29 March 2019 £7,700
How to pay these fees is detailed on the Methods of Payment for the Presessional English Courses page.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

You must have an offer for a course (undergraduate or postgraduate) at the University of Birmingham.

IELTS requirements

The minimum IELTS score you need for this course depends on the required IELTS score for the degree or course you wish to study next. If you have an offer letter from the University of Birmingham, it will tell you the required IELTS score for your chosen course.  

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.

How to apply

2018-19 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:

  • A completed application form (pdf - 4.8MB)
  • A copy of your passport
  • Proof of your current English level (for example, a copy of your IELTS UKVI certificate)
  • If a sponsor is paying for you, your sponsorship letter

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 presessional@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Our maximum class size on the English for Academic Purposes 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.

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.

You will be supported along the way by personal tutors and a welfare tutor, who can help with both academic and welfare issues.


Please note that for summer EAP PG Presessional courses:

20-week /15-week - You will be in a mixed discipline and mixed nationality class. This will allow you to meet a range of other students. You will stay with this class for 10 or 5 weeks. You will have one teacher.

10-week /6-week - Generally speaking, you will be in a class of students from similar subject backgrounds. You will have one teacher and one teacher assistant (a postgraduate from your discipline).

Student views

Jia Sue (China)

"I developed my skills and learned how to write and reference a good essay, how to summarise and paraphrase ideas and how to collect information for an essay. It was all extremely useful for my current studies. The people on my course who had not done this Presessional found it more difficult so I would recommend doing a Presessional course instead of re-taking IELTS."

Violaine Bucchiotty (France)

"I’d recommend taking a BIA programme rather than re-taking an IELTS test because the Presessional is more interesting. We had some fascinating discussions in class and there is no better way to improve your English fluency than exchanging points of view with people from different cultures."

Further student testimonials

Contact hours

Typical timetables

These EAPPG and EAPUG  sample timetables   (PDF, 139-150Kb) provide you with an idea of how your weekly study will be arranged.

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 EAP 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.

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 2018.

Public  holidays are on:

25 and 26 December 2018

1 January 2019

19 and 22 April 2019

6 and 27 May 2019

26 August 2019


University closed days are on:

27, 28 and 31 December 2018

2 January 2019

23 and 24 April 2019

Assessment methods

Course assessment

To pass the EAP 1/UG or EAP PG you must achieve the appropriate mark in each assessed component of the course. Assessments will include the following: Reading exam, Writing exam, Academic Research Paper (ARP), Listening exam, an Oral Presentation as well as your speaking and listening skills in seminar discussions.


The requirements for successful completion of your EAP UG or EAP PG presessional programme are:

  • The achievement of the appropriate final mark for all assessed work (examinations and assessed coursework)
  • A minimum of 90% attendance
  • Meet the appropriate Contact Points (a UKVI regulation) for your course
  • Fulfilment of the university requirements for reasonable diligence


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.

Leisure programme

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.

EAPP_student life


Before your presessional programme 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:

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


For all queries about accommodation, please contact Housing Services: living@contacts.bham.ac.uk