Birmingham Foundation Pathways Presessional English programme

If you hold a conditional offer for a Birmingham Foundation Pathways Programme you may now apply to study on the English for Academic Purposes Presessional run by the Birmingham International Academy (BIA) at UoB.

On successful completion of the EAP Presessional programme, you can transfer to the Birmingham Foundation Pathways in January or September without needing to re-take IELTS.

The English for Academic Purposes Presessional will help you prepare for your Foundation Pathways study by developing and giving practice in: writing academic essays; speaking and pronunciation skills; understanding lectures; specialist vocabulary to allow you to take part in seminar discussions related to your future academic course.

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

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 Foundation Pathways 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.

 

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 2 to 6 July 2018.

 

Public holidays are on:

25 and 26 December 2017

1 January 2018

30 March 2018

2 April 2018

7 and 28 May 2018

27 August 2018

 

University closed days are on:

27, 28 and 29 December 2017

2 and 3 January 2018

3 and 4 April 2018

 

What you will study

The course aims 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

 

Students who have studied on the EAP Presessional for Foundation Pathways have reported increased confidence in their use of the English language and academic study skills, which better prepares them for their main programme.

 

Length of course

We offer courses of between 6 and 20 weeks immediately before the January and September start dates. However, you may need a longer Presessional English programme, depending upon your current English language level. If this is the case, we offer longer courses of 31 weeks or 42 weeks. Upon successful completion of the programme, you can transfer to the Foundation Academy without needing to take another English language test. 

If you're starting a Foundation Pathways programme  in January 2018, the dates of available presessional programmes are:

  • 11-week: 25 September 2017 – 08 December 2017
  • 6-week: 30 October 2017 – 08 December 2017

If you're starting a Foundation Pathways programme in September 2018, the dates of available presessional programmes are:

  • 42-week: 25 September 2017 - 14 September 2018
  • 31-week: 08 January - 14 September 2018
  • 20-week: 23 April - 14 September 2018
  • 15-week: 29 May -  14 September 2018
  • 10-week: 09 July - 14 September 2018
  • 6-week: 6 August - 14 September 2018
  • 4-week (unconditional students only): 20 August - 14 September

Find out what length of course you need

Course assessment

Your grade for the course will depend on grades for work you do during the course and your final score in exams.

Progression

The requirements for successful completion of your Foundation English presessional programme is:

  • 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

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). You are asked to pay us the full balance once you have started the course.

The following fees currently apply:

Deposit and fees by course length

Course length  Start dates (All courses end on 14 September 2018)   Full fee       
42 weeks 25 September 2017 £14,070
31 weeks 08 January 2018 £10,385
20 weeks 23 April 2018 £6,700
15 weeks 29 May 2018 £5,025
10 weeks 09 July 2018 £3,350
6 weeks 06 August 2018 £2,010

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 place on one of the University of Birmingham Foundation Pathways

IELTS requirements

The minimum IELTS you need for this course depends on the Foundation Pathways Programme for which you have an offer. If you have an offer letter from the University of Birmingham Foundation Pathways, it will tell you the required IELTS test score needed for entry to the Foundation Pathways. 

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 Presessionals

The following deadlines for Presessional applications apply in 2017/18:

  • 11-week course/42-week course - 25 August
  • 31-week Course - 08 December
  • 20-week Course - 23rd March
  • 15-week Course - 27th April
  • 10-week Course - 8th June
  • 6-week Course - 6th July
  • 4-week Course - 20th July

Before applying please read the following:

Important information about presessional courses at the University of Birmingham

To apply for the course from 11 January 2018 (or later), you will need to send us the following:

  • A completed 2018 application form (Word - 57KB)
  • A copy of your passport
  • Proof of your current English level (for example, a copy of your IELTS certificate)
  • If a sponsor is paying for you, your sponsorship letter
  • If  you will be under 18 years of age at the start of the presessional, you will also need to provide a Parent/Guardian Agreement Form.  You may have been sent this already by our central Admissions team when you applied for your main course of study.  If not, you will be sent one  to complete if your presessional application is successful.

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
  • By post: send us your forms and copies of your documents to:
    Birmingham International Academy
    The University of Birmingham
    BIRMINGHAM
    B15 2TT, UK

Deadline for receipt of applications

The deadline for applications is four weeks before the start date of the course that you wish to apply for. If you are applying after this date, please contact  us first at presessional@contacts.bham.ac.uk to check that there are still places available.

It is then very important that you check you are able to get a visa in time to be present on the first day of the course, as unfortunately students are unable to start the course late. You will also need to check the availability of your flights.

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 Foundation Pathways 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.

Image of Xuan-Yu Liu  (Presessional student in 2011)

 

Xuan-Yu Liu (China) completed a 6-week English Presessional course before going on to a Foundation Programme."I lacked confidence when I arrived, but I was more prepared for my foundation programme because I did the Presessional. The most useful part of the course for me was learning how to take part in seminars and write academic essays. There are many differences between Universities in China and the UK, especially in academic writing. The teachers helped me a lot and the Presessional gave me an advantage." (Xuan-Yu Liu, 2011).

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.

 

Accommodation

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:

  • 18 September 2017 to 10 December 2017
  • 8 January 2018 to 25 March 2018
  • 23 April 2018 to 24 June 2018

 

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