Birmingham Foundation Pathways Presessional English programme

Start date
2019-20 entry: Please see course details
11 weeks and 6 weeks for January start
Course Type
Presessional English

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.

If you hold a conditional offer for a Birmingham Foundation Pathways Programme starting in January and don't have the required level of English, you can apply to study on the 11-week or 6-week English for Academic Purposes Presessional run by the Birmingham International Academy (BIA) at University of Birmingham. 

  • 11-week: 30 September 2019 to 13 December 2019
  • 6-week: 4 November 2019 to 13 December 2019

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

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

We also offer Presessional English courses of between 6 and 20 weeks immediately before the September Foundation Pathways start.

Find out what length of course you need

For September 2020 Foundation Pathways, the Presessional English start dates are:

  • 20-week: 27 April 2020
  • 15-week: 01 June 2020
  • 10-week: 13 July 2020
  • 6-week: 10 August 2020

Depending on your current English language level, you may need a longer Presessional English course. If this is the case, we offer courses of 31 weeks or 42 weeks.

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 (China), Completed a 6-week Presessional course

Why Study this Course?

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

Our tutors are qualified and experienced in teaching English for academic purposes. Birmingham International Academy is accredited for the teaching of English  by the British Council.



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 18 September 2020)   Full fee       
42 weeks 30 September 2019 £15,120
31 weeks 13 January 2020 £11,160
20 weeks 27 April 2020 £7,200
15 weeks 01 June 2020 £5,400
10 weeks 13 July 2020 £3,600
6 weeks 10 August 2020 £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 deadline for receipt of applications is five to six weeks before the start date of the Presessional English course you wish to attend.

  • 20-week Course - 19th March 2020
  • 15-week Course - 12rd April 2020
  • 10-week Course - 4th June 2020
  • 6-week Course - 2nd July 2020

Please note that the University reserves the right to close applications earlier in the event that the course is full.

Due to high demand for Presessional English courses you are advised to apply as early as possible.

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 please contact:

Standard offer

International 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.


Our maximum class size on the Foundation Pathways Presessional English programme is 18 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.

Contact Hours

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.

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

Course assessment

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


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


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