FAQs for future students

Page last updated: Friday 3 April, 16:15

This page is being regularly updated to reflect the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)World Health Organisation (WHO) Public Health England (PHE) and other sources including local partners. We are monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and its impact, and doing all we can to make safe and reassure our staff and students.

Read the University's latest statement on COVID-19

This page contains information for:

 

Will the University campus and accommodation be operating as normal in September 2020? UPDATED - 30 March, 12:30

All university activities are currently due to operate as normal in September 2020. Online provisions are being developed should the pandemic continue to affect campus activities. We are monitoring the situation closely and will be following government advice. 

 

Undergraduate

I’m worried about my place at university for September 2020 – what should I do?

We appreciate that the current situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the implications for starting University may be a concern for you. Please be reassured that we will do everything we can to minimise the impact of the situation on you coming to University.

The situation continues to change quickly and we will be working closely with the relevant authorities regarding any potential implications for applicants and new students. When we have updates that are relevant to you we will be in touch, and will update this page with any further updates too.

What will happen if I am not able to sit any of my exams? UPDATED - 3 April, 16:15

As announced by the Government on 18 March, assessment and exams will not go ahead for students due to take them in summer 2020. The Government released a further statement on 20 March, stating that they will be providing calculated grades to students which reflect their performance as fairly as possible. Teachers will work with exam boards to take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in. For further information you can read the full statement from the Department for Education.

You may also want to read the most up-to-date Government advice on how qualifications will be awared in summer 2020.

The situation continues to change quickly and we will be working closely with the relevant organisations regarding any potential implications for applicants and new students. As soon as information becomes available we will continue to update our advice and keep you informed.

In light of Covid-19, if predicted grades are used to award results, how will you decide who to offer places to as there may be too many people wanting places? UPDATED - 23 March, 14:30

If you have already been made an offer to study at the University of Birmingham then the terms of that offer still apply. As the situation is continually changing we will be working closely with the relevant organisations to fully understand the implications, and will update our advice and keep you informed. Please be reassured that we will do everything we can to minimise the impact of the situation on you coming to University. The best way to find out how the Department for Education is planning on awarding grades for those who were due to be assessed in summer 2020, is to read the DfE press release from Friday 20 March.

You may also want to read the most up-to-date Government response on the cancellation of A Levels and other exams.

Will the deadline for applying for University accommodation for 2020 entry be extended?

Our Living team are working hard, along with the rest of the University, to minimise the impact of the current situation on you coming to University in September. The situation continues to evolve and we will update you as soon as any new information becomes available. In the meantime, you may want to explore the Resources page on the Accommodation section of our website.

I have applied for a course with a year abroad for September 2020 – how will Covid-19 affect my year abroad?

We will work all relevant partners, including our study abroad partnership universities around the world, to continually assess the situation. Your Year Abroad typically takes place in the third year of your degree (starting in September 2022 for those who start university in September 2020).

I am due to attend an offer-holder visit day or an open day – is this still going ahead?

In order to minimise the risk to our students, staff and the wider community, we have taken the decision to move all offer-holder visit day events online, which you will be able to join from any location.

You will still have the opportunity to speak to staff, learn more about your chosen programme and get a flavour of life at Birmingham. If you had already registered for an offer-holder visit day, then you will have already received, or will shortly receive, an invite to the online event that will take its place. There will be further opportunities to learn more about life at Birmingham through our online provision, which we’ll be building on in the coming weeks.

Who can I talk to about my place at Birmingham for September 2020?

As well as running online events where you can ask questions, we will also be offering a live chat facility on our website at key times in the coming months for you to ask any questions. This is likely to be available from week commencing Monday 23 March, and if you are an existing offer-holder we will send you further information with details of how to access it.

You may also like to visit our undergraduate admissions FAQs, or if you have outstanding questions about your own offer you can email ugadmissions@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Will you be running open days for students looking to start university in September 2021?

In order to minimise the risk to students, staff and the wider community, we have taken the decision that all events scheduled on campus involving external visitors and scheduled up until 1 June 2020 will be moved to virtual provision, postponed or cancelled. Our first undergraduate open days of the year are due to take place on Friday 26 June and Saturday 27 June, and the events remain under continuous review. If you register for one of the open day events due to take place in June, September or October, and any of the events do not go ahead, then we will instead run an online event that you can attend from any location. When campus re-opens, we will make sure that there are opportunities for prospective students to visit, as we know this is a really important part of deciding which university is best for you. The best thing to do is register for an event so that we can keep you up-to-date with our latest plans.

Can I still apply for my place in accommodation for 2020 entry? UPDATED - 26 March, 09:30

Yes – you can find out further information on the Accommodation section of our website.

Can I still apply for student finance for 2020 entry? UPDATED - 26 March, 09:30

Yes – the Student Loans Company has stated that new and existing students can continue to apply for student finance as normal and they will continue to process applications that have been received as quickly as they can. You can find out more on the Student Loans Company website.

Postgraduate

I am due to attend an Open Day/Offer-Holder Visit Day on campus. Is this still going ahead?

In light of recent government advice, and in consideration of the safety of students, staff and attendees, all events scheduled all campus involving external visitors from 23 March to 1 June will be moved to virtual provision. Our online offer holder events will give you the opportunity to talk to staff and find out more about studying at Birmingham as you make your decision. You can find out more information online and look out for an invitation to any programme-specific events.

If you have any queries about your offer you can:

  • Contact us via email: pgadmissions@contacts.bham.ac.uk 
  • We will also be running a live chat facility on our website at key times in lieu of staff availability on campus to take phone calls. 

I will not be able to sit my exams this year. How will this affect my admission to the University?

Following the announcement that the schools are to close, the government is due to release more details about qualifications and grades. We are monitoring the situation closely and are liaising with relevant organisations, including schools and examination boards. We will update our guidance in line with government advice as soon as possible.

I have submitted an application to the University for September 2020 start but have not received a response yet. Will the processing of my application be affected by the coronavirus epidemic?

A decision on your application can take up to 8-12 weeks of submitting your application, we select students with care and your application is likely to be considered by several members of the academic staff. This is provided all of the necessary documents have been submitted.

Please be assured that we are working hard to process every application within the regular timeframe. Admissions will notify you when a decision has been made. 

I cannot book an English language test because centres are currently closed. Will the University offer an alternative way for me to prove my English proficiency?UPDATED - 2 April, 14:30

The deadlines for September 2020 vary by department but are normally set for the summer period. We are monitoring the situation closely and have developed additional English language testing options.

You can find out more on our English Language requirements pages.

I am unable to submit original documents, as required by the University’s admissions team, because my country is in lockdown and all international postage has been suspended. Have alternative arrangements been put in place?

We would like to inform you that for this year, given the exceptional circumstances, we will accept scanned or photographed copies of documentation (certificate and transcripts) to confirm your academic results, rather than you having to provide original copies to confirm your place. You will need to provide original copies once you arrive on campus, but scanned or photographed versions will be accepted through the postgraduate admissions portal to allow you to take up your place.

If for any reason your University results and degree certification is delayed we will accept your final transcript and a letter from your institution confirming successful completion of your studies.

I am unable complete my undergraduate course and/or provide my final transcript because my education has been disrupted (e.g. due to self-isolation) or my university has closed. How will this affect my admission to the University?

The University is currently developing guidance and will keep applicants updated of developments.

Can I defer or amend the start date for my programme?

This is possible and considered on a case by case basis.  However, if you have already deferred once then unfortunately we cannot defer the application again. A new application will need to be submitted to ensure we have the most up to date information.

If you would like to request a deferral or a start date amendment, please contact us.


International

I may have difficulty providing my academic results and other documents required to meet my offer as a result of the disruption caused by COVID19 will there be any flexibility from the University?

We are aware that in many cases students may encounter some difficulties in providing their academic results and the documents required to meet the terms of their offer as a result of the impact of Covid-19 (certificates etc.) and we are currently considering options for flexibility in relation to meeting these requirements and more information will appear here shortly.

Please see below for further advice for postgraduate offer-holders.

I’m a foundation or undergraduate offer holder and my school results may be delayed, what should I do?

If you expect to be sitting exams over the coming months, we are monitoring the situation closely, taking advice from the British Council and in-country partners on school closures and any exam disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Please be reassured that we will do everything we can to minimise the impact of the situation on you coming to University. In the meantime please continue to check this FAQ page which we will keep updated as the situation develops.

If you have any queries about your offer you can:

I’m a postgraduate offer holder and need to submit verified documents, how can I do this?

Given the exceptional circumstances this year, we will accept scanned or photographed copies of documentation (certificate and transcripts) to confirm your academic results, rather than you having to provide original copies to confirm your place. You will need to provide original copies once you arrive on campus, but scanned or photographed versions will be accepted through the postgraduate admissions portal to allow you to take up your place.

If for any reason your University results and degree certification is delayed we will accept your final transcript and a letter from your institution confirming successful completion of your studies.

How can I meet my English language requirements? UPDATED - 3 April, 13:00

The deadlines for September 2020 vary by department but are normally set for the summer period. We are monitoring the situation closely and have developed additional English language testing options. 

For those joining us for 2020 we will accept the following additional tests as evidence of English language proficiency:

  • TOEFL “At Home” Test
  • Duolingo English Test
  • Password English (more information on how to register for this test will be updated soon)
  • Chinese College English Test (CET-6) (please note that this must be accompanied by at least a 6 week Pre-sessional English programme)

You can find out more on our English Language requirements pages.

I have further questions – how can I find out more information?

If you have specific questions which aren’t addressed in these FAQs, please join one of our regular live chat sessions where you will be able to connect with a member of our staff. You can find more details of these sessions on our Live Chats page.

Can I defer or amend the start date for my programme?

If you are applying for either an undergraduate or postgraduate programme, this is possible and considered on a case by case basis.  However, if you have already deferred once then unfortunately we cannot defer the application again. A new application will need to be submitted to ensure we have the most up to date information.

If you would like to request a deferral or a start date amendment, please contact us.


Pathways to Birmingham and Outreach programmes

What programmes are included in Pathways to Birmingham (PtB)?

Pathways to Birmingham is the umbrella term for the following programmes run by the Outreach Office:

  • A2B (Access to Birmingham)
  • R2P (Routes to the Professions)
  • Inspired@Birmingham (I@B)
  • Academic Enrichment Programme (AEP)
  • National Access Summer School (NASS)

Will my PtB event be going ahead?

Due to the challenging situation presented by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the University of Birmingham has made the decision to cancel all on-campus events for external visitors until the start of June. This unfortunately means that the following events for our PtB programmes will not be running:

  • A2B
    • Launch Event, Saturday 4 April
  • Inspired@Birmingham (I@B)
    • Event Day 2, Saturday 21 March
    • Event Day 3, Wednesday 8 April
    • Event Day 4, Wednesday 27 March
  • Routes to the Professions (R2P)
    • Event Day 2, Wednesday 29 April

Will events after 1st June be running?

We are hoping to run events that were scheduled for June onwards as normal. However, as this is an ever changing situation we will keep you informed about whether these events are going ahead closer to the time. Please be assured that we are following the guidance issued by the government carefully and will only run events if we feel it is safe to do so. Our approach to campus events is continually under review and we will ensure that we update this on this FAQ page.

What will happen to my A2B / PtB offer? UPDATED - 20 March, 10:00

We understand that this is a difficult time for students in Year 13, but please be reassured that your A2B / PtB status still stands and is protected.  The situation is changing quickly and we are working closely with the relevant organisations regarding any potential implications for applicants and new students. As soon as information becomes available we will update our advice and keep you informed. Please be assured that there is nothing you need to do for A2B at the present time.

I am currently on the I@B / R2P programme. What will happen to this programme?

As a result of the current University position and the ongoing uncertainty around the situation with COVID-19, we are taking time to decide how best to manage the I@B and R2P programmes.  We aim to ensure that you still get the benefits of PtB in accessing degree programmes at the University of Birmingham, while being mindful of the challenges you may be facing now and in the weeks to come.  As soon as we have more information for you, we will let you know via email. In the meantime please be assured that there is nothing additional you need to do for your PtB programme at this stage.

I have some further questions. How can I get in touch with you?

We will still be monitoring our emails over the next few weeks and so if you have any questions please do let us know.  The email addresses for our programmes are:

A2B - a2b@contacts.bham.ac.uk
I@B – inspired@contacts.bham.ac.uk
R2P – r2p@contacts.bham.ac.uk
AEP– AEP@contacts.bham.ac.uk
NASS – NASS@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Please note that we are likely to be out of the office for a period of time, and so will be unable to answer telephone enquiries.

I am not sure which Year 12 Summer School to apply to

If you live within the West Midlands region and your school is a partner in our Pathways to Birmingham Scheme (PtB) , then you will need to apply to the Academic Enrichment Programme (AEP). If you live outside of the West Midlands region and your school is not a partner school in our Pathways to Birmingham (PtB) Scheme, you will need to apply for the National Access Summer School.

How do I know if my school is a partner school in the Pathways to Birmingham Scheme?

All partner schools in the PtB programme will appear on the drop down menu when you enter your school. If your school does not appear on the drop down menu, please apply through the National Access Summer School.

I have applied for the Year 12 Summer Schools (Academic Enrichment Programme or National Access Summer School), will these still be taking place in August?

We are hoping to run events that were scheduled for June onwards as normal. However, as this is an ever changing situation we will keep you informed about whether these events are going ahead closer to the time. Please be assured that we are following the guidance issued by the government carefully and will only run events if we feel it is safe to do so. Our approach to campus events is continually under review and we will ensure that we update this on this FAQ page.

The application deadline for the summer schools is on the 24 April. Will this be extended?

There are currently no plans to extend the deadline for applications.

When will I be informed if my application has been successful?

All applicants will be informed of the outcome of their submission once we have had the opportunity to assess all applications. Given the current situation with the Covid-19 virus, there may be a delay in informing applicants about final decisions.

My school is not on the drop down list when I am trying to submit my application for the National Access Summer School, what shall I do?

If your school is not on the list, please email nass@contacts.bham.ac.uk with your school name, the name of your head of sixth form and their email address. We will then contact the school and add them to the application portal.

I am in Year 12 and had a place on the Interviewing Subjects Preparation Programme. Will this programme be going ahead?

Due to the challenging situation presented by COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the University of Birmingham has made the decision to cancel all on-campus events for external visitors until the start of June. This unfortunately means that the Interview Preparation Programme workshops on Wednesday 18 March and Wednesday 29 April will not be running. We are very sorry for any disappointment that this may cause.

We will look to move content for these sessions online and if this is possible we will inform you about how to access these materials. We are hoping to run events that were scheduled for June onwards as normal. However, as this is an ever changing situation we will keep you informed about whether the events on 3 June and 1 July are going ahead closer to the time. Please be assured that we are following the guidance issued by the government carefully and will only run events if we feel it is safe to do so. Our approach to campus events is continually under review and we will ensure that we update this on this FAQ page.

Read the University's latest statement on COVID-19