Offer requirements explained

If you have been made a conditional offer and are required to submit additional documents, below is an explanation of the document types and what you need to do next in order to make your offer an unconditional offer. 

You can accept your offer while you are awaiting these documents. Your offer will then become a 'conditional accept' and once you have satisifed the conditions of your offer, your acceptance will then become an 'unconditional accept'.

Main requirements explained

References

Your letter may state:

In addition to any references we may have already received, please provide an additional satisfactory reference on official letterhead paper or authenticated with a business stamp or a stamp from the institution

Whether your reference is academic or from your employer, please make sure it is on headed paper with the organisation’s logo and address. It should include the date, your details and the details of the referee with a summary of how they know you and confirm your suitability for studying on the course you have applied for. It should be signed by the referee with their official contact details. The reference can be in PDF or similar format and uploaded to the Postgraduate Application Portal. 

Academic certificate and transcript(s) for all prior degrees

Your letter may state:

Post to the Admissions Office your original certificate and transcript (or certified copies) of your previous qualifications that you have declared on your application form. Certified documents must have the original certification stamp and should be certified by either the institution where you studied; a notary; the British Council or a University of Birmingham Overseas Representative. Please note scanned or uploaded documents are not acceptable.

What does each term mean?

  • Certified – having your original documents copied and then officially recognised with an official institution’s stamp or watermark so you do not need to send off the original.
  • Verified – checked by the University or our representatives that the document is official and genuine.
  • Certificate – degree certificate stating your name and degree awarded from your previous university/universities.
  • Transcript – usually an additional document which comes with your certificate, detailing your grades achieved per module of your degree programme(s) and the overall grade.
  • Notary - A notary is usually a lawyer (though not necessarily so in the United States) or person with legal training who is licensed by the government to perform acts in legal affairs, in particular witnessing signatures on documents. The form that the notarial profession takes varies with local legal systems.
  • The British Council – has offices all over the world and support the educational and cultural exchange of students coming to the UK for university.
  • University of Birmingham Overseas Representative – The University has overseas representatives listed on the Overseas Offices webpage, who can offer advice and certify your documents as well as verifying your documents on site rather than sending to the UK.

Proof of English Language skills

Your letter may state:

Please provide evidence of proficiency in English Language. For this programme we require 6.0 IELTS (with no less than 5.5 in any band) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) with 51 in all four skills. Tests should be no more than two years old at the time of admission.

For the full list of suitable documents which you can use as your proof of English proficiency, you can visit our English language requirements page.

Make sure that your test results are no more than two years old from the start date of your course* at the University of Birmingham.

You can scan and upload a copy of your results to the Postgraduate application portal. You do not need to send in a copy of this to the University or bring it when you are verifying your documents with our representatives in your country as the University can verify the certificate using the reference code.

*If you are deferring your offer by one year, please make sure your test results will still be valid for when your course starts next year. 

Exemptions

For those who have recently graduated from a University in the UK or majority English speaking country (e.g USA, Australia, New Zealand or Canada) you may be exempt from taking English language test. Please note that if your degree was delivered in English but not at a recognised university in the UK or majority English speaking country, our Admissions Office will require you to demonstrate your level of English with IELTS/TOEFL/PTE or alternative qualifications. You may also want to check our country pages as some countries may have certain exemptions, such as those who graduate from the University of Malta.

You will still need to present evidence of your qualifications studied in English to meet our entry requirement. Our admission office will then review your application and if exempt you will not be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency. 

Postgraduate research (PhD) applicants

If you have been using English as your medium of education or work. Your agreed supervisor can assess your English Language skills at interview or other meetings to apply for an English Proficiency wavier from the Admissions office. 

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Your letter may state:

You will be required to obtain an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate for this programme. Please note that once ATAS clearance is obtained it is only valid for six months prior to the start of your programme.

If you are an international student applying to a science or technology related programme, you may need to apply for an ATAS Clearance Certificate.

If your programme requires an ATAS, you will be notified in your offer letter and be given all the information you will need for the ATAS Clearance Certificate. To make an application for the ATAS Clearance Certificate, please visit https://www.gov.uk/academic-technology-approval-scheme and enter the exact information you were given in your offer letter.

Your ATAS will only be valid for six months, in which time you should apply for your visa.

Depending on your fees status:

International students

If you are currently studying outside the UK or have obtained your qualification(s) outside the UK, we will need to see the original or certified copies of both the certificate and transcript.

Please note: all non-English Language documents must be accompanied by an official certified translation which can usually be done at your local British Council office or reputable translator service.

We can verify your documents in one of these ways:

In your country

Overseas office or British Council:

  1. You can visit one of our overseas offices or your local British Council office to certify your documents.
  2. Then post the certified copies to the University (instructions can be found in 'By Post'). You do not need to send in your original documents if you are sending your certified copies.

Agent representative:

  1. If you have submitted your application through one of our official agent representatives, they can also verify your documents.
  2. Once verified, they can then scan and upload the documents to your online application or email them directly to the University; you will not need to post your documents.

Contact details for your country-specific British Council office or our official agent representatives can be found on our country pages

By Post

If you are not able to see one of our overseas offices or British Council in your country or you are sending in certified copies of your documents, please send to the following address.

We recommend you use special delivery post and include cover letter with your name, university ID and course details.

Admissions
External Relations
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT

On campus

If you are in the UK and prefer to bring your documents in person, our Admissions team reception is open at limited hours. Please check opening times on the Admissions webpage before you plan your visit to campus, no prior appointment required. 

EU students

If you are currently studying outside the UK or have obtained your qualification(s) outside the UK, we will need to see the original or certified copies of both the certificate and transcript.

Please note: all non-English Language documents must be accompanied by an official certified translation which can usually be done at your local British Council office or reputable translator service.

We can verify your documents in one of these ways:

In your country

Overseas office or British Council:

  1. You can visit one of our overseas offices or your local British Council office to certify your documents.
  2. Then post the certified copies to the University (instructions can be found in 'By Post'). You do not need to send in your original documents if you are sending your certified copies.

Agent representative:

  1. If you have submitted your application through one of our official agent representatives, they can also verify your documents.
  2. Once verified, they can then scan and upload the documents to your online application or email them directly to the University; you will not need to post your documents.

Please note: if you did not originally submit your application through an agent, you will not be able to ask an agent to help you verify and upload documents at this stage.

Contact details for your country-specific British Council office or our official agent representatives can be found on our country pages

By Post

If you are not able to see one of our overseas offices or British Council in your country or you are sending in certified copies of your documents, please send to the following address.

We recommend you use special delivery post and include cover letter with your name, university ID and course details.

Admissions
External Relations
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT

On campus

If you are in the UK and prefer to bring your documents in person, our Admissions team reception is open at limited hours. Please check opening times on the Admissions webpage before you plan your visit to campus, no prior appointment required. 

UK applicants

If you are currently studying in the UK or have obtained your qualification(s) in the UK, we will need to see:

  • The original copies of both the certificate and transcript,
  • Or certified copies of these documents from your University if you prefer not to send the original.

University of Birmingham graduates do not need to provide transcripts or copies of degree certificates, however we advise applicants who graduated prior to the year 2000 to provide copies of their qualifications as they may take longer to verify. 

We can verify your documents in one of these ways:

By Post

Please send your documents to the following address.
We recommend you use special delivery post and include cover letter with your name, university ID and course details.

Admissions
External Relations
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT

On campus

If you prefer to bring your documents in person, our Admissions team reception is open for limited hours. Please check opening times on the Admissions webpage before you plan your visit to campus. No prior appointment is required.