Open Access courses

Learn a language, experience a new culture. There's something for everyone in our Open Access Programme.

Open Access gives everyone the opportunity to take a Languages for All course, including University of Birmingham postgraduate students, staff, and members of the public. You will study alongside students who take our courses as part of their programme of study or as extracurricular modules. All classes are held on the main University Edgbaston campus.

Before making a booking for an Open Access course, please read the information below and check the timeslots for your chosen language and level in the Course Schedule.

Information on OA 2020-21 will be updated soon

Open Access timetable 2019-20

Open Access classes will begin from Monday 07 October 2019 in the second week of term.

View the Open Access timetable for 2019-20

Course schedules

All Open Access courses meet once a week for two hours, mainly in late afternoon and evening timeslots.  The courses are of 20 weeks’ duration: 10 weeks in the autumn term, and 10 weeks in the spring term.


Enrolment will begin again in July 2020. 

Course fees for 2019-20

  • Standard Fee: £245.00
  • Concessionary Fee: £195.00 (Current registered students of the University of Birmingham)

These courses are offered at very competitive rates because they are run as University modules, rather than fully commercial courses.  When you participate on these courses, you are therefore required to register as a student of the University of Birmingham.  As such, you will be able to access some of the excellent campus facilities and resources available to all our students.

Class size

Your language class will consist of between 8 and 16 students. 

Text books

Most of our courses have a set textbook which you will need to have access to. Details will be given at the first class.  You will not need the textbook for the first lesson.

Entry levels

Before enrolling on a course always check your starting level. One of the key factors in getting the most out of your language course is to start at the correct level, and this will depend on your previous experience and study.

If you are unsure of your entry level, refer to the Quick Guide below.  We also recommend you try one of our online placement tests . We have tests for most languages in our programme and they give you a good indication of the most appropriate entry level for you. 

If you feel your previous experience is not sufficiently tested by the online information available, please contact the relevant Language Co-ordinator in Languages for All.

Quick guide to levels

  • Beginner, with no previous study - Level 1
  • Post beginner (already completed a Beginners course) - start at Level 2
  • GCSE level but needs practice - Level 3
  • GCSE level Grade A/A* - Level 4
  • AS level or old A level - Level 5
  • A level - Level 6
  • Additional study after A level - Level 7
  • Proficient/Near native – Level 8

You can also refer to the What level am I? grid and compare your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills against those provided for each level.

We have a list of Frequently asked questions which may help you with any general enquiries.

And if you're still unsure, send us an email enquiry and we'll be happy to help.