Getting here and getting started

You may still have questions about how you take up your place at Birmingham this year – from delayed qualifications or cancelled exams, through to how you arrive on campus and to your accommodation.  In this section we aim to answer all these questions, and let you know who you can speak to if you have further questions.

Admissions to your programme 

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.

Deferring your place

Postgraduate Taught Programmes

We will be able to consider deferral requests after 1 August 2020, at which point the national and international situation will be clearer. If you do decide that you would like to defer your offer at this point, please contact our Postgraduate Admissions Team. Please be aware that a non-refundable deposit of £1,500 will be payable to secure your place for September 2021.

Postgraduate Taught Programmes (Business)

If you have applied for an MBA course, please email your request to mbaadmissions@contacts.bham.ac.uk. For all other Masters programmes at the Business School, please email mscadmissions@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Postgraduate Research Programmes

The majority of our PhD programmes offer flexible start dates, so this is not normally a problem. We would recommend that you discuss this with your supervisor in the first instance, to ensure that they can accommodate an alternative start date. Once you have agreed a new start date, please contact our Postgraduate Admissions Team with your request.

Can't find an answer? Try our detailed FAQs below:

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? REVIEWED - 07 July, 15:00

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? REVIEWED - 07 July, 15:00

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.

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? REVIEWED - 07 July, 15:00

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.

How will the pandemic affect the University's relationship with the Royal Shakespeare Company? REVIEWED - 07 July, 15:00

The Royal Shakespeare Company and University of Birmingham fully intend for their partnership to continue in the coming academic year (2020-21), but because of delays caused by COVID-19 we are still in the process of finalising these arrangements. Currently, all university activities are due to operate as normal in September 2020. Online provisions are being developed should the pandemic continue to affect campus activities, and activities based in the premises of our partners. We are monitoring the situation closely and will be following government advice.  

If you are a prospective postgraduate student who would like to discuss this further, please contact Sally Delbeke, Partnership Manager: s.delbeke@bham.ac.uk.

What if I feel that my research will be significantly impacted by the measures put in place on campus?UPDATED - 08 July, 11:00

We hope that your research and studies will not be impacted significantly by COVID-19. However, if, when you start at Birmingham, you are unable to complete essential research tasks as a result of COVID-19, you will be advised to log the extent of the problem with your supervisor and may be able to apply for either a Leave of Absence (LOA) or extension to your studies. 

I have further questions – how can I find out more information? REVIEWED - 08 July, 12:00

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.

Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes

Will ITE programmes still go ahead next year? What if placement schools are operating part time or do not open or cannot host students?

Our 2020 ITE programmes are all going ahead.  Please be assured that the University of Birmingham is planning our 20-21 ITE programmes with great care so that we can offer you an excellent preparation for a career in teaching.  We are ready to respond swiftly to national decisions about schools opening, and are preparing for our programmes to run in a range of scenarios. We are working closely with our partnership schools as we plan and our school based mentors are looking forward to meeting their students as soon as this is possible.

In recent weeks, we have seen some amazing work going on in schools across the country as our committed, talented, resilient and imaginative workforce rise to the enormous challenge of ensuring their pupils are safe, that their basic needs are met and that their education continues. Please do seriously consider a career in teaching - you are joining a wonderful profession.

How will the application and interview process work while the University campus is closed?

You should apply as usual via UCAS Teacher Training. Our tutors will review your application and invite you to interview if you are selected. Interviews are taking place over Skype, and we will send you plenty of advice beforehand about how to prepare. One or more University tutors, school based mentors and teachers from our School Direct lead schools will be involved in your virtual interview. ITE tutors and school partners are really enjoying meeting enthusiastic applicants – in their front rooms and kitchens! - and will put you at your ease in this unusual situation. 

What opportunities will there be to meet tutors and find out more about the programme before I start?

We are keen to get to know you all and to ensure you can also meet your peers. Once you accept an offer on one of our ITE programmes, we will invite you to join our dedicated Facebook group. You will find a number of short films where tutors introduce themselves and you are most welcome to post questions and comments for the whole team. In addition, there will be Welcome Day events online in late June and early July where we will introduce all the tutors, give you information about the programme, give you some pre-course reading and activities to engage in and ensure you have a chance to meet your subject or phase tutor group too. 

I am worried about being able to meet GCSE or degree conditions, what should I do?

We do not anticipate issues with degree awards at this stage. You do not need to have attended a graduation ceremony, but you will need the transcript or other formal communication from your university to say that you have been successful. If you need a GCSE in mathematics, English of science, please look out for further information from www.equivalencytesting.com about their online exams this summer. 

I have been asked to complete School of Education tasks before I begin. I am concerned that if I fail these I will not be able to start (and I may have resigned my job).

Please do not worry. The only task that we are asking you to complete is to engage with our open access pre-course online learning programme. By undertaking some pre-course tasks and reviewing your learning you will help us to plan carefully for you all in the year ahead. It is not possible to fail this task in any way. 

What happens if I cannot attend the University to complete the DBS process? Will this delay my start?

Applicants who firmly accept an offer of a place will be contacted via email with further information about completing the DBS process.  Please do not send any documentation through the post or visit the campus to present your documentation, as our staff will not be available to receive these.