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 if you’re travelling from outside the UK. In this section we aim to answer all these questions, and let you know who you can speak to if you have further questions.
We realise that, as a student coming to the UK to study, there are a range of factors which mean you may not be able to join us at the start of the autumn term.
We are considering a number of options to ensure that you have every opportunity to study with us, whether that means a delayed start or a combination of campus and online teaching.
We have emailed our current offer-holders about our plans for September, and have informed of any potential delayed start dates for specific programmes, with an invitation to complete a short preference survey to help to inform our decision-making. We intend to inform our offer-holders of our final decision by 31 July.
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.
Meeting your English Language requirements
For 2020 our pre-sessional English programmes will run online. You can find out more information and apply for the programme on our Presessional English pages.
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)
- IELTs Indicator (entry requirements match standard IELTs requirements listed on our English Language requirements pages)
You can find more information on English language requirements from our dedicated webpages.
Receiving your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) and applying for your visa
Once you have met all the terms of your offer and your status changes to unconditional accept, we will issue your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) within five days. Once you have received your CAS you will have what you need from us to be able to apply for your visa. However, the situation in your home country may affect your ability to apply for your visa due to Visa Application Centre (VAC) closures. Please check the UK Government website for the status of VACs in your country.
As you begin to prepare your visa application to come and study in the UK, we have collated some useful information:
- To study a course which is longer than six months in duration you must apply for a Tier 4 (General) student visa.
- The International Student Team (IST) have a dedicated visa page which explains in detail how to apply for a Tier 4 (General) visa, the documents you need for your visa application, what you can and cannot do on this visa and what to do if your visa is refused.
- The earliest you can submit your application is three months before your course starts, but you can start planning straightaway by ensuring you have the correct documents and enough funding in your bank account.
- To apply for your Tier 4 (General) visa please visit the UK Government website.
- If you are studying a course of less than six months you can apply for a short-term study visa.
As a student who requires a visa to be in the UK, you will need to carry out a Right to Study (RTS) check with us before you start your course. Completing an RTS check is very easy: simply visit the ‘My Right To Study’ webpage, where you will find all the information needed to upload your documents and complete your RTS check online. We recommend that you start the process of uploading these documents as soon as you receive your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS). If you have any questions whilst completing the RTS check, please refer to the relevant online guide at ‘My Right To Study’ or contact us via Student Help.
If you need any support with your visa application, the International Student Team (IST) offer lots of advice and guidance.
In order for you to arrive in the UK and self-isolate before the start of your course we are recommending that your travel plans allow for you to arrive at the University of Birmingham between 5-7 September 2020.
When you are making your online Tier 4 (General) visa application you will be asked the date you plan to travel to the UK. If you are required to self-isolate, you should enter a date that allows for your arrival here between 5-7 September 2020. By doing so, this means that you will arrive and have completed 14 days of self-isolation in time for Welcome Week starting Monday 21 September.
During this period you'll be able to access a range of support and services. From additional language courses to help you perfect your English, through to online wellbeing support and academic preparation skills, as well as some online socials, we're putting in place a programme of activity to make sure that even in self-isolation you're well prepared for your life and studies in the UK and you start to feel at home. We will also provide those who arrive early for self-isolation with a free welcome food hamper for that period.
Arriving for your programme start date
Our postgraduate students should arrive on time in September, according to the above dates, and must, at the very latest, arrive to campus by the deadline of 31 October 2020. If students cannot arrive in the UK before this deadline (for health reasons, travel restrictions, home Government restrictions for example) then the University will consider ad hoc requests for later arrival on a case by case basis but cannot guarantee that such requests will be approved.
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. Please be aware that a non-refundable deposit of £1,500 will be payable to secure your place for September 2021.
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.
Our International Recruitment team will be inviting all offer holders due to start with us in September to pre-departure briefings from late July through to the end of August. These briefings will go through a range of topics, including;
- What it is like living in the UK and in our home, the City of Birmingham
- Advice on travelling to the UK
- Visa information and guidance
- The latest updates on what we have done to ensure your safety for your arrival onto campus
In addition, our team will also give you some tips on things to pack and things not to pack based on their experience of advising students over the years.
Look out for an invitation to one of these pre-departure briefings, which we will be sending out by email from mid-July onwards.
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