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 if you’re travelling from outside the UK.

Find out more about organising your travel to the UK

Flexibility for the 2020 academic year

We are planning for every eventuality given the uncertainties, and we know you will be trying to make your plans too. We very much hope the situation allows as many of you as possible to join us on campus so that you can access as many aspects of the wider student experience as possible. However, we are also extending our Welcome period for new students – so that whenever you are able to get to us, you can be sure of a warm Birmingham welcome.

For new and returning students, the options you have for the first semester are:

  • Arrive at the start of term as originally planned
  • Start online and arrive on campus at any time during the first semester to suit you
  • Study the first semester all online

Whatever you choose you can be reassured that we are planning to support you to begin your studies wherever you are, whenever you can get to us, and whatever happens with the pandemic.

If I want to start online what do I do next? Who do I need to tell?

You will receive an email inviting you to register, and once complete you are fully registered for your programme of study. At this stage, that’s all you need to do and this allows you to begin at the start of term on campus or online. 

What does this mean for my CAS?

For further information on the CAS process please check the information further down this page. If you intend to start your studies online and arrive in Birmingham after the start of term, you can make your visa application when you know your UK arrival date, but please bear in mind typical visa processing times. Please visit our International Student Team pages for further information on visas. If you have any questions or concerns about your CAS please contact the Admissions Office.

What does this mean for accommodation?

If you’ve already applied for University accommodation we will be in touch with you in the next couple of days with further information on your contract for the next academic year. If you have applied for private accommodation and have an idea of your arrival date, please contact the accommodation provider directly to discuss your options.

Admissions to your programme – undergraduate and foundation students

Please see the information below on what to do if your exams have been cancelled, delayed or otherwise affected.
If your exams have been cancelled  Send in your results/qualification as soon as you receive them, i.e. partial transcripts for your final year of high school, it and we’ll make a decision based on what you submit. 
If your results won’t be available until August or September  Send in your results as soon as you receive them. If you are unable to physically be in the UK at the start of the course, you can start online and join on campus when you are able to. This way, you will ensure you get all of the teaching from day one and don’t miss any academic content. 
 If your results won’t be available until October or November  If you know you will not have your results until October, please let us know so we can discuss the best option for you. If you’re applying for one of our Birmingham International Academy foundation programmes we can defer your offer to January if you won’t have your results until this point. 
If you have received your results, but your marks are likely to be affected by your school being closed  If your grades are slightly lower than expected, please send them to us so that we can assess whether we are still able to accept you onto the course.
If you don’t yet have a decision on your results for this year  Send in your results/qualification as soon as you receive it and we will let you next steps and if anything further is required

Applying for a place for 2020

We are still accepting applications for students who wish to start in 2020. To apply for foundation programmes please visit our foundation pathways pages. To apply for our undergraduate courses, please visit our international clearing webpage.

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 5 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.

Deferring your place

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 and are holding your results, please contact our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Pre-departure briefings

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.

If you’re unable to arrive on campus for the start of term, then don’t worry – all of our programmes will have the option to start online so that you can begin your studies in September and join us on campus when you’re able to do so.