FAQs - About the Foundation Pathways

Please see some specific questions about the Foundation Pathways:  

What are the Foundation Pathways?

The Foundation Pathways is a specially structured programme for students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. It is an opportunity for highly motivated learners with an excellent academic record and the willingness to study hard to enter the university environment one year before the start of the undergraduate degree programme.

At the end of the Foundation Pathways year, you are guaranteed a place on an undergraduate degree course at the University of Birmingham, provided you have achieved satisfactory grades. Two-thirds of your foundation pathway programme consists of academic modules in the subject area you want to study at undergraduate level. The remaining third consists of English language and study skills that will prepare you for learning at degree level in the UK.

What is different about the Foundation Pathways?

The foundation pathways are different from many other university foundation programmes. A key difference is that you are taught by the University’s own academics, many of whom are global experts carrying out world-leading research. This gives you a distinct advantage by ensuring that your programme reflects the very latest emerging theories and ideas. All teaching takes place on the University’s main campus and you are a full member of our student community with access to all the same facilities and services that undergraduate and postgraduate students here enjoy.

At the same time you will be fully supported by the University of Birmingham in your adjustment to UK student life.

How much does it cost?

International Students

The cost of the Foundation Pathways for international students in 2020–21 is £18,120.

This includes:

  • One year’s tuition fees
  • Books and all classroom equipment
  • Full access to all campus facilities and University services

Please note:

  • You are required to pay a deposit of GBP1000 to confirm acceptance of your place.  This amount will be deducted from your tuition fee. Further information regarding single payment options can be found at https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/finance/student-fees/SinglePayment
  •  Accommodation fees are not included in the Foundation Pathways package
  • The Student Loans Company will not provide loans or grants for the Foundation package for International students.

EU Students

The cost of the foundation pathways for EU students in 2020-21 is £9,250.

This includes:

  • One year’s tuition fees
  • Books and all classroom equipment
  • Full access to all campus facilities and University services

Please note:

  • Accommodation fees are not included in the foundation pathways package
  • If you have received an offer for a Bachelor’s Degree with Integrated Foundation Year (four-year programme) only, you are eligible to apply for financial support with the Student Loans Company. There is further information on Student loans, unfortunately you are not eligible to apply with the BIA one year offer only.  

How do I pay my fees?

The University offers the flexibility of paying your tuition or accommodation fees in full at the start of the year or in installments, either on a monthly or a termly basis. You can also pay using our Western Union Bank Transfer platform, ensuring your payment arrives in full and on time.

When you unconditionally accept your offer for the Birmingham Foundation Academy, you will receive an email with information about registration and instructions on what you are required to do. The registration process will require you to complete various pieces of information and part of the information required is about payments; there is a page called ‘Funding’ which contains all of the options available to you. You can also see details of the payment options at Paying tuition fees - University of Birmingham.

Please email our Student Funding Office on studentfees@bham.ac.uk if you have any queries about the payment options available.

Please note:if you are in arrears with the payment of fees the University reserves its rights to take enforcement action for non-payment.

Where will I live?

As a foundation pathways student your accommodation is guaranteed, as long as you apply and accept your offer before the deadline dates. You have a wide range of accommodation to choose from in the University’s three student villages: Vale Village, Pritchatts Park Village, and Selly Oak Village; all of which are a short walk from the Foundation hub and English language centre, and your academic departments.

Accommodation consists of flats offering your own study bedroom and kitchen/lounge facilities usually shared between four and six other students. There is a choice of either sharing bathroom facilities or en-suite accommodation. The University also has a range of studio apartments where you have exclusive use of kitchen and bathroom facilities. All bedrooms are fully furnished and offer both a cabled and wireless internet connection. (More details can be found in the Your accommodation section below.)

A catered package is available to students who live at the Vale Village. Adapted rooms are available for wheelchair users and for students with hearing and sight impairment (Please contact us if you require specially adapted accommodation.)

Further information about each village, including virtual tours of bedrooms and kitchens, is available.

Can I choose to live somewhere else?

The University offers a special level of support for students under the age of 18. This is made possible by housing them together in dedicated university accommodation. This accommodation is located close to the Residential Advisor; ensuring support is always close by.

Therefore, for all students who are under the age of 18 at the start of the course, accommodation in dedicated university accommodation is compulsory unless you have a local relative or designated guardian with whom you wish to live and this arrangement is agreed before you arrive in Birmingham.

If you will be over the age of 18 at the start of the course, University accommodation is highly recommended; however, you can also choose to live off site, in private accommodation. 

How will I be taught?

As a foundation student you will experience a variety of teaching methods. These will include lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, laboratory work and peer group learning, depending on the academic pathway you follow. You will be learning in a supportive environment, and will be encouraged to think, discuss and engage critically with your subject area. Classes are small and focused on individual needs. You will have a tutor, who will give help and advice on study-related issues and help you to monitor and reflect on your progress. 

Are the foundation pathways internationally recognised?

The foundation pathways are an academically rigorous programme which is delivered and awarded by the University of Birmingham (an internationally recognised institution). In line with all other UK universities, the University of Birmingham awards its own qualifications and students, who leave the University after completing the Birmingham International Academy programme,but who have not completed an undergraduate degree, will receive a certificate for completion of their foundation programme.

However, the acceptability of the foundation pathways for entry to another institution is solely at their discretion and you should seek advice from the institution that you hope to enter – we can only guarantee progression to University of Birmingham programmes (if the necessary requirements are met). 

Do I have to stay at University of Birmingham to complete my UG degree?

Whether you have been made an offer for the one-year or the four-year programme, you are not tied to Birmingham for your undergraduate studies, and if you wish to progress to another university, we will offer advice. However, we believe that the quality of your experience here and the supportive environment we provide will ensure that you feel at home here and will want to stay with us. 

What are the learning facilities like?

We use the latest learning technologies and our teaching rooms are well equipped. Most have touch-screen digital whiteboards and all have Wi-Fi.

The University's brand new main Library, built at a cost of £60 million and described as heralding a new generation of libraries in UK higher education, is now open at the heart of the University. The University's Main Library is one of the UK's largest academic libraries, with access to over 2.7 million books and periodicals.

A further eight libraries and resource centres offer specialist materials for every subject studied at Birmingham.

Wherever you are on campus, you will be able to log on to the student portal. This is your personalised gateway to the digital campus, connecting you to email, news, online communities and the e-library, which gives you access to over 16,000 periodicals, databases, websites and other resources.

How can I find out more about the Foundation Pathways?

If you have any further questions about Foundation Pathways, please do not hesitate to contact us by:

The University also has a network of overseas representatives who can provide further information on studying the Foundation Pathways. Many offer a visa counselling service. You can find contact details of your nearest representative on our country pages .