FAQS Application

Please see some specific questions about the application process for the Foundation Pathways, below: 

How do I apply for the Foundation Pathways?

You can apply directly to the Foundation Pathways online.

You will need to:

  • Detail your academic qualifications so far or predicted grades in the examinations you are currently studying for
  • you will need to write a short personal statement explaining your motivation for applying,
  • Choose the Pathway and undergraduate degree you want to study upon completion.

Once you have submitted your application form you will receive an instant acknowledgement which will provide you with your University ID number which you much quote in all correspondence. You will then be sent a further acknowledgement email confirming receipt of your application.

If you are unable to apply online, or have any trouble using the online application form please contact us on:

Telephone: +44 121 414 9292

Email: foundation@contacts.bham.ac.uk  

When is the deadline for applications?

The last date for application for September 2018 entry is Sunday 4 August 2019.

The last date for application for January 2019 entry is Sunday 3 November 2019.

Do you need to see the original certificates for my qualifications?

You do not need to send original or certified copies of your academic qualifications unless you receive an offer from us. The conditions of your offer will make it very clear what documents are required. We do not normally need original or certified copies of English proficiency certificates (IELTS/Pearson/TOEFL) as we are able to verify these results online.

Can I send certified copies?

Yes, in order to meet the conditions of an offer you can send in certified copies of your academic documents – these would normally need to be certified by your school, college or institution.

Where do I send my certificates to?

When you receive an offer and we request your academic certificates, please send them by post to:

Admissions Office
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT
United Kingdom


We do not normally need original or certified copies of English proficiency certificates (IELTS/Pearson/TOEFL) as we are able to verify these results online. However, if you wish to send your English language results by email, please use the email address: foundation@contacts.bham.ac.uk 

What is the difference between the one-year and four-year programme?

If your application is successful you may receive an offer of a place for one of the following programmes:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree with Integrated Foundation Year (four-year programme). This will include your one-year Foundation Academy Programme.
  • The Foundation Pathways Programme (one-year programme). If you complete your one-year programme and meet the published progression criteria you will be guaranteed a place on one of our three- or four-year undergraduate degree programmes.

The one-year programme is classified as a course below degree level and therefore we are able to accept a slightly lower English language level for the entry requirement.

If you wish to progress to the following undergraduate degrees you can only take the one-year programme:

This is because these programmes require additional conditions to be met during the foundation year.

Successful applicants will be issued with a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies to cover a one-year programme. If you successfully complete your Birmingham International Academy year and progress to a degree programme, you can apply for an extension of your Leave to Remain in the UK.

The four-year programme is classified as a degree-level programme and therefore, in order to comply with UKBA regulations, you must have an IELTS score of at least 5.5 (with 5.5 in each band) or equivalent. Successful applicants will be issued with a CAS to cover a four-year programme.

There is no difference in the course content, range of modules, progression routes or progression requirements between the one-year and the four-year programmes for the same pathway. In both cases you are guaranteed a place on one of the University’s undergraduate programmes providing you achieve satisfactory grades in the first year. Certain degree programmes will require that you achieve a specific grade in specified modules in order to progress, and for a small number of programmes you will need to pass an interview, workshop or audition stage. These requirements are the same whether you are taking a one-year or a four-year programme.

All undergraduate programmes that you may progress to from each Foundation pathway, and their progression requirements are listed  (including whether you would be required to pass an interview, workshop or audition stage).

Can I progress to the four-year degree programme with a year in industry or

Yes, it is possible to progress to a four-year degree programme, such as the MEng or MSci (integrated Masters) or programmes with a year in industry or year abroad, after the International Academy year, making your total time at Birmingham five years.

In such cases Foundation Pathway students holding an offer for a Bachelors degree with integrated foundation year (four-year programme) will be able to apply for a one-year extension of their Tier 4 (General) student visa in their final year.

Foundation Pathway students holding an offer for a one-year programme will be able to apply for a four-year extension of their Tier 4 (General) student visa after their initial Foundation year.

I have applied for the Foundation Pathways. What happens next?

Providing you meet the entry requirements and depending on your English language competence, we aim to reach a decision on complete applications within approximately five working days for a normal application (working days are normally Monday to Friday).

If we require any further information from you we will write to you by email.

Please note: Your application will be considered to be complete only when we have received copies of all relevant supporting documents.

Your offer may be conditional upon passing the examination you are currently studying for or improving your English language level before you start the International Academy programme. Your offer letter will make it clear what the conditions of your offer are and how to fulfil them. Once you have satisfied any conditions of your offer, the University will issue you with an unconditional offer. When you have accepted this, you will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for either the one-year or the four-year International Academy programme.

How do I apply for a student visa for the UK? 

Your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) proves that you have been accepted on to a full-time course, and will be required when you apply for your Tier 4 (General) student visa to study in the UK. You can use your CAS number to apply for your visa in the three months before the start of your programme.

Once you have been issued with your CAS, the University’s International Students Advisory Service (ISAS) will contact you to offer support with the visa application process.

If your offer is conditional because you need to improve your English language level, and you apply for the Birmingham International Academy Presessional English programme in order to do this, the University will issue a CAS for the duration of your presessional programme. Once you have successfully completed this, you will be issued a new CAS for the one-year or four-year Birmingham International Academy programme and will be able to apply to extend your student visa. (For more information, please see Presessional English programme section.)

You can find more information about the process of applying for a student visa. You can also check the requirements for entry to the UK with the British Council offices, British Embassy or British High Commission in your country or you can go to the UK Visa and Immigration

Can I defer my offer? 

Yes you can request a deferral on your offer; to do this please get in touch with the named Admissions contact within your offer letter. Deferral requests must be made in writing (either by post or by email). Please note that offer holders are only allowed to defer once. 

Why was my application unsuccessful? 

All programmes at Birmingham are very competitive and only applicants who meet the minimum entry requirements will receive the offer of a place.

If your application is unsuccessful it is normally because your qualifications do not meet these requirements.

Students at Birmingham International Academy must be at least 16 years old so if you will be under this age at the start of the BIA programme, your application will not be successful. We value all applications and thank you for your interest in the Birmingham International Academy. 

My passport is out of date; what should I do? 

If you are an International student you must have a valid passport for travel and for your visa. If you have applied and are waiting for a new one, you should send in a scanned copy of your new passport as soon as possible.  

You have until the 4th August or 3rd November to send your passport copy, depending on whether you have applied for a  September or January programme.

If you don’t think you will be able to send it in by the 4th August or 3rd November 2018, please e-mail to notify us at foundation@contacts.bham.ac.uk

I don't have a parental consent form/what is a parental consent form?

If you are under the age of 18, the University needs your parents or your guardian to fill in a form. It was sent to you in your offer e-mail.

You should look back at that e-mail and see if you can find it. If not, please e-mail foundation@contacts.bham.ac.uk and ask for another copy.