English for Academic Purposes - Foundation Certificate

Course Code:
Apply direct to University via International Office
Full Time (Part 1 and 2: September to June)
September 2016

You can improve your general and academic English and prepare to study a degree course successfully by making the most of everything that the FCEAP offers.

It’s a great starting point if you’re an International or EU student who is keen to meet  people from different countries and experience UK culture.

We offer a supportive environment where you can exchange ideas and opinions with fellow students from many different backgrounds.

Our Foundation course will develop you personally, professionally and academically – putting you on track for a bright future.

What's covered in the course?

The FCEAP is carefully designed to meet your needs. The course team liaises with University course directors, so that our assessment methods remain up-to-date and relevant to your future study.

You will study eight different modules. In the first semester you will explore Reading Development; Writing Development; Speaking and Communication Skills; and Culture in Action. The second semester will focus on Listening and Notetaking; Academic Speaking; Reading for University; and Writing for University.

Our full-time course offers plenty of variety and is very rewarding. What makes the FCEAP so attractive is its flexibility. It runs over four days, Mondays to Thursdays. You can also meet your tutors to discuss your work on an individual basis in tutorials. Attendance is compulsory. 

Assessments are designed to meet your particular needs and you’ll grow more confident in your use of English, socially and academically.

Why Choose Us?

  • This is a Foundation Certificate, so achievement is consistent with the national standard of awards.
  • The course is based in the School of Education and governed by our quality assurance procedures.
  • The modular style of this course – and the fact that each module is taught by a different tutor – means you can experience different teaching styles and methods.
  • Your assessments  will include exams, essays, presentations, projects and group video production.
  • The University has good lending facilities, so you’ll be able to borrow books and DVDs

This course is open to International students

Entry Requirements

UK students

IELTS points

4.5 - 5.0

Successful completion of the Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes does not provide a formal English language qualification that would necessarily be accepted by other Universities or external bodies as equivalent to IELTS 6.0 or IELTS 6.5.

Download the Course Programme Specification

Course entry requirements may be subject to change. Please visit the course web page for the latest information.

A minimum of 4.5 (5) IELTS or equivalent

English language requirements

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Foundation Certificate Sep 2016 FT Part 1 and 2: September to June £8,900

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Foundation Certificate Sep 2016 FT Part 1 and 2: September to June £8,900

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.


Prospective students from theUK
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from outside the UK

Further Information

For further information please contact the International Office:

Telephone: +44 (0) 121 331 6714

Email: international.enquiries@bcu.ac.uk

This course is not available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Year 1

Speaking and Communication Skills

This module will help you develop confidence in general everyday conversation. You’ll build your vocabulary and develop your English language skills in practical ways.

Culture in Action

This is an exciting module which helps you learn about the history and culture of Birmingham. Most learning takes place during visits to local places of interest, so you’ll have great opportunities to develop your English language skills in practical ways. You’ll then produce a group video relating to your experiences.  

Reading Development

This will help you to become a more efficient and independent reader by teaching you to use reading strategies and techniques in order to reach an in-depth understanding of texts.

Writing Development

This will help you to become a more independent writer and your tutor will introduce you to the writing skills you need to develop your writing. Writing Development will also prepare you for the second semester module, Writing for University.

Year 2

Listening and Note-taking

In this module you’ll explore listening skills and note-taking strategies, and ways of developing these effectively. You’ll build upon your vocabulary and develop skills in using context clues, prefixes and suffixes and becoming familiar with the structure of lectures.

Academic Speaking

This module is very practical and will give you the skills to successfully take part in an academic discussion, otherwise known as a seminar. You’ll also learn how to give an individual presentation. Both these activities are used for assessment purposes on degree courses here at the University so you’ll be well prepared.

Year 3

Reading for University

This module will help you to find information quickly and accurately, to identify what is important in a text and to compare different sources of information. You’ll also learn how to read critically in order to complete an academic task.

Writing for University

This module will introduce you to the academic writing practices of a UK university and help you develop skills to complete your written academic assignments successfully.

Our course offers you a real mix of learning opportunities, including tutor-directed and tutor-guided independent study. One-to-one and small group tutorials give you a chance to discuss your specific needs.

Collaborative activities ensure you get to know your fellow students and feel comfortable working alongside them. Your classroom sessions will include pair-work, small and whole group sessions and  role play exercises.

The use of self-assessment and peer-assessment techniques will help you to reflect on your learning and understand how you’re progressing - media such as, video, laptops and ipads are widely used.

Particular strengths of the course:

  • Out-of-classroom activities that are part of the syllabus
  • Formative feedback that gives you every opportunity to improve your work before final assessments
  • Wide range of assessments, so that all students’ learning styles and preferred assessment methods are considered
  • Co-operation with your future faculties so that accurate and up-to-date information can be made available
  • Use of Birmingham City University student helpers and volunteers to assist in the classroom

Further Study

Once you have successfully completed the FCEAP, it opens the door to many different study options. These will naturally differ according to what you aim to do in the future.

If you have an offer for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at this university, provided you have the necessary academic qualifications, you won’t need to retake IELTS, or its equivalent. You’ll be able to enrol directly on to your chosen course.

If you need IELTS 6.5 for your degree course, you’ll have to pass FCEAP with a minimum average of 50 per cent.

Enhancing your employability skills

Getting your FCEAP will boost your confidence and allow you to take the next step to achieving a degree of your choice.

That might be a BA, BEng, BSc, BMus, MMus, MSc, MA, MBA or PhD. Any of these qualifications will open the door to a wide range of career options in a world which offers exciting global opportunities.  

Having achieved success at this level, and having improved your written and spoken English and gained a better understanding of UK culture, you’llfeel well-equipped to make a sound career choice.

Our students have gone on to play or teach music professionally, open businesses, join their family’s firm or, where they have graduated in the arts, made the break into film, advertising, fashion and jewellery design industries.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate jobs

Our students have taken up careers in playing and teaching music professionally, opening businesses, management roles within large corporations, or helping to run the family firm. Arts graduates have taken up careers in the film industry, advertising and fashion.

Trips and visits

You’ll go on weekly visits as part of the Culture in Action module. Weekend trips to various UK destinations, such as London and Bath, will also be offered.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.


BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The School of Education boasts some of the best teaching and learning facilities in the country. As part of your training you will have access to our specially developed replica classrooms with interactive whiteboards, enabling you to experience the classroom environment.


City North is a big, bustling campus, three miles north of Birmingahm city centre. It's easy to get to and offers on-site parking. Located 5 minutes from Perry Barr train station, City North Campus is also ideally positioned along major bus routes.

The School of Education will be moving to City South Campus in Edgbaston by September 2017.

Virtual School

One of the most exciting innovations in recent years for our trainee teachers and students is our virtual school. You can encounter a range of real-life situations within a simulated environment, that teachers are often confronted with.

Visit our Virtual School


All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

I.T. Support

Each student has a personal computer user name and server space Specific software for use by teachers and for use in classrooms.

Other items available include:

  • Training and training notes
  • Students can borrow cameras, LCD projector
  • Specialist technician support
  • Dedicated research base for postgraduate research students

Art and Design Department

There are fully equipped art studios suitable for 3D construction, printmaking, drawing and mixed-media. For textile and ceramics specialists, there are sewing machines and facilities for batik work and a large kiln for firing ceramics. The department has an ICT Suite for digital media that includes both Mac and PC computers. There is also access to a bank of Apple iPads for on and off-site digital working including the use of social media.

Design and Technology Department

The department has access to specialist facilities, including a dedicated teaching suite for food and textiles. The textiles area has 10 sewing machines, an overlocker, CAD/CAM embroidery machines, dye sublimation equipment, a felting machine and an electronic microscope that links to the interactive whiteboard. It is also well resourced with surface decoration and construction equipment.

The food area has five electric cookers, combination microwave/ovens, an extensive range of industrial and domestic equipment, eg industrial ice cream makers and electric pasta makers, bench top printer and a CAD/CAM icing printer. The specialist tutor is a Speed Step and basic food hygiene trainer.

There is a specialist room for design and technology teaching and independent work, as well as a well-stocked reference library that contains a wide range of resources that are relevant for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Other features include a recycling materials area, specialist work benches and a bank of computers linked directly to CAD/CAM equipment.

History Department

There are plenty of replica artefacts in the department and other superb facilities, including a huge library of dedicated subject books and an interactive whiteboard. We also inspire our trainee teachers to bring history to life by offering them opportunities to travel to historic sites.

English Department

The School of Education has two dedicated English teaching rooms that contain a substantial children's collection of works including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, picture books and multicultural text. There is also a selection of phonics teaching materials, puppets and story bags that are used in teaching sessions.

You can explore the links between ICT and literacy through the department's Digital Blue cameras and electronic photo albums.

Mathematics Department

There are two dedicated teaching rooms for mathematics. The rooms make use of Promethean and Smart interactive white boards. Both rooms contain a library of recent and relevant publications as well as a wide range of resources for use while on teaching practice.

Trainees are supplied with the use of a laptop for the duration of the course. The laptops come with Autograph and Geometers Sketchpad software. There are a class set of iPads available for the teaching sessions.

Religious Education Department

This teaching room attempts to bring sacredness in its vicinities and a visitor will find precious collections of artefacts and devotional utilities, audio-visual resources, books, sacred texts and children's books from a range of religious traditions to support learning and teaching.

Early Years Department

As well as enjoying very strong links with local schools and specialist nurseries, we have a specialist teaching room that has a range of story sacks and puppets, an extensive selection of planning resources, copies of key texts, and toys and equipment that are relevant for foundation stage.

Music Department

The music department has two dedicated classrooms and seven practice rooms, five of which contain dedicated computer-based recording/sequencing equipment. There is also a fully equipped sound recording studio and Apple Mac computers for sound manipulation.

Drama Department

There is a fully equipped drama studio with stage lighting.

Meet our staff

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295