English for Academic Purposes (FCEAP) - Foundation Certificate

UCAS Code:
Apply direct to University via International Office
Full Time (Part 1 and 2: September to June), Full Time (Part 2 only: February to June)
September 2018, February 2019

Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCEAP) is an accredited course for International and European students. It is designed to help you develop your general and academic English skills and to prepare you for successful study at a British university. It offers a wonderful opportunity to exchange opinions with students from different cultures and backgrounds.

Learning about the lives and experiences of other students in your class and throughout the University will broaden your views and help you think reflectively. This will give you many advantages in terms of personal, academic and professional development.

What's covered in the course?

FCEAP is carefully designed to consider your needs as a student studying a degree course in the UK. We regularly communicate with University course directors in order to gain information regarding changing assessment methods, so when necessary we can adjust our assessments to reflect changes in the Schools and Faculties.

The course has six modules. In the first semester you study Reading and Writing Development, Communication Skills and Birmingham: Past and Present. In the second semester you study Listening for Academic Purposes, Reading and Writing for University and Speaking for University Purposes. The FCEAP has a varied learning environment and is taught by very experienced teachers who will also meet with you on an individual basis in one-to-one tutorials.

Assessments are designed to meet individual needs and increase confidence in using English, both in social and academic contexts.

Why Choose Us?

  • FCEAP has an excellent pass rate
  • FCEAP is a Foundation Certificate, so achievement is consistent with the national standard of awards
  • The course is administered by the School of Education and Social Work, and is therefore governed by extensive quality assurance procedures
  • The course is run over one or two semesters so you can enter the programme at the level most suited to your needs. Either entry point allows you plenty of time to get to know the University, the city and the local culture before starting your main degree programme
  • FCEAP has a varied learning environment and there is a range of assessments to suit all learning styles, such as exams, essays, presentations and a group video project which you will organise and manage independently with members of your team
  • assessments are designed to meet individual needs and increase confidence in using English, both in social and academic contexts
  • Student support and pastoral care are important features of FCEAP and students can meet tutors in one-one tutorials throughout the programme 

This course is open to International students

Entry Requirements

UK students

Part 1 and 2: minimum IELTS 4 or equivalent

Part 2 only: minimum IELTS 5 or equivalent

International students

Part 1 and 2: minimum IELTS 4 or equivalent

Part 2 only: minimum IELTS 5 or equivalent

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.

International Students

Entry requirements here

If taking Part 1 and 2 you will need a minimum of IELTS 4 or equivalent. If taking Part 2 only, you will need a minimum of IELTS 5 or equivalent. 

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Foundation Certificate Sep 2018 FT Part 1 and 2: September to June £8,900
Feb 2019 FT Part 2 only: February to June £4,450

International Students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
Foundation Certificate Sep 2018 FT Part 1 and 2: September to June £8,900
Feb 2019 FT Part 2 only: February to June £4,550

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

How to apply

Please download and fill in the International application form  and visit the international section to find out where to send this to. 


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

Sorry, this course is not available part-time

Part 1

Communication Skills
20 Credits credits

You will practise using, language functions such as giving opinions, expressing agreement or disagreement and interrupting. You will use models to improve your pronunciation and speak with appropriate word stress and intonation, whilst building knowledge of vocabulary and useful expressions.

Birmingham: Past and Present
20 Credits credits

This module is based on a practice-led, knowledge applied curriculum where most of your learning is experiential and takes place outside the classroom. Learning about British cultural issues and the lives and experiences of other people from diverse backgrounds will help you broaden your views and develop reflective thinking; this will offer many advantages in terms of personal and professional development.

Reading and Writing Development
20 Credits credits

Reading and Writing Development prepares you for academic life in a UK university. This module is based on the principles of Transformative Learning to help you adapt to different ways of teaching and learning. There are opportunities to use reading and writing skills in authentic situations and experience a supportive learning environment.

Part 2

Listening for Academic Purposes
20 Credits credits

You will be exposed to listening tasks that are designed to help you develop strategies before, during and after listening to academic texts. You will carry out tasks to practise retrieval of factual and inferred information and completion of abbreviated notes. You will also be exposed to intensive vocabulary practice.

Speaking for University Purposes
20 Credits credits

This module provides opportunities for you to increase competence in your spoken English language skills. The focus will be on applying those skills so that you are able to participate successfully in academic oral activities. The module is designed to help you develop confidence and contribute effectively to tasks such as group debates, tutorials, discussions, seminars or presentations.

Reading and Writing for University
20 Credits credits

Reading and Writing for University provides experience of the reading and writing culture of a UK university. You will acquire a number of essential skills in the field of academic reading and writing and, to apply these skills, you will be given an opportunity to conduct individual research on a subject of your choice.

Attendance is compulsory and full time. On successful completion of the course, you will be awarded the Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes, and if you hold an offer for an academic course at Birmingham City University, provided you have appropriate academic qualifications, you will not need to retake IELTS or equivalents.

Students requiring IELTS 6.5 for progression will need to pass FCEAP with an average of 50 per cent or higher.

So, with the above conditions, successful completion of FCEAP allows you to meet the English language entry requirements and progress to your selected field of academic study at Birmingham City University.

Successful completion of the FCEAP 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.

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’ll feel well-equipped to make a sound career choice.

After graduating, our students have made careers in playing or teaching music professionally, opening businesses, joining 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, fashion and jewellery design.

Trips and visits

You will have the opportunity to visit several places of interest in the Birmingham area, accompanied by your class tutor. These visits will form the basis for the module, Birmingham: Past and Present assessment tasks. They will also introduce you to the rich cultural heritage of Birmingham and its people.

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.

A fly through of the £41 million expansion of our City South Campus. It will provide specialist laboratories and teaching spaces for the new life sciences courses and a new home for the School of Education.

Science education facilities

Our laboratory and Science Education Learning Room have been newly built for the start of the 2015/16 academic year. The Science Education Lab will enable trainees to encounter and explore the latest Science Education pedagogies, and together with the Science Learning Room will facilitate trainees’ transition from “subject expert” to “expert subject teacher”. Trainees will work in a fully hands-on way with the core science education materials to develop excellent subject and pedagogic knowledge - the twin attributes of the outstanding teacher.


City North is a big, bustling campus, three miles north of Birmingham 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 during the 2017/18 academic year.

City south 1

New developments

Our new development at City South Campus will ensure students have access to the modern facilities, including our specially developed replica classrooms with interactive whiteboards, enabling you to experience the classroom environment.


All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

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

IT 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.

Julia Barnes

Senior Teaching Fellow/Course Director

Julia is the course director for the Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCEAP), a Level 3 English language and university preparation course for International and European students. She is  also module leader for three FCEAP modules: Speaking and Communication Skills, Birmingham: Past and Present and Speaking for University Purposes.

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?

Contact the admissions team

+44 (0)121 331 6295