International Application FAQs

Find below answers to many popular questions about the international application process. If there's still something you need answering, feel free to contact our International team.

Application FAQs

When do you issue a CAS letter?

We are currently experiencing extremely high volumes of applications from students who want to join us for this next intake. Decisions on new applications are currently taking between 7-10 working days. Please do not chase us for decisions; refer to your agent portal for updates. Payments take 3-10 working days to be accredited to student accounts. Once the payment has been confirmed, CAS takes 3-5 working days. If the financial documents have not been provided, these will be requested.

I want an update on my application 

Thank you for your application to BCU. We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible. We will respond to your application within the published UCAS decision deadlines if you have applied using UCAS. If the university requires any further information or for you to attend an interview, audition, or portfolio review in support of your application, we will send you an email with further details to the email address listed in your application. You can also check for outstanding actions via your mySRS portal.

I have submitted my application and no longer wish to be considered for the course

If you have applied to BCU via UCAS, you can withdraw your application to BCU on UCAS. If you have applied to BCU but are not using UCAS, please get in touch with International Admissions, who will withdraw your application.

I have been asked to upload evidence of my qualifications

Further details of outstanding actions can be found on your mySRS portal. Please refer to the More Information tab, where details of the required documents and help guides can be accessed.

I want to defer my application

If you are considering taking a year out before coming to the University, we will gladly consider your application for deferred entry. You can only postpone your application for one academic year. You must have met the entry requirements in the year in which the application was made.

If you would like to be considered for deferred entry, please get in touch with International Admissions. More information on deferring your offer for this year.

How do I upload the requested documentation?  

Birmingham City University will ask you to upload information to support your application. Once you have logged in to your mySRS BCU Applicant Portal, you will be presented with your actions and help on how to do this. Please refer to your MySRS portal help guide section for more information.

My application has been unsuccessful. Is it possible to have feedback on the decision?

Due to the high volume of applications we receive, we cannot provide feedback. Most unsuccessful decisions will be based on not meeting our entry requirements, so please refer to the course profiles on UCAS (B25) or the BCU website. If you attended an interview or audition and did not receive an offer, we can provide feedback upon request.

How do I update my contact details?

UCAS application – Please update these via your UCAS account; this will automatically update your details with BCU.

Direct application to BCU – please contact International Admissions to confirm the change to your details.

How do I update/correct the qualifications listed on my application?

If you have made an error on your application or have forgotten to include a qualification, please get in touch with International Admissions with details of the required changes. If a decision has already been made on your application, BCU would be willing to reconsider it, provided it is clear why the original information was omitted or incorrect.

My course has a portfolio requirement; where can I find further guidance on what to include?

Please read carefully the information we have sent. See further portfolio guidance.

I cannot upload my portfolio to the portal. How can I send this to you instead?

Check the size and format, and submit your work as one PDF or PowerPoint file. Try to compress the file if the size is the issue. Your digital portfolio should be no more than 10MB. Alternatively, email your portfolio to us, including your BCU ID number and the course you applied for.

I did not upload my certificates as part of my online application. Can this be provided at a later date?

Yes. Certificates and further information will be requested via email, asking you to upload relevant documents to your BCU mySRS portal should this information be required.

I have made a mistake on the application form. How can I amend this?

If you have realised something is incorrect after submitting your application form, such as academic details, email us your Applicant ID number so we can update this for you.

Can I change the course I have applied for?

Please contact International Admissions, who will review your application and advise whether the course change will be possible.

Prohibition List Check is listed in the outstanding actions of my portal; what does this relate to?

This is an additional check carried out by BCU, so there is nothing that you are required to do about this outstanding action. Once we have completed this check, we will mark it as Passed or Failed.

I need to request a letter to confirm my student status; who do I need to contact?

Unfortunately you will not be able to request a letter confirming your student status until the programme has commenced, you will also need to be fully enrolled on the programme. Once you are fully enrolled and on the course, you will be able to obtain a letter confirming your student status through your school office. If you require a letter for applications such as your student finance, your BCU offer letter is all you require.

What is the latest date to meet any conditions of my offer?

All conditions must be met by the 31 August.  Some courses conditions will required at an earlier date.

Fees and scholarships FAQs

What are my course fees? 

All our course fees and options are listed under individual course pages. We also include information about any additional costs you must budget for courses. If you receive an offer from BCU, the course fee will be provided in your offer email. 

Does the University offer financial support or scholarships?

Please refer to our dedicated scholarships webpage for more information.

Visa FAQs

What type of visa do I need?

Student Visa

You will be expected to apply as an adult student under the Student Visa if you are coming to the UK for your post-16 education.

If you currently live in your home country, you must apply for entry clearance before coming to the UK. You can apply to a British diplomatic post in the country where you usually live, often through a commercial company called a visa application centre.

Alternatively, if you are already in the UK, you may be able to apply for leave to remain here - often referred to as extending your visa.

What are the conditions of my Student Visa?

Protecting your Student Visa

The University wants to support you in keeping your visa conditions and has provided you with our 10 top tips to help you have a safe and problem-free stay at the University and in the UK.

As a sponsored student, you must follow the conditions of your Student Visa. The latest Student Visa information and immigration rules from the British Government can be found on the Government website.

Can I apply as a Student Visa holder if my course is less than six months?

Six months is the minimum course duration if you want a Student Visa. If your course is under six months, you may wish to enter the UK on the ‘Visitor visa’ route.

You can apply for this type of visa if you are 18 years old or over and want to study in the UK for up to six months.

Consider carefully

However, we recommend that you consider very carefully whether this option is right for you as at the end of the six-month period, you will not be allowed to extend your permission to be in the UK as a short-term student or a Student Visa. You will not be able to work while in the UK.

When do I apply?

Check all information

You must check that all the information on the CAS statement is correct and notify the University of any mistakes as soon as possible. It is the student's responsibility to ensure the information on the CAS is correct.

You must apply for your visa/entry clearance before you leave home, as you will need to show your passport, with the correct stamp, to the immigration officer when you arrive in the UK.

You will receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from the University once you have paid the required deposit and shown us your bank statement (if requested).

You must pay your deposit as soon as possible, allowing the University time to create your CAS number and get it to you. If you delay paying your deposit, this will delay your visa application, which may result in you being late for the course and risk being refused entry for this academic year. You will then have to return home and wait until the following year to commence your studies.

You must submit your application for entry clearance no more than three months before the course start date.

If you apply too early, your CAS will be deemed invalid, and your application will automatically be rejected.

How does the Points-Based System affect me?

Biometric Information

It is compulsory to provide biometric information as part of any application for a UK Visa.

It would be best to go to your nearest visa application centre, where your fingers will be scanned, and a full-face digital photograph will be taken.

Your visa application will not be processed until you have provided this information.

When applying for entry clearance, you must pass a points-based assessment and score 40 points to qualify for entry to study.

Points are obtained as follows:

30 points for a CAS number

You will receive this number from Birmingham City University once you have paid your deposit.

10 points for maintenance

Money to cover fees and living expenses.

How do I apply for entry clearance?

We recommend that you visit the United Kingdom - Visa and Immigration (UKVI) website and follow the instructions on making your visa application.

To apply for a Student Visa, complete the VAF9 – PBS Migrant and PBS Appendix 8 General Student self-assessment forms.

The information on your entry clearance application must match that on the CAS statement emailed to you by the University. Any qualifications written on the CAS statement must be included in your application. If it is not in English or Welsh, you must provide the original qualification with an accompanying official translation.

As Birmingham City University is situated outside the Inner London Boroughs, you will be expected to show you have £1,023 monthly to cover your maintenance. If you have paid any money to the University as a deposit for tuition or accommodation fees and it is not included on the CAS statement, you must contact the University immediately.

Entrance clearance refused?

If your application for entry clearance is refused, please inform the University as soon as possible. You may be able to apply for an Administrative Review in your own country. Please do not travel to the UK; you will be refused entry at the UK port of entry (airport/seaport, etc.).

Follow the guidance notes

Please follow the guidance notes carefully and provide all relevant documentary evidence and the application fee required.

As Birmingham City University is situated outside of the inner London boroughs, you will be expected to show you have £1,023 per month to cover your maintenance.

Points Based Calculator


What should I do if I am already in the UK as a student and my student visa will expire soon?

You must obtain a new visa to study with us and get a CAS. If you are currently studying at an FE college or private provider, please note you cannot apply for your new visa here in the UK; instead, you must go back home and apply there. The same applies if you have not completed or failed your studies elsewhere.

Before Enrolling with us

Please note you must have applied for your new visa before you can enrol at Birmingham City University.

The university has a visa service (the Batch System) open for international students who are already in the UK and can apply for their new visa here. As part of this service, we will give you all the advice you need on your new visa application, and we will help you fill in the forms and even send the application off for you. What’s more, this service is completely free.

This means that once the CAS is ready, we will send this to our Student Affairs department, and an International Student Advisor will contact you to agree on a time for you to complete your visa application with them.

What funds do I need?

When you are putting together your visa application, you will need to ensure you have the following money available:

Evidence needed

We require certain students to show us evidence before we issue your CAS.

We appreciate the sensitive information that bank statements contain; however, we assure you that any data received will be treated with the strictest confidentiality and will not be accessed by anyone other than International Office staff.

  • One year’s tuition fee – minus any money paid to the University
  • One year’s living expenses – £9,207
  • You must show these funds for at least 28 days before we issue your CAS.
  • The funds should be either in your bank account or your parents’. If the money is in your parents' names, you must also include a birth certificate and a letter from them stating you have the right to use these funds with your visa application.
  • Do not take this money out of the bank account while you wait for your visa, as the UKVI may check with the bank to see if the money is still there.
  • The bank statements you send must not be dated more than one month from submission.
  • We require certain students to show us their financial evidence before we will issue your CAS.
  • We appreciate the sensitive information that bank statements contain. However, we assure you that any data received will be treated with the strictest confidentiality and will not be accessed by anyone other than the International Office staff.

Will I need to attend a credibility interview?

Student Interviews

Many students will be interviewed as part of the Student Visa application process to provide further assurance that applicants granted a visa; do intend to study in the UK. Get further information on student interviews from the Government.

For most students, the Government expects that this interview will be around five minutes long and will be conducted via a video link with a specialist team who will be based in Sheffield, UK. The interview will focus on your reasons for studying in the UK.

The kinds of questions you may be asked are:

  • What research have you undertaken regarding where to study
  • Why have you chosen the UK
  • Why you chose BCU (instead of other UK universities)
  • Why do you have gaps in your education
  • What modules will you be taking
  • How will your UK studies help your career development

Find out more about credibility interviews

Will I need to pay the healthcare charge?

The International Health Surcharge from February 2024 will be £776.

If you are coming for over a year, e.g., three years of an undergraduate course, you must pay the entire amount upfront. This charge is for the entire leave and not just the course length.

You will pay for this charge as part of your visa application process.

Before applying for your visa

Before applying for your visa, you must obtain your Immigration Healthcare Surcharge (IHS) reference number.

The UKVI website contains information to help you.

What are Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs)?

BRP delivery

When you apply for your visa, please tick the box for delivery to our University in the “Alternative Location” field and enter our unique code, 2HE522. This way, your visa will be sent to us for you to collect at enrolment.

BRP Scheme

More information

Accommodation FAQs

When can I apply for accommodation?

Once accommodation applications are open, if you have accepted a firm course offer with Birmingham City University, you will then be sent an email with a link to the accommodation portal to make an application.

All first-year, full-time home, EU, and international students are guaranteed University accommodation if they firmly accept an offer in the main application cycle and apply by the deadline.

Please view the appropriate portfolio for your academic year intake. If medical or mobility factors have a bearing on your accommodation needs, please provide full details and supporting evidence at the time of application to enable us to allocate appropriately. You may also wish to contact the Enablement and Wellbeing Team at Student Affairs for advice and assistance or call +44 (0)121 331 5588.

To register and apply for accommodation, you will need to use your University Application number/Student ID (it has eight numeric characters):

      • Register in the Accommodation Portal

      • Select your Application Pathway that is relevant to your Campus

      • Where required, please select your accommodation preferences and contract length which is suitable for your course

      • Please use the Additional Information section to advise us of any requirements relevant to your room's allocation.

Note: to avoid any delay, please ensure you frequently check the progress of your application.

Why am I not able to register in the Accommodation Portal?

There are several reasons why you may not be able to register:
  • Birmingham City University is your insurance choice
  • You have not yet accepted your course offer
  • You have used an incorrect University Application Number - some students assume the UCAS ID is the same as the University Application Number, but this is not case.
  • Your details are not on the University's admissions system. You may have entered your details incorrectly - If you need assistance, please get in touch with Accommodation Services.

What if I don't have a University Application Number?

Your University Application Number should be on your offer email. It comprises eight unique numbers, which should be on your Birmingham City University Course Offer. If you are unable to locate this number, please get in touch with Accommodation Services. 

Why have I not received my validation code email?

Please allow up to 30 minutes to receive the email and check your spam/junk emails. If you have still not received the email, contact Accommodation Services.

How much is the rent?

Please see individual accommodation location pages for prices.

I have a disability or a long-term health condition. Will my accommodation needs be met?

If you have a disability or long-term health condition that causes significant difficulties in your day-to-day life, you must contact Accommodation Services as soon as possible to discuss your specific requirements. We will not be able to offer you a room until we confirm that reasonable adjustments can be made.

We may be able to offer you accommodation for the duration of your course, but due to possible changes in the portfolio, this may not be the same accommodation each year. If you have a personal support worker enabling you to live independently at the university, we can also provide a room for them (the full cost of this room is applicable). Please also inform the Enablement and Wellbeing Team of your medical condition.

What if I study at Birmingham City University for one semester?

We aim to provide accommodation for semester students, but this is subject to availability.

I am a late applicant to the University. Will you still guarantee me accommodation?

If you are a clearing or late applicant we cannot guarantee University accommodation, we will aim to provide you with you University Accommodation (subject to availability). Otherwise, we will assist you in finding alternative accommodation with a University-approved provider.

You must apply online if accommodation is required by early September 2024.

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