I have not yet applied to BCU and need more help

Here are some frequently asked questions and other information about applying to BCU. If you can't find the answer you are looking for you could try our main help and support page to find the answer there.

Choosing a course

 

Who can help me to choose a course?

Our friendly Enquiries Team will be able to help with choosing which course to study at Birmingham City University. We can help you if you are:

  • a school or college leaver considering your subject, course or career option
  • a parent
  • a mature student without formal qualifications looking for guidance on entry routes into higher education
  • someone considering a career change or retraining
  • in full-time employment but interested in studying part-time for a professional qualification to help you develop your career
  • looking for a part-time course for personal interest or self-development
  • a teacher, careers advisor or employment and training adviser who needs to source information on behalf of a student or client.

You contact us by calling 0121 331 6295 or via the enquiry form.

Open Days and campus tours

 

I would like to find out more about the Open Days and/or book a place?

Further information on our Open Days can be found here. You can book a place at an Open Day through that web page if bookings are open.

 

Do I have to stay at the Open Day for the whole event?

No, you are welcome to attend the event for as long as you want to. However, do allow yourself enough time to fit in any talks, tours or other activities you would like to do during the Open Day. If you have booked a place at the Open Day through our website, we usually send you further information about the schedule for the day, including an Open Day programme, a few days before the event itself. 

 

Do I have to be at the Open Day at the start time for the event?

No, you are welcome to arrive at the event later if you wish. However, do allow yourself enough time to fit in any talks, tours or other activities you would like to do during the Open Day. If you have booked a place at the Open Day through our website, we usually send you further information about the schedule for the day, including an Open Day programme, a few days before the event itself. 

 

Do my guests need to a pass to attend the Open Day?

Your guests do not need a pass for the Open Day

 

Can I book a campus tour?

If you would like a campus tour, you are welcome to contact us to request one. Find out more about our campus tours and how to book them.

Entry requirements

 

Where can I find out about the entry requirements for a course?

Details of course entry requirements can be found on the individual course pages on our website.

Should you have any specific questions about entry requirements once you have reviewed the information on the course web page, please contact the Enquiries Team.

 

Can I apply for a top-up degree if my HND or foundation degree qualification is in a different subject?

It is only possible to access a top-up degree qualification if the content of your previous level 5 qualification (e.g. HND or foundation degree) is suitable in terms of the amount of Credit Accumulation Transfer (CAT) points it is made up of and the content of the qualification is sufficiently relevant to the subject of the top-up degree. It is not possible to complete a top-up degree if the subject of your level 5 qualification is in an entirely different subject area, for example if your HND is in Business you could not apply for a top-up degree in Computing.

Transfers or applying for advance entry

 

I would like to apply to transfer from another university to BCU for advanced entry onto the second or third year of an undergraduate course. How do apply?

Please note that the deadline for advanced entry applications is 30 June.

Transfers from a Midlands Credit Compass scheme university

BCU is a member of the Midlands Enterprise Universities. Therefore, if you're enquiring about transferring with advanced entry to BCU from one of the following universities you can apply through the Midlands Credit Compass scheme: 

  • Coventry University 
  • University of Derby 
  • Nottingham Trent University 
  • University of Wolverhampton 
  • University of Lincoln

If you are/were a student at another Midlands Credit Compass University and wish to apply to Birmingham City University, please complete and return, by 30 June, our application form to MidlandsCreditCompass@bcu.ac.uk.

Please note that there is no guarantee you’ll be able to switch to another course at a different course provider. Each university reserves the right to make a decision based on its individual regulations and admissions procedure.

Please note that if you wish to apply for entry onto the first year of one of our undergraduate courses, you will need to apply through UCAS and not through Midlands Credit Compass. 

Transfers from other universities

For transfers to a full-time undergraduate course at BCU from all other universities, please apply using UCAS and choose the year of entry you wish to be considered for. When adding your course choice on the UCAS application form, the ‘point of entry’ field is used to tell us which year of the course you want to start, e.g. point of entry two is the second year of the course.

Students wishing to transfer to a part-time undergraduate course should apply directly to the University using the online application form linked to on the individual course pages on our website. 

Consideration for advanced entry onto our course will largely be dependent upon the content of your current studies and how this compares to the content of our course. It can also depend on how well you have performed on your current course. Where appropriate comparable study is evident, it may be possible for us to award accreditation for prior learning and possibly grant advanced entry onto our course. This is something which is assessed and decided on upon receipt of a completed application form. All applications are considered on an individual basis.

Further information about transfers can be found here

 

I would like to apply to transfer to BCU for entry onto the first year or foundation year of an undergraduate course. How do apply?

If you would like to be considered for a transfer from another university onto the first year or foundation year one of our undergraduate courses, please submit an application through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

 

Do you consider transfers to join an undergraduate course in Semester 2?

Unfortunately, we do not consider transfers to join an undergraduate course part way through the academic year in Semester 2. So, if an undergraduate course had an intake that began in September then we would not allow students to join the course part way through the year in the following January.

Making an application

 

How do I apply for a course?

Details about how to make an application for a course can be found in the 'Fees and How to Apply' section of the individual course web pages.

If you are looking to apply for a degree apprenticeship, please see the FAQ below for further details.

 

How do I apply for a degree apprenticeship?

Unlike other education and training programmes, an apprenticeship is first and foremost a job opportunity and that around 80% of the learning takes place in the workplace.

You cannot apply directly to the University for a degree apprenticeship. To apply for an apprenticeship, you first need to find one that you are interested in applying for.

The Find an Apprenticeship is the government website where the majority of apprenticeship vacancies are advertised. It only shows live jobs (so it won’t tell you previous vacancies, nor what’s coming up), so you will need to check it regularly to see new vacancies as the employers advertise them.

Please read the ‘Your step-by-step guide to applying for an apprenticeship’ guide produced by Amazing Apprenticeships for detailed information about finding and applying for apprenticeships.

 

Who should provide my reference?

Your referee should usually be:

  • a tutor from current or recent studies

  • an adviser who knows you

  • a present or former employer

The person who provides your reference should be able to comment in an objective and professional manner on your suitability for the course you are applying for. Relatives or friends cannot act as your referee.

 

I can't obtain a reference from either an academic tutor or an employer. Who could provide my reference?

If you are unable to obtain an academic reference or an employer reference, perhaps you could ask someone who you know with professional upstanding (a doctor, solicitor, magistrate, teacher, etc.) to provide a reference commenting on your suitability for the course.

 

I have used up all five choices on my UCAS undergraduate application form. Can I still apply for a course at BCU?

If you used up all five choices on your UCAS application and are not holding any offers:

If you used up all 5 choices on your UCAS application form, have heard back from all of these choices and are not holding an offer of a place, you could use UCAS Extra to apply for a course. Extra allows you to apply for courses with vacancies between the end of February and the end of June. In Extra, you apply for one course at a time using the Track service on the UCAS website.

If you are eligible for Extra, a button will appear on the UCAS Track screen which will allow you to apply for a course using Extra. UCAS Extra starts in February, so you probably won’t see the option button until then when you log in.

For more information about Extra, please visit the UCAS website.

If you used all five choices and you are holding any offers:

If you used up all 5 choices on your UCAS application form, have heard back from all of these choices and are holding an offer of a place (or places), the only ways you could be considered for a place on our course would be either through:

  • UCAS Extra; or
  • Clearing

If you were to decline all offers you have already been made, you could use UCAS Extra to apply for a course. This option would mean that you would run the risk of turning down all of your current offers and only then being able to find out whether or not you could gain a place on our course, so you should carefully consider whether you would wish to assume this risk.

Alternatively, you could wait until Clearing (Clearing starts in early July and runs through the summer for courses with available places). In order to be considered through Clearing, you would need to have already received all of your exam results before approaching the University to see whether places are available on our course. If we have places and your qualifications are suitable, we may be able to indicate whether we may be able to consider you for a place should you decide to enter the Clearing process. We would then advise further about what steps you would need to take if you did wish to do this.

 

I can't access my BCU online application account to submit my application. How can I regain access?

If you have forgotten your password you can reset it via the forgotten password button on the mySRS Applicant Portal log on screen

Your username is the same as your Birmingham City University (BCU) application number. Your Birmingham City University application number is an 8 digit number and can be found on emails you have received from our Admissions team. Please note: if you have applied via UCAS your BCU ID number is different from your UCAS ID number.

If you do not know your BCU ID number please check your BCU email communications or contact Admissions.

 

The BCU online application system does not allow me to create a new application. Who should I contact?

Please contact our Registry Services team to report your issue and receive support to resolve this.

 

Is there a word limit for the personal statement?

Full-time undergraduate course applications made through UCAS: 

The personal statement on the UCAS application form has a character and line limit – you have 4,000 characters and 47 lines. 

PGCE teacher training course applications made through the Department for Education’s teacher training application form:

If applying through the Department for Education’s teacher training application form, for the personal statement section you have a limit of 600 words to explain why do you want to be a teacher and a limit of 400 words to explain why you feel you are suited to teach your subjects or age group. They do not specify a character limit – only a word count.

Undergraduate (part-time) or postgraduate taught course applications made through BCU's online application form:

There is no word count or limit as such for the personal statement if applying through BCU's online application form. However, one side of A4 in 11 point font and single-spaced text is a good guide.

 

What is the deadline for postgraduate applications?

Most of our postgraduate courses don’t have an application deadline. If there is no specific application deadline shown on the course web page then we encourage you to submit your application by the 31st July if your course starts in the Autumn, or by the 30th November if your course starts in January. This gives us sufficient time to process your application ahead of the start of your course.

However, there are some courses which do have specific application deadlines, including MSc Social Work, MSc Dietetics, MSc Speech and Language Therapy and MSc Physiotherapy. Where this is the case, details can be found on the individual course pages.

Whatever course you’re applying for, don’t leave it until the last minute, as many popular courses will fill up ahead of time.

Help for current students

 

I am currently a student enrolled on a course at Birmingham City University. Am I able to change to another course?

If you are currently enrolled on a course at BCU, in the first instance please approach your School Office or Personal Tutor to discuss changing courses.

Clearing

 

Will places become available on a course in Clearing?

We publish a list of courses which have places in Clearing on our website from early July and this is regularly updated throughout the summer.

You can check our latest Clearing course vacancies on our website from early July onwards.

If the course you are interested does not have any places available when you search the list of course vacancies, please keep checking the website as this may change as Clearing progresses. Please note that we won't be able to tell you whether or not a course may or may not enter Clearing at a later point, so we would encourage you to regularly check the course vacancy listing on our website for up to date information.

A-level results day is also a key date in Clearing when we would know whether any vacancies have become available on a course if it has not had any places available before then.

 

When can I apply for a course in Clearing?

If you wish to be considered for a course through Clearing and already have your qualification results, you will need to check to see if there are any available places on your chosen course of interest once Clearing opens in early July.

A list of courses available to apply to through Clearing is published from early July on our website at www.bcu.ac.uk/clearing/courses.

You will need to have your exam results before you can apply. Once you have your results, you can apply for courses available in Clearing. If you are waiting for results for any qualifications that would count towards the entry requirements for the course you wish to apply for through Clearing, you will need to wait until you have received confirmation of the exam results for these qualifications before applying for a course in Clearing.

 

How do I apply for a course in Clearing?

From early July until 4 August 2024:

If you want to apply for a place in Clearing between early July and 4 August, please apply using our online Clearing application form.

5 August – 14 August 2024:

No Clearing applications can be made to us between these dates – you can apply for a course in Clearing from 15 August.

Thursday 15 August – mid-October 2024:

Our Clearing Hotline opens on Thursday 15 August and the number is 0121 331 6777.

If you receive your results (or already have your qualification results) on Thursday 15 August, you can call our Clearing Hotline which opens at 8.00am. You can apply through Clearing as long as we have vacancies on the course you are interested in.

Our Clearing Hotline operating hours are as follows:

Thursday 15 August 8.00am – 10.00pm

Friday 16 August  7.30am – 8.00pm

Saturday 17 August  9.00am – 4.00pm

Sunday 18 August  10.00am – 2.00pm

Monday 19 August  8.00am – 5.00pm

Tuesday 20 Aug – mid Oct  9.00am – 5.00pm

(weekdays only)

 

Do I need to have made a UCAS application to apply through Clearing?

You don’t necessarily have to have made an application through UCAS in order to be considered for a place in Clearing, but we would strongly encourage you to register for a UCAS account in advance if you have not done so, as applicants who receive a provisional offer through Clearing will need to to refer their UCAS application to us through their UCAS Hub account within 24 hours of receiving our offer in order to make their application to study with us.

If you do not have a UCAS account when you apply through Clearing and are then provisionally offered a place that you want to accept, you will need to register with UCAS before you can refer your application to us. 

 

I can't get through to the Clearing Hotline - what should I do?

The lines will be very busy, but we have plenty of staff taking calls so please be patient and keep holding the line. We'll do our best to get to your call as quickly as we can.

 

When should I add a Clearing choice on my UCAS Hub?

You should only 'add a Clearing choice' to UCAS Hub if a university offers you a provisional place on a course through Clearing and you wish to accept that offer. If you add a Clearing Choice on UCAS but have not been provisionally offered a place for that course and/ or by that university, your application will likely be declined and until that university declines you, you can't add any another Clearing choices for offers that you may receive.

 

How long is my Clearing offer guaranteed for?

The period of time that your offer is guaranteed for is detailed in the offer email we send once we have offered you a place in Clearing.

 

I previously accepted a place at another university but now want to accept an offer of a place I’ve been made by BCU in Clearing. My firm choice have not released my application into Clearing. What should I do?

Contact your firm choice again and ask them to process your request to be released into Clearing. Keep in touch with us and we will do all we can to try and keep your offer open, but we can only guarantee your provisional offer for the time specified in your Clearing offer email.

If you can provide email evidence of your request to be released that you have sent to your firm choice institution, you can send this to us so we can make a note of it on your application record. You can send this to admissions@bcu.ac.uk.

 

I already have a place on another course at Birmingham City University and now want to apply for a different course in Clearing. How do I do this?

If you already hold an offer with Birmingham City University and want to see if you can change to another course with us, you must put this request in writing to our Admissions team via our course change request form.

Please do not use Clearing to try and change your course if you hold a firm or insurance offer with us as this can affect your eligibility for an undergraduate scholarship if you met the criteria for it. Applicants who receive an offer through Clearing will not be eligible for the scholarship.

 

Can I still apply for accommodation during Clearing?

We are able to offer accommodation within the University portfolio so long as your provisional offer of a place on a course has been confirmed by our Admissions team to UCAS, you have received confirmation from UCAS that you have a confirmed offer of a place with us and have applied for accommodation by early September 2024 (actual date to be confirmed).

 

How can I be released from my current offer with BCU so I can enter Clearing to go to a different university?

If you are holding an Unconditional Firm offer, you will be able to self-release into Clearing via your UCAS Hub account.

If you have a Conditional offer and wish to be released, you will need to put your request in writing to Admissions through our request form. We will aim to process your request as soon as we possibly can.

 

How do I accept a provisional Clearing offer?

1. Log in to your UCAS account. If you haven't got a UCAS account you will need to register with UCAS.

2. Enter the following details in the 'Add a Clearing Choice' section of your UCAS Hub account: UCAS institution code B25, the course code for the course you have been offered a place on and entry point (these are shown in your provisional offer letter email).

3. Once you have added your Clearing choice on UCAS Hub, UCAS will then inform us of this. You will then receive a holding message in your UCAS Hub account notifying you that you’re waiting for a decision from us. This will state ‘the University or college is currently considering your application (Referred)'.

4. When we have received your application from UCAS, we will be able to accept you subject to you passing relevant Admissions checks on your application which includes: verification of your qualifications (including verifying that the qualifications recorded on your Clearing application meet the entry requirements for the course), disability support requirements, tuition fee assessment and any unspent cautions/convictions. If accepted, you will then receive an email from UCAS saying that your place is confirmed. Please do not apply for Accommodation until you have received the notification from UCAS to say that we have confirmed your place.

5. If you pass our admissions checks, we will then confirm to UCAS that we have offered you a place of study at Birmingham City University and you will be able to view our confirmation of your place on your UCAS Hub account. Wherever possible, we aim to do this within 48 hours (excluding weekends) from when you refer your application to us through UCAS.

6. Once your offer has been confirmed with UCAS, your application with then achieve Unconditional Firm (UF) status (a firmly accepted unconditional offer) and this will trigger an email which acknowledges your acceptance of a place at Birmingham City University. If required, you can then apply for accommodation.

Important: You should only 'add a Clearing choice' to UCAS Hub if a university makes a provisional offer of a place on a course through Clearing and you wish to accept that offer. If you add a Clearing Choice on UCAS Track but have not been offered a place for that course and/ or by that university, your application will likely be declined and until that university declines you, you can't accept any another Clearing offer that you may receive.

If the ‘add Clearing choice' button in your on-line UCAS Hub is not available, please check that you have definitely been released or rejected from your other UCAS commitments and are not holding a place at another University or institution.

Still need help?

If you can't find the answer to your question, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our Admissions team.

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