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Applying to Birkbeck


You apply directly to Birkbeck for the following: 

If you're unsure which level of study or type of course is right for you, we can help you with choosing the right course 

Applications open from mid-September for entry to all courses starting the following October or thereafter. There is no charge for applying to Birkbeck.

Please note: international students requiring a Student visa should refer to our visa deadlines


You apply online via UCAS for our full-time undergraduate courses, including our BA/BSc/LLB with Foundation Year

How to apply: All Postgraduate Courses and Part-time Undergraduate Courses, Including January starts

All applications to these courses are made online. You will receive an email to confirm that we have received your application. 


  • Get Started is a series of free workshops for prospective students who are interested in starting an undergraduate course at Birkbeck. You may have a particular course in mind, or you may be considering your options - either way, you're very welcome! 
  • Get Started consists of three workshops: 
    • preparing to study and writing an application 
    • writing a personal statement 
    • student finance. 
  • All workshops provide the opportunity to ask questions and start your application. 
  • Find out more about Get Started and book your place

How to start the application process

Applicant portal

  • The Birkbeck Applicant Portal enables direct applicants to view the status of their application, respond to offers (accept or decline), upload documents, update their contact details and withdraw their application. On submitting an application, an email is automatically sent to the applicant with login details and a link to the Portal login page. 

The application form 

  • You need to follow our onscreen instructions to complete the application form and upload supporting documents. You can save your part-completed application and return to it later. Please make sure you click the submit button to complete your application. Once you have submitted your application, you will not be able to make any changes.
  • Visit us at an Open Evening for application advice or come along to a Get Started workshop.
  • Use the personal statement tool to help write and receive feedback on your personal statement draft.

Page 1: Your personal details

  • You will be asked to provide your personal details, home address and to confirm your residency status. As part of confirming your identity, you must provide an accepted form of photographic identification - usually a valid passport. If you are not a UK, EU/EEA national you must also provide visa documentation to confirm you have valid leave to remain in the UK.
  • We ask you to upload a scan of your photographic identification. Please see below for accepted proof of identity.
  • Please note: Section 14 of the Terms and Conditions of Study at Birkbeck, University of London requires your registered name(s) (as listed on your identity documentation), to be used on your student record. This includes middle names, and will be the name that appears on your final award certificate. If your name has changed since you were awarded previous qualifications needed for entry, you will be asked to provide evidence of their name change. e.g. a marriage certificate, deed poll documentation or statutory declaration.

Page 2: Your qualifications

  • You will be asked about your current studies, if any, and your previous qualifications. You will also be asked to upload certificates or transcripts of your previous qualifications, where relevant.
  • If English is not your first language, you will be asked to provide evidence of your English proficiency. If you have not yet taken an English test, please continue with your application and you will be asked to upload the English test results prior to being invited to enrol. Please check our approved English language tests and qualifications.

Page 3: Your work experience

  • Please have your employment history to hand, with a brief overview of your responsibilities in each job or role. You may take these from your CV. Birkbeck values all your skills and experiences, not only your academic qualifications, so this information is important for your application. We also ask you to list relevant professional qualifications or training courses.

Page 4: Funding/sponsorship

  • This is an optional section for students who are being sponsored (for example, by their employer) or applying for a scholarship or grant. You do not need to complete this section if you will be applying for a student loan through Student Finance England, or if you are funding the course yourself.

Page 5: Your personal statement

  • You will be asked to write a personal statement that describes your academic abilities and your commitment to succeeding on the course you are applying for. You should aim to write an engaging, concise and well-structured statement:
    • The purpose of the personal statement is to demonstrate that you have the intellectual ability and the commitment to be a successful student on the course that you're applying for. You should give examples of where you can demonstrate success, whether that's academic or in the workplace. Keep the examples factual, and try to relate them to the course and the skills required to be a successful student.
    • Some students are afraid of coming across as boasting when they talk about their achievements. Others have concerns that their achievements are not impressive enough. Don’t let either worry to put you off applying. Show your achievements in the best possible light. We want to see your potential in your application, we don’t expect you to be a complete student at this stage. 
    • If you have an active interest in the subject you are applying for then mention them here. For example, perhaps you have attended free lectures and events; you regularly make visits to places or read certain publications. Maybe you have had a long-standing interest in the subject and you want to take it to the next level. This is your opportunity to show how you have been engaging in the subject you wish to study. 
    • If you are applying for a 4-year part-time undergraduate degree, your application will be direct to Birkbeck. As our classes take place in the evening, Birkbeck is different to other universities. Our Admission Tutors will be looking for indications that you have considered how you will be able to study successfully. You could, therefore, state why you are choosing to study in the evening. For example, you may be working or have other commitments during the day and the evening model allows you to continue with your work. 
    • If you wish to study a postgraduate course in a different subject area to that you studied as an undergraduate, first look at the entry requirements for the course that you're interested in, as some courses have more specific requirements than others. Our admission tutors will be looking at your whole application, and your professional experience will be considered alongside your previous studies. Use your personal statement to highlight how your professional experience or your personal interests may relate to the new subject area that you wish to study. 
    • Get help from our personal statement tool

Page 6: Referees

  • Some courses may require a reference who can talk about your suitability for the course you are applying for. You will be contacted if your course requires a reference.
  • Referees should comment on your study and analytical skills, subject-specific knowledge and skills, and readiness for degree-level study in your chosen subject.
  • Ideally, at least one of your referees should be someone who knows your academic or written work well, such as a previous tutor. However, many of our students completed their undergraduate degree many years ago and have lost touch with their tutors. If this is the case, then we recommend that you contact the school that offers your course to request to use an alternative referee, such as an employer or former employer, or someone you’ve worked with in a voluntary capacity. Referees should comment on your study and analytical skills, subject-specific knowledge and skills, and readiness for degree-level study in your chosen subject.

Page 7: Statistical information

  • The information collected on this page of the application form will not have any influence on your application. It is used purely for statistical and monitoring purposes, and we are required to collect it.

Declaring a disability

  • It is, of course, your choice what you include in the personal statement. For example, many mature students who struggled at school have since been diagnosed as dyslexic and they would be able to outline this in their personal statement, should they wish to do so.
  • If we know from an early stage that you may require support for a disability, we can discuss it with you to make sure that we provide the support required. We encourage you to contact our disability team during the application process, rather than waiting until the start of term.

Closing dates

  • Some courses specify a closing date, which you can find on the online course page. 
  • We recommend that you apply as early as possible and at least six weeks before the start of term. We try to give equal consideration to all applications received before the end of May (for autumn start courses).
  • If you are an international student applying from outside the UK on a Student visa, you must submit your course application by a certain date in order to be considered for entry in the relevant term. 


  • You can choose to supply your supporting documents in the following ways:
    • Online: we recommend that you attach your documents to your application, as this is the easiest and most efficient way to provide them. You may upload documents during the online application process, or if you have already submitted your application, via the applicant portal. You may upload a maximum of six documents.
    • Email. You can scan/take a photo of your documents and  as a PDF file attachment - please include your Birkbeck ID number on your email. Please note, restrictions are in place to limit the files we receive to 2MB maximum per email. Your message will fail to reach us if you attempt to send files which exceed this limit. To prevent this you should keep within this file limit and ensure only documentary evidence required in support of your application is sent. These may include:
        • birth certificate or passport
        • IELTS English Language certificate
        • degree certificate or transcript
        • additional documentation requested by Registry.

Accepted proofs of identity

  • All students are required to provide an accepted form of photographic identification. 
  • UK
  • All students are required to provide an accepted form of photographic identification. 
    • A current passport showing that the holder is a British citizen or a citizen of the UK and Colonies, having the right of abode in the UK. 
    • If you do not hold a valid passport, we also accept the following documentation when accompanied by a photocard driving licence; Armed Forces Identity card or a Post Office PASS card:
      • birth/adoption certificate (showing the place of birth of the holder's parents) 
      • certificate of naturalisation 
    • Additional documentation, such as a deed poll certificate or marriage certificate, may be required if you have changed your name. 
  • EU/EEA and Swiss Nationals
  • After the 30 June 2021, all EU, EEA and Swiss applicants will have to provide the following, when applying to study at Birkbeck:
    • A current passport showing that the holder is a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and 
    • Evidence of Pre-Settled or Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, such as a Share Code. 
    • Students who have been granted a Student visa must also provide their Share Code.
    • When generating a Share Code, please press the green ‘Start’ button at the bottom of the Share Code webpage. You will have three options to choose from: ‘Right to work’, ‘Right to rent’, and ‘Something else’. Please select option 3: ‘Something else’
  • Non-EU/EEA Nationals 
    • Copies of the following documents will be accepted:
      • a valid passport 
      • evidence of your immigration status: 
        • a permanent residence card 
        • indefinite leave to remain 
        • indefinite leave to enter 
        • no time limit card issued by the Home Office (current or expired) to a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA or a Swiss national 
        • a biometric immigration document issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK. The document must be valid (not expired) at the time the ID check is made 
        • a valid passport or other travel document endorsed to show that the holder is exempt from immigration control, is allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, has the right of abode in the UK, or has no time limit on their stay in the UK 
        • a current immigration status document containing a photograph issued by the Home Office to the holder with an endorsement indicating that the named person is permitted to stay indefinitely in the UK or has no time limit on their stay in the UK. The document must be valid (not expired) at the time the ID check is made. 
        • evidence of Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.  Please ensure you provide your Share Code so that we can verify your status.
        • evidence of e-visa status for relevant visa routes. Please ensure you provide your Share Code so that we can verify your status.

Registration guidelines 

  • UK nationals
    • If you hold a valid UK passport, please provide a copy.
    • If you do not hold a valid UK passport, please provide either:
      • full birth or adoption certificate issued in the UK or Ireland, together with a UK drivers’ or provisional drivers’ licence (or other form of photo ID), or
      • certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen, together with a UK drivers’ or provisional drivers’ licence (or other form of photo ID).
    • Please provide any documentation by email to the Student Advice Centre.
  • Overseas nationals
    • If you hold a valid passport that is endorsed to show that you are exempt from immigration control, are allowed to stay indefinitely in the UK, have the right of abode in the UK, or have no time limit on your stay in the UK, please present your original passport and evidence of exemption to the Student Advice Centre. If your endorsement is in a previous passport, please provide both current and previous passports.
    • If you are a forced migrant (seeking sanctuary in the UK), please provide the documentation listed on our website.
    • If you hold a current Biometric Residence Permit (BRP), passport, vignette or immigration status document issued by the Home Office that grants you permission to stay for the duration of your course, please present your original passport and documentation.
    • If you are the family member of an EEA national, please present your original passport and resident permit, your family member’s EEA passport, and documentation confirming your relationship.
    • If you entered the UK via an eGate and plan to study for less than 30 days, please present your passport and boarding pass/flight ticket.
    • If none of the above situations apply to you,
    • Please provide any documentation by email to the Student Advice Centre.
    • If you are entering the UK on a Standard Visitor visa, please present a copy of the visa stamp in your passport. If you do not have a stamp because you entered the UK using an eGate, please present your passport and boarding pass/flight ticket.  
  • EEA nationals
    • If you hold a passport or identity card that shows you are a national of an EEA country or Switzerland, which will be valid for the duration of your studies, please provide a copy.
    • If you hold a Residence Card, a Registration Certificate, Pre-settled BRP or other document certifying residence issued by the Home Office, please provide a copy.
    • If you do not hold any of these documents,
    • Please provide any documentation by email to the Student Advice Centre.

HOW TO APPLY: MPHil/PhD research degrees  

Read more about the process of applying for an MPhil/PhD research degree


Every spring, we publish full details of our short courses online, including dates, times and venues of classes. 


  • You enrol directly onto the short course(s) you wish to study. 
  • Short courses are filled on a ‘first come, first served’ basis - so apply early. 
  • There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which are specified online. 
  • You can take one or two short course modules each year, building up your credits to gain a certificate of higher education, if you wish. 
  • You may be eligible for a student loan to cover the cost of tuition fees on a certificate. Note that student loan regulations require students to be studying modules worth at least 30 credits a year. 
  • You will have to submit your passport or another acceptable form of photo ID, and, if appropriate, documentation, to confirm your eligibility to study in the UK, if you are not a UK or EU national. 


The application process depends on which type of certificate you are applying for - programme enrolment or modular enrolment. 



  • You enrol directly onto the short course modules you wish to study. You take one or two short course modules a year - the certificate web page will specify any compulsory modules you have to complete and which order you should take them in - and build up your credits to complete a modular certificate of higher education. 
  • Complete and submit your application online

What happens after you apply?

You will normally receive a confirmation email with your applicant reference number within 48 hours of submission. Please quote this on any correspondence with the College.

Once you submit your application, your application will be checked and assessed. If it is not complete, then we will contact you to provide additional information before making a decision.

Selection process

  • Some programmes require applicants to submit samples of writing (e.g. Creative Writing) or complete a test/interview. This will be stated on the course webpage and you will be contacted separately once you have applied. 

Turnaround time

  • The application process - from submitting your application to the College making a decision - usually takes between three to four weeks. However, this can vary, depending on the time of year, the programme and whether you are required to attend an interview and/ or take an entrance test and/or submit supporting documents, such as transcripts and certificates.
  • If you are interviewed, you should be notified of our decision about one to two weeks after your interview. Offers are made by admissions tutors, subject to a final check of your eligibility by Registry Services and, for students with unusual qualifications, subject to the approval of the College Admissions Panel.


  • Once you accept the offer of a place, you will receive information from the school that organises your course and formal instructions on how to enrol. For courses starting in October, enrolment opens late June and in November for January start courses. You are encouraged to enrol as soon as possible to enjoy the full benefits of studying at Birkbeck.  

Please see our terms and conditions of study