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FAQs

Find out more about studying on our University Pathway Programmes by reading through our frequently asked questions. 

Still have questions? Contact us and we will be happy to help.

University Foundation Programme

What courses are available?

We have four subjects to choose from:

In each course you will study three subject modules, in addition to the core modules Academic Skills and Learning Support.

When do the courses start?

There are three different start dates, depending on which foundation you choose.

Academic Year

The Academic Year Foundation begins in September and consists of 3 terms.

Extended 

The Extended Foundation begins in June and consists of 4 terms. The first term focuses on English language development and IELTS preparation, before following the Academic Year Foundation for the remaining three terms.

Fast-track 

Available for Business only, the Fast-track Foundation begins in January and consists of 2 terms.

For more information on start dates, visit our course pages.          

What are the entry requirements?

You are expected to have at least 12 years of education in your own country, or have completed high school.

There is also a language level requirement, depending on which Foundation you join:

  • Extended Foundation: Intermediate B1/ IELTS 4.0
  • Academic Year Foundation: Intermediate B1 IELTS 4.5
  • Fast-track: Upper Intermediate B2 IELTS 5.5*

*Business only

 

What are the tuition fees?

The tuition fees for the University Foundation Programme are:

  • Extended Foundation: £23,625
  • Academic Year Foundation: £17,715
  • Fast-track Foundation: £13,440 (Business only).

This fee includes:

  • 21 hours a week group tuition (22 hours for Fast-track)
  • Regular 1 to 1 tutorials
  • Course materials
  • WiFi and internet access
  • IELTS exam entrance
  • Free higher education advisory service
  • Visits from university representatives and entrance to our higher education fair
  • Weekly lectures on a variety of topics
  • Access to resources, including books, journals and DVDs in the Bell learning centre
  • City orientation tour 
  • The Language in Action programme with daily activities, this includes a free activity or trip each week to destinations including university cities
  • Use of sports and social facilities.

 

Will I receive help with my university application?

Yes, our expert higher education advisory service will guide through every stage of your application. You will regularly meet with our university counselling manager to discuss your options and your university application. We will advise you on the application process, helping you to write a personal statement and prepare for university interviews. Find more out our impartial advice and support.

Does Bell guarantee I'll get a place at a UK university?

Yes, on successful competition of our University Foundation Programme we guarantee you a place on an undergraduate course in the UK.* Read more about our the Bell guarantee and our university partners

*Minimum pass grade of 40%, a score of 5.5 or above in each component of the IELTS test and an attendance record of at least 90%. 

Which universities can I go to?

We arrange visits to the most popular UK university cities including Oxford, Cambridge, Lancaster and London. 

We have a variety of university partners which have been carefully selected based on their ranking, reputation, facilities location and the wide variety of degree courses they offer.

Can I progress to a university outside the UK if I want to?

Yes, our students secure places not only at UK universities, but also on degree courses taught in English in other countries including Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA and Canada. We will help you explore all the options you are interested in.

How much study will be expected in my own time?

At Bell, students are encouraged to learn everywhere, so in a sense the learning never stops! We have a Student Agreement which states the commitment we expect – every week, every lesson, every activity. This ensures you get the best from your course and time with us. There is daily homework and we have 10,000 resources in the learning centre to help you.

How many students are in each class?

The maximum class size is 12.

I am under 18. Are these courses suitable for me?

Yes, our University Foundation Programme welcomes students aged 17 and above. As students under 18 years of age are not yet considered adults by UK law, they are given special care and attention. 

Do I need an IELTS certificate to join the University Foundation Programme?

If you are from outside the European Union, you will need a UKVI IELTS (academic) certificate in order to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. You will need a minimum score of 4.5 (overall and in all bands) and your certificate must be dated within the last 2 years.

If you do not require a Tier 4 visa to come and study in the UK (e.g. if you are a European Union student) then other English tests are acceptable – if you have taken an English language test, but are not sure if it is acceptable, please contact us.  In addition if you do not require a Tier 4 visa then you can take our internal test – please contact us for further information.

How will I be assessed on the University Foundation Programme?

You will be assessed through coursework and examinations designed to ensure that you achieve the learning outcomes set for each module. Your learning will be supported by tutor feedback which will also provide an indication of your level of achievement. We will always schedule your workload carefully and make clear the criteria for assessment. In the final weeks, your language skills are assessed separately through the IELTS examination.

Your overall mark on the course will be the average of total marks in the academic skills module and your chosen subject modules. These modules are equally weighted. To be awarded a pass on the University Foundation Programme students must have:

  • an overall mark of 40% or above
  • a mark of 40% or above in each module
  • an attendance rate over the whole course of 90% or above.

On passing the course you will be awarded a certificate which states your final grade.

  • 70% or above is a Distinction
  • 60 – 69% is a Merit
  • 50 – 59% is a Credit
  • 40 – 49% is a Pass.

Who assesses the Bell University Foundation Programme?

The external examiners for the University Foundation Programme are members of the academic staff at the University of Essex. They act as moderators of coursework and examinations and they consider and approve programmes of work and make final decisions about the marks and grades to be awarded. They visit Bell several times during the course to meet all our students and staff.

Should I apply via UCAS or directly to universities?

Some universities accept applications direct through their international office via an application form, others may prefer applications through UCAS . We will advise you on the best way to proceed and give you help and guidance through all stages of the application process.

A Levels

What subjects can I study?

You can choose to study three subjects from the following: Business Studies, Economics, Maths, Sociology, Psychology, Physics, Biology and Chemistry.

In addition to your three A Level subjects, you will also study academic skills and IELTS preparation.

What are the entry requirements?

To join our A Level course you are required to have:

  • An IELTS score of 5.5 with no lower than 5.0 in any one element (UKVI IELTS required)
  • Equivalent of 5 GCSE grade C’s in relevant subjects

You will also have an interview with Bell during the application process.

Can you guarantee me a place at university?

Yes, on successful competition of A Levels we guarantee you a place on an undergraduate course in the UK*

*A minimum of grade E in your three subjects

I want to apply to Oxbridge, can you help me?

Yes, our resident university counselling manager will help you with every stage of your Oxbridge application. We will advise you on the distinct process for applying to Oxbridge, ensuring you meet the earlier deadline and are prepared for your interviews. Find out more about our impartial advice and support.

What are the course dates?

The two-year course starts on 17 September 2018. The term dates for the first year are as follows:

  • Term one: 17 September – 14 December 2018
  • Term two: 07 January – 05 April 2019
  • Term three: 23 April – 21 June 2019.

What are the tuition fees?

Tuition for our two-year A Level course is priced at £22,959 per year. The fees includes:

  • 26 hours 40 minutes group tuition per week
  • Regular 1 to 1 tutorials
  • Course materials
  • WiFi and internet access
  • IELTS exam entrance
  • Free higher education advisory service
  • Visits from university representatives and entrance to our higher education fair
  • Access to resources, including books, journals and DVDs in the Bell learning centre
  • City orientation tour 
  • The Language in Action programme with daily activities, this includes a free activity or trip each week to destinations including university cities
  • Use of sports and social facilities.

 

Masters Preparation Programme

I want to study for a PhD in the UK, is this course right for me?

Yes, our Masters Preparation Programme will prepare you to study for a postgraduate degree at a UK university, or any university where English is the medium of instruction. 

What are the course dates?

The Masters Preparation Programme is made up of three terms. Each term is designed to be taken as an individual 12 week programme. 

  • Term 1: September
  • Term 2: January
  • Term 3: April

Students can join the programme at any of the start dates, and choose to stay for one, two or three terms.

Where is the course available?

You can study on our Masters Preparation Programme in Cambridge or London.

 

What are the entry requirements?

You are required to have an undergraduate degree from university. In addition, there is a language level requirement, depending on which term you join. 

  • Term 1 (September): Upper Intermediate B2/IELTS 5.0
  • Term 2 (January): Upper Intermediate B2/IELTS 5.5 
  • Term 3 (April): Upper Intermediate B2/IELTS 6.0.

 

If I only complete one term, which course components will I study?

In each term you will focus on: academic language development, study skills and exam preparation. In addition, you will receive learning support from your tutor.

Can I receive higher education advice?

Yes, our expert higher education advisory service is here to help you with your university application and any questions you have. We have our own university counselling manager who has worked for Bell for nearly ten years. We have connections with universities across the UK and are focused on helping you gain offers from the best universities for your chosen career. This service is based at Bell Cambridge and is free to all students.

The school

What is the nationality mix at Bell?

We have a diverse nationality mix at Bell Cambridge. In 2015-2016*, 62 nationalities attended our courses. 

* From 01 May 2015 - 31 April 2016. 

Where can I live when studying at Bell?

At Bell, we know that to succeed in your studies, you need somewhere safe, comfortable and pleasant to stay. This is why Bell offers a range of accommodation options for students studying on our University Pathway Programmes. Choose to stay in residential accommodation and live amongst fellow international students or stay with a local family. Please note that all students who are under 18 must stay with a host family. 

We have a dedicated accommodation team to help you with any questions or requests. Contact pathways@bellenglish.com or +44 (0)1223 275598 to discuss the best option for you.  

What are the school rules?

The school rules are in place to ensure students benefit from their time at Bell and in the UK; and apply to behaviour in school, on Bell activities and in Bell accommodation. Any students breaking these rules, or English law, or persisting in serious anti-social behaviour will be disciplined and may be asked to leave the school and their Bell-arranged accommodation with no refund of fees.  

Bell accepts no responsibility for a student's personal actions to another party while at Bell, or for the supervision of students out of lessons or scheduled activities.

All students must:

  • Attend all classes, complete assignments and homework, unless they are ill
  • Inform the School of any changes of address or circumstances while at Bell
  • Obey Bell procedures as explained at the beginning of their course
  • Observe fire procedures
  • Comply with all UK laws and visa restrictions.

Students aged 18 and over must:

  • Behave appropriately towards students aged under 18 who are considered to be children in UK law
  • Smoke only in designated areas
  • Never buy alcohol, cigarettes (including electronic cigarettes) or tobacco for students under 18 or give alcohol to under 18s
  • Not allow students under 18 to visit Bell adult residences for students aged 18 and over.

Students aged 16 and 17 are considered to be children in the UK and must:

  • Return to their Bell accommodation by 23:00 hours every evening
  • Inform their homestay or Residential Supervisor in advance if they are taking part in a Bell trip or activity that will finish later than 23:00
  • Not buy or consume alcohol, cigarettes (including electronic cigarettes) or tobacco as the minimum age to purchase this in the UK is 18
  • Have written permission from their parent or guardian to join day trips booked by Bell, but organised and run by an Independent travel company.
  • Not be absent overnight or go on holiday without informing Reception who will contact parents or guardians for written permission. (Please note: Bell does not book overnight trips for students aged 16 and 17)
  • Not move out of Bell accommodation without written permission from their parent or guardian
  • Not visit any Bell residences for students aged 18 and over.

We reserve the right to ask students to leave Bell immediately and with no refund of fees for these reasons:

  • Not attending classes regularly
  • Serious anti-social behaviour (e.g. verbal abuse or rudeness, drunkenness, sexual harassment, violence, assault)
  • Bullying, intimidating or threatening behaviour of any sort
  • Proof of or admission to an illegal act (e.g. theft, assault, drink driving, possession or use of illegal drugs or offensive weapons – such as knives, guns or other object with intent to cause harm etc.)
  • Breaking any UK law
  • Interference with fire or safety equipment and procedures
  • Misuse of computers or downloading of any offensive material
  • Any other act that brings the name of Bell into disrepute
  • Refusal to obey reasonable requests from a member of Senior Staff

The Learning and Teaching Manager, Principal or Student Services Manager may recommend that a student is not re-admitted to Bell.  Reasons for this include the following:

  • Lack of academic progress in spite of everyone’s best efforts
  • Illness making it impossible for the student to get full benefit from the course
  • Poor attendance and lack of commitment to the previous course
  • A poor disciplinary record in class
  • Behaviour in School or accommodation which is inappropriate, disruptive or disturbing to others
  • Failure to pay fees
  • Breaking any UK law

Discipline: If the problem concerns behaviour in class your teacher will speak to you. If there is no improvement, a senior member of Bell staff will speak to you. A formal warning may be given to you, and your parents/sponsor will be informed. If there is a very serious problem you may be asked to leave Bell (expelled) without a refund of fees.

Visas and travel

Do I need a visa to study at Bell?

To find out if you need a visa to study in the UK, please visit the UK Visas and Immigration website

If you do need a visa there are a number of options. Read our Visa Guidance section to find out more. Bell cannot apply for Tier 4 Sponsor on the UK Home Office Register of Sponsors.

Which documents do I need for travel to the UK?

For EU students:

  • Passport    
  • EHIC card    
  • Spending money/credit card/travellers' cheques    
  • Your accommodation contact details    
  • Travel information for getting to your final destination    
  • Letter of Authorisation to Travel completed and signed by a parent or guardian (for under 18s only).

For non-EU students:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Return ticket
  • Bell Certificate of Admission
  • Sponsorship letters, if appropriate
  • Proof of payment of fees
  • Proof that you can financially support yourself while in Britain
  • Proof of accommodation and contact details
  • Spending money/credit card/travellers' cheques   
  • Travel information for getting to Cambridge
  • Letter of Authorisation to Travel completed and signed by a parent or guardian (for under 18s only).

How do I get to Bell Cambridge when I arrive in the UK?

By taxi: You can book an airport taxi transfer with us to take you direct to your chosen accommodation via the online booking form as part of your course reservation or email pathways@bellenglish.com.

By coach: Coaches run from all London airports to Cambridge. Visit National Express for more details.

By train: There are regular trains from the airports to London and a frequent service to Cambridge from both London Liverpool Street and London Kings Cross stations. There is a direct train from London Stansted airport to Cambridge. Visit National Rail Journey Planner to plan your route by train.

Visit our travel information page for further details on how to get to Bell Cambridge. We are here to help. If you have any other questions please contact us. 

Application

How do I apply for the University Pathway Programmes?

To apply for the University Pathway Programmes or to find out more, please contact our Pathways admissions team who will be able to advise you on the best course for your needs.