Pre-sessional English courses

Special measures as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak

As a result of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we have made some changes to our summer 2020 Pre-sessional English courses. 

We will no longer be running the normal 15-week, 12-week and 7-week programmes but will instead be introducing a 10-week distance learning online pre-sessional course for our academic courses starting in September 2020 and January 2021.

Dates for summer 2021 are yet to be finalised.

  • The 10-week pre-sessional English course will start on 22 June 2020 and 5 October 2020
  • Class sizes will be kept small with a maximum of 15 students for every teacher to ensure personal attention
  • You can join the course from anywhere in the world
  • You will not need a visa for the online course as you will be studying in your home country
  • You do not need UKVI IELTS, but you will need an approved English Test (please see our English Language Requirements page for more information)
  • The course will be run by a highly experienced team of English language professionals
  • All students will study and be assessed online in our specially designed course
  • Results of the online courses are valid for entry to degree courses in 2020–21 academic year and September 2021

Please note the following technical requirements for the course:

Students will need access to a laptop/PC; a webcam and headphones; internet speeds with a minimum bandwidth of 600kbps (up/down) with a recommended speed of 1.5 Mbps (up/down).

Online course content

Our aim is to provide you with a solid foundation for your university studies and to give you the language and study skills needed for your degree.

Students on the courses will need to complete the equivalent of 23 hours per week plus homework. Teachers will be available online to support students through activities on Blackboard (our learning platform) which will take the form of lectures, presentations and other learning activities, such as guest lectures. The course will be a mixture of teaching and tutorial support and classes will generally have 12-15 students for every teacher.

The aim of the course is to develop and improve:

  • your confidence and ability to communicate effectively in academic English
  • your performance in all four language skills within the context of your studies (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
  • your independence as learners as well as your critical and analytical skills, which are key to succeeding at university in the UK
  • your essay and report writing skills through ongoing practice (including summarising and paraphrasing, avoiding plagiarism, use of citations)
  • your listening and note-taking skills necessary to benefit from university lectures (including recognising signposting language and dealing with unknown vocabulary)
  • your ability and confidence to participate in group discussions and seminars on academic topics (including structuring arguments)
  • your presentation skills in a range of academic activities (as well as your pronunciation and intonation)
  • your strategies for reading academic books, journal articles and case studies, and for carrying out your own research (including identifying genre, structure of journal articles, text cohesion and writer’s stance)

In addition, you will have access to some of the University’s online library facilities to make sure you can access key textbooks needed to complete the course.

Course assessment

Assessment will take place in week 10 and will assess all 4 skills of Writing, Speaking, Listening and Reading. Students will receive a single overall grade for the course which can be used for entry onto their chosen degree course.

Examples of assessment may include:

Skill Assessment task by distance
Writing Extended essay specific to your subject discipline
Speaking One to one speaking assessment with your teacher
Listening and reading Reading and listening to particular texts and then summarizing or telling the examiner the key points

Further details of the assessment will be provided to you throughout the courses and in the course handbook.