Pre-sessional English courses

We run 15-week, 12-week and 7-week pre-sessional courses for academic courses starting in September and January.

Our aim is to provide you with a solid foundation for your university studies and to give you the language and study skills, the knowledge and the experience needed for your degree. We also intend to help you make the most of your time at university.

On our pre-sessional English courses you will:

  • increase your confidence and ability to communicate effectively in academic English
  • improve your performance in all four language skills within the context of your studies (reading, writing, listening and speaking)
  • develop your independence as learners as well as your critical and analytical skills, which are key to succeeding at university in the UK

Course content 

You will have 23 hours of teaching a week: three hours every morning and two hours every afternoon, except Wednesdays. In the mornings, the course focuses on reading and writing in academic contexts and in the afternoons, the emphasis is on listening and speaking skills. More specifically, morning classes will develop:

  • effective 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)
  • your essay and report writing skills through ongoing practice (including summarising and paraphrasing, avoiding plagiarism, use of citations)

In the afternoon classes, you will enhance

  • the 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)

In addition, you will have access to the University’s extensive facilities (libraries, computer rooms etc.) You will also visit some of the landmarks in central London in order to help you settle in your new environment.