Pre-sessional English Courses: All You Need to Know

Life in the UK
Learning English
Universities
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What are they?

Pre-sessional English courses are short courses which seek to better the English of international or overseas students with either a conditional offer, or the aim to study a UK university degree.

While pre-sessional courses commonly range from 4 to 12 weeks in length, it all depends on the individual's current English language level, and the language level required by their chosen degree.


Who needs it?  

Pre-sessional English course students are, more often than not, international or overseas students whose first language is not English. Students can also be those who:

·         have yet to meet the minimum language requirement of their conditional offer;

·         are joining an exchange programme in the UK (e.g. Erasmus or Study Abroad);

·         and / or are planning to progress onto a degree programme at a UK university.

Though, there are rare cases where people do a Pre-sessional English course just to familiarise themselves with British university culture and life before beginning their actual studies… We're not here to judge!


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Image credit: http://www.coventry.ac.uk/international-students-hub/new-students/courses-and-fees/pre-sessional-english-courses/


Who provides them?

Many HEIs (Higher Education Institutions), as well as Pathway Providers, offer Pre-sessional English courses that are tailored to the degree programmes they offer.

Whilst it makes more sense for individuals to choose the same university of their intended degree course, it is important to consider the gap between their current and required language level to be accepted for their intended degree course.

Length of Pre-sessional English course

Score difference to achieve conditional offer 

requirement

4 – 6 weeks

0.5

8 – 12 weeks

1.0

16 – 24 weeks

1.5

 

This is due to the reason that some UK universities offer lengthier pre-sessional courses than others (e.g. 100+ weeks pre-sessional courses), which are more useful in some cases!


Here is a short list of the HEI Pre-sessional English course providers:


·           Royal Holloway University, London

·           University of Oxford

·           University of Essex

·           University of Edinburgh



A short list of some Pathway providers and their partner universities:

·         University of Sheffield, University of Liverpool, and more – Kaplan

·         University of Manchester, Newcastle University, and more – INTO

·         Swansea University, University of Hertfordshire, and more – Navitas

·         Imperial College London, University of Lincoln and more – Study Group


To check whether a university offers Pre-sessional English courses, contact team AppUK on info@applicationuk.com.


What are the entry requirements for a Pre-sessional?

Pre-sessional English course programme students are expected to have at least a basic level of knowledge in the English language. Different universities however, have different levels of minimum English language requirements. It is therefore advisable to check with us before making your decision.


What happens after the Pre-sessional course? Is there an assessment?

Unfortunately, yes. After the Pre-sessional course is fully completed, a test with four different components – Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading (similar to IELTS exams) – follows.

The big difference between a Pre-sessional's assessment and an IELTS examination however, is that the test will cover what was taught during the Pre-sessional course. IELTS tests are a more general English exam.


Is there a high success rate for Pre-sessional students?

The short version – yes (hooray!). In comparison to the IELTS rate, Pre-sessional English courses tend to have a higher pass rate. For instance, the Brunel Language Centre (Brunel University London) reported that their Pre-sessional programmes  have an average pass rate of 96%. Plymouth University also hold a 'high student success rate' for their Pre-sessional courses.


What are the pros & cons of doing a Pre-sessional?

Pros   

Cons   

A large variety – Tailors to different needs, 

hence better chances at succeeding

Costly

UK study experience, prior to intended 

degree course

Time consuming

Enhancing your English Language ability

Examination

No need to take the IELTS repeatedly


 

Pre-sessional English course vs. Internal English Test

University Internal English Tests are distinct English tests created by universities.

Internal English Tests are much shorter in duration since they do not require the need for classes nor lessons. While they are also similar to the IELTS tests, which assesses four different components at once, they are only offered by a limited amount of UK universities such as Birmingham City University and Coventry University


For more information, and to apply for a pre-sessional course, contact Team AppUK on info@applicationuk.com.



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Cover image: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/un/english-day