If you don't meet the English language requirements, an English pre-sessional course could be the best solution to secure your place at university.

pre sessional english


Applying to university for degrees taught in English requires applicants to have a certain level of English proficiency. It is essential to consider your English language skills. Most foundation courses require you to have a minimum IELTS score of 5.0 overall. For undergraduate degree entry the required level is usually 6.0 or 6.5 and higher for nursing or medicine. A pre sessional English course might be the answer if you do not meet the course requirements. 

Uni Direct can advise you on the requirements for the course you want to study. Then, if needed, we can help you find a course to improve your English language skills. 

Many universities offer pre sessional English courses. These are aimed at helping students meet the English language skills required to undertake a foundation course, undergraduate, or postgraduate study. We can identify suitable pre sessional English courses for you. Course lengths range from 6-19 weeks, or longer,, depending on your current level of English, and the degree course you want to study. 

What to expect in pre sessional English courses 

A pre sessional English course is an intensive language programme designed to improve your ability to understand and communicate in English. It is something you may have to do as an international student, or as someone who doesn't speak English as their first language. The courses vary depending on the level of English which you speak. However, usually courses can last anywhere from 5-10 weeks and are completed usually before enrolling at a university. However some universities offer much longer courses. For example, The University of Birmingham can offer up to 32 week long  pre sessional English courses.  

A pre-sessional English course is for students aiming to enhance their language skills before starting a degree. It is designed for those not meeting English entry criteria, helping them prepare for undergraduate or graduate studies. For example, they hold summer English courses for international students who do not have the required English level. 

What to expect in an English summer course: 

  • Presentation skills 
  • Academic writing 
  • UK culture 
  • Academic reading skills 
  • Assessment preparation 
  • English grammar and vocabulary work 
  • Improving pronunciation 
  • Research skills 
  • Summarising and paraphrasing 

The skills learnt on an English summer course, hold a lot of value as they lead to a student having a better university life as they are able to interact better with lecturers, roommates and in day to day tasks due to their improved and new found English skills.  

Costs of a pre sessional course: The cost of pre sessional English courses in the UK varies a lot between multiple factors such as :which university you are going to, how enhanced your initial English already is and more. Prices of pre sessional English courses vary, for example: 

  • University of Manchester-£5400 (over 10 weeks) 
  • University of Sheffield-£4590 (over 10 weeks) 
  • University of Bristol-£5520 (over 10 weeks) 
  • Cardiff University-£4350 (over 10 weeks) 


What qualification will a pre sessional English course give you? 

The Pre sessional course is also an alternative pathway to meet the English language entry requirements for your chosen degree. This means that you can use the Pre-sessional English results to meet your main course language conditions instead of an English test such as IELTS. 

Most Universities require you to have taken some form of an English test (whether that is through an IELTS UKVI English test or a pre sessional English summer course. 

For example: 

  • Coventry 
  • Birmingham city university 
  • King's College London 
  • Bath Spa University 
  • Cardiff University 


You can find out more below. Or for a free consultation, contact us now.

Supporting you to secure the right course 

We can also help you identify a suitable English language course aimed at preparing you for the IELTS test. This will ensure you meet the conditions of your offer to study at university in the UK. 

Some universities will still consider you if you don’t meet the IELTS requirements for a course, if you undertake a pre sessional summer English course at their institution before you start. Our advisers can help you review your English language skills and suitability for a pre sessional English course or IELTS course. 

For more information on pre sessional English courses as a part of our undergraduate degree university application support service, please contact us to speak to one of our advisers.