Course content

Please note that we keep our courses and assessments under review constantly to ensure they align as closely as possible with the needs of the academic departments to which our students progress. As a result, details of course content and assessments are subject to change.

On all of our Pre-Sessional courses, we focus on a combination of language and skills necessary for academic study alongside regular formative assessment and feedback.

The overall aims of our Pre-Sessional courses are:

  • To help you meet the English language requirements of your academic programme
  • To develop the academic English language and study skills you will need to succeed in your chosen degree
  • To raise your awareness of the expectations of UK academic culture
  • To show you how to become a more autonomous (independent) learner
  • To familiarise you with the University’s systems, facilities and regulations 
40-week course

The 40-week course introduces basic academic writing, speaking, reading and listening skills. You will learn how to plan, organise and write in an academic style, and develop speaking and listening skills enabling you to communicate in both informal and formal university contexts. The course also introduces you to independent learning strategies and how to develop the reading habit.

30-week course

The 30-week course provides further practice of academic skills and knowledge. You will complete several short academic essays, a group presentation and a series of integrated reflective assignments. There are also lessons focusing on the specific grammar and vocabulary needed in academic writing. At this stage of the course, you will begin to consider the skills and demands of your future programme of study.

20-week course

On the 20-week course, you will continue to develop your ability to deal with academic listening and reading texts. You will learn essential academic reading and writing skills such as purposeful note-taking, using notes to paraphrase, and synthesising source texts to create a coherent argument. You will also practise presentation and seminar skills and learn how to manage your time effectively, participate in group work and understand tutor feedback on your work. You will take assessments during this stage to demonstrate that you are at the required level to progress onto the final 10-week block of study.

12-week course

During the preliminary two weeks, the course aims to improve your grammatical accuracy, spoken fluency and confidence in preparation for the 10-week course. You will cover the key aspects of academic writing including essential grammar, active note-taking and paraphrasing as well as presentations and seminars. After these two weeks, you will join the 10-week course.

10-week and 6-week courses

The content of your lessons will reflect the real-life, authentic tasks and skills that you will need on your academic programme. Your course is divided into lessons focusing on the Research Project, Lecture & Seminar Discussion Skills based on recorded or live lectures and Reflective Presentations. You will be divided into different pathways according to your future academic programme. While the assessments for all pathways are the same, the topics and content are discipline-specific and will be different.