Online Pre-Sessional English Language

Changes to Summer 2020 Pre-sessional English Programmes

As a result of the current travel restrictions, we are now delivering our 2020 pre-sessional programmes online.  Course aims and content will remain the same, which are designed to develop your English language and academic skills.  The online programmes will be delivered to the same high standard as our on-campus programmes.

What will I study on the online Pre-sessional English course?

The Pre-sessional courses are designed to focus on a combination of raising an awareness of the expectations of UK academic culture and developing the academic language resources and academic skills needed to meet the minimum entry requirements of your future degree programme.

Each online Pre-sessional course is a full-time course offering 10 hours of live, online lessons per week with an additional 20 hours guided learning with interactive, online materials.  You will also have regular online, one-to-one tutorials with your class teacher.

The courses will focus on developing and consolidating essential English language and skills for academic purposes including:

  • Academic grammar and language development
  • Academic writing
  • Reading techniques
  • Listening and speaking
  • Improving pronunciation
  • Making presentations
  • Participating in seminars and tutorials
  • Conducting research

As part of your online studies, you will:

  • Participate in a teacher-led online class
  • Access and contribute to discussions through Ulster's digital platform, Blackboard Collaborate
  • Work on set tasks online with other members of a small study group
  • Research and write assignments
  • Engage with the knowledge and language of your chosen subject area through scheduled seminars
  • Receive support and feedback on assignments in one-to-one tutorials
  • Be expected to work autonomously, maintaining daily focus and motivation

Which online course is suitable for me?

There are two online Pre-sessional English language courses available. The length of the course you will need to study depends on your current level of English and the entry requirements of your chosen degree.

Degree entry requirement is IELTS 6.0 overall (with no band score less than 5.5)

Pre-sessional courseYour current overall IELTS score or equivalentCourse dates (2020)Tuition feeApplication closing date (2020)
12 weeks5.0 (Only 1 band score acceptable at 4.5)11 June - 4 Sept£2,40025 May
7 weeks5.5 (Only 1 band score acceptable at 5.0)15 July - 4 Sept£1,14029 June

As the pre-sessional programmes are delivered online and, therefore, a visa is not required, we are able to accept a wider range of English language tests. These include:

  • IELTS for UKVI
  • IELTS Academic
  • IELTS Indicator
  • LanguageCert International
  • TOEFL IBT and Home Edition
  • Pearson PTE

How to apply

You should already have an offer for a degree course at Ulster University.

When you have received your offer apply online below.

Apply for a Pre-sessional English Course

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed by both online tests and coursework (a portfolio of your work throughout the programme).

In addition to completing all required tasks, to successfully pass the online pre-sessional, you must also have a minimum 90% attendance rate and your exit language level must meet the entry requirements for your chosen programme of study at Ulster.


This is a typical weekly timetable of your study.

DayMorning (BST)Student's own time
MondayTeacher-led live, online classesGuided independent study
TuesdayTeacher-led live, online classesGuided independent study
WednesdayTeacher-led live, online classesGuided independent study
ThursdayTeacher-led live, online classesGuided independent study
Friday1-1 TutorialsGuided independent study

Note: timetable may be subject to change.

What are the technical requirements for online participation?

The main platform we use is Blackboard Collaborate. We also use Windows 10, which is compatible with most other operating systems.

To fully participate in the online classes you must have:

  • Access to a computer with a built-in webcam and microphone
  • A stable, fast internet connection (recommended speed, 5mbps)

Phone and tablets are not appropriate for most participation.

Watch the Pre-Sessional English Webinar

A recording of our recent Pre-Sessional English webinar. If you could not attend the live session, you can catch up here. A recording of our recent Pre-Sessional English webinar. If you could not attend the live session, you can catch up here.

Play it

A recording of our recent Pre-Sessional English webinar. If you could not attend the live session, you can catch up here.