Online Pre-Sessional English Language

  • Pre-sessional English Language and Study Skills Courses are essential for students who have a conditional offer from Ulster University, but who have not yet met the English language requirements of their chosen degree programme.
  • Students who have already met or exceeded the minimum English language requirements and hold an unconditional offer for their chosen degree programme, may also find a period of pre-sessional preparation highly beneficial. With an intense focus on the English of their own subject of future study, and the mastering of specific skills for the completion of academic tasks, the 7-week Pre-sessional Standard course is highly recommended for students seeking to be as well prepared as possible for study at Ulster University.

Course content

Ulster’s pre-sessional courses are designed with students’ future areas of study in mind. Students enter a period of intense learning and engagement with authentic academic tasks, individually specified to familiarise students with the future expectations of their chosen course.

Their focus is on developing the academic language resources and skills needed to meet the English language requirements of successful study. Our courses are suitable for both undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Students develop and consolidate a full range of essential English language skills including:

  • Academic grammar and language development
  • Academic writing
  • Reading techniques at university
  • Listening and speaking in the university context
  • Improving pronunciation
  • Making presentations
  • Participating in seminars and tutorials
  • Conducting research
  • Social communication

Each pre-sessional course requires full-time attendance, 5 days a week, in addition to independent study time. Ulster University’s own Centre for English Language Teaching (CELT) is responsible for designing and delivering your course.

The CELT team have a wealth of experience in helping international students succeed. Students are guided and supported through their pre-sessional courses by caring, expert teachers

Selecting a course

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 *UKVI IELTS 6.0 overall (with no band score less than 5.5)

Pre-sessional course Your current overall IELTS score or equivalent Course dates (2021) Tuition fee Application closing date (2021)
12 weeks 5.0 (Only 1 band score acceptable at 4.5) 10 June - 3 Sept £2,470 7 May 2021
7 weeks 5.5 (Only 1 band score acceptable at 5.0) 14 July - 3 Sept £1,170 11 June 2021

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


This is a typical online weekly timetable of your study.

Day Morning (BST) Students own time
Monday Teacher - lead live, online classes Guided independent study
Tuesday Teacher - lead live, online classes Guided independent study
Wednesday Teacher - lead live, online classes Guided independent study
Thursday Teacher - lead live, online classes Guided independent study
Friday 1-1 tutorials Guided independent study

Note: timetable may be subject to change.

Assessment and completion

  • You will be assessed by both online tests and coursework (a portfolio of your work throughout the programme)
  • All students will take the same assessments during the final weeks of the Pre-sessional course.
  • Students on the 12-week programme will have informal assessment throughout the course on grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation and reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
  • The ongoing formative assessments will highlight your progress as well as the areas you need to improve.
  • 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.
  • At the end of your studies, a report is sent to your Course Director.

What are the technical requirements for online participation?

The main platforms we use are Blackboard Collaborate and Microsoft Teams. We also use Windows 10, which is compatible with most other operating systems.

To fully participate in online classes, you must have:

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

Mobile phones and tablets are not appropriate for participation.

How to apply

If you already have an offer to study please submit an online application form and we will contact you to complete your application.

Apply now