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 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 (2022) Tuition fee Application closing date (2022)
12 weeks 5.0 (Only 1 band score acceptable at 4.5) 16 June - 9 Sept £2,5406 May 2022
7 weeks 5.5 (Only 1 band score acceptable at 5.0) 20 July - 9 Sept £1,2103 June 2022

If you require a student visa you must take an IELTS for UKVI (academic) or equivalent test at an approved UKVI centre only.

  • IELTS for UKVI
  • LanguageCert International SELT
  • PTE Academic UKVI
  • Trinity College London: 'Secure English Language Tests for UKVI' - Integrated Skills in English (ISE)


Day Morning (BST) Afternoon (BST) Students own time
Monday Reading and Writing Listening and Speaking Guided independent study
Tuesday Reading and Writing Listening and Speaking Guided independent study
Wednesday Reading and Writing Portfolio Development Guided independent study
Thursday Reading and Writing Seminar Skills Guided independent study
Friday Review and Tutorials   Guided independent study

Note: timetable may be subject to change.

Assessment and completion

  • You will be assessed by both 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 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.