Our Online Summer Pre-sessional English Course is designed for EU and International applicants who have been offered a place on a higher education course for the upcoming academic year, but need to improve their existing English skills in preparation for studying at a UK university.
Delivered as either a 10-week programme or an ‘accelerated’ five-week programme depending on your current English level (see entry requirements below), our course will enable you to boost your understanding of English language while also learning key academic skills for higher education study. Throughout the course, you will receive frequent feedback and support to help you progress.
As this is an entirely online course, you will have the flexibility to work through tasks at your own pace. Your studies will include a blend of videos, personal tutorials and independent study tasks, as well as working collaboratively with our lecturers and other students around the world through video conferencing.
University College Birmingham will accept the Online Pre-Sessional English course certificate as proof of your level of English. If you wish to study elsewhere after this course, it is recommended that you check whether your chosen institution will accept this certificate.
Why should I choose this course?
- BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Develop your English language skills and key academic skills, from essay writing and referencing to presentations, time management and reading strategies
- EXPERT TUITION – You will have the opportunity to work collaboratively online with experienced English language lecturers through video conferencing
- FLEXIBLE ONLINE LEARNING – Work through tasks online at your own pace, with a range of assessment methods
Your course will be split into four blocks made up of different modules as shown below:
- Block One
- Block Two
- Block Three
- Block Four
Block One: Getting Started
Unit 1: Differences in academic culture
Study tips; modes of lesson delivery (lecture, seminar, etc. and their key differences)
Unit 2: Time management skills
Prioritising tasks; using planners to manage time
Unit 3: Understanding assignment briefs and tasks
Analysing assignment briefs; understanding key words; developing ideas
Unit 4: Reflection
Individual SWOT analysis; peer review techniques; feedback and feedforward – reflecting on portfolio tasks
End of block task
(Unlocks Block Two)
Block Two: Recording information
Unit 5: Academic grammar and style
Verb tenses, passive voice, noun phrases and relative clauses
Unit 6: Listening to lectures
Note structures; symbols and abbreviations; recognising signposting in lectures; using introductions to structure notes; recognising supporting arguments and different positions
Unit 7: Reading strategies
The SQ3R reading model; predicting content; skimming, scanning and reading for detail; using topic sentences to identify ideas; making critical choices when reading; evaluating sources
End of block task
(Unlocks Block Three)
Block Three: Using information
Unit 8: Referencing at University College Birmingham
Harvard referencing conventions; identifying plagiarism
Unit 9: Presentation skills
Preparing for presentations; signposting in presentations
Unit 10: Paraphrasing and summarising
Paraphrasing techniques – sentence and paragraph level; identifying key information and summarising texts
Unit 11: Essay writing
Different essay structures; essays vs. reports; University College Birmingham format conventions
Unit 12: Introductions
Structuring effective introductions; useful expressions/signposting
Unit 13: Paragraphs
Paragraph structure; writing effective topic sentences; cohesive devices in writing
Unit 14: Conclusions
Structuring effective conclusions; useful expressions/signposting
Unit 15: Discussions
Participating in a seminar discussion; language for agreeing and disagreeing; language for giving explanations and rephrasing; referring to sources when speaking
End of block task
(Unlocks Block Four)
Block Four: Looking Forward
Unit 16: Using Grammarly
Setting up and getting the most out of Grammarly; proofreading checklist
Unit 17: Course review and final practice activities
Review of key skills; additional listening and reading practice
Unit 18: Support at University College Birmingham
Details of wider support at University College Birmingham; useful links
The modules listed above for this course are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date and informed by industry as well as the latest teaching methods. On occasion, we may need to make unexpected changes to modules – if this occurs, we will contact all offer holders as soon as possible.
The intensive learning prepared me well for better learning on my course. Besides learning advanced English, I was introduced to the patterns involved in assignments – for example, understanding literature review, matrix and citations.
Online Summer Pre-sessional English Course (ten weeks)
IELTS 5.0 with no less than 4.5 in any skill, or a University College Birmingham test result of B1+ overall with no less than B1 in any skill.
In order to apply for the Online Summer Pre-Sessional English Course, you are also required to have applied for an undergraduate or postgraduate course and received a conditional offer for the September 2023 intake.
Online Summer Accelerated Pre-sessional English Course (five weeks)
IELTS 5.5 with no less than 5.0 in any skill, or a University College Birmingham test result of B2- overall with no less than B1+ in any skill or equivalent.
In order to apply for the Online Summer Accelerated Pre-sessional English Course, you are also required to have applied for an undergraduate or postgraduate course and received a conditional offer for the September 2023 intake.
Teaching is task-based and communicative in approach. It is delivered wholly online via Canvas, University College Birmingham’s online learning platform. Material is delivered via different ‘blocks’ consisting of various units covering aspects such as listening skills for lectures, presentation skills and structuring academic writing.
Teaching and learning materials include:
- Pre-recorded videos, covering key aspects of academic skills
- Guided independent study tasks – approximately 5 hours per day
- Interactive online seminars where you will discuss topics with teachers and other students on the course
- Guest lectures from other lecturers at University College Birmingham
- Online discussion board tasks in which you will collaborate with other students on the course and course lecturers
- Two 15-minute individual personal tutorials across the course
- Weekly office hours with your group tutor to include general queries and additional skills practice
You will be assessed through continuous portfolio assessment tasks resulting in marks for each of the four skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking). There will be a resit opportunity for each of the assessed tasks. The portfolio will be split across the different skills and will involve a combination of discrete skills tasks and reflective tasks.
- Listening – a comprehension task (30%), a PowerPoint note-taking task (30%) and a lecture note-taking task with summary (40%)
- Reading – reading comprehension tasks (50%), abstracts and critical reading tasks (30%) and a note-taking task (20%)
- Writing – a paragraph summary task (20%), a text summary task (30%) and a 700-word discursive essay based on written and audio materials (50%)
- Speaking – a narrated PowerPoint presentation (30%) and an online group seminar (70%)
Final assessments will need to be submitted by the week commencing 14 August 2023, with final resits to be submitted by 21 August 2023.
Five-week (accelerated) course
- Listening – an exam including comprehension tasks, a PowerPoint note-taking task and a lecture note-taking task with summary
- Reading – an exam including reading comprehension tasks, abstracts and critical reading tasks, and a note-taking and summary task
- Writing – a 700-word discursive essay based on written and audio materials (80%) with the final 20% coming from the summary produced in the reading exam
- Speaking – an online group seminar
Final assessments will need to be submitted by the week commencing 14 August 2023, with final speaking exams taking place in the same week. If required, resits will take place in the week commencing 21 August 2023.
Online Summer Pre-sessional English Course (10 weeks)
12 June – 18 August 2023 (Induction week 5 June 2023)
29 May 2023
Online Summer Accelerated Pre-sessional English Course
17 July – 18 August 2023 (Induction week 10 July 2023)
3 July 2023
* Applications for these courses cannot be accepted after the dates shown
Tuition fees and finance
Online Summer Pre-sessional English Course
Online Summer Accelerated Pre-sessional English Course (5 weeks)
International pre-payment policy
Please note there is a pre-payment of tuition fees policy for International students who apply for a course at University College Birmingham.
Can I still get Student Finance for this course?
You will NOT receive any Student Finance while you are studying this course. Our Pre-sessional English Course will teach you the English and academic skills needed to progress onto an academic course at University College Birmingham.
For any queries, please contact us:
- By phone: +44 121 232 4458
- By fax: +44 121 604 1166
- By phone: +44 121 604 1040
Studying this course encouraged my career plans, from the teaching to the support I received from tutors to be more reliable and confident in my future. Studying and living in Birmingham is quite easy for me because I am already used to the city, and eager to study and achieve my goals here.