10 weeks FT / 6 weeks FT


June 2024, July 2024

Our 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.

Our course will enable you to boost your understanding of English language while also learning key academic skills for higher education study. The course is either 10 or 6 weeks long, depending on your qualifications and English language entry score (see entry requirements below).

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a course certificate by University College Birmingham. We will accept this certificate as proof of your English level for progression onto our university courses. (If you wish to study elsewhere after this course, it is recommended that you check whether your chosen institution will accept this certificate.)

Note: This course is intended to help you improve your academic English skills in preparation for studying on a UK university course – it is not intended for people who simply wish to improve their general English language skills.

Why should I choose this course?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Develop your English language skills and key academic skills, from academic reading and writing to presentations and listening to lectures
  • EXPERT TUITION – Learn in small groups from qualified lecturers with international experience, offering teaching which reflects UK higher education learning
  • PROGRESS TO UNIVERSITY – Completing our English course will enable you to move onto our university courses without the need to complete additional external English language examinations

Course breakdown

During our English course, you will work on all four language skills across two modules: listening and speaking and reading and writing. Your studies will also cover a range of skills designed to prepare you for university coursework requirements, including presentation skills, seminar participation, research project writing, listening skills for lectures and academic reading skills. You will be assessed through a variety of methods to evaluate your language and academic skills development.

Depending on your level of English, you will study for either 10 or 6 weeks.  Your course will be split into different modules.

  • 10-week or 6-week course


Reading and writing

• Verb tense review • Academic writing style • Structuring writing effectively – introductions, conclusions and paragraphs • The SQ3R Reading Model • Predicting content • Skimming, scanning and reading for detail • Using topic sentences to identify ideas • Making critical choices when reading • Paraphrasing techniques – sentence and paragraph level • Identifying key information and summarising texts

Speaking and listening

• Note structures • Symbols and abbreviations • Recognising signposting in lectures • Using introductions to structure notes • Recognising supporting arguments and different positions • Participating in a seminar discussion • Language for agreeing and disagreeing • Language for giving explanations and rephrasing • Referring to sources when speaking

Research and study skills

• Differences in academic culture • Understanding assignment remits and tasks • Developing ideas • Harvard referencing conventions • Identifying plagiarism • University College Birmingham format conventions

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 in semester one – for example, understanding literature review, matrix and citations.

Yuk Ha Wicky Cheung Pre-sessional English Course / MA Culinary Arts Management

Entry requirements

Potential students who wish to start their university course in September 2024 with IELTS UKVI 5.0 and with no less than 4.5 in any band or equivalent will need to take the 10-week English course.

Students with IELTS UKVI 5.5 and with no less than 5.0 in any band need only take the six-week English course.

For any queries, please contact us:

Enquiry Form

International applicants

  • By phone: +44 121 232 4458
  • By fax: +44 121 604 1166

EU applicants

  • By phone: +44 121 604 1040

Key information

Teaching and assessment

On your arrival, you will be assigned a group according to your English qualifications/level.

You will be taught in groups small enough to allow your lecturers to get to know you and provide you with the support you need to progress. You will also attend integrated language and academic skills classes focusing on language development in communicative contexts.

In addition to integrated skills classes, you will also meet guest lecturers from other departments at the University who will give talks on their areas of specialism.

Students will be assessed in the following skills areas at the end of their course: 

  • Academic reading– assessed through an exam 
  • Academic listening– assessed through an exam 
  • Academic writing– assessed through portfolio of tasks depending on course length
  • Academic speaking– assessed through a speaking portfolio 

On successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a course certificate. Your progression onto courses at University College Birmingham will be based on the outcomes of the end-of-course assessments. 

Your assessments will allow you to demonstrate a variety of language skills in various academic contexts, helping you develop a number of key academic skills. 

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2021-2024.


You will be allocated a single room in our halls of residence while attending this course. Please visit our Accommodation pages for more detailed information.

Course dates



Application deadline

10-week Pre-sessional English Course

17 June – 30 August 2024
Induction date 17 June

Friday 24  May 2024

6-week Pre-sessional English Course

15 July – 30 August 2024
Induction date 15 July

Friday 21 June 2024

Tuition fees and finance


Fees (excluding accommodation)

10-week Pre-sessional English Course


6-week Pre-sessional English Course


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 the Pre-sessional English Course?

You will NOT receive any Student Finance while you are studying this course. The Pre-sessional English Course will teach you the English skills needed to progress onto an academic course at University College Birmingham. You will therefore need to be prepared to support yourself for living costs for the period of time you are studying these courses and you will need to be able to pay the fees yourself.

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.

Adebimpe Ilelaboye Pre-sessional English Course / BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care

Undergraduate students

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