If English isn't your first language, improve your academic English level with our academic English for undergraduate studies course.

Special feature

  • We'll help you transition successfully from high school to studying at a UK university as well as improving your academic English.

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You’ll develop your skills to the standard needed to study on one of the below programmes:

  • an undergraduate degree
  • the International Foundation Year
  • modules on the Exchange and Study Abroad programme
  • the Leeds International Summer School

This course is also suitable if you need to complete an academic English course as part of your undergraduate degree from your home university. 

What you will learn

You will learn using practical techniques which you can apply in your degree. You’ll use learning resources including academic articles, talks and lectures to enhance your development.

You’ll focus on improving your academic English skills in the following areas:

English language skills

  • using English for everyday communication
  • vocabulary development and grammar accuracy
  • pronunciation and spelling

Academic reading and writing

  • structuring ideas for essays and assignments
  • essay writing style
  • using academic language in writing
  • using academic references in your work
  • reading academic resources
  • using these skills to enhance your speaking and writing

Academic listening and speaking

  • getting the most out of lectures and seminars
  • practise listening to talks, lectures and other authentic materials in English
  • participating in seminars and discussions
  • practising your speaking skills with presentations

Academic skills projects

  • You’ll work on assignments which give you the opportunity to practise all the academic and communication skills you learn
  • For example, you might be asked to conduct surveys or specific internet research which are assessed through presentations, class discussions or writing activities

Language in context

Learn English through a topic related to your interests and work with students studying other courses at the Language Centre. Examples of previous topics include drama, music, business, engineering, history and literature. This module runs in terms 1, 2 and 3.

IELTS preparation

If you need to take the IELTS exam, this course will help you prepare. This module runs in terms 2 and 3. Please note, we are not an IELTS test centre. Find details of test centres on the IELTS website.

Language learning activities

Each week we run informal group sessions like Conversation Club and Book Chat. Come along to these sessions to practise your English language skills with other students from across the University.


Throughout the course you will work through a number of assessed assignments linked to your project work. This will allow you to monitor your progress and receive feedback from your tutor. At the end of term you will sit exams to test your academic writing, reading, listening and speaking skills.


Our undergraduate pre-sessional English course is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK and is taught by our team of English for Academic Purposes tutors.

Find out how to apply