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You can improve your academic English level to the standard needed to study on one of our postgraduate programmes - either a Masters or a research degree.

Special features

  • There are start dates throughout the year, so you can study when it suits you best.
  • Studying English in the context of your subject area during the summer term will help you prepare for your chosen degree.

During the course, you will develop skills in academic reading, writing, speaking and listening.

You'll use practical academic techniques, including:

  • researching academic sources effectively
  • structuring academic writing and thinking critically
  • using academic writing techniques
  • analysing and summarising academic texts (eg journals)
  • participating in lectures and seminars
  • building your fluency, confidence and accuracy in academic English

What you will study

If you are studying on the pre-sessional course for 30 or 40 weeks:

At the early stages of your course you will study core academic English and develop your ability to study at postgraduate level in the UK. You’ll learn alongside other students preparing for postgraduate study.

As you progress, or if you are studying the pre-sessional for 10 or 20 weeks only:

Your classes will focus more closely on the skills you’ll need for your postgraduate degree. If you study your pre-sessional course during terms 2 and 3, you’ll study with other students preparing for a taught Masters, or research degree, depending on which type of degree you intend to study.

If your degree is in business, you will study the core academic language content as above, along with a business language module.

In the summer term (term 4) you can study English in the context of your degree subject area. Term 4 course content is developed by teaching staff in your subject area and English language tutors in the Language Centre. Visit our course finder to find out more about course content in term 4.

Course modules

English for academic purposes

You can improve your English language to enable you to study at postgraduate level. This is the core module of our postgraduate pre-sessional English course. 

Academic skills and strategy development

This module develops your listening and speaking skills. You’ll learn how to use these skills in order to get the most out of your lectures and seminars, or meetings with your supervisor during your degree.

Language in context

You will learn English through a topic related to your interests. Examples of previous topics include drama, music, engineering, history and literature.

If you are going onto study a postgraduate course in Business, you will take the Business Language in Context module.

As well as the above modules you'll have one-to-one time with your tutor to address questions you may have about your language and learning. There will also be time for you to continue with your studies independently.


You will be assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, speaking assignments, research projects and producing a piece of work to be presented online in an e-exhibition.


Our postgraduate 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.