Pre-sessional English courses (online and in-person)

Our pre-sessional course is available both online and in-person. If you need to improve your English skills to meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree but are unable to travel to the UK please apply for our online-course.

ELTC students using computers
On

Covid-19 Update - Term 2 & 3 (January - June 2021)

As a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak we have made some changes to our in-person pre-sessional English programme:

  • Students on both our Online and In-person courses will follow the same programme and timetables. In-person students will have a “blended” programme with some classes online and others face-to-face. As Covid restrictions are relaxed we hope to increase face-to-face sessions
  • In-person classes will be taught in small groups and in compliance with the latest UK Government guidelines on social distancing and public health.
  • These details are subject to change based on UK Government guidance. We will keep you informed of any changes to the format of the course (if required) after you apply.
  • The course format for Term 4 (June 2021) onwards is still to be confirmed.

Course overview

  • Who: Anyone preparing to study a degree at The University of Sheffield
  • Cost: £365 per week - includes all tuition and course material
  • Level: CEFR B1 to C1
  • Hours: 12.5 hours of tutor-led classes, a 1 to 1 tutorial and 7-10 hours of guided independent study per week*
  • Time: January to September 2021
  • Minimum age: 18 (exceptions for some 17 year olds)
  • Maximum class size: 1 teacher for 16 students (different types of class will have different numbers - some large group and some small group sessions)
  • Social programme: A combination of online and in-person activities are available

If you need to improve your English skills to meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, this course can help you to do so.

The course can also help you improve your academic study skills and settle into life as a student in the UK, even if you have already met the English language entry requirements for your prospective degree programme.

We are leaders at our Centre in the field of online language learning; our latest BALEAP inspection described our Technology Enhanced Learning as ’sector-leading” and noted that our “impressive use of digital platforms put students at a great advantage when they progress onto their degree course”.

Our highly qualified and experienced tutors will support you to develop your academic English abilities and study skills on this intensive course with various start and end dates during the year.


Course structure

Our Pre-sessional English Course is made up of the following components:

  • General Language Development - students studying for longer pre-sessional programmes will have lower levels of English so will first take our General Language Development (“University English”) module to prepare them for the more demanding Academic English modules. At the same time they will study the Basic Academic English option module. This will be usually for one term.
  • Academic English skills: academic writing, academic reading, academic listening and academic speaking.
  • Presentation and Seminar Skills: you will be assisted with the preparation of short presentations on topics you are interested in. Presentations are followed by group discussion.
  • Extended Writing: you will research a topic of your choice and will be guided with the writing of a report on your findings.
  • 1-1 tutorials - regular meetings with a tutor providing you with the opportunity to discuss your work and progress in the areas of Reading and Writing
  • Paired tutorials - regular meetings between 2 students and a tutor providing you with the opportunity to discuss your work and progress in the areas of Listening and Speaking

Study Plan on longer Pre-sessional courses

If you have a lower level of English you may need to join one of our longer pre-sessional courses. Our long term pre-sessional programme aims to gradually build your basic language skills which are required to succeed on a degree programme.

As you progress and increase your confidence in using the basic language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation), the Academic Skills content of the course increases. The final module concentrates on improving the Academic Skills you will need while studying on your future degree programme.

Every moment in ELTC is useful. They use modern technology and modern techniques in teaching. They are so supportive and encourage you to improve your skills.

Haider Al-Hamadani (Iraq)

PhD Mechanical Engineering


Assessment and progression

The assessment methods used on the course vary by term. Check the assessment methods and progression opportunities for your course below.

Term 1, 2 and 3

If your Pre-sessional course finishes in Term 1, 2 or 3, you will need to take an IELTS exam (or equivalent) at a test centre near to your home (or at ELTC) to fulfil the English language entry requirements for your academic course.

The cost of this IELTS exam will be covered by the tuition fees for your Online Pre-sessional course.

Term 4 (Summer School)

Students attending and completing our Pre-sessional course in Term 4 (Summer 2021) will be assessed throughout the term by the following methods:

  • Extended Writing - 1500 word writing assignment, related to your degree programme, demonstrating evidence of academic reading
  • Presentation - Speaking task, related to your degree programme, demonstrating evidence of academic reading
  • Seminar - Interactive speaking task, demonstrating evidence of academic listening
  • Interview - 1 to 1 interview about your writing

Progression to University

Progression from the Pre-sessional Course onto your University of Sheffield degree programme will also include consideration of:

  • Attendance of teacher-led lessons
  • Engagement in task-based lessons
  • Engagement with your personal tutor
  • Completion of interactive online lessons
  • Completion of formative assessment tasks

If you fully participate and pass the pre-sessional course assessments you will be able to progress directly onto your University of Sheffield degree course at the start of the 2021-22 academic year

Progression to University - further information

Results from our Pre-sessional course in Term 4 are only guaranteed to be accepted by The University of Sheffield. 

If you plan on attending a different university after studying our Pre-sessional English course, you will need to ask your prospective university which English language qualifications they can accept.


Example timetable

All times are UK local time (GMT / BST)

Monday

09:00 - 10:30 - Reading and Writing (whole group - all online)

11:00 - 12:30 - Listening and Speaking (whole group - all online)

13:30 onwards - 1 to 1 tutorial (15 minutes) - can be on different days

Tuesday

09:00 - 09:45 - Reading and Writing (**small group - online or face-to-face)

11:00 - 11:45 - Listening and Speaking (small group - online or face-to-face)

13:30 onwards - paired tutorial (30 minutes) - can be on different days

Wednesday

09:00 - 10:30 - Reading and Writing (whole group - online)

11:00 - 12:30 - Listening and Speaking (whole group - online)

Thursday

09:00 - 09:45 - Reading and Writing (small group - online or face-to-face)

11:00 - 11:45 - Listening and Speaking (small group - online or face-to-face)

Friday

09:00 - 10:30 - Reading and Writing (whole group - online)

11:00 - 12:30 - Listening and Speaking (whole group - online)

Small group sessions will take place face-to-face for students on our in-person course. All other lessons will be taught online.

Please note this is an example timetable and may be subject to change, especially in response to new UK Government Covid-19 rules. 


Dates, fees and entry requirements

You can join a Pre-sessional course at the beginning of any of our four terms. The entry requirements for both the online and in-person courses are the same.

Please select your preferred start date below to view the entry requirements, fees and dates for the various Pre-sessional English courses starting in that period:

Standard fees

The standard tuition fee for our pre-sessional course is £365 per week. This fee includes:

  • All tuition and course materials
  • Course assessments
  • Regular 1 to 1 tutorials with your personal tutor
  • Individual feedback
  • Online lectures by University of Sheffield academic staff
  • Access to online course materials and virtual learning environments
  • Online University Library Access
  • ELTC Student Exclusive Online Social Programme

In-person course only

  • Educational visits to nearby cities, museums and historical places of interest (in Term 1, 2 and 3)
  • Access to 24 hour Library and Computing facilities at The University of Sheffield
  • UCard which you can use to access University facilities and discounts in some shops and on public transport
  • Membership to the No.1 Students' Union in the UK for four years running
How to pay

You must arrange payment of your tuition fees before joining or during the first week of your course. Please note that if you do not pay by this time, you will not be allowed to continue your studies.

You may pay by:

  • Credit/debit card
  • Western Union bank transfer

If you cancel your place before starting the course we will refund any fees you have paid in advance, minus any fees or bank charges incurred.

We are unable to accept any tuition fee payments in cash.

We can also accept payments from sponsors. Acceptable sponsors include universities, government agencies, charitable organisations and registered international companies and you will need to provide a letter confirming your sponsorship before we can issue you with any visa documentation.

Do I need an IELTS for UKVI certificate?

Online course

No, as the course is online and a visa is not required to attend we can be more flexible with the English tests we can accept for entry purposes. Acceptable tests include:

Our entry requirements for IELTS and LanguageCert exams can be viewed on this webpage.

If you have taken TOEFL iBT or Pearson PTE you can use the table on this webpage to convert your score into an IELTS equivalent score.

In-person course

 In most circumstances - yes.

If you plan on joining a course at a British University after finishing your Pre-sessional Course then you will need to submit an UKVI Approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) result, such as IELTS for UKVI, as evidence of your English level when submitting your application. An UKVI SELT at CEFR Level B1 or above (which is equal to an IELTS score of 4.0 in every component - Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening and Overall) is required to apply for a Student Visa for an English language course.

The only exception is for students who meet the eligibility requirements for a combined CAS who are applying for our 6 and 4 week Summer Pre-sessional Courses.

In some circumstances it is possible to attend our 6 or 4 week Pre-sessional course and a Postgraduate course on a single Student Visa obtained with a combined CAS. It may be possible for you to obtain a combined CAS without holding a UKVI approved SELT certificate, providing you meet all the other combined CAS eligibility requirements. For more information please read the combined CAS numbers for postgraduate students webpage.

If you do not have an UKVI approved SELT certificate we recommend checking the IELTS website for more information about IELTS for UKVI and to find your nearest test centre.

If you are unable to obtain an UKVI approved SELT certificate you may still be able to join our University English (General English) course on a Short Term Student Visa (if your course is over 6 months but less than 11 months) or a Visitor Visa (if your course is less than 6 months). Please contact us or visit our University English webpage for more information.


Accommodation and travel

To discover the range of accommodation options and travel information we have for students on the in-person course, please read our accommodation and travel information.

Technical requirements

The online course and online components of the in-person course will be taught using Blackboard Collaborate.

To access the lessons and course content, students will require a desktop or laptop computer with a webcam and microphone, and a broadband internet connection (recommended minimum speed 5mbps).

Computer equipment and internet access is not provided as part of the course.


Length of study

The length of time you will need to study depends on your current English level, and the English language entry requirements for the University course you intend to study in the UK.

In general, the further away you are from the English language requirements for your degree programme, the longer you will need to study a Pre-sessional English course for.

Our longest course is 40 weeks in duration, split across 4 terms, and is suitable for students who are no more than 2 full IELTS bands away from the English language entry requirements for their prospective University course (e.g. a student with IELTS 5.0 overall, with at least 4.0 in every component who needs to reach IELTS 7.0 overall, with at least 6.0 in every component could join our 40 week Pre-sessional course).

If you join one of our longer Pre-sessional courses you may initially be placed into a General English class to help you reach an appropriate ability level for Academic English study.

As your language skills improve you will be able to progress into an Academic English class later in your Pre-sessional course.

Please see the 'Course dates, fees and entry requirements' section above for more details.

Please note: If the Pre-sessional Course you wish to attend is at least 28 weeks in duration then we do not require you to hold a conditional offer for a degree course at the University of Sheffield before you submit your Pre-sessional Course application.

If you are applying for a Pre-sessional Course which is under 28 weeks in length then you must hold and have accepted a conditional offer for a degree programme starting in the 2021-22 academic year at The University of Sheffield before we can make you an offer for our Online Pre-sessional English Course.


Apply

Online course

To apply for a Pre-sessional Online Course you need to submit your application through our online form.

Before submitting your application please read our terms and conditions and take note of the following information:

Deadlines

The final deadline for applying to our pre-sessional courses is 2 weeks before the course start date. We strongly recommend you submit your application as early as possible as places on the course are limited and we may have to stop accepting applications earlier than the standard deadline in the event of high demand.

Entry requirements

Please check that you meet the entry requirements for the pre-sessional course you are applying for. See the 'Course dates and entry requirements' section above for more information.

Supporting documents

You will need to upload a copy of your passport and English Language Test Result when completing the application form - please make sure you have these ready before starting your application. If you are currently located in the UK will also need to upload a copy of all previous UK visas and CAS statements you have received.

If your tuition fees will be paid by a sponsor (e.g. a scholarship, your national government or an employer), please also upload a letter from your sponsor confirming this.

The letter should include: A date within the last 6 months
  • Applicant's full name and date of birth
  • Sponsor's name and contact details
  • Specific reference to an English language course in the UK.

Apply Now

In-person course

To apply for a Pre-sessional in-person Course you need to submit your application through our online form. Before submitting your application please read and take note of the following information:

Deadlines

The final deadline for applying to our pre-sessional courses is 1 month before the course start date. We recommend applying at least 6 weeks before the start of the course so you can complete the application process and obtain a visa if you need one.

Entry Requirements

Please check that you meet the entry requirements for the pre-sessional course you are applying for. See the 'Course Dates and Entry Requirements' section above for more information.

Supporting documents

You will need to upload a copy of your passport and UKVI Approved Secure English Language Test result (e.g IELTS for UKVI) when completing the application form - please make sure you have these ready before starting your application. If you've studied in the UK before you will also need to upload a copy of all previous UK visas and CAS statements you have received. 

If your tuition fees will be paid by a sponsor (e.g. a scholarship, your national government or an employer), please also upload a letter from your sponsor confirming this.

The letter should include:

  • A date within the last 6 months
  • Applicant's full name and date of birth
  • Sponsor's name and contact details
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Please read our Terms and Conditions before submitting your application.


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