University English courses (online and in-person)

Our University English course is a full-time general English language course for anyone who wants to improve their English language skills. The course is designed to improve your English Language skills for a variety of educational, personal and professional reasons.

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On

Covid-19 Course format update

This does not affect online course students

As a result of the global Covid-19 outbreak we have made some changes to our University English programme:

  • Throughout Term 1 and 2 the course will be taught using a blended learning approach. Some classes will be taught online, and others will be held in-person at the English Language Teaching Centre in Sheffield. Please view the timetable below for more details.
  • In-person classes will be taught in small groups and in compliance with the latest UK Government guidelines on social distancing.
  • The blended learning course structure will apply until UK Government guidelines allow us to return to teaching the course fully in-person.
  • The course format for Term 3 onwards is to be confirmed. We hope to increase the amount of face to face teaching as local and national Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed.

Course overview

  • Who: Anyone who wants to improve their English language skills in a British University
  • Duration: You can study for as little as two consecutive weeks, or as long as 40 across all 4 terms 
  • Cost: £365 per week - fee includes all tuition and materials
  • Level: CEFR A2 to C1
  • Hours: 20.5 per week (see timetable below for details)
  • When: Year round
  • Minimum age: 18 (exceptions for some 17 year olds)
  • Accommodation: Private and University options available (not available for online students)
  • Social programme: A combination of online and in-person activities

Who is the University English Course for?

University English is our full-time General English development course designed to improve your English Language skills. The course can be taken at the University or entirely online from your home country.

Our experienced tutors will support you to develop your overall English language skills on this intensive course, with flexible start and end dates all through the year.

Classes are provided at all levels from Elementary (A2) to Advanced (C1). The course is not suitable for complete beginners.

Before we can offer you a place on the course, you will need to provide some evidence of your current level of English with your application such as an English language test result (e.g IELTS, Pearson PTE, TOEFL iBT or Cambridge English PET/FCE/CAE).

If you have any other evidence of your English level, please contact us to discuss whether it is acceptable for admissions purposes.


What is the difference between University English and Pre-sessional English?

University English is a General English development course, whereas Pre-sessional English is an academic English programme for students planning on studying at a British university immediately after finishing their English language course.

You can start out in University English and then, providing you meet our Pre-sessional English entry requirements, switch on to Pre-sessional English after obtaining a university offer.

Any request to switch from University English to Pre-sessional English will only be approved at the course director's discretion.


Course outline

Our University English course includes tuition and language practice in the following areas:

  • Writing: helping you to improve the accuracy and structure of your written work
  • Speaking and Pronunciation: improving the accuracy and fluency in a variety of situations
  • Listening: understanding spoken English in academic and general situations
  • Reading: developing the ability to deal with longer and more complex texts
  • Grammar: consolidation of the main tenses and structures of English
  • Vocabulary: learning more words in a variety of different contexts 

1 to 1 tutorials 

During the course you will also receive regular 1 to 1 tutorials with an ELTC tutor. These tutorials are similar to a private lesson and you can choose which areas of English you would like to focus on each week. Your tutor will also check that you have completed your Guided self-study tasks for the week.

The ELTC's language tutorials offer you the opportunity to receive individual teaching and be directly involved in setting your own language goals. Throughout Term 2 in 2020-21 each weekly tutorial will be 30 minutes in length.

Option classes

In these sessions, you can choose to study an area of the language that interests you.

The overall purpose of these lessons is to provide you with further language practice and improve your confidence in dealing with English language. We offer a range of different options classes.

For example, you could choose IELTS Examination Preparation and Practice, Grammar and Vocabulary Development, Social English and British Culture, or Reading and Speaking. You may wish to study for a specific purpose, for example, IELTS Examination Preparation and Practice, or Business English.

Please note, there needs to be enough demand from students for an option class to run.

Guided Independent Study

These learning tasks will be directly linked to your lessons so you can continue your learning outside class time.  These may include things such as homework, projects, or group work. Your tutor will guide you and will check your progress through these tasks in your 1-1 tutorial. You are expected to complete two hours of guided independent study each week.

Language Extension Activities

Language Extension Activities are conducted in-person for campus-based students with a member of staff and include conversation groups, book groups and reading circles, and where possible short trips to local places of interest. The main purpose of these activities is for you to use your English Language in a variety of everyday situations and with a mix of different people. Distance learning students will have online Extension Activities at various times of the week.

Independent Language and Pronunciation Development

The purpose of these interactive resources is to help you develop your language skills in your own time when you are not in class. Your teacher will explain how to use these resources and will discuss specific areas for development in your tutorials. You are advised to complete at least 2 hours of independent study each week to fully benefit from this.


Assessment

Your progress will be assessed by your class tutor and on longer courses you may be offered the opportunity to move into a higher level class.

At the end of your course you will be provided with a report and certificate showing details of your course and the level you studied at.

The ELTC offers a number of external assessments such as IELTS or Cambridge Linguaskill (charges apply) which can optionally be taken during your course.

English Tests at the ELTC

Please note that results from University English cannot be used to gain entry onto academic programmes at the University of Sheffield.

If you wish to study an undergraduate or postgraduate course at the University and need to improve your English to meet the entry requirements, we recommend you apply for our Pre-sessional Academic English course instead.

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


Example timetable

Example Class Times
Please note this is an example timetable and may be subject to change. (All times UK - GMT / BST)

Monday
  • 09:15 - 10:00 - Language development module (Tutor 1)
  • 10:30 - 11:30 - Language development module (Tutor 1)
  • 12:00 - 13:00 - Option Class
Tuesday
  • 09:15 - 10:00 - Language development module (Tutor 2)
  • 10:30 - 11:30 - Language development module (Tutor 2)
  • 12:00 - 13:00 - Option Class
Wednesday
  • 09:15 - 10:00 - Language development & lecture preparation (Tutor 1)
  • 10:30 - 11:30 - Lecture (Tutor 2)
  • 12:00 - 13:00 - Guided Study or Tutorial
  • 14:30 - 16:00 - Language Extension Activities (in-person course)*
Thursday
  • 09:15 - 10:00 - Language development module (Tutor 2)
  • 10:30 - 11:30 - Language development module (Tutor 2)
  • 12:00 - 13:00 - Option Class
Friday
  • 09:15 - 10:00 - Language development module (Tutor 1)
  • 10:30 - 11:30 - Language development module (Tutor 2)
  • 12:00 - 13:00 - Guided Study or Tutorial
  • 14:30 - 16:00 - Language Extension Activities (in-person course)*

From 9:00am to 1:00pm classes for all students (in-person and online) will be taught online in Term 2.

* Language Extension Activities for Distance Learning students will be online and at different times of the week.

    Course components and hours per week
    University English Term 2 Course Components
    Component Study Hours per Week
    General Language Development 9
    Option Classes 3
    Guided Independent Study 2
    Lanugage Extension Activities (In-person or Online depending on study method) 3
    Independent Language and Pronunciation Development 2
    1 to 1 Tutorials 30 mins
    Lecture 1
    Total Study Hours 20.5

    Dates, fees and entry requirements

    The course runs through the full academic year. The course start and end dates are flexible, and you can apply to start your course on almost any Monday and finish on any almost Friday* within our standard term dates.

    The minimum course length is 2 weeks, and the maximum course length is 40 weeks. 

    You do not require an IELTS for UKVI certificate, but we prefer if you can provide some evidence of your English level as the course is not suitable for complete beginners. A formal English language certificate is not required.

    *It is not possible to start on the final Monday of a term, or finish on the first Friday of a term.

    Tuition fees

    The standard tuition fee for University English courses beginning in the 2020-21 academic year 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
    • Access to online course materials including online / virtual learning environments
    • ELTC Student Exclusive 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 (Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2017-2020)

    You should arrange payment of your tuition fees before arrival or during the first week of the 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.

    Technical requirements

    The online component of our University English 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.

    Accommodation and travel

    To discover the range of accommodation options we have as well as information about airport transfers, please read our accommodation and travel information.


    Social programme

    Our ELTC exclusive social programme is available for both our online and in-person students.

    What we offer through our social programme


    Apply

    To apply for a University English Course please read our how to apply information and terms and conditions before submitting your application.

    Please also take note of the following information:

    Deadlines

    The usual deadline for applying to our University English course is 4 weeks before your chosen course start date.

    Entry requirements 

    The course is not suitable for beginners, however there are no set IELTS requirements to join the course.

    Please contact us if you are unsure of your suitability for the course.

    Supporting documents

    You will need to provide a copy of your passport and evidence of your English level (e.g. a recent English test result) when completing your application - please make sure you have these ready before starting your application.

    If you've studied in the UK before you will also need to provide 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 provide 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


    If you need more information you can contact us in the following ways:

    Email eltc@sheffield.ac.uk

    Phone +44 114 222 1780

    Twitter @sheffieldeltc

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