Pre-sessional English - Full-time Academic English Course

Presessional English Courses

What is it? Who is it for? Cost
Academic English language course Anyone preparing to study a degree at a British University £345 per week - fee includes all tuition and materials
Level Hours When?
CEFR B1 to C1 21 p/w (Term 1-3) / 15 classroom hrs + 7 hrs online learning p/w (Term 4) Year Round
Minimum Age Maximum Class Size
Accommodation Social Programme
18 (exceptions for some 17 year olds) 20 students Available Available

Who is the Pre-sessional English Course for?

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.

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 Outline

We provide a full-time programme of tuition and language practice to help you prepare for your studies at a British University. The course covers:

  • 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.
  • Lecture Programme: a weekly lecture on a range of different academic/general topics providing an insight into different aspects of British life, culture and study methods. These lectures provide you with the opportunity to practise your listening and note-taking skills.
  • 1-1 tutorials: regular meetings with your class tutor providing you with the opportunity to discuss your work and progress.

Assessment & Progression

The assessment methods used on the course vary by term.

Term 1, 2 & 3 Assessment

If you attend the course in Term 1, 2 or 3 you will take an IELTS exam near the end of each term.

Term 4 (Summer) Assessment

If you attend a Pre-sessional course which finishes at the end of Term 4 in early September, instead of taking IELTS you will be assessed during the term. The Term 4 assessments include an Extended Writing Assessment, a Seminar Assessment and a Presentation Assessment.

Progression to University

If your Pre-sessional course finishes in Term 1, 2 or 3, you can use your end of course IELTS exam to fulfil the English language entry requirements for your academic course.

If your Pre-sessional course finishes in Term 4, you will be able to progress directly on to your academic course at the University of Sheffield if:

  • You successfully pass all 3 assessments in Term 4
  • You meet the Pre-sessional course attendance requirements
  • You have met all the other conditional entry requirements for your academic course
  • Some students may be asked to do a written exam after the course has finished to provide further evidence of their readiness

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.

Progression on Longer Pre-sessional Courses

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.

Course Dates & Entry Requirements

You can join a Pre-sessional course at the beginning of any of our four terms.

In Term 4 during Summer, we offer shorter 10, 6 & 4 week courses for students who are very close to meeting, or have already met the English language entry requirements for their prospective University course.

The minimum age for the course is 18, however in some circumstances we can accept 17 year olds who will turn 18 during the course if they have a Guardian in the UK.

The entry requirements for our Pre-sessional courses are based on the English language entry requirements for the University course you intend to study in the UK.

Please be aware that no teaching takes place on UK Bank Holidays in England & Wales. No tuition fee discounts are available for course dates which coincide with bank holidays.

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

2019-20 Academic Year:

Term 2 - January 2020 Term 3 - April 2020 Term 4 - Summer 2020

The minimum age for the course is 18, however in some circumstances we can accept 17 year olds who will turn 18 during the course if they have a Guardian in the UK. Further information for Under 18s is available here

Tuition Fees

The standard tuition fee for Pre-sessional courses beginning 2019/20 academic year the fee is £345 per week. This fee includes:

  • All tuition, materials & textbooks
  • Regular 1 to 1 tutorials with your personal tutor
  • Weekly academic lectures
  • Access to online course materials & virtual learning environments (Google Classroom)
  • An IELTS exam at the end of each term (except in Term 4)
  • Educational visits to nearby cities, museums & historical places of interest (in Term 1, 2 & 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 three years running*

* Whatuni Student Choice awards 2017-19

Free Insurance

Your tuition fee also includes free emergency medical, theft and accident insurance from our partners Endsleigh. For more details please click here.

Educational Visits & Social Programme

During Term 1, 2 & 3, as part of the course, we arrange regular educational visits to sites around Sheffield and further afield. Locations include museums, galleries, historical buildings and places of natural beauty and scientific interest. You will be accompanied by your tutors and these visits usually include a tour or a talk from a knowledgeable guide or an expert in a particular field.

Our dedicated Activities Co-ordinator and Social Team also arrange weekly activities and events during term time to help you relax and socialise outside of the classroom. Regular activities include football, basketball, badminton, ice-skating, restaurant trips and cinema visits. Many of these activities are free but some have a small charge (approx £3-10). Our ELTC Student Website is regularly updated with information about upcoming activities.

Cancellations and changes to bookings can be made without penalty and full refunds will be given.

Students on an Educational Visit to the Lake District


After accepting a place on a Pre-sessional course you can apply for accommodation with the University's Accommodation Office. Rooms are available in the Ranmoor/Endcliffe area approximately 30 minutes walk from the ELTC and within Sheffield City Centre, approximately 5-15 minutes from the ELTC. You can take a look at 360 Degree Virtual Tours of our available accommodation by clicking here.

The University can also help you to find private accommodation through its Smart Move service. Please see the Smart Move Sheffield website for more information.

We also have a limited amount of 'Homestay' accommodation where you can rent a room and live with a family based in Sheffield. We can provide more information about Homestay accommodation on request after you have applied and accepted an offer for a Pre-sessional course. Homestay accommodation is provided by a third party agent.

Airport Transfers

We can provide information about booking taxi transfers from airports across the UK. Typical costs range from £70 for journeys to and from Manchester Airport, and from £200 for London Heathrow Airport. Please contact us after applying for further information.

How to Apply

To apply for a Pre-sessional 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 & Entry Requirements' section above for more information.

Supporting documents - You will need to upload a copy of your passport and IELTS for UKVI result* 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 & 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.

Terms & Conditions - Please read our Terms & Conditions before submitting your application.

Apply Now

For more information on how we hold and process your personal data, please see the University's Privacy Notice for prospective, current & former students.

*Applicants to our Summer 6 & 4 week pre-sessional courses who meet the eligibility requirements for a combined CAS may in some circumstances be able to apply with a non-IELTS for UKVI English language certification. Please contact us for more information.

Further Information & Contact Details

If you have any further questions, please check the Frequently Asked Questions section below for an answer. If you still need more information you can contact us in the following ways:

Email -
Phone - UK: 0114 222 1780 | International: +44 114 222 1780
Twitter - @sheffieldeltc
In Person - Come and talk to us in person. More information about our location and reception opening times can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long do I need to study for?

A: This 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 & Entry Requirements' section above for more details.

Q: Do I need an IELTS for UKVI certificate?

A: 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 IELTS for UKVI certificate as evidence of your English level when submitting your application. This is because an IELTS for UKVI result at CEFR Level B1 or above (which is equal to a minimum score of 4.0 in every component - Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening & Overall) is required to apply for a Tier 4 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 & 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 Tier 4 visa obtained with a combined CAS. It may be possible for you to obtain a combined CAS without holding an IELTS for UKVI 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 IELTS for UKVI certificate we recommend checking the IELTS website for more more information about IELTS for UKVI and to find your nearest test centre.

If you are unable to obtain an IELTS for UKVI certificate you may still be able to join our University English (General English) course on a Short Term Study visa. Please contact us or visit our University English webpage for more information.

Q: Do I need an offer for a University course before I can apply for a Pre-sessional Course?

A: If you do not currently hold a conditional offer for an academic course, but plan to apply for one at a later date, you can still apply for one of our longer Pre-sessional English courses as long as it is at least 28 weeks in length. If you do not have an offer (conditional or unconditional) by the time you begin your Pre-sessional course you will be placed in a General English class. If you obtain an academic offer after starting your studies you can switch into a Pre-sessional Academic English class during the course providing you also meet the necessary English requirements for joining an Academic English class (as decided by the course director).

Q: How and when do I pay for the course?

A: You must arrange payment of your tuition fees before arrival 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

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.

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.

Q: How many hours per week is the course?

Terms 1 to 3 = 21 hours per week

Term 4 = 15 class hours plus 7 hours of online "flipped learning" study

Q: When do the classes take place?

Terms 1 to 3: 09:15 to 10:45 & 11:15 to 12:45 (Monday to Friday). 13:45 to 15:15 (Monday to Thursday)

Term 4: 09:15 to 10:45 & 13:30 to 15:00 or 11:00 to 12:30 & 15:15 to 16:45 (Monday to Friday)

What do our former students think?

Haider Al-Hamadani Former ELTC Student

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 from Iraq – PhD Mechanical Engineering