Pre-sessional English - Online Academic English Course

Presessional English Courses

What is it? Who is it for? Cost
Online Academic English language course Anyone preparing to study a degree at The University of Sheffield £345 per week - fee includes all tuition and materials
Level Hours When?
CEFR B2 to C1 10 hours taught class time, 1 to 1 tutorial & 20 hours of guided independent study per week Summer 2020
Minimum Age Maximum Class Size
Accommodation Social Programme
18 (exceptions for some 17 year olds) 15-20 students per tutor group Not Available Available - Online

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Changes to Summer 2020 Pre-sessional English Courses

As a result of the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak we will teach our Summer 2020 Pre-sessional English courses online.

  • You can join the course from your home country
  • You do not need a visa for the online course (if you study in your country)
  • You do not need UKVI IELTS, but you must have an approved English Language Test (full list below)
  • If you've been unable to take IELTS, we can now accept LanguageCert results for Pre-sessional entry. LanguageCert can be taken online.
  • If you have already applied for our pre-sessional course we will contact you to confirm or cancel your place. You do not need to apply again.
  • If you fully participate and pass the online pre-sessional course assessments you will be able to progress directly onto your University of Sheffield degree course.
  • Please apply as soon as possible using our usual online application form
  • If the situation changes, we will update this web page with further information

Who is the Online 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 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 dates throughout the Summer.

Course Outline & Sample Timetable

The course will provide you with a varied programme of tuition and language practice to help you prepare for your studies at The University of Sheffield. A typical weekly timetable is shown below:

Time (UK - BST) Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00am - 10:00am Listening Skills Lesson Writing Skills Lesson Academic Skills Lesson Speaking Skills Lesson Lesson
10:00am - 10:30am Break Break Break Break Break
10:30am - 11:30am Reading Task Lesson Listening Task Lesson Speaking Tesk Lesson Writing Task Lesson Lesson
Independent Study Interactive online lessons,
Feedback on reading task,
Preparation for listening task,
Work on assessments.
Interactive online lessons,
Feedback on listening task,
Preparation for speaking task,
Work on assessments.
Interactive online lessons,
Feedback on speaking task,
Preparation for writing task,
Work on assessments.
Interactive online lessons,
Feedback on writing task,
Work on assessments.
Interactive online lessons,
Work on assessments,
Preparation for reading task.

Live Teaching

Monday to Friday: 2 hours of live class time:

  • 60 minute, teacher-led lesson on English language and academic skills
  • 30 minute break
  • 60 minute, task-based lesson working in groups of 4-5, monitored by a teacher
  • Personalised feedback on the task based lesson

You will also have a separately scheduled 1-to-1 tutorial with your personal tutor each week.

Please note: The class times & topics shown above are for illustration only and the actual content may differ during the course.

Independent Study

Approximately 20 hours per week of independent study:

  • Preparation for task-based lessons
  • Interactive online lessons designed on a flipped learning model
  • Feedback on task-based lessons
  • Work on assessment tasks

Online Open Day

For a more detailed overview of the course, you can watch a recording of our Online Pre-sessional Course Open Day containing presentations and question & answer sessions with ELTC Teachers and support staff here:

Online Open Day

Class Size & Format

Some lessons will consist of two merged tutor groups with 30 to 40 students and two tutors in attendance.

Assessment & Progression

Students attending our Online Presessional Courses are assessed during the course through 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
  • Viva: 1-to-1 interview

Progression to University

Progression will also include consideration of:

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

If you fully participate and pass the online pre-sessional course assessments you will be able to progress directly onto your University of Sheffield degree course at the start of the 2020/21 academic year. Your successful completion of the pre-sessional course in summer 2020 will also be valid for September 2021 entry to your degree course, if you arrange to defer your start date.

Course Dates & Entry Requirements

Our Online Pre-sessional Courses will take place between the following dates:

10 week Pre-sessional: Monday 29 June to Friday 04 September 2020
6 weeks Pre-sessional: Monday 27 July to Friday 04 September 2020
4 weeks Pre-sessional: Monday 10 August to Friday 04 September 2020

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.

For further information on the course dates and specific entry requirements please visit the webpage below:

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. Further information for Under 18s is available here

Technical Requirements

Our Online Pre-sessional Course will be taught using Blackboard Collaborate. To access the lessons & 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.

The course is not suitable for students using phones or tablets.

Tuition Fees

The standard tuition fee for our Online Presessional Course is £345 per week. This fee includes:

  • All tuition & 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 & virtual learning environments
  • Online University Library Access
  • Membership to the No.1 Students' Union in the UK for three years running*
  • ELTC Student Exclusive Online Social Programme (see below)

* Whatuni Student Choice awards 2017-19

Social Programme

Our online social programme gives you a chance to meet and talk to new students from around the world, practising your English and communication skills in an informal and relaxed way.

The programme consists of regular online Conversation Clubs with students currently studying at The University of Sheffield, Netflix parties where we will watch films and TV shows together and discuss them, online quizzes and games, access to the student website and Slack our online shared hub.

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 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 & 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 & 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.

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:

Online - Online Reception Desk
Email -
Phone - UK: 0114 222 1780 | International: +44 114 222 1780
Twitter - @sheffieldeltc

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need an IELTS for UKVI certificate?

A: 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.

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

A: Yes, you must hold and have accepted a conditional offer for a degree programme starting in the 2020/21 academic year at The University of Sheffield before we can make you an offer for our Online Pre-sessional English Course.

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

A: 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

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.

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