University English - Full-time General English Course

University English - A General English Development Course

What is it? Who is it for? Minimum Age
General English language course Anyone who wants to improve their English language skills in a British University 18 (exceptions for some 17 year olds)
Level Cost When?
CEFR A2 to C1 £345 per week - fee includes all tuition and materials Year Round
Hours Maximum Class Size
Accommodation Social Programme
21 per week (full-time) 16 students Available Available

Who is the University English Course for?

University English is our full-time General English development course designed to improve your English Language skills for a variety of educational, personal and professional reasons. 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 taught on campus and provided at all levels from Elementary (A2) to Advanced (C1). The course offers you access to the University's world-class learning facilities and number one rated Students' Union, allowing you to enjoy an exceptional student experience during your time in Sheffield.

Course Outline 

Our University English course includes 21 hours per week of 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 

You will also be able to choose from a variety of afternoon option classes*, allowing you to focus on a specific area of interest:

  • Social English: learning to become more fluent in everyday situations
  • IELTS/Exam preparation: practising exam skills using the language developed in the other parts of the course
  • Speaking and Pronunciation: improving accuracy in spoken communication
  • Business English: improving workplace communication, telephoning in English, e-mailing in English and giving presentations

*Please note: The list of afternoon option classes is provided for illustrative purposes only. Option class availability depends on demand and your level of English, meaning the list of option classes offered may differ when joining the course.


On the first morning of your course you will take a short placement test so we can place you in a class at a suitable level. You will be provided with regular one to one tutorials with your class tutor during the course to discuss your development and any questions or problems you may have.

Your progression will be assessed by your class tutor and on longer courses you may be offered the opportunity to progress 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.

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.

Course Dates & Entry Requirements

The Course includes 21 hours' tuition per week and 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 (shown below). The minimum course length is 2 weeks, and the maximum course length is 40 weeks. 

Term Start Date End Date Weeks
2019-20 Academic Year
Term 1 30th September 2019 20th December 2019 12
Christmas Holiday (non-teaching dates) 21st December 2019 19th January 2020 4
Term 2 20th January 2020 3rd April 2020 11
Easter Holiday (non-teaching dates) 4th April 2020 26th April 2020 3
Term 3 27th April 2020 12th June 2020 7
Summer Holiday (non-teaching dates) 13th June 2020 28th June 2020 2
Term 4 29th June 2020 4th September 2020 10
End of Academic Year Holiday (non-teaching dates) 5th September 2020 27th September 2020 3

Please be aware that in addition to the holidays shown above, 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.

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.

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

*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 2019/20 academic year is £345 per week. This fee includes:

  • All tuition, materials & textbooks
  • Regular 1 to 1 tutorials with your personal tutor
  • Weekly lectures
  • 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 rated Students' Union in the UK for 10 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, cinema visits and during Term 4 in the Summer we arrange weekend day-trips to nearby cities such as Manchester, York, Lincoln, Leeds, Liverpool & Chester. 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 the University English 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.

If you will only be studying with us for a few weeks, it can sometimes be hard to find short-term accommodation in Sheffield. The University offers flexible accommodation through Jonas - a modern hotel with rooms available from one night up to six months. Further details are available on the Jonas Hotel website.

The University can also help you to find private sector 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 the 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 University English Course please visit our how to apply webpage. Before submitting your application please read and take note of the following information:

Deadlines - The usual deadline for applying to our University English course is 1 month before your chosen 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. If you already hold a valid Short-Term Study visa, or don't need a visa to study in the UK you can apply up to 2 weeks before your chosen 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 & 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.

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

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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:

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: It's up to you. You can study for as little as two consecutive weeks, or as long as 40 across all 4 terms.

Q: Do I need an IELTS for UKVI certificate?

A: No, you can apply for University English using non-IELTS for UKVI evidence of your English level.

If you do not have an IELTS for UKVI certificate and require a visa to study in the UK, you will need to apply for a Short Term Study visa to attend the course (which are limited to a maximum length of 11 months). You will not be able to obtain a Tier 4 visa unless you provide an IELTS for UKVI, or Trinity ISE certificate when applying for the course.

Q: What is the difference between University English and Pre-sessional English

A: 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.

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

A: 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

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: When do the classes take place?

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

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