UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Unconditional Pre-sessional English course

A three-week course, taught at UCL, just before you start your UCL postgraduate degree.

This course has been designed to help you further improve your academic language and skills, become familiar with the UCL community, and adjust to life in London before starting your degree.

On this page:

Course dates and fee

The course is face to face and runs between 2-20 September 2024.

The course fee is:

  • £1,995

As well as paying your course fee, you should consider how to meet your living costs while studying. You’ll need to fund your accommodation, food and travel expenses. Think about everyday costs too, such as clothes and entertainment. To learn more, please see the cost of studying at UCL guide.

Entry requirements

This course is suitable for you if:

  • you hold an unconditional offer to study any UCL postgraduate degree. 
  • you have met the English language condition in your degree offer with an English language test accepted by UCL and the result was between IELTS 6.5 (UCL English Language Level 1) and 8.0 (UCL English Language Level 5) or equivalent.     
  • you want to better prepare yourself for academic study at UCL.

Unfortunately, we will not be able consider you for this course if you hold:

  • a UCL undergraduate offer (whether conditional or unconditional)
  • a UCL postgraduate conditional offer

Conditional UCL offer holders

If you hold a conditional UCL offer for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, you may be eligible for our other Pre-sessional English courses. Please check their entry requirements.

If you hold a degree offer from the IOE, you may be eligible for their PASHE course

Course overview

What will you study?

The course focuses on developing your academic reading, writing, speaking, listening and research skills before you start your UCL degree.

This includes researching an area related to your future degree using UCL Library tools, reading and understanding complex academic texts, producing academic writing, watching authentic lectures and developing your academic speaking skills. 

You will receive written and oral feedback from your teacher on your work and general progress throughout the course. 

The course is not formally assessed so you can focus on developing your academic language and skills, without the pressure of preparing for and completing end of course assessments.

What will a typical day look like?

Your weekly timetable will typically include up to:

  • 15 hours of contact time in lessons
  • 15 hours of independent study
  • 45 minutes of contact time in tutorials

You will have timetabled lessons on the UCL Bloomsbury campus each day, led by your teacher.

    During these lessons, you will work and collaborate with other students and your teacher.

    After each lesson, you will complete set tasks and activities independently using UCL’s online platforms. These activities and tasks are essential preparation for upcoming lessons.

    Please note this is a full-time and intensive course, and you must be fully available for the duration and participate fully.

    Your teacher

    Your teacher will be introduced to you at the beginning of the course. They are approachable and dedicated Associate Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes, and will prepare you for your future degree studies at UCL. 

    Additionally, the Senior Team will support you while you’re on the Pre-sessional and you can read more about them by following the link below.

    Technical requirements

    Please note the following technical requirements:

    • a modern laptop (mobile devices such as tablets or phones are not appropriate)
    • a headset or headphones (highly recommended) or functioning speakers and a microphone
    • a working webcam
    • Chrome and Firefox installed
    • an internet connection of 20 Mbps or higher

    How to apply

    Follow these steps to apply for the course:

    • Check you meet the above entry requirements
    • Complete the online application form
    • Upload the following with your application:
      • All pages of your 2024/25 UCL postgraduate degree offer, confirming your offer is unconditional
      • The English language test result that meets the English language requirement of your postgraduate degree
      • The personal details page of your passport
      • Your most recent UK visa (if you have one)
    • Pay the application fee of £75 via the UCL Online Store
    • Wait to hear back from us via email. If we offer you a place on the course, our email will include details about how and when you need to pay the course fees.

    Please make sure you fully complete your application because missing information will cause a delay.

    Application deadline

    Complete applications should be submitted by 1pm UK time on the 5 July 2024.

    Applications may close earlier if the course becomes full.

    Confirming your place

    We will email you to confirm your place on the course after you have paid the course fees.

    Course fees will normally be due within a maximum of two weeks of our offer being made and can be paid by credit or debit card on the UCL Online Store.

    Your offer email will contain full details on how and where to make this payment.


    We will send you further information on UCL Accommodation when you receive your offer.

    Look at the accommodation website to see what’s available and get an idea of the cost.

    Visa information

    If you require a Student Visa, you are expected to meet one of the below requirements:

    • have a Joint CAS covering both your Pre-sessional and degree courses,
    • use the CAS issued for your degree course and to arrive in the UK early enough to study the Pre-sessional as ‘supplementary studies’.

    We will provide further information and advice when we offer you a place on the Unconditional Pre-sessional English course.

    If you don’t already have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), one will be issued as soon as possible once you have paid the course fees.


    Full refunds of course fees will be made in the event of a visa application refusal where a further visa application is not possible. Claims must be supported by a Refusal of Entry Clearance letter.

    Other refund requests must be received by 1pm (UK time) on 5 July 2024 (the refund request deadline) to be considered and are subject to a 10% administration charge.

    Refund requests must be submitted by email to: presess@ucl.ac.uk

    No refund will be made if you withdraw or are withdrawn (for example, because of poor attendance) from a course after it begins.