UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


96% of CLIE Pre-sessional English students progress to their UCL Master’s degree

29 September 2020

The top three destinations this year were to the Built Environment (17.4%), Social & Historical Sciences (16.4%) and Laws (14.4%).

Student working on laptop

96% of students who studied on the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education’s (CLIE) Pre-sessional English Course this summer have progressed to their target UCL Master’s degree, an increase of 4% on the previous year. 

These remarkable results were all the more impressive given the context of the global pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 meant that every aspect of the face-to-face Pre-sessional course had to be moved online in a matter of weeks, including student and staff inductions, the course delivery and assessment.

Both teachers and students had to adapt quickly to their new teaching and learning environment. Pre-sessional English teacher, Melissa Corlett, said:

“This course was initially challenging but an ultimately rewarding teaching experience. Our students demonstrated that by keeping their focus on the syllabus and maintaining a steady collaborative effort, a distance learning Pre-sessional course is just as successful and fulfilling as it would be in person, if not more so.”

Head of the Pre-sessional, Fiona Wallace, was delighted with the results and how well both the teaching team and students rose to the challenges of online learning:

“This has always been a high stakes course for our students and as a result they are highly motivated. This year was no exception.  It was really rewarding to see students not only adapt but thrive in an online environment, and I was so impressed with how the entire Pre-sessional team maintained the same very high standards throughout a long, hot and difficult summer.”

Feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive; 88% of students surveyed agreed that they were satisfied with the overall quality of the course. Hercules Manfrinato Kastanopoulos, who progressed to UCL Law, said:

“The online Pre-sessional English course exceeded all my expectations. The course was very well structured and adapted into this new environment we are currently living, setting aside any sort of concern regarding the learning process. We had the support and attention of UCL staff all the time and I feel extremely glad to have participated in such an experience.”