UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Pre-sessional English Courses

UCL Pre-sessional English Courses fully prepare international students for a UCL graduate or undergraduate degree through intensive study. Well-qualified teachers will support you to develop the English language and academic skills needed to study a degree at UCL. Our courses are suitable for both conditional and unconditional UCL degree offer holders.

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2023 Pre-sessional English Courses

We will be offering the following Pre-sessional English Courses in 2023:

  • 11-week online 
  • 11-week face-to-face (in London)
  • 8-week online
  • 8-week face-to-face (in London)
  • 6-week online
  • 6-week face-to-face (in London)

We are currently confirming the details (dates, entry requirements, etc.) and will update this website late November 2022.

Register your interest and we will email you once this website has been updated and when application is open. 

The current information on this website relates to 2022 Pre-sessional English Courses.

2022 Pre-sessional English Courses

This page covers:

In 2022, The UCL Centre for Languages & International Education’s (CLIE) Pre-sessional English courses will be delivered in a blended format.

The majority of teaching (15 hours a week) will be face-to-face. This means you must be on campus to take part in the course. See the timetable section below, for more information.

If government/UCL guidelines change in response to the pandemic and we are advised not to teach the Pre-sessional face-to-face, we will again offer the course online and learning outcomes won’t be compromised.

Online courses

For 2022, there will be an online version of each of the 6-, 8- and 11-week pre-sessional English programmes, in addition to the face-to-face programmes.

These courses are available to students facing difficulty travelling to the UK from their home countries due to COVID-19 lockdown rules.

You can read more about the online course here.

Technical requirements

You’ll need to have a laptop to access electronic materials and engage in your lessons.

Please note the following technical requirements for the CLIE Pre-sessional course:

  • a modern laptop. Mobile devices are not appropriate
  • a headset/headphones or speakers and a microphone
  • a webcam
  • Chrome and Firefox installed.

We’ll provide training on how to use UCL’s online platforms (e.g. Microsoft Teams) during Student Orientation. Technical support will be available during normal UK office hours (9am-5pm, Monday - Friday).

Course overview

The course aims to prepare you for success in your final Pre-sessional assessments and future academic studies at UCL.

Teaching & learning 

You’ll learn in a variety of ways including:

  • studying independently using specially-prepared online interactive activities and tasks, which will prepare you for your face-to-face lessons; 
  • participating in face-to-face lessons and workshops of up to 14 students, in which you will work and collaborate on set tasks with your study group and your teacher;
  • receiving and reflecting on written and verbal feedback on your academic work from your teacher;
  • conducting guided online research using UCL Library tools;
  • actively engaging in online discussion forums with your classmates and teacher;
  • participating in weekly one-to-one or small group tutorials;
  • attending online webinars and lectures.


The Pre-sessional is an intensive and full-time commitment. You’ll need to participate and engage in study for up to seven hours a day, Monday to Friday.

You’ll take classes in either the morning or the afternoon. Your weekly timetable will typically feature:

  • 15 hours of contact time with your teacher in lessons and workshops
  • up to 15 hours of independent study
  • up to one hour and 45 minutes of online contact time in tutorials and in a lecture.

Please see our morning and afternoon sample timetables.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the Pre-sessional course, you’ll have developed the following to the level required to be successful in your future studies: 

  • Your ability to use English accurately and confidently in an academic context.
  • Your ability to listen to, read and critically engage with spoken and written academic texts.
  • Your ability to write relevant, well-argued and well-supported essays in an academic style.
  • Your ability to speak effectively in academic contexts, such as delivering presentations, answering questions and contributing to discussions.
  • Your learner autonomy and digital study skills through conducting guided online research, reflecting on feedback and self-evaluation. 
  • Your potential to contribute effectively to and actively engage in your academic community within the UCL blended learning context.

Virtual guest lectures

You’ll attend an online lecture each week given by a UCL academic on a range of topics. These lectures are an integral part of the course.

We also provide self-study activities and opportunities to discuss the content online.

We choose the lectures to reflect the most popular degree programmes students progress to after the Pre-sessional course.

Our sample Pre-sessional virtual guest lecture programme provides a taste of the topics covered.

Your teachers

You’ll be taught by a team of approachable and well-qualified UCL academic staff who are experienced in preparing international students for UCL degree level study.


If you are a conditional degree offer holder, you will need to achieve an overall pass in all Pre-sessional assessments according to our assessment criteria to pass the course. You will also be required to achieve a Standard, Good or Advanced level of English to meet the English language condition stated in your degree offer letter to progress to your chosen UCL degree. You’ll be examined in reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.  You’ll be assessed through the following’:

Reading and Writing: An Open Book Exam 

You’ll read and discuss four academic texts on a specific issue during your classes. In the exam you will be required to use the texts in order to write an academic essay.

Listening: A Listening Discussion Exam

You’ll participate in a small-group discussion about the content of a lecture. You’ll be assessed on your ability to understand your co-participants' talk and to respond appropriately during the discussion.

Speaking: A Research Project 

Over the course, you’ll conduct independent library research on an issue related to your future academic discipline. Then, you’ll deliver a Research Presentation summarising your research and provisional findings. Finally, you’ll participate in a Research Question and Answer session.

Holders of unconditional degree offers will be required to complete only the Research Project assessment and achieve a pass in order to successfully complete the course.  

Entry requirements

In 2022, we are offering separate face-to-face and online courses in light of students facing difficulty in travelling to the UK from countries with COVID-19 lockdown rules.

You can check the entry requirements for each course type below.


CourseFees (2022)
16 weeks£8,300
11 weeks£7,200
8 weeks£6,600
6 weeks£5,300

Details of how to pay your fees can be found in the how to apply section.

Start dates

CourseStart date
16 weeks5 May 2022
11 weeks6 June 2022
8 weeks27 June 2022
6 weeks11 July 2022

The start date reflects the extra time needed for enrolment and orientation. You must arrive on the start date in order to complete enrolment.  

All Pre-sessional courses finish on 26 August 2022 and results are available on 1 September 2022.

Progression to undergraduate and graduate level

97% of CLIE Pre-sessional English students progressed to a UCL degree programme after successfully passing the Pre-sessional course in 2021.

UCL degrees

The UCL Pre-sessional English qualification satisfies UCL’s English language proficiency requirement.

Further information

How to apply

Find out how you can apply for the UCL Pre-sessional English courses, including the documents you will need to submit and how to pay.

Student views

Our students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and go on to study a variety of different graduate courses at UCL and other top universities. Find out what our Pre-sessional English alumni thought about the course.