UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Summer/Spring English Courses for International University Students

The UCL Summer / Spring English Courses are for international university students who want to improve their English language skills at a global top 10 university (QS World Rankings) while experiencing the social and cultural highlights of London.

Covid-19 update (October 2021) 

The 2022 UCL Spring English Course will be replaced with the Online English Course for International University Students which will take place in February.

These 3-week courses are taught at UCL's central London campus by UCL academic staff. The course aims to improve your English language skills in the key areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing, through task-based activities, placing an emphasis on improving communicative abilities.

UCL Summer English course students in a language skills class

Start dates


Start dates


Spring (2022)Replaced with Online English Course for International University Students 
Summer (2022)Monday 8 August - Friday 26 August 2022 (TBC)3 weeks

Entry requirements

Students on the course normally have levels of English in the ranges shown below. You do not need a formal English language qualification to apply, as when you start the course you will be tested and placed in a class according to your level of English.

 IELTS5.0 to 7.5
 TOEFL IBT45 to 109
 TOEIC600 to 800
 CambridgePET to CAE
The College English Test (CET)CET4: 425 to 670 
CET6: 400 to 650
EikenGrade 2 or above

This course is not for suitable for beginners. You will probably have studied English for several years at school, and may be studying English as part of your university degree.


You will be:
• a university student (or just about to start university)
• aged 18 years or above
• a non-native English speaker, eager to develop your English language skills by exploring the rich diversity of London.

Course structure


Classes are taught in small groups with an average of 14 students per class (maximum of 16 students per class).

Teaching takes place from Monday to Friday, with morning classes covering:

  • English language lessons
  • Visit preparation
  • Research project
  • Presentation skills
  • Report writing

You will have an overall average of 21 contact hours per week - including 13 hours and 50 minutes of UCL teaching contact hours per week (excluding breaks, and using UCL class 'hour' of 50 minutes).

Afternoon visits make up the remainder of the contact hours.

UCL Summer English Course students in a lecture

Cultural visits

Guided visits to places of significant cultural importance around London take place two to three afternoons a week. You will be prepared for all visits during preparation classes.

Previous students have visited:

  • East End of London (Multicultural London)
  • Tate Britain Art Gallery (British art)
  • A London theatre (British theatre)
  • London Transport Museum (British transport)

On afternoons when there are no visits or lectures as part of the course, you may wish to visit suggested places of cultural interest or spend time on personal study using the many facilities available on the UCL campus. This time is yours and you can decide how you wish to spend it.

UCL Summer English course students exploring London

Sample timetable

10:00 - 11:30English language skills classResearch project classEnglish language skills classPresentationsResearch project class
11:30 - 11.45BreakBreakBreakBreakBreak
11:45 - 13:00Visit preparation classLecture preparationPresentationsVisit preparation classVisit preparation class
13:00 - 14:00Welcome LunchLunch breakLunch breakLunch breakLunch break
AfternoonVisit to Tate Britain Art GalleryAcademic lecture: English as a Global languageSelf-study / free timeVisit to Museum of LondonVisit to Kew Gardens

Your learning

The activities on the course include in-class tasks, an academic research project conducted both in class and outside the university, and a series of visits to places of significant cultural importance around London, such as Tate Britain Art Gallery and the London Transport Museum. All visits are supported by preparation classes.

Students will also have the opportunity to attend academic lectures, which will be followed by class discussions on the topics.


You will be expected to be prepared for the discussion skills class on the day after each visit. In addition, you will need to work outside the classroom on a research project and prepare for your final presentation and report.

There will be many opportunities for you to practise and develop your English language skills and you can decide how much time you wish to spend on these extra activities each week.

Certificate of Completion

You will receive a UCL Summer / Spring English Course for International University Students Certificate (providing there has been a minimum attendance of 80% on the course). A short report on your progress on the course will also be provided.

Fees and expenses

Summer (2021)TBC*

*As an indication, the fee for Summer 2020 was £1,725.  It is expected the tuition fee for Summer 2021 will be slightly higher.

Course fees include the costs of all course tuition, including course materials and entry fees for trips which are part of the course. Students are responsible for travel costs for the visits - included in additional costs below.

Additional costs

In addition to paying your tuition fees, you will also need to consider how you are going to meet your living costs while you are studying. Funds will be required to cover the costs of your accommodation, food and travel, as well as other costs associated with your studies, such as books, and everyday life, such as clothes and entertainment.

Estimates of how much money you will need may vary considerably, as the lifestyles and circumstances of individual students differ. More information can also be found on UCL International Student Support webpages.


Once we have confirmed you are suitable for the course, we will be in touch via email with details on how you can apply for accommodation.

Summer Course

Accommodation in UCL or University of London student residences is available for Summer Course students.

Limited rooms are available in single rooms in Schafer House at a discounted rate of approximately £300 per week. The rooms are arranged in flats of up to 5 bedrooms, sharing a kitchen/dining room and a shower room with toilet.

Spring Course

Central London private dormitory or hotel accommodation can normally be organised for students taking the Spring course, with fees of approximately £230 per week, depending on the room type, location and facilities available.

As this course takes place during the UCL academic year, UCL student accommodation is not normally available.

How to apply

Applications for the UCL Summer/Spring English Courses are made directly to the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education via the application form.

  • The online form asks for details about your study of English and current university course; there is also a short writing exercise to help us assess your level of English.
  • If you already have an IELTS, TOEFL or other English language qualification, please indicate this in your application.
  • Once your application has been considered, we will let you (and your university, if necessary) know about your offer of a place on the course.
  • If your application is successful, we will email you an offer of a place on the course, providing information about how to apply for accommodation and pay the course fees.

Application deadline

There is no application deadline; applications will close as soon as the course is full. You are advised to apply as early as possible to secure your place.


You can check if you need a visa to study in the UK via this website.

If a visa is needed, you should apply for a 'Short-Term Study Visa'.

If you are travelling to the UK without a visa and are still required to show your documents on arrival at immigration, you should make sure you present your course enrolment letter with your passport and that your passport is stamped with the appropriate permission for you to study.

Standard Visitor Visas and Standard Visitor passport stamps are not normally acceptable for the Summer English Course. It may not be possible for you to attend the course if these types of visa are presented on the first day. In this case, no refund of course fees will be possible.

Please contact us for further advice if you need it.


Full refunds of course fees minus a £100 administration charge will be made in the event of formal visa refusals where a further visa application is not possible. Claims must be made in writing and be supported by the relevant Refusal of Entry Clearance letter. Other requests for refunds will be considered only in the event that a replacement can be found to take the applicant's place on the course.

Please note that pro rata refunds of tuition fees for students withdrawing from a course of study after the commencement of the course will not be considered.


University staff wishing to place groups of students onto one of these courses are welcome to contact the Course Administrator.