UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Summer English Course for International University Students

The Summer English Course is for international university students who want to improve their English language skills at a global top 10 university (QS World Rankings 2024) while experiencing the social and cultural highlights of London.

This three-week course is taught on UCL's central London campus by UCL teaching 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.

You will see the social and cultural highlights of London too!

The entrance fees and cost of guided tours when visiting places like a world-famous gallery/museum, interesting areas of London, and a trip to see a show at the theatre, are included within your tuition fees. Read the cultural visits section below to find out where our students went last year.

You will be accompanied by Social Assistants – specially selected current UCL students – on all trips and visits.

For any off-campus visits, the Social Assistants will accompany you to and from the place you are visiting, and they can help you with getting used to being in London (e.g. buying an Oyster Card for the Tube).

Many of the visits will be led by London's Blue Badge Guides – or Green Badge Guides in the City of London – who are certified professional tour guides.

On the first day, lunch is provided and you will have the opportunity to meet other students on the course, before going on a campus tour with a current UCL student.

UCL Summer English course students in a language skills class

Course dates


Start dates


Summer 2024Monday 5 – Friday 23 August 20243 weeks

Entry requirements


You will be:

  • a university student (or just about to start university)
  • aged 18 years or above
  • somebody who does not speak English as their first language
  • eager to develop your English language skills by exploring the rich diversity of London

English language requirements

Students on the course normally have levels of English in the ranges shown below.

If you do not have a formal English language qualification, we encourage you to apply and may ask you to complete a short written test as part of the application process.

At the start the course you will be tested and placed in a class according to your level of English.

English language qualificationOverall score
 IELTS5.0 to 7.0*
 TOEFL IBT45 to 109
 TOEIC600 to 850
 CambridgePET to CAE
The College English Test (CET)CET4: 425 to 670 
CET6: 400 to 650
EikenGrade 2 or above

*If you have an overall IELTS score higher than 7.0, but writing and speaking subscores of 7.0 or below, we will consider your application. 

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

    Course structure


    Classes are taught in small groups with an average of 14 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 average of 15 study hours per week (a UCL study hour is 50 minutes).

    Afternoon visits make up the remainder of the contact hours.

    UCL Summer English Course students in a lecture

    Cultural visits

    You will have guided visits to places of cultural importance around London two or three afternoons a week.

    UCL Social Assistants will accompany you on all trips. For off-campus visits, they will collect you from UCL and bring you back to UCL at the end of the visit.

    Some off-campus trips will be led by a Blue/Green Badge Tour Guide. These professionally-trained certified tour guides are among the very best tour guides working in London and their training takes one whole year.

    They will take you around the place you are visiting, explaining the cultural significance, importance and history of the place.

    The cost of these visits, guides and the UCL students who accompany you are included within the course tuition fees and usually include a trip to a theatre, gallery and museum.

    You will be prepared for all visits during preparation classes.

    We've included details of last year's trips below. We expect the same type of visits to take place but the locations and overall number of visits will change each year.

    East End of London

    Last year, students had the opportunity to explore the history and culture of a part London.

    Specifically, students focused on learning about immigrant communities who came to the East End of London.

    Tate Britain Art Gallery

    Tate Britain displays British historic and contemporary art, including rooms dedicated to artists such as Tracey Emin and is home to the annual Turner Prize (won by Jesse Darling from the UCL Slade School of Fine Art in 2023).

    Last year, students visited the gallery and had a guided tour.

    The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre

    The West End is the main commercial and entertainment centre of London and home to some of the most famous theatres in the world.

    Last year, students saw a performance of The Lion King – with music by Elton John – at the Lyceum, a theatre with origins dating back to 1765.

    London Transport Museum

    The London Transport Museum is located in Covent Garden, central London. There, last year's students learnt all about London's transport heritage during a guided tour of the museum.

    Kew Gardens

    Kew Gardens – founded in 1840 – is dedicated to the study of plants and is home to the largest and most diverse plant and fungi collections in the world. It's a top London attraction for tourists from all over the UK and the world.

    Last year's Summer English students visited Kew Gardens, in Richmond southwest London, and had a guided tour.

    Free afternoons

    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.

    You can also 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 Summer 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 2024£1,825

    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.

    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.


    We have limited single rooms in Schafer House at £1,100 for the duration of the course (20 nights). The rooms are arranged in flats of up to 5 bedrooms, sharing a kitchen/dining room and a shower room with toilet.

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

    How to apply

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

    • The application form asks for details about your study of English and current university course. You will also be asked to explain in at least 250 words, why you have applied for this course and what you hope to achieve from your time at UCL. This short writing exercise helps us assess your level of English and ensures you are placed in a class at the appropriate level.
    • 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

    The application deadline is Friday, 12pm 5 July 2024.


    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 'Standard Visitor Visa'.

    Please contact us for further advice if you need it.


    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 Friday, 12pm 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 ssec@ucl.ac.uk.

    Requests for full or pro-rata refunds for students withdrawing from a course of study after its commencement will not be considered.


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