UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


UCL Online English Course for International University Students

The UCL Online English Course for International University Students has been designed to help develop your academic language and skills, as well as allow you to access aspects of UK culture and English language from a distance.

Course overview

This 2-week course is taught online by UCL tutors.


The course aims to:

  • Improve your English language skills in the key areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
  • Allow you to explore UCL and academic culture, as well as have contact with UCL students to find out about different aspects of university life in London and the UK.
  • Provide you with an opportunity to explore different aspects of UK culture and society through supported virtual visits to places of significant social and historical interest.

Tutors will introduce you to the language and skills required for all aspects of the course and provide you with tasks to guide and support you in self-study.


As part of the course, you will have access to and participate in:

  • live online classes with UCL tutors
  • live online 1:1 or small group tutorials
  • academic lectures, delivered by UCL staff
  • training in producing a written academic research report
  • training in producing an academic presentation
  • live online interaction with UCL students
  • guided virtual visits to places of cultural interest in London.

Course completion

At the end of the course, you will receive:

  • assessment of your written work and presentation skills
  • a UCL certificate and full individual developmental report.

Course dates 

  • Online IT induction for students and introduction to the course: Friday 12th February 2021
  • Classes: 15th –  26th February 2021

Entry 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 would encourage you to apply and we may ask you to complete a short test provided by us or attend a virtual interview.

 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

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.

Technical requirements

Please note the following technical requirements for the course:

  • access to a laptop or PC with internet connection;
  • a headset (recommended) or speakers and a microphone;
  • a webcam;
  • a modern browser, upgraded to the latest version (Chrome recommended);
  • a fast internet connection. As with all online platforms, the higher the bandwidth of your internet connection, the smoother your experience of our platforms will be. We would recommend speeds in excess of 1 Mbps.

Training will be provided in the use of UCL online platforms during the first day and ongoing technical support will be available during UK office hours.

Course content and structure

Teaching takes place from Monday to Friday, with English for Academic Purposes classes and tutorials covering:

  • Language and skills needed to study at a UK university
  • Designing and conducting a questionnaire
  • Analysing the results of a questionnaire
  • Writing an academic research report
  • Delivering an academic presentation
  • Introduction to cultural visits including language preparation.
  • Skills needed to research UK culture and English language.

In addition, you will participate in independent study activities each day, at a time convenient for you, exploring:

1. Academic Lectures

You will have access to recorded lectures delivered by UCL lecturers and receive:

  • Training in the listening skills needed to process lectures
  • Discussion forums on lecture content.

2. UCL and Academic Culture

  • Introduction to UK/UCL academic culture and norms
  • A guide to UCL and researching the work of its departments.

3. Language and Culture

  • Introducing various aspects of life and culture in the UK via virtual tours and online resources
  • Developing the skills for researching aspects of UK life, culture and English language
  • Developing the skills to allow you to independently access information about and experiences of UK culture and English language
  • Introducing and researching the language used in different areas of life and culture 

The skills you develop in researching UK society and culture will be of great use to you after the course has ended. The tasks and materials we provide can be used after the course to help you explore the UK further.

4. Exploration of London/UK Culture

  • Guided visits to place of social and cultural significance in London and the UK.

5. Social Events with UCL students

  • The opportunity to meet and talk with UCL students online.

Sample timetable

Teaching will take place Monday to Friday in a mixture of scheduled lessons and self-study. Self-study activities can be completed at a time of your convenience before the next scheduled class.


09:30 - 11:30 (UK time)

Live seminars and workshopsLive seminars and workshopsLive seminars and workshopsLive seminars and workshopsLive seminars and workshops
11:30 - 12.30 (UK time)Tutorials or guided studyTutorials or guided studyTutorials or guided studyTutorials or guided studySocial event with UCL students
Self-study and virtual tours at your convenience, 2-3 hours a day

Academic lecture (1 hour)

Guided study on academic lecture (1 hour)

Visit to places of socio-cultural interest (1+ hours)

Guided study on cultural visit (1 hour)

Visit to places of socio-cultural interest (1+ hours)

Guided study on cultural visit (1 hour)

Visit to places of socio-cultural interest (1+ hours)

Guided study on cultural visit (1 hour)

Academic lecture (1 hour)

Guided study on academic lecture (1 hour)

Your learning

Classes are taught in small groups with a maximum of 12 students per class.

You will be taught in the following ways:

1. Live seminars and workshops

Live seminars and workshops with run for 2 hours each day (Monday – Friday) of the course. These classes will combine:

  • Tutor-led input and workshops
  • recorded listening and video material, and reading texts, along with a wide variety of the online resources available to UCL students.

Tasks and activities will be designed to allow you to process the material before, during and after the input sessions to enhance contact with your tutor.

You will be encouraged to work on tasks with other students in small groups, as well as with your tutor.

2. Guided study

In addition to seminars and workshops, you will be required to work on self-study tasks with the guidance of your Tutor, who will monitor your work and provide structured feedback.

You will receive at least 1 hour a day of self-study with your Tutor’s guidance, in addition to live classes.

3. Personal tutorials

You will have 2 personal tutorials during the course. These will be conducted on a 1:1 or on a small group basis with your Tutor and will focus on aspects of academic language and skills introduced through the guided self-study tasks.

4. Academic lectures

You will watch pre-recorded academic lectures, and complete tasks and activities to guide you through the academic content and the language used in delivery of the lecture.

5. Visits to place of socio-cultural interest

Virtual visits to places of interest will take place for up to two hours on three days during each week of the course.

Tasks and activities will be provided to guide you through different sites in London and the UK. Your Tutor will provide further guidance during live seminars and workshops, as well as provide an opportunity to reflect on the different experiences you have.


You will be assessed on your language proficiency at the end of the course. This assessment will be through:

  • a short academic research report
  • a short end-of-course presentation

The presentation will be recorded in your own time, and both pieces of work will be assessed by the tutor after the course has finished.

A full report will be produced on your achievements in the assessments and during the course more generally, along with guidance on areas that you might focus on in order to improve your performance.

Certificate of Completion

You will receive a UCL Online English Course for International University Students Certificate (providing there has been a minimum attendance of 80% on the course).


The cost of the course is £805.

Course fees include the costs of all course tuition, including course materials and entry fees for virtual trips which are part of the course.

How to apply

Applications for the UCL Online 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 pay the course fees.

Application deadline

15:00 (GMT) on the 1 February 2021 
Please note that application may close earlier than the above deadline if all places on the course are filled.


Requests for refunds will be considered if a replacement can be found to take your place on the course and provided the request is received before the relevant course application deadline (above).

All refunds will be subject to a £200 administration charge.

Requests for full or pro rata refunds if you withdraw from the course 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.