English language courses

We offer a wide range of programmes if you need to improve your English language before starting a degree course in the UK. You'll gain both essential English language improvement and academic skills needed to succeed in your studies.

  • The Essex English Language Programme (below) is open to all, whether you plan to study at Essex or elsewhere, or just want to improve your English ability.
  • If you've applied to Essex and don't quite meet our IELTS requirements, you may be able to attend a pre-sessional pathway – a course that will enable you to progress onto your degree here without retaking IELTS.

Essex English Language Programme

If you are aiming to improve your general and academic English, our Essex English Language Programme (EELP) is an ideal choice. It provides you with English language preparation in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) from levels A2 to C1.

The programme consists of four modules:

  • Foundations of English Language (CEFR A2)
  • English Language Development and Foundations of Academic English (CEFR B1)
  • Further studies in English Language and Academic English (CEFR B2)
  • Advanced studies in English Language and Academic English (CEFR C1)

IELTS skills and preparation are included in the course.

The programme runs throughout the year in five-week terms. You can choose to study for any period from 5 to 40 weeks (in five-week blocks). This gives you the opportunity to study for as long as you feel you need to get to the level you need to be at. Please contact us if you'd like any advice about this.

Each week consists of 24 hours of timetabled classes, tutorials and guided self-study.

If you study consecutively for ten weeks or more, we'll give you a free IELTS.

There are no minimum language requirement for this programme.

  • 16 January 2017 (application deadline 21 December 2016)
  • 24 April 2017 (application deadline 6 April 2017)
  • 17 July 2017 (application deadline 29 June 2017)
  • 21 August 2017 (application deadline 3 August 2017)

If you study consecutively for ten weeks or more, we'll give you a free IELTS.


  • £1,475 per five week term.

How to apply

Complete our application form (.pdf) and return the form, along with your supporting documentation, to the Course Administrator (epd@essex.ac.uk.), for our application deadlines please see our start dates.

English Classes for Dependants of International Students and Staff

We offer free to all dependants of students, staff or visiting fellows at the University of Essex the chance to improve their English language through our English Classes for Dependants of International Students and Staff. The classes will enable you to meet with people from other countries and cultures and help you integrate into UK society.

You will be taught by qualified English language teachers, who have lots of experience of teaching students from all over the world at different levels. We have three levels Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced. We will teach you the three key skills of reading, writing and speaking at your level. We also hold a weekly conversation club open to all. You will have the opportunity to practise your English conversation skills and to meet local native English speakers.

Term dates

  • Autumn term: 17 October 2016 to 16 December 2016
  • Spring term: 16 January 2017 to 24 March 2017

For details of how to apply contact our Course Administrator (jpsumm@essex.ac.uk).

How to apply

How to apply

Find out how to apply for an Essex Pathways Department course. We can provide help and advice, and guide you through the application process. We will also explain key academic information to help you understand student life at Essex

Fees and scholarships

Find out details about our fees and scholarships. If you would like any further information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Virtual tours and videos

Can't get to one of our Open Days? Our interactive virtual tours allow you to explore our campuses, accommodation and facilities in Colchester and Southend.

Life at Essex

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Why not find out what life at Essex is really like? See more of our campuses, facilities and accommodation and hear from our students and academics about what it's like to study with us.