International students

Pre-sessional courses

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English Language programmes

The pre-sessional English Language courses taught by University of Essex International College (a Kaplan International Pathways college) are ideal if you need to improve your English before starting a course at Essex.

We offer a variety of Pre-sessional programmes which are designed to either increase your English language level, increase your confidence with UK academic study skills or both!

If you are taking one of our Pre-sessional English programmes, you will not be required to re-take an English language test (such as IELTS, TOEFL, Pearsons) at the end of the Pre-sessional course. Instead you will undergo Kaplan’s own English language test and your new English level will be assessed. If you have met the English level required, the English language condition will be removed from your main course offer.

Pre-sessional English Language with Study Skills (PELSS)

Our programmes provide you with integrated training in Academic English Language and Study Skills to prepare you for University undergraduate and postgraduate degree level study. The programmes will be available online or at our Colchester campus and run for 10, 15 and 20 weeks, providing improvements to your IELTS score equivalent to 0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 respectively. PELSS will help you to develop the following skills:

  • Reading: critical reading and note taking skills
  • Writing: academic essay writing and citation skills
  • Listening: understanding lectures and seminars and note-taking skills
  • Speaking: seminar discussions, debate and presentation skills

You will be given opportunities to focus on English language and study skills development in areas related to your chosen degree area at the University of Essex.

Length Enrolment  Start date  End date  Fee  Application dead-line Deposit dead-line
20 weeks  22 April 2021  26 April 2021  10 Sept 2021  £7,980  26 March 2021 2 April 2021 
15 weeks 27 May 2021  31 May 2021  10 Sept 2021 £5,985  30 April 2021  7 May 2021 
10 weeks  1 July 2021  5 July 2021  10 Sept 2021 £3,990  4 June 2021  11 June 2021 

Pre-sessional English Language (PEL)

Offered at both Colchester and Southend and online, our PEL programmes focus on enhancing your English language skills to prepare you for University undergraduate and postgraduate degree level study. You will be taught further grammar and vocabulary development as well as additional reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. The programmes run for 5 and 10 weeks and provide an improvement in your IELTS score of equivalent to 0.5 and 1.0 band respectively.

Length  Enrol
Start date  End date  Fee  Application dead-line  Deposit dead-line 
10 weeks 1 July 2021 5 July 2021  10 Sept 2021 £3,990  4 June 
11 June 2021
5 weeks  5 August 2021 9 August 2021 10 Sept 2021  £1,995  9 July 2021 16 July 2021

Academic Skills Preparation Programme

If you have an unconditional offer to study at the University of Essex, you can take our Academic Skills Preparation programme (ASPP). This course is available online or at our Colchester campus and introduces you to the academic study and research skills commonly used at UK universities. ASPP will help you become familiar with the University campus, student life in the UK and adjust more easily to our academic culture. This programme is an excellent preparation to your degree studies and will help you to achieve your academic goals.

Length Enrol
Start date  End date  Tuition fee  Application dead-line  Deposit dead-line 
4 weeks 19 August 2021 23 August 2021 17 Sept 2021 £760  16 July 2021 23 July 2021

How to apply

In order to apply for a Pre-sessional English programme you must first have an offer in place for your main programme of study which is conditional on English language, unless applying for the Academic Skills Preparation Programme (ASPP) in which case you must hold an unconditional offer in order to be eligible to apply.

Applications can be made via the ‘Applying’ tab of your myEssex applicant portal.

Studying in person on campus

If you would like to study the Pre-sessional programme in person, on campus in the UK you must hold a Secure English Language certificate such as UKVI IELTS (Academic), Trinity or PTE (Pearson Test of English Academic) dated within 2 years of the start date of the Pre-sessional programme (unless applying for the 4 week ASPP in which case you only need to have satisfied the English language requirements of your main programme).

If you do not hold a secure English language test but wish to study on campus in the UK please email to discuss your options.

Studying online

If you would like to apply to study the Pre-sessional programme online from your home Country you do not need to hold a secure English language test but must hold an accepted English certificate. The certificates we are able to accept are listed below:

  • IELTS, UKVI or non UKVI Academic (including IELTS indicator)
  • TOEFL iBT including TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition and My Best Scores
  • Trinity ISE
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English Academic) or PT (Pearson Test of English Academic) for UKVI
  • KITE
  • CET-4
  • CET-6

If you hold an English language certificate that is not listed please email and we can advise whether we are able to accept it for admission to a Pre-sessional programme.

If you would like to be considered for one of our Pre-sessional English courses but the application deadline has passed, please email because we may still be able to consider your application.

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Pre-sessional finder

You can study a pre-sessional course before the start of your main course at Essex. The right pre-sessional course for you depends on your current IELTS score and the subject you'll be studying afterwards. Our pre-sessional finder tool will show you the options available to you.

Find a pre-sessional course