General English Course.

Learning English is not just about the classes, it's about the whole experience including the place and the setting. It's in providing an experience, alongside the taught aspects, that our General English course excels. 

Your will be taught at our campus in the centre of historic Canterbury, a UNESCO world heritage city, but with all the facilities of a university a short walk away. During the academic year you’ll be able to attend university activities, join student societies and use the sports facilities and university gym. Canterbury and the surrounding area have so much to see – and you will be only an hour from London, or a little longer from mainland Europe. 

The courses

Our General English course is available all year round and is accredited by the British Council. The General English course is perfect if you simply want to improve your all-round abilities in using English in both an academic and wider setting. We also offer General English with IELTS Preparation, which will prepare you for the International English Language Testing System Exam.

Either option can be taken to enable you to progress onto one of our undergraduate degree courses.

Morning sessions: 15 hours and afternoon session: 6 hours

The classes will develop both your accuracy and your fluency. They combine work on your grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary, as well as practising your skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. All these are integrated around studying a wide range of contemporary topics.

The six hours in the afternoon on General English provide an intense skills-focused study programme to ensure you can use the language effectively. There are four classes a week plus one self-study session. The classes focus on an individual language skills using a range of material and activities.

This option can be undertaken as a 12-week summer school. 

What accommodation is available?

Canterbury Christ Church University has a range of accommodation for you while you study on our English language courses. Our accommodation is priced to suit a range of budgets according to its size, location and facilities. The price includes internet and all utility bills.

Find out about your choices below. 

Living with people in their own homes is very popular for international students who want to improve their English and learn about British life. It is ideal for students on short courses. Homestay houses are regularly visited by our Accommodation staff to ensure they meet our standards. Prices vary according to the meal plan you choose:

  • Breakfast only
  • Half-board (breakfast and dinner)
  • Half-board with use of kitchen
  • Half-board with weekend lunch

Find out more.

During the Academic year from September to July, you may be able to stay in University residences. Again there are a number of price options to suit your budget. Unfortunately, during this period, University accommodation cannot be guaranteed but we will always do our best to help you. If you are joining us for a summer course, University Accommodation is usually available from the 2nd week of July to the 3rd week of September.

Our accommodation includes our state-of-the-art St Georges Centre, which has over 200 en-suite rooms, and is within short walking distance of the university campus and the city centre. Students who join a short course will be given details of all accommodation types and prices and can liaise direct with our Accommodation Office or the International Office for assistance with booking.

If you have any special needs, we have specially adapted accommodation with disabled facilities, subject to availability at the time of your course. We think you will agree that the prices and choices are so varied that there is the right accommodation for everyone!

Find out more

When can you start? 

To join one of our English programmes you must be 18 years old – most of our students studying English are young adults. The average length of student stay varies, with some coming for a short two-week Summer course, and others studying for a full year. The Centre is open all year for English courses except for short winter, spring and summer breaks. You normally join on a Monday unless it is a public holiday.

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

TBC for 2020 entry

6 January - 3 April 2020 (13 weeks)

20 April - 19 June 2020 (9 weeks)

16 July - 11 September 2020 (10 weeks)

In the summer, students can start on the following enrolment dates:

  • Monday 6 July 2020
  • Monday 20 July 2020
  • Monday 3 August 2020
  • Monday 17 August 2020
  • Tuesday 1 September 2020

What can you do next?

The General English Programme gives you the opportunity to move onto further study at CCCU. Depending on your level, you can progress to either the Summer Pre-Sessional Course in Academic English or the International Foundation Year. Through these routes you can progress to either an undergraduate degree or, where appropriate, a postgraduate degree.

How do you apply? 

Applying is easy. Simply hit the link below and you will be taken to our online application system. 

Apply online

Learning and teaching

You will be taught in groups depending on your current English language level. The classes mix work on your grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, with activities to practise using your language across all your skills. You will be speaking English with your fellow students from day one.

Sometimes we move outside of the normal classroom; sometimes you will collaborate with other classes to complete a special project: there is lots of variety. You will also have individual tutorials with a personal tutor to discuss your learning, and our director is available every day for you to talk to if you have any questions or concerns.


Our General English course is charged on a per-week basis and the cost depends on whether you study full-time or part-time. 

  • full-time £350 per week for the first 12 weeks; then £315 after that

  • part-time £250 per week for the first 12 weeks; then £225 per week after that

Please contact the International Office for more details.

Entry requirements

This course is designed to help you improve your English language skills, so we do require you to have a basic level of English before you start. These are as follows:

Minimum English language level, or equivalent Council of European Framework (CEFR) Level A2, IELTS 3.5.

Minimum age: 18