Pre-sessional Course in Academic English.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements to start your chosen undergraduate degree, this intensive 6 or 10-week course (the length will vary depending on your abilities) will prepare you to either start your degree course, or our International Foundation Year.

Why take the Pre-sessional Course in Academic English? 

The Pre-sessional Course in Academic English Skills is designed to fully prepare you for undergraduate or postgraduate study at Canterbury Christ Church University. The programme provides intensive tuition in English language and academic English skills with 21 hours of class per week. A 10 week or 6 week course is available dependent on your English language level and the level required for your choice of study.

The approach taken in both courses is skills and task based with the aim of equipping you with the academic English skills you will need for undergraduate or postgraduate study. You will also learn about British academic conventions and develop your ICT skills, such as how to use the university VLE and LibrarySearch.

In this way the pre-sessional course will help you to start your undergraduate or postgraduate study confident and equipped for all the exciting challenges ahead of you.

We view each student as an individual with individual learning needs and aims, and seek to reflect this in the course structure. To this end, the content of afternoon workshops is negotiated with students according to their needs, and weekly individual tutorials are scheduled to discuss students’ individual progress and concerns.

What you will study

Both the 10 and 6 week course aim to develop your academic grammar, speaking, listening, reading and writing skills for use in the university environment. So, for example you will develop your writing skills for writing academic essays, your reading skills for reading critically and researching in your subject area, and your speaking and listening skills for taking part effectively in lectures and seminars and for giving presentations.

How you will be assessed

The course assessment aims to mirror tasks related to university study again with the emphasis on building your confidence and equipping you for your future study, as well as assessing your English language level in each of the four skills by the end of the course.

Towards the end of your course you will submit a portfolio containing a record of your performance and achievement during the course in all 4 language skills (speaking, listening, reading & writing) within a range of academic contexts.

Academic contexts assessed are:

  • Giving a presentation
  • Taking part in a seminar
  • Making effective notes in a lecture
  • Writing an academic essay
  • Reading academic texts efficiently and analytically, and making effective notes (This will include a timed reading test)
  • Applying critical thinking skills

Progress to your undergraduate or postgraduate course is dependent on you achieving the level required to meet the admission criteria for your chosen course.

Successful completion of the Pre-sessional course at the required level for your course will fulfil any language conditions of your Canterbury Christ Church University degree offer and you will not need to retake IELTS for entry onto your course.

Entry requirements and course dates

The table below shows the length of pre-sessional study you will need, according to the gap between your current IELTS level and the English language requirement for your course. The six week course is also open to students who have met the English language requirements for their course but desire additional preparation in academic English skills. 

English language level requirement for your degree / study programme 

Entry level requirement for 10 week Pre-sessional Course

Entry level requirement for 6 week Pre-sessional Course

Standard undergraduate and postgraduate programmes

IELTS 6.0 overall with 6.0 in writing and no element below 5.5

5.0 overall with a minimum of 4.5 in all elements

5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.0 in all elements

Non-standard postgraduate programmes (Psychology, English literature, Applied Linguistics)

IELTS 6.5 overall with 6.0 in writing and no element below 6.0

5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.0 in all elements

6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all elements

Please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa, you must gain an IELTS for UKVI test in order to be accepted to a Pre-Sessional course.

For more information, please contact International Partnerships and Development Email: or call: +44 (0) 1227 922273.

10 week course

6 July – 11 September 2020

6 week course

3 August – 11 September 2020

Please note: 31 August 2020 is a Bank Holiday and therefore a non-teaching day.

Canterbury Christ Church University reserves the right to withdraw and amend courses. All information is correct at the time of publication and may be subject to revision.

Study and leisure facilities

Most of your classes will take place in teaching rooms on the main university campus - in the mornings in seminar rooms and in the afternoon in ICT rooms. During independent study periods, for example Friday afternoons or after classes, you can use the open access ICT rooms on the main campus or the student centre and library. As a pre-sessional student you have full access to the university study and leisure facilities, such as the state-of-the-art gym and sports hall and the award-winning Student Centre and library, Augustine House. Built in 2010, Augustine House is the university’s multi-million pound development, with modern learning spaces, a new library and Wi-Fi throughout.


As a pre-sessional student, you can choose to live in a university residence or in a local homestay. Our accommodation is priced to suit a range of budgets according to its size, location and facilities. The price per week for all rooms includes internet and all utility bills.

Living with families in Homestay accommodation is very popular for International students, who would like to improve their English and learn more about British culture. Families are regularly visited by our Accommodation staff to ensure they meet the requirements set by the University and British Council regulations. Prices for Homestay accommodation vary according to the meal plan you select which can be:

  • 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

Student support

Taking the step to move to the UK to study is exciting but can also feel quite daunting. The university has a Student Support, Health and Wellbeing Department which can assist you if you have any problems with settling into life in the UK. The Student Support and Wellbeing Advisers will also assist you with applying for the visa for your degree programme while you are improving your English with us in here in Canterbury. You will simply need to contact them not too long after you have enrolled on your Pre-sessional course and they will happily guide you through the process and help you make your new visa application.

How to apply

Download and complete the application form, which can be found on this page, and email it to International Partnerships and Development.

Fees and course dates

Our Pre-sessional Course in Academic English course is charged depending on whether you undertake the six week or ten week course. 

 Programme  Start and Finish Dates  Tuition
 10 Week Course 6 July – 11 September 2020 £2900
 6 Week Course 3 August – 11 September 2020 £1740

Contact us

For further information please contact:

International Partnerships and Development


Telephone: +44 (0) 1227 922273.

Course Leader: Martin Spier 


Telephone: +44 (0) 1227 921901