Pre-sessional English

The Pre-sessional English programmes offered by the University of Portsmouth are designed to help applicants improve their English language requirements for their chosen degree course. We offer a 9 or 7 week programme depending on your IELTS score.

Once your degree begins, you will study English for Academic Purposes (EAP) for two hours per week during your first term of studies. 

We also offer a 4 week programme which is available as a refresher course for applicants whose IELTS scores meet our requirements, but would like to practice their English before starting their course. 

Students will attend their programme during the summer, ready to begin their degree course in September.

Key benefits

  • Designed to improve your English language skills
  • Excellent support and advice
  • A range of 9, 7 or 4 week programmes depending on your IELTS score.
  • Accredited by BALEAP.

Language requirements

To comply with UK law, we will not be able to offer you a place on the Pre-sessional Plus English programmes if any individual IELTS score is more than one band below your Course requirement.  This is because your English skills would be considered too low to enter a degree course.

If you are one band below your Course requirement will need to take the 9 week programme. If you are half a band below you will need to take the 7 week programme.

Whatever your score, you should make every effort to improve your English before coming to Portsmouth. Please do not wait until you arrive.

We can only accept students on the Pre-sessional English programmes if they have a valid UKVI-for-IELTS result taken from an approved centre, dated no more than 2 years before the start of your Pre-Sessional programme. A list of approved centres is available here

Non-EU students who need a Tier-4 Visa need to take the UKVI-for-IELTS test to meet their visa requirements. Non-EU students who do not need a Tier-4 Visa can take the standard IELTS test.

EU students can take the standard IELTS test.


Progression to your degree course from Programme One or Two depends on you starting the programme on the correct date and:

  • attending all classes on your timetable 
  • participating fully in all classes
  • completing all homework, assessments and other tasks set by your tutors to a pass standard

Teaching and Assessment

Our experience, supported by contemporary ideas, shows that student’s ability to use English increases when they practice it alongside their other studies. For this reason all students who complete the Pre-sessional Plus English course (the 9 or 7 week programmes) attend additional English classes for 2 hours per week throughout their first term of studies. Students have access to Learning Support Tutors throughout this period.

How you will be taught

Initially, during the pre-sessional course,you will spend approximately 22 hours per week in classes, lectures, seminars and classroom-based elearning. Later you will have some periods of self-directed learning. In addition, you will be required to study for several hours each evening and at weekends.

You will study general English and English for Academic Purposes (EAP).

How you will be assessed

You will be regularly assessed, mainly through writing, oral presentations, and in-class tests and examinations.

Where you will be taught

You will be taught in Park Building and other University buildings located in Portsmouth city centre. You will be close to Halls of Residence, The Library, the Students Union, Student Support and the International Office. There is access to shops, restaurants and entertainment venues and recreational spaces.

Portsmouth is a vibrant waterfront city with a rich history. You can find more about Portsmouth here.

Features and facilities

Course details

Fees and Dates: Presessional English

Programme 1
(9 weeks)

Programme 2
(7 weeks)

Programme 3
(4 weeks)
Dates 10/07/2017 - 08/09/2017 24/07/2017 - 08/09/2017 14/08/2017 - 08/09/2017
CAS Deadline
(Last date CAS can be produced*)
03/07/2017 17/07/2017 07/08/2017
Fees: Tuition only
Fees: Tuition
& Accommodation
Deposits received by University** 28/06/2017 12/07/2017 02/08/2017
Dates for 2018 09/07/2018 - 07/09/2018 23/07/2018 - 07/09/2018 13/08/2018 - 07/09/2018

* This is the latest date we will be able to issue a CAS for Visa applications, but is only applicable if your country offers an expedited Visa service. In most cases it can take up to six weeks for a Tier 4 Visa to be processed. Therefore, you are strongly advised to fulfil the requirements for CAS issuance as detailed in your offer letter as soon as possible, and not leave it until the deadline.

** All deposit payments must be received by the University by these dates. Please note it can take up to five working days for payments to be processed, depending on how you pay, so please leave adequate time for payments to be sent and processed.

How to pay fees

The simplest, safest and quickest way to pay is by debit/credit card or PayPal, using our secure online form: 

Pay Fees

You can also pay by bank transfer, but please remember to send us a copy of the remittance form. For details, please visit MyPort and search for "How to send your deposit by bank transfer".

Please quote your University of Portsmouth student ID number in all communications. You will find it at the top left-hand corner of your offer letter.

When you have successfully applied for a place on the Pre-sessional English programme you will be sent a contract which includes details about the deposit. The deposit will include a fee for accommodation (if required), the deposit fee for the Pre-sessional English programme and a deposit for your degree course tuition.

Balance of fees

Please note that the University no longer accepts drafts as an acceptable method of payment. Therefore, if you plan to bring a draft for your ‘maintenance’ money, you will need to pay the balance of fees to the University by an alternative method of payment. If you select a bank before you come to Portsmouth you will save a lot of time when you get here. The alternative methods to pay your fees are Bank Transfer, online by Webpay or in person by debit/credit card.

The balance of the PSE Fees must be paid in full by the due date on your invoice which will be sent to you by email after the start of the course. Please note that the invoice amount will contain the full PSE fees. When you submit payment, your deposit will be automatically deducted if you pay at the Cashiers Desk in the Finance Office. However, if you pay online, you need to deduct the deposit and then submit payment for the remaining balance.

Cancellation terms

If you have been refused a visa, please send us the original letter from the Entry Clearance Officer giving the reasons for the refusal. The University will retain a £300 administration fee from your Presessional English tuition fee deposit and then return £1000 of the degree tuition fee deposit to you. Please note that the accommodation portion of your deposit is non-refundable. To comply with UK law, refunds will be made to the original debit/credit card or using the details on the remittance form. If you choose to withdraw from the Pre-sessional course your tuition and accommodation fees are non-refundable. 


If there are exceptional circumstances you may submit your appeal to School Manager Katrina Mills (

Travel and accommodation

Where will I live?

The accommodation is provided in Bateson Hall in self-contained private flats. Each self-contained flat has five standard bedrooms, a shower room and kitchen. All flats are single gender.

The kitchens are equipped with an oven, hob, microwave and kettle. All energy costs are included as is high speed Wi-Fi. There is a laundry in the building which costs £ 2.50 for a wash and £ 0.50 for a drying cycle. All communal areas are cleaned regularly. There is a large reception in the building with staff available to assist with any queries.
Bateson Hall is just 250 metres from the Pre-sessional teaching in Park Building.

Each student in Bateson Hall accommodation will receive a bedding and halls pack (that you can keep) which includes:

  • Single duvet 10.5 Tog (50% polyester 50% cotton)
  • Cover and pillow slip (50% polyester 50% cotton)
  • Pillow 50% polyester (50% cotton.)
  • Large towel (130cm x 70cm)
  • Dinner plate (7.5”)
  • Bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Metal tin opener
  • Plastic chopping board
  • 8" & 7" pots with lids
  • Frying pan no lid
  • 7" x 8" Oven tray
  • Peeler
  • Knife / fork / spoon
  • Mug
  • Glass tumbler
  • Oven gloves

Please note that by paying the accommodation deposit fee, you are booking a room in the University halls of residence for the full duration of the Pre-sessional Course and you will be contractually obliged to pay the full accommodation balance on your arrival.

Do not pay more than the required deposit for accommodation. You must pay the balance of pre-sessional accommodation costs by the due date on your Accommodation invoice.

Accommodation will be available from the Saturday before your course begins.

Accommodation will be available until 9.00 am on the day after the course finishes.

Should you need to arrive earlier than the dates above, accommodation can be arranged at the rate of £20.50 per night but please give us as much notice as possible.


Portsmouth is easily accessible by all main forms of travel.  Travel instructions and maps are available.

Airport pick-up

A taxi can be arranged to meet you at London Heathrow airport, at no extra cost, if you give us sufficient notice. For details on booking a taxi, please see the Contractual Notes in your Offer Letter.

There will be no refunds if you do not book a taxi through the University.


Who can apply?

Please quote your University of Portsmouth student ID number each time you contact us. You will find it at the top left-hand corner of your course offer letter.

You can apply for Programmes One and Two if you hold a conditional offer from the University of Portsmouth but you have not yet met the English language requirements for the course. Before you can apply for the Pre-Sessional you must have met all other outstanding requirements on your offer letter.

You can apply for Programme Three if you have met the academic conditions and the English language requirements for your course and you want to do a refresher course in English.

How to apply

Presessional English application forms and related material may be downloaded from this page during application periods.

For further information please contact

Regional offices

From mainland China please contact:

University of Portsmouth
China Office
Room 1006
Lansheng Plaza
8 Central Huaihai Road

T: +86 216319 1155
F: +86 216319 0086

From Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar or Brunei please contact : 

University of Portsmouth
South East Asia Regional Office
Suite 13A-05, Tower B, Northpoint Offices
Mid Valley City, No.1 Medan Syed Putra
Utara 59200, Kuala Lumpur

T: +60 3 2287 6607 
F: +60 3 2287 6609