Pre-sessional English

Pre-Sessional English at Portsmouth

Our Pre-Sessional English programmes are designed to improve your academic English language skills so you can study your chosen degree course with confidence.

We offer a range of programmes to suit different levels of English language ability, including a refresher course for students who have already met their degree requirements and want to practise their English in a friendly academic environment before their degree begins.

Our Pre-Sessional English programmes are accredited by BALEAP.  Last year the university achieved a rating of gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). This means our teaching is considered excellent and can provide you with the skills you need to succeed.

The Centre for Applied Research and Innovation in Language Sciences and Education (CARILSE) at the University of Portsmouth acts as a cross-disciplinary space for research, innovation and engagement activities in the language sciences. CARILSE supports the development of international students through our English language teaching programmes.

Key benefits of our Pre-Sessional English programme

  • BALEAP accredited course
  • Designed to improve your English language skills, ready for university
  • Excellent support and advice provided by staff with a wealth of experience
  • A range of programmes from 4-20 weeks depending on your IELTS score
  • Spring and summer start dates for September entry
  • Autumn start dates for January Postgraduate entry
  • Full support throughout the programme from our dedicated Pre-Sessional team, our International Office and Learning Development Tutors.
  • Early welcome to the university and Portsmouth, a vibrant waterfront city

Course details Fees and Dates: Pre-sessional English

20 Weeks programme
2018 dates Monday 23 April - Friday 7 September
Minimum IELTS for Pre-Sessional admittance (overall)* 4 (4.5)
IELTS required for degree course (overall)* 6 (6.5)
Cost of tuition £ 6000
Tuition deposit required £ 1380
15 Weeks
2018 dates Monday 28 May - Friday 7 September
Minimum IELTS for Pre-Sessional admittance (overall)* 4.5 (5)
IELTS required for degree course (overall)* 6 (6.5)
Cost of tuition £ 4500
Tuition deposit required £ 1380
10 Weeks
2018 dates Monday 2 July - Friday 7 September
Minimum IELTS for Pre-Sessional admittance (overall)* 5 (5.5)
IELTS required for degree course (overall)* 6 (6.5)
Cost of tuition £ 3450
Tuition deposit required £ 1380
6 Weeks
2018 dates Monday 30 July - Friday 7 September
Minimum IELTS for Pre-Sessional admittance (overall)* 5.5 (6)
IELTS required for degree course (overall)* 6 (6.5)
Cost of tuition £ 2070
Tuition deposit required £ 1380
4 Weeks
2018 dates Monday 13 August -  Friday 7 September
Minimum IELTS for Pre-Sessional admittance (overall)* This programme is for students who have already met their degree requirements and would like to practise their English.
Cost of tuition £ 1380
Tuition deposit required £ 1380

Postgraduate January start only

10 Weeks
2018 dates Monday 8 October - Friday 14 December
Minimum IELTS for Pre-Sessional admittance (overall)* 5 (5.5)
IELTS required for degree course (overall)* 6 (6.5)
Cost of tuition £ 3450
Tuition deposit required £ 1380
6 Weeks
2018 dates Monday 05 November - Friday 14 December
Minimum IELTS for Pre-Sessional admittance (overall)* 5.5 (6)
IELTS required for degree course (overall)* 6 (6.5)
Cost of tuition £ 2070
Tuition deposit required £ 1380

Entry requirements

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.

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.

Teaching and Assessment

Your Pre-Sessional studies will take place Monday-Friday and you will study for 25 hours per week. You will study in a classroom with up to 14 other students, with a tutor who will be assigned to you throughout your programme.

Teaching will include:

  • Classroom based learning
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • eLearning
  • Self-directed study and homework

Assessments and progression

You will be regularly assessed and provided with feedback by your tutor. Your final assessments will include written coursework, oral presentations, in-class tests and examinations. Our assessments are designed to test your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

Students must pass all assessments to meet their degree language requirements and progress to their chosen degree course.

Features and facilities

Accommodation and travel


University accommodation

All Pre-Sessional students can apply for university accommodation in our Bateson Hall halls of residence. Accommodation is in self-contained private flats. Each self-contained flat has five standard bedrooms, a shower room and kitchen.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. 

University accommodation includes:

  • Shared kitchen equipped with oven, hob, microwave, kettle and fridge/freezer;
  • High-speed Wi-Fi;
  • Energy costs included in fee;
  • Laundry available in Halls (£2.50 per wash/ £0.50 per dry cycle);
  • Communal areas cleaned regularly.

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

  • Single duvet and Pillow 
  • Cover and pillow slip
  • Large towel
  • Dinner plate
  • Bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Metal tin opener
  • Plastic chopping board
  • 8" & 7" pots with lids
  • Frying pan
  • Oven tray
  • Peeler
  • Knife / fork / spoon
  • Mug
  • Glass tumbler
  • Oven gloves

You should receive a Pre-Sessional Accommodation form with your Degree offer email. 

Private accommodation:

You can find and book your own accommodation, if you prefer. Our Student Housing team can advise you on private housing, find suitable landlords for you, and provide you with advice. You can find their contact details below.


Portsmouth is easily accessible by all main forms of travel with two train stations located near campus. All university buildings are in walking distance of each other. The university also runs a free bus service for students to help you get around campus.

Airport collection service:

We can offer our Pre-Sessional students a free taxi collection service to meet you at London Heathrow airport. For details on booking a taxi, please check your offer email.

Living in Portsmouth:

You will primarily be taught in Park Building, located in Portsmouth city centre. You will also visit other university buildings and facilities for some lessons and workshops.

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 by visiting

How to apply

Please note: To apply for the Pre-Sessional English programme, you must have received a degree offer letter from the university first.

If you require a Pre-sessional English programme, your degree offer letter will include a link to apply, or you can click the ‘apply now’ button below:

Apply Now

This will take you to the university application page. Please select ‘Pre-Sessional English’ as your subject area.

Once you have applied and submitted your application, you will be sent a Pre-Sessional English programme offer email, which will advise you on the next steps, including how to make payments, what documents to send us, and what our contractual terms are.

If you have met your degree language requirements and would like to practise your English before beginning your degree course, you can apply for our 4 week programme via the ‘Apply Now’ button.

How to pay fees:

  • When you apply for the Pre-Sessional you will receive an offer email which will include information on what your fees are and how to pay them.
  • All Pre-Sessional students must pay a deposit for their Pre-Sessional tuition, their accommodation (if required) and a £2000 deposit toward their degree course.
  • Sponsored students do not need to pay any deposits as long as they submit a valid financial guarantee from their sponsor that specifically includes the Pre-Sessional as well as the degree course and accommodation if required.
  • Pre-Sessional cancellation terms and appeals are explained in the contractual terms provided in the offer email.

Regional offices


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

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


c/o Sannam 54
95E, 9th Floor, The Ruby
29 Senapati Bapat Marg
Dadar (West)
Mumbai 400 028

T: +91 22 671 61034
F: +91 99 877 96385

Southeast Asia: 

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

Useful contacts

Pre-Sessional English programme contact information:

Other contacts:

Student Housing

International Office

International Student Advisers

Students Union