Asian student paying attention in classroom with many other students

Need to improve your English?

Choose from courses to suit your skill level and achieve the English language requirements for your course

Whether you need to learn English before starting your degree or just practice your language skills, apply for one of our Pre-Sessional English (PSE) language courses. (If you're looking for our English degree courses, visit our course search page).

All our PSE programmes are accredited by the British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes (BALEAP) and designed for university use. You'll get excellent support and advice from experienced academic staff, international officers and Learning Development Tutors.

You'll study for 25 hours a week from Monday to Friday. You'll work in small classes of around 15 students. And you'll have the same tutor throughout your programme.

You can also get additional English language support while you're here.

Pre-sessional English at Portsmouth

Discover what Pre-Sessional English at the University of Portsmouth can offer you.

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How to apply

To apply for the Pre-Sessional English programme, you must have received a degree offer letter from us. Your degree offer letter will include a link to apply for the PSE programme.

You can apply for a Pre-Sessional English language course by selecting a programme from the selection below and clicking 'apply now'. 'Please be aware that the final decision on which programme you require will be made by the Pre-Sessional English team, and your selection may change.

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

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

Qualifications we accept

We accept the following English Language tests for all Pre-Sessional English course applications:

  • UKVI-for-IELTS taken from an approved test centre
  • Standard IELTS test (conditions apply)

We also accept the following English Language tests for applications to Pre-Sessional English courses delivered online: 

  • IELTS Indicator 
  • TOEFL IBT 
  • Duolingo 
  • University of Portsmouth English Language test. (Please contact pse@port.ac.uk for more information about this option)

Which course should I take?

Your offer letter will refer to the IELTS scores you need to enrol on your degree with us. If you know your current IELTS score, you can select the course that will raise your English language skills to the level your offer requires.

If you are using TOEFL or Duolingo scores, please refer to the following tables for an approximation of your IELTS level. 

Please treat these as indicative measurements. Final decisions about the right course for you are made by the English language specialists employed by the University of Portsmouth. 

TOEFL / Duolingo / University of Portsmouth English Language Test: approximate IELTS / CEFR levels

Duolingo score

Approximate IELTS score

Approximate CEFR score

60 – 70

4.0 – 4.5

A2/B1

70 – 80

4.5 – 5.0

B1

80 – 90

5.0 – 5.5

B1/B2

90

5.5

B2

90-100

5.5 – 6.0

B2

100-110

6.0 – 6.5

B2

TOEFL IBT score

Approximate IELTS score

Approximate CEFR score

34 overall
(minimum scores: Reading 2, Writing 11, Speaking 11, Listening 2)

4.0 – 4.5

A2/B1

45 overall

(minimum scores: Reading 3, Writing 13, Speaking 13, Listening 3)

4.5 – 5.0

B1

59 overall
(minimum scores: Reading 7, Writing 14, Speaking 14, Listening 7)

5.0 – 5.5

B1/B2

59 overall
(minimum scores: Reading 8, Writing 17, Speaking 17, Listening 8)

5.5

B2

79 overall
(minimum scores: Reading 18, Writing 17, Speaking 20, Listening 17)

5.5 – 6.0

B2

91 overall
(minimum scores: Reading 20, Writing 20, Speaking 21, Listening 19)

6.0 – 6.5

B2

University of Portsmouth ELT score

Approximate IELTS score

Approximate CEFR score

45% overall, with 40% in each skill

4.0 – 4.5

A2/B1

50% overall, with 45% in each skill

4.5 – 5.0

B1

55% overall, with 50% in each skill

5.0 – 5.5

B1/B2

55% overall, with 55% in each skill

5.5

B2

60% overall, with 55% in each skill

5.5 – 6.0

B2

65% overall, with 60% in each skill

6.0 – 6.5

B2

Course dates and costs

This programme will be taught online for 2020. You will be provided access to our online learning platform where you will be set regular work, assessments and have access to University resources. You will have weekly group and personal tutorials with your dedicated tutor.

  • For students who need to improve their IELTS level (or equivalent) by 2.0 bands
  • Cost of tuition £4750
  • Tuition deposit required £2000

There may be an opportunity for students on this programme to travel to the UK for the final part of their programme. Students will be contacted during their programme if this is possible.

Apply now

This programme will be taught online for 2020. You will be provided access to our online learning platform where you will be set regular work, assessments and have access to University resources. You will have weekly group and personal tutorials with your dedicated tutor.

  • For students who need to improve their IELTS level (or equivalent) by 1.5 bands
  • Cost of tuition £3700
  • Tuition deposit required £1450

There may be an opportunity for students on this programme to travel to the UK for the final part of their programme. Students will be contacted during their programme if this is possible.

Apply now

This programme will be taught online for 2020. You will be provided access to our online learning platform where you will be set regular work, assessments and have access to University resources. You will have weekly group and personal tutorials with your dedicated tutor.'

  • For students who need to improve their IELTS level (or equivalent) by 1.0 bands
  • Cost of tuition £3000
  • Tuition deposit required £1450 

Apply now

This programme will be taught online for 2020. You will be provided access to our online learning platform where you will be set regular work, assessments and have access to University resources. You will have weekly group and personal tutorials with your dedicated tutor.

  • For students who need to improve their IELTS level (or equivalent) by 0.5 bands
  • Cost of tuition £1850
  • Tuition deposit required £1450 

Apply now

This programme will be taught online for 2020. You will be provided access to our online learning platform where you will be set regular work, assessments and have access to University resources. You will have weekly group and personal tutorials with your dedicated tutor.

  • For those who have met the English language requirement of their degree but want to practice their English before beginning the programme
  • Cost of tuition £1250
  • Tuition deposit required £1250 

Apply now

  • Blended learning approach (see below).
  • For courses starting in January and February
  • For students who need to improve their IELTS level by 1.0 bands
  • Cost of tuition £3600
  • Tuition deposit required £1450
  • Pre-Sessional accommodation (optional) £1540

  • Blended learning approach (see below).
  • For courses starting in January and February
  • For students who need to improve their IELTS level by 0.5 bands
  • Cost of tuition £2250
  • Tuition deposit required £1450
  • Pre-Sessional accommodation (optional) £924

Deferring

Once you have successfully completed a Pre-Sessional English programme with us, you will be able to enrol on your chosen degree course immediately, or to defer your entry for up to two years. Your results are applicable only to the University of Portsmouth.

When I was on the Pre-Sessional course, I learned a lot of skills, which prepared me well for my further study in Portsmouth. I'd recommend taking this course as it gives you time to adapt to life in Portsmouth

Dongqiang Guo, BA Hons International Trade graduate, now working in import and export in China

Teaching and assessment

Blended Learning Autumn programmes

Your weekly teaching will include:

  • Structured online learning activities
  • Face-to-face classroom-based lessons
  • Online support from a dedicated tutor
  • Self-directed study and homework

You will study in a blended learning style, spending time in class with your tutor and classmates and time studying online via a structured programme.

You will have regular assessments, and you will get feedback from your tutor. Your final assessments will include written coursework, oral presentations and examinations.

You will have access to our virtual learning environment, online resources and regular tutorials with your tutor and your group.

Our assessments are designed to test your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. You must pass all assessments, and show a good level of engagement and attendance to meet your degree language requirements and progress to your chosen degree.

If you cannot physically attend the programme, you may be given the option to study entirely online. Please contact pse@port.ac.uk for more details.

Living in Portsmouth

All Pre-Sessional students can apply for university accommodation in our halls of residence, which is just 250 metres from the Park Building where you'll study.

You'll live in self-contained, self-catered private flats, each of which has five standard bedrooms, a shower room (or en-suite bathroom depending on programme and location) and kitchen. A Pre-Sessional Accommodation form will be included with your degree offer email.

Private renting

If you'd prefer to find your own accommodation, our Student Housing team can advise you on private housing, find suitable landlords for you, and provide you with advice. Email student.housing@port.ac.uk for more information.

Getting here

All our buildings are easily accessible by all the main forms of travel, with 2 train stations located near campus. All university buildings are in walking distance of each other too, and we run a free bus service for students to help you get around campus.

Airport collection service

We offer an airport pick-up service from London Heathrow airport. See here for details.

Contact us

Please email pse@port.ac.uk

Teachers of the pre-sessional course provided loads of useful information which helped us integrate into Portsmouth more quickly and easily. I built more confidence to speak English in this course'

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