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 distance learning and on campus PSE programmes are accredited by BALEAP and designed for university use. You'll get excellent support and advice from experienced academic staff, international officers and Learning Development Tutors. 

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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2021/22 Programmes

Autumn 2021

Programme length Dates Delivery method Tuition fees
10 weeks Monday 11 October 2021  Friday 7 January 2022 Distance learning £3,700
6 weeks Monday 8 November 2021  Friday 7 January 2022 Distance learning £2,300

*Both programmes will be suspended Friday 13 December  Monday 3 January due to the Christmas vacation.

To apply please select one of the links above.

Summer 2022

Programme length Dates Delivery method
20 weeks April 2022 Distance learning, on campus (Portsmouth)
15 weeks May 2022 Distance learning, on campus (Portsmouth)
10 weeks June 2022 Distance learning, on campus (Portsmouth, Thailand, China)
6 weeks July 2022 Distance learning, on campus (Portsmouth, Thailand, China)
4 weeks August 2022 Distance learning, on campus (Portsmouth)

*Subject to change

How to apply for Summer 2022

If your degree offer requires you to meet a certain level of English language, you can apply for a Pre-Sessional English (PSE) language course with us. Log into your applicant view, where you will see a button that looks like this: 

Apply for Pre-sessional English Program button
When you click this button, you can choose your course from a drop down menu. Your options are:

You will arrive in the UK and study in class with your fellow students, with a dedicated tutor for 25 hours per week. This programme is accredited by BALEAP.

Studying online from home you will engage with your classmates in weekly seminars, have weekly tutorials with your dedicated tutor and carry out work online using Moodle, our Virtual Learning Environment. You will be expected to study for 25 hours per week. This programme is accredited by BALEAP.

Study our Pre-sessional programme with our partner institution in Bangkok, Thailand.

Study our Pre-sessional programme with our partner institution in Yantai, China.

Study our Pre-sessional programme with our partner institution in Shanghai, China.

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 selected your option 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. Once your offer has been made your Pre-Sessional English programme will also appear on your Applicant View. your application will be reviewed by our PSE team who will determine which PSE programme you require based on your degree requirements and the English Language certificate provided.

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 when available.

Qualifications we accept

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

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

*Subject to change in accordance with UKVI guidelines. 


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 

On campus delivery

Your weekly teaching will include:

  • Classroom-based seminars and activities
  • Academic skills workshops
  • Weekly personal tutorials with a dedicated tutor
  • Independent and group-focused work
  • Self-directed study and homework

Distance Learning delivery

Your weekly teaching will include:

  • Online group seminars seminars
  • Online academic skills workshops
  • Online weekly personal tutorials with a dedicated tutor
  • Activities and set tasks using Moodle, our Virtual Learning Environment
  • Self-directed study and homework

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, the University Library and regular tutorials with your tutor.

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.

Living in Portsmouth

All on campus Pre-Sessional students can apply for university accommodation in our halls of residence.

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, which must be submitted along with a deposit payment to secure your accommodation.

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 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. Learn more about our location and travel links.

Airport collection service

We offer an airport pick-up service from London Heathrow airport. You will be sent a link once an offer has been made to you.

Contact us

Please email

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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