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 courses are accredited by the British Council and BALEAP and are 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.

British Council accreditation logo

BALEAP accreditation logo

Watch Pre-Sessional English at Portsmouth on YouTube.

Pre-sessional English at Portsmouth

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

2022/23 Courses

Summer 2023

Course length Dates and English Language requirements Delivery method Tuition Fee
20 weeks Monday 17 April 2023  Friday 1 September 2023

For students with an IELTS result (or equivalent) 2.0 bands below their degree requirement.
Distance learning £6,600
15 weeks Monday 22 May 2023  Friday 1 September 2023

For students with an IELTS result (or equivalent) 1.5 bands below their degree requirement.
Distance learning £5,150
10 weeks Monday 26 June 2023  Friday 1 September 2023

For students with an IELTS result (or equivalent) 1.0 bands below their degree requirement.
Distance learning or on campus £4,100
6 weeks Monday 24 July 2023  Friday 1 September 2023

For students with an IELTS result (or equivalent) 0.5 bands below their degree requirement.
Distance learning or on campus £2,600
4 weeks Monday 7 August 2023  Friday 1 September 2023

For students who have met their English language requirements and wish to practice and further develop their English.
On campus  £1,575

*Subject to change

Students can only study distance learning or on-campus. Students cannot start a course via distance learning and later join on-campus. On-campus students are expected to have received their visas and be in class on the first day of their PSE course.

Prompt payment discount

We offer our students a 5% discount on their PSE tuition fee if they pay in full at least six weeks before their PSE course begins. Please refer to your offer email for more information.

How to apply for Summer 2023

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:

Pre sessional English Program options

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.

4 week PSE course applications

To apply for our 4 week Pre-Sessional English course please click on the links below:

On-campus delivery
Distance Learning delivery

Non-UoP Applicants

If you hold a degree offer from another institution that recognises our Pre-Sessional English course you can apply using the links below*. Please upload a copy of your degree offer and English language test certificate when applying.

On-campus delivery
Distance Learning delivery

*The application link will be for the 4 week Pre-Sessional English course. This will be updated depending on your English language requirements when your application is processed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to confirm their institution accepts the University of Portsmouth Pre-Sessional English course as proof of English language.

Please note: the Pre-Sessional English administration team will place you on the appropriate programme based on your English language requirements. If necessary, the Pre-Sessional administration team reserves the right to transfer students between PSE courses and delivery methods as necessary.

Qualifications we accept

Details of English Language tests the University accepts can be found on this webpage.

CAS / VISA eligibility for PSE students

Distance Learning PSE students

Students attending the distance learning PSE course do not need a CAS to study on the course. Once you have completed your PSE course, you would  receive your CAS to apply for your visa and undertake your degree/masters at the University in the UK.

Students on this course must study from their home country and must not travel to the UK at any time during their PSE study.


On Campus PSE students

We can offer on-campus PSE students a Single-CAS for their PSE course, or a Joint-CAS which includes both your PSE course and your degree course. 

On Campus – Joint–CAS


  • Meet the University’s academic and English Language requirements for a place on either the 10, 6 or 4 week on-campus PSE  course;
  • Accept your place on the PSE course via your Applicant View;
  • Have no outstanding offer conditions attached to your degree course, except English language;
  • Meet the University's English Language requirements by providing the appropriate test certificate;
  • Pay the full PSE tuition fee via your Applicant View;
  • Pay the required degree course tuition deposit as per your Applicant View;
  • Clear the Student Route Eligibility Assessment;
  • Please note that we require video credibility compliance interviews for applicants from certain countries. Our regional leads will be in contact to coordinate this with the applicant directly.

Once all the above steps have been completed your CAS will be issued. 


On Campus – Single–CAS

Once the above steps have been completed your CAS will be issued. 

If you have a Single-CAS, you can apply for a visa extension whilst studying the PSE course, from within the UK, once  you have met all the offer conditions of your degree offer. 

To be eligible to apply for a UKVI Student Route visa extension, you must prepare your visa extension before your PSE course is completed.  The visa extension cannot be submitted to the Home Office until you successfully complete your PSE course. 

You must prepare the following before the PSE course ends:

  • Pay your degree course tuition fee deposit – please check your Applicant View;
  • Have the required balance of tuition fees in your account and supporting documents, if required, additional to the minimum amount required to cover living costs for the visa application for 28 days prior to the application. *;
  • Funds to pay for the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) *;
  • Funds to pay for the Student Route visa application fee for yourself *;

*These requirements are set by UKVI and are subject to change.

 For more information about the requirements to extend your visa please visit our Student Route visa pages.

The University has a team of dedicated International Student Advisers who can assist with any visa queries you have. You will meet them during your PSE course.

If you have travelled to the UK on a visa other than that of a Student Route visa, or you choose not to apply for a visa extension, you may need to return to your home country after the PSE course to apply for a new visa prior to the start of your degree/master level course.

EU/EEA/Swiss Students: You will require a Student Route visa to study in the UK if you do not have pre-settled or settled status in the UK.


Once you have successfully completed a Pre-Sessional English course 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.

I have improved my English a lot because of the PSE course, and I very much enjoyed the learning experience! I am very grateful to my tutor who would patiently answer my questions.

Lu Di, MSc International Business and Management

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 course and location) and kitchen. Please email for fees and details and to request the Pre-Sessional English accommodation booking form.

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

I had such a great experience in the Pre-Sessional English course on not only academic skills but also in real life, which will definitely help me to have confidence for my future journey.

Ai Umeda, MSc Coastal and Marine Resource Management