Pre-sessional Academic English for Postgraduate Research (one semester) (September)

Year of entry

Start date
30 September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
17 weeks full time
Entry requirements
Full entry requirements
International fees

Course overview

Pre-sessional English for Research

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Hear from current students how a pre-sessional helped them adapt to study and life in the UK.

Improve your academic English level to the standard needed to study a research degree and prepare for postgraduate research and life in the UK with this pre-sessional course.

You’ll have the chance to:

  • experience and adapt to study in the UK
  • study academic English relevant to studying a research degree
  • become familiar with the University facilities, such as libraries, study spaces and learning platforms
  • settle into Leeds before your degree begins
  • meet other students and build a community of peers

If English isn’t your first language, this course will help you develop your academic reading, writing, speaking and listening skills using practical techniques designed to enhance your development. These include:

  • building your fluency, confidence and accuracy in English
  • participating in lectures and seminars
  • researching academic sources
  • analysing and summarising academic texts
  • structuring academic writing and developing an argument
  • using critical analysis

Dedicated facilities

To support your learning, you’ll have access to our Language Zone – a study and resource centre for independent language learning equipped with a computer cluster for personal study, books and magazines, audio and video resources. You’ll also be able to take part in workshops and conversation groups to get the most out of your studies.

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Course accredited by BALEAP

Course details

You’ll study core academic English and develop your ability to research at postgraduate level in the UK.

As a PhD researcher, you’ll focus closely on the skills needed for your research degree and you’ll study with other postgraduate researchers. You’ll learn how to use listening and speaking skills to get the most out of your meetings with your supervisor during your degree.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Pre-sessional Academic English for Postgraduate Research (one semester) (September) in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

You’ll learn how to use language appropriate for your degree to express your thoughts and ideas effectively.

To prepare you for research at a UK university, you’ll be taught in classes, lectures and group seminar discussions. You’ll work individually and with others. Independent study is an important element of this course, allowing you to practise your skills, deepen your knowledge and prepare for your degree. Throughout the course, you’ll be encouraged to think critically.

You’ll also have dedicated time with your tutor to address questions you may have about your language and learning.

In normal circumstances, teaching takes place on the University of Leeds campus. You’ll study full-time, with classes scheduled Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Your presessional course will include teaching and assessment time, as well as dates when the University will be closed, such as for Christmas, Easter and other public holidays.

Teaching staff at the Language Centre contribute to academic research in language teaching. This research informs our course content, which means you’ll receive high-quality teaching designed to help you get the most out of your studies.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


You’ll be assessed in a variety of ways, including written assignments, speaking assignments, research projects and producing a piece of work.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements for this course depend on your current English language level and the language requirement for your research degree.

If your research degree requires an overall IELTS score of 6.0
To apply for this pre-sessional course you'll need:

  • A minimum overall IELTS score of 5.5

  • No components below 5.0

If your research degree requires an overall IELTS score of 6.5
To apply for this pre-sessional course you'll need:

  • A minimum overall IELTS score of 6.0

  • No components below 5.5

If your research degree requires an overall IELTS score of 7.0
To apply for this pre-sessional course you'll need:

  • A minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5

  • No components below 6.0

If your research degree offer is from one of the following Schools, please email your offer letter and most recent English language qualification to so that we can advise you on your eligibility for a pre-sessional course:

  • School of Computing

  • School of Media and Communication

  • School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies

  • Leeds University Business School

For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

The minimum age for students studying on this course is 18 years old.

How to apply

For application deadlines and important dates, please see our deadlines for pre-sessional courses page.

You may not need to hold an offer for a research degree when you take this pre-sessional course – our admissions team will contact you when you apply.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

The Language Centre

Contact us

The Language Centre




International: £6164 (per year)

Read more about how to pay.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

For further information on University of Leeds funding for degree courses, please visit our fees and funding for international students page.

Student profile: Abdullah Soliman Nouraldeen

My pre-sessional course helps me to be well acquainted with all academic skills related to being a PhD researcher such as critical thinking, reading and writing, being an independent learner...
Find out more about Abdullah Soliman Nouraldeen's time at Leeds