Pre-sessional Academic English for Undergraduate Studies (two semesters)

Year of entry

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

Course overview

Pre-sessional student taking notes in class

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Improve your academic English language skills to the level needed to study an undergraduate degree, while adapting to life in the UK and at the University of Leeds.

You’ll have the chance to:

  • experience and adapt to studying at a UK university

  • study the academic English you'll need for undergraduate study

  • become familiar with the University facilities such as libraries, study spaces and learning platforms

  • settle into Leeds and meet other students

Studying a pre-sessional at Leeds will improve your academic English level to the standard required for:

  • an undergraduate degree

  • the International Foundation Year

  • modules on the Exchange and Study Abroad course

  • the Leeds International Summer School

You’ll learn using practical techniques and have access to a wide range of learning resources, including academic articles, talks and lectures designed to enhance your development.

Dedicated facilities

To support your learning during this presessional course, 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, language groups and language advice drop-ins to get the most out of your studies.

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Course accredited by BALEAP

Course details

You’ll focus on improving your academic English skills in the following areas:

English language skills

  • Using English for everyday communication
  • Vocabulary development and grammatical accuracy
  • Pronunciation and spelling

Academic reading and writing

  • Structuring ideas for essays and assignments
  • Essay writing style
  • Using academic language in writing
  • Using academic references in your work
  • Reading academic resources
  • Using these skills to enhance your speaking and writing

Academic listening and speaking

  • Getting the most out of lectures and seminars
  • Practise listening to talks, lectures and other authentic materials in English
  • Participating in seminars and discussions
  • Practising your speaking skills with presentations

Academic skills projects

  • You’ll work on assignments that enable you to practise all the academic and communication skills you learn
  • For example, you might be asked to conduct surveys or specific internet research which are assessed through presentations, class discussions or writing activities

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 Undergraduate Studies (two semesters) in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

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

To prepare you for study at a UK university, you’ll be taught in classes, lectures and group seminars. 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 programme. 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 pre-sessional 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.


Throughout this presessional course you’ll work on assignments linked to your class work. This will allow you to monitor your progress and receive feedback from your tutor. In each semester, you’ll take assessments to test your academic writing, reading, listening and speaking skills.


Entry requirements

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

For academic programmes other than the International Foundation Year:

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

  • A minimum overall IELTS score of 5.0

  • No components below 4.5

If your academic programme requires an overall IELTS score of 6.5
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 academic programme requires an overall IELTS score of 7.0
To apply for this pre-sessional course you'll need:

  • A minimum overall IELTS score of 6.0

  • No components below 5.5

For the International Foundation Year:

If you’ll be studying the International Foundation Year, entry requirements are different.

If your International Foundation Year requires an overall IELTS score of 5.5
To apply for this pre-sessional course you'll need:

  • A minimum overall IELTS score of 4.5

  • No components below 4.5

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

  • A minimum overall IELTS score of 5.0

  • No components below 5.0

For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

The minimum age to study on this course is 18. If you want to take the course to prepare for the International Foundation Year, and will be under 18 when the course starts, exceptions can be made on an individual basis. If you have any questions, email

How to apply

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

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 Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

The Language Centre

Contact us

The Language Centre




International: £12054 (per year)

Read more about how to pay.

Additional cost information

Access to all learning materials and software needed for the course is included in the tuition fee.

When teaching takes place on campus, the Language Centre provides a weekly programme of optional social activities during this course. Some of these are free, and some have a cost, normally no more than £30.

Accommodation is not included in the tuition fee.

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: Motoki Nagai

The area of the University of Leeds is so big, and there are lots of great facilities. I’m in two societies in Leeds University Union, and it's a great opportunity to talk and share information
Find out more about Motoki Nagai's time at Leeds