Pre-sessional English course in Newcastle

A short intensive English language course lasting for 10 or 6 weeks (depending on your language level). 

Why take the Pre-sessional English course?

  • Improving your degree outcome - Students who study Pre-sessional English are better prepared for academic life and perform better on their degree programme. 
  • Helps you adjust to UK life - Before your start your degree in September, you will have opened a UK bank account, know your way around the University campus and city, and have better confidence in your approach to UK University teaching and culture.  
  • One UK Visa - If English language is the only outstanding condition of your University offer, your UK visa application could include both the Pre-sessional English course and University degree.
  • Excellent pass rate - 95% of students who studied Pre-sessional in 2015 progressed to their degree programme in September.
  • Successful completion rather than the University direct English language scores - If you successfully complete (i.e. pass) Pre-sessional, you are guaranteed a place on your degree (assuming that all other conditions outlined in your University offer letter are provided).
  • Successful completion of Pre-sessional will mean that you do not need to retake an IELTS test. 


What does 'successful completion of the Pre-sessional English programme' mean?

  • Minimum of 90% attendance in class
  • Submission and successful completion of the Written Project and Oral Presentation to a satisfactory standard (a mark of at least 55)**
  • Attendance at all four components of the final progress test*

*If one of your IELTS subskills is less 5.5 when you start Pre-sessional English ALL your subskills must be at 55 or above on the exit Pre-sessional progress tests to include reading and listening.  This is a UK Visas and Immigration requirement. 

**An INTO score of 55 is broadly comparable to IELTS 5.5

Who should apply for this programme?

If you are not able to obtain the direct English language requirements for Newcastle University, Pre-sessional English has lower English entry requirements but still leads directly on to your Newcastle University degree in September. Please click here for more information.


Further English language support during your Newcastle University degree programme

The University provides FREE English language classes of up to eight hours per week (depending on your English language level).  They are free and available to any student with writing and listening skills less than IELTS 7.0 or equivalent.  These In-Sessional English classes are designed to bridge the gap between general English and the academic English needed to succeed in UK university life.  In addition to classes, In-Sessional support also includes lecture style and workshop formats covering reading, writing, listening and speaking.  Also offered are one-to-one tutorials, where you can meet an English language teacher to discuss the problems that you may encounter with your academic English.  For further details, please click here

What will I study?

Pre-sessional is a 20-hour a week course that will ensure you improve your language proficiency in core skills. You will learn to give presentations and study independently. These skills are vital to your university success.

Course Outline

This course will develop a range of skills including

  • English language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in a university context
  • presentation skills on different areas of cultural and academic interest
  • focus on subject related work in your chosen area including a written project
  • help with independent study using our online materials
  • provide contextual study skills the acclimate you to the culture of a UK university

Course outcomes

Assuming you have already met the University's academic entry requirements and any other outstanding conditions, achieving the level of performance required in the Pre-sessional English course to fulfil the conditions of your offer will allow you to progress to your university course, without needing to retake the IELTS test.

How do I qualify?

Academic requirements:

 You must hold an offer of a place on a degree programme at a UK university



Science, Agriculture and Engineering

5.5 (with a minimum of 5.0 in all subskills)

Humanities and Social Science

6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in all subskills)

Medical Sciences

Acceptable only on a case-by-case basis.



Science, Agriculture and Engineering

6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in all subskills)

Humanities and Social Science

6.0 (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and no less than 5.5 in all other subskills)

Medical Sciences

Acceptable only on a case-by-case basis


 17 years and above

Degrees with higher English language entry requirements

Please note that some degree programmes offered by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) require a higher English language level for entry to the Pre-sessional English course.

  • The minimum level of English language ability acceptable for entry to a full degree programme in HaSS is IELTS 6.5

The  entry requirement for Business School entrants at postgraduate level (or postgraduate entrants) to the Pre-sessional for 2016 entry are the following:

  • 10 week Pre-sessional: Minimum IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in writing, 2 of other sub-skills must be at 5.5 and a minimum of 1 sub-skill can be at 5.0)
  • 6 week Pre-sessional: Minimum IELTS 6.0 (with writing 6.0, no other 3 sub-skills lower than 5.5)

This applies to all programmes with the exception of the Dual awards for which the Pre-sessional route is not permitted.

Please note the Pre-sessional course is not available to students applying for entry to the following degree programmes:

  • all MPhil/PhD/EdD degrees in the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
  • all MPhil/PhD degrees in Translating and Interpreting
  • all MRes courses in the Faculty of Medical Sciences
  • Doctorate in Applied Educational Psychology
  • IPhD Education and Communication/Educational and Applied Linguistics
  • PhD Speech Sciences
  • MA Advanced International Business Management /Advanced Business Management and Marketing/ Operations Management (Dual award Groningen)
  • MA British History/European History/History of the Americas
  • MA Film
  • MA Translating and Interpreting – Chinese strand
  • MA Professional Translating for European Languages
  • MSc Evidence Based Practice in Communication Disorders
  • MSc Language Pathology

When can I start?

Start date Term dates Fees

10 weeks

Thu 29 Jun 2017 to Fri 08 Sep 2018


6 weeks

Thu 27 Jul 2017  to Fri 08 Sep 2017


*Provisional dates only.


Is accommodation included in the fees?

Accommodation is not included in the fees. View our accommodation options.

How do I pay?

You can pay by bank transfer or by credit card. Please contact us for bank transfer details.

What's the difference between the 10 and 6 week course?

The 6 week course has a higher English language entry requirement than the 10 week course.

How do I apply?

You can apply online or by post. Find out more about how to apply.

Tracking your progress

Throughout the course, your progress will be assessed to ensure that you are getting the most out of your education, and ensure that you are developing the skills necessary to you success. This will include:

  • ongoing internal assessment and advice on the best way to achieve progress targets
  • essays, summary writing and listening tests
  • guidance from experienced academics on the research skills needed on university courses

Newcastle University English Language Policy

In line with UK government (the Home Office) regulations, all students seeking admission to Newcastle University must be competent in English Language. For qualifications at NQF level 6 (degree level) or above this must be at a minimum of level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) in each of the four components of language learning (reading, writing, listening, speaking). IELTS 5.5 is deemed to demonstrate B2 level competence.

Under no circumstances will a student with an overall level of English Language below IELTS 5.5, or with a reading, writing, speaking or listening score below IELTS 5.5, be given admission to a full degree programme at Newcastle University.