Presessional Programme for students starting PhDs in January or April

If you have an offer from the University of Birmingham to begin a PhD in January or April, you can apply to study on the University's English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Presessional programme in the Autumn and/or Spring term. The length of study will depend on your current English level and your offer.

If you are a potential PhD student with a September start date, you may also be eligible to begin your presessional in either the Autumn and Spring term but you must continue for the duration of the programme for either 42 weeks (Autumn Term start) or 31 weeks (Spring Term start). Please note that for all presessional courses, strict entry requirements apply.

Rebwar Dara "Since starting my PhD I have found that the academic writing skills I developed on this course have been extremely useful in my work". Read further student testimonials.

As a PhD student, you will benefit from a range of relevant, academic courses which will help to develop the specific skills you need to undertake a PhD at the University of Birmingham. Sufficient PhD student numbers will allow us to tailor a  course for your needs.

During the Autumn & Spring Term you will develop the ability to write academically, following the academic writing conventions expected at a UK university. This would include:

  • Developing an academic style
  • Summarising, paraphrasing and note taking using source material
  • Planning & organising your writing
  • Developing an academic argument
  • Improving the accuracy of your written work, editing & proofreading
  • Completing an extended written assignment, in response to a set question, following the conventions of academic writing

You will also:

  • Engage and communicate confidently with others to discuss and debate academic themes using language which is appropriate, accurate and fluent
  • Apply the strategies of skimming, scanning and intensive reading in order to read academic articles and be able to select information, follow arguments and counter-arguments and critically evaluate them
  • Analyse the texts in order to develop an awareness of discourse structure, and its inherent grammar and lexis
  • Develop an ability to think critically by identifying arguments, reasons and assumptions within a text (not assessed)

Further Information

Further details about fees, entry requirements and the application process can be found on the EAP course information page. To find out what length of course you need please consult our length of course page. Please note that the entry requirements for doing an Autumn or Spring term only are equivalent to a '10-week Presessional' and those for doing both Autumn and Spring terms are equivalent to a '20-week Presessional'. If you have any queries, please contact Esther Reeves (