Presessional English Programmes
If you’re looking to improve your knowledge of spoken and written English in preparation for studying at Birmingham, our pre-sessional English courses are for you. If you have a conditional offer, you can take one of these courses as an alternative to retaking IELTS or other similar qualifications.
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Presessional English programmes at the University of Birmingham improve your academic English in readiness for your studies. In 2020 all Presessional English programmes moved online. Progression rates of 99% were maintained across all our online Presessional courses in 2020. This is the same high standard of progression as achieved in our on-campus courses during the past three years. Online Presessional student satisfaction is similarly high. Over 90% of students felt welcomed by the BIA and were able to make friends during the course.
Current government guidance is that Higher Education provision in England will remain online until at least 17th May. For programmes beginning after this date we are planning to be able to run both on-campus and online. You can apply for on-campus delivery and if the situation changes you can switch to the online programme.
If you hold an offer for the 20 week on-campus course you may start the course online and join the course on campus either from 1st June or 12th July.
If you hold an offer for the 15 week on-campus course, you can also start the programme online and join the course on campus from 12th July.
Whichever option you choose, you can be assured that all our programmes run to the same high standard. They are designed to help you to develop your English language and academic skills in preparation for studying and living in Birmingham.
All programmes include a mixture of live and interactive taught lessons, class-based discussion and listening tasks set by your dedicated class tutor, delivered in a virtual learning environment. There are also reading and written tasks with teacher feedback to develop your skills. You will be fully supported throughout your course and will receive regular 1-1 tutorials to discuss your progress and answer any questions.
Timetabled sessions will take into account the needs of students studying in different time zones.
Information about our presessional programmes
We offer courses during term-time and the summer with flexible entry and exit points depending on your current level of English (approved English Language test score) and the requirements of your main University of Birmingham offer for: Foundation Pathways, undergraduate study and postgraduate study.
The length of course you need depends on your current level of English, and on the score specified in the offer letter for your University of Birmingham degree.
All our campus-based courses are accredited by the British Council with strengths identified in three areas: Course Design, Teaching and Care of Students.
If you wish to apply for one of our pre-sessional programmes you must present an approved English test as proof of your ability in English.
Please note that you will not need a CAS for the wholly online pre-sessional programmes, but will require one for your main programme of study in the UK.
We are offering the option of studying on-campus on a short term study visa, with courses finishing in July. You will not need a CAS for these courses but you will be issued with a letter confirming your place for your visa application.
The UK Home Office recently made changes to the rules about English language tests for presessional courses. These are known as SELT (Secure English Language Tests) and more information is available from the Home Office website and our SELT information webpage.
Foundation students with offers to study on the Foundation Pathways
Students with conditional offers to study on the Birmingham Foundation Programme can apply to study on our English for English for Academic Purposes Presessional.
Please upload a copy of your offer letter from Kaplan to your Presessional application.
Students with unconditional offers for Foundation, Undergraduate or Postgraduate courses
Students with unconditional offers can attend our 4 week academic skills presessional. English for Academic Purposes (UNC)
BIA Presessional courses: Frequently Asked Questions