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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The Presessional English programme at the University of Birmingham improves your academic English in readiness for your studies. To add versatility during the global pandemic, we are currently offering online and bi-modal on-campus options for our pre-sessional English courses. If you have an offer for an on-campus course starting 2021-22 but you are unable to travel to the UK due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, or you are required to quarantine in your accommodation, you can start the course online.
Online and bi-modal on-campus courses
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 over the three years prior. 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. We are now pleased to be able to offer on campus presessional courses again for students who wish to study in the UK.
All programmes include a mixture of live and interactive taught lessons, class-based discussion and listening tasks set by your dedicated class tutor. 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.
Students should check the UK government’s webpage regularly for updates on travel to the UK, quarantine requirements and tests.
Timetabled sessions for online courses 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.
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