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Pre-sessional English

Coventry University's pre-sessional English (PSE) courses will help prepare you for UK academic study on your chosen future course. The PSE programme focuses on improving your language ability and developing your academic and study skills.

About the course

The PSE team works closely with university faculties and the PSE course reflects future academic practices found on different degree courses. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the global forum for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) professionals.

A pre-sessional English course will help you to:

  • Meet the minimum language requirements needed for your chosen Coventry University degree programme.
  • Improve your reading and writing skills, including how to write in the correct academic style using references and sources.
  • Develop your speaking and listening skills, including presentations and seminar discussions.
  • Learn important study skills, such as time management and effective note-taking.
  • Get to know the university's resources ahead of your degree course.

Course length

The length of your pre-sessional English course will be determined by:

  • Your current level of English.
  • The entry level you will need to reach for your undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

How is the course organised?

  • Full-time courses with 17.5 classroom hours per week.
  • In addition, as a full-time student you will have regular tutorials and are expected to complete independent self-study, lesson preparation, assignments and homework tasks outside class time.
  • Small classes with qualified tutors who are trained in working with international students. (Average class sizes 12-14).

Please note that the PSE 5 week course (summer only) is a blended delivery, with an asynchronous online lesson followed by a live lesson.

How will I learn?

  • Classes focusing on language and academic skills.
  • Strategies to develop independent learning.
  • Detailed feedback on your work.
  • Group work activities to help build your confidence.
  • Structured self-study programme focused on areas where you need more development.
  • Additional resources to review learning.

How will I be tested?

You will do exams in each skill at the end of the course to assess your level. You will also be assessed on each of the skills during the course, including a longer piece of writing. Course content and materials are linked to assessments and practice materials are available.

Four international students sitting together talking

International Pathways Programme (IPP)

If you would like to gain a good understanding of your progression degree subject area as well as English, we offer a variety of foundation and pre-masters study routes to help you get ready.


Course dates

The dates for your pre-sessional English course will depend on your current IELTS level and when you want to start your degree.

We will continue to offer both online and face-to-face options for PSE study in 2024. All courses are full-time, in small class groups and offer individual tutorial support. For any further information on course delivery modes in 2024, please email


How to enrol

There is no separate application process for pre-sessional English courses. You must submit your application for the degree programme you wish to study on. When we process your application, we will offer you a place on the necessary pre-sessional English course as required.

Please note that enrolment on a pre-sessional English course does not guarantee progression onto your chosen degree at Coventry University. In order to meet the English requirements of your course you need to:

  • Engage with learning from the beginning of the course.
  • Attend all of your timetabled lessons.
  • Be committed to participating fully in English in all classes.
  • Complete all homework, assessments and other work set by your tutors.
  • Spend time on self-study throughout the duration of your course.

By achieving the level of performance required in the pre-sessional English course, meeting the university’s academic entry requirements and any other outstanding conditions, you will be able to progress on to your Coventry University course without needing to retake an IELTS exam.

Entry requirements

In order to know which pre-sessional English course you might need, it's important to find out your current level of English. To study on a face-to-face course in the UK, you will need a Secure English Language Test (SELT) certificate.

To get your SELT certificate, you must sit an IELTS test at a test centre that is approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). The IELTS test will give you an overall score, from 1.0 to 9.0, on your understanding of the English language. Your SELT certificate must include the following to be valid for entry onto a pre-sessional English course:

  • Top right box must state Academic.
  • Centre Number must be a centre number that shows on the UKVI approved test centres list.
  • Must have a UKVI reference number.

For online study outside of the UK, you can demonstrate that you have met the entry requirements for your online PSE course using a number of recognised English proficiency exams, such as TOEFL iBT, Cambridge Advanced or Proficiency, or PTE Academic. If you hold a conditional offer for study at Coventry University, Coventry University London, CU Coventry or CU Scarborough, you can also book an English language test with us. Our admissions team will be able to provide more information on the entry requirements for online PSE courses.

Please be aware that 4.0 is the minimum IELTS score that Coventry University will accept for a pre-sessional English course.

Download the PSE Academic Regulations for 2023-24.



Our university-owned halls have designed contracts according to your PSE studies, with either 17-week, 12-week or 7-week contracts. If you require accommodation, please email with your details, student ID and course dates and the accommodation team will contact you with suitable accommodation options.

You can view options and prices for Summer 2024 and Autumn 2024 starts and apply now.



How will I meet people?

Whether you study online or on campus, you will meet and work with students in your class. If you’re studying our face-to-face courses on campus, you will also have the opportunity to meet students on other pre-sessional courses, join university clubs and societies through Your Students' Union, use the university’s facilities including the library, and attend social events and trips.

How will I be supported?

You will be supported before you attend your first class! Our international team will guide you through your application and help you prepare for arrival in the UK, including email updates and pre-arrival and visa guides.

If you’re studying one of our face-to-face courses, we will continue to support you once you are in Coventry, with visa support and advice. We can also help you with questions about living and studying at Coventry University.

On your PSE course you will:

  • Take part in a student induction.
  • Get support from your course leader and your tutors (including regular tutorials and feedback) throughout your course.
  • Have access to a Student Handbook.

Welcome to Your Students' Union

A big part of the university experience is provided by Your Students’ Union, a student-led organisation with students at the heart of their decision-making.

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