Pre-sessional English courses

Pre-sessional English courses

Academic English & Study Skills courses

Coventry University Pre-sessional English courses (PSE) will help prepare you for UK academic study on your chosen future course. The PSE programme is a full-time course to improve language ability and develop academic and research skills.

The PSE will:


  • help you 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
  • help you learn important study skills, such as time management and avoiding plagiarism
  • allow you to get to know the University's resources ahead of your degree course.

The PSE Team works closely with University departments and the PSE course reflects future academic practices found on different courses.

The PSE course is accredited by BALEAP: the global forum for EAP professionals.

There is no separate application process to apply for the Pre-sessional English programme. Please see more information under 'How to Enrol' (tab 2).

Course Details

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

Use these tables to help you calculate the length of course you will need.

How is the course organised?

  • Full-time courses with 17.5 contact 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
  • Classes take place from Monday to Friday either in the mornings (9.00-13.00 with a 30 minute break), or the afternoons (13.10-17.10 with a 30 minute break).*
  •   Small classes with qualified tutors who are trained in working with international students. (Average class sizes 12-14).

*Note: The 5 Week course (summer only) is a lecturised delivery with a 75 minute lecture followed by two 50 minute lessons.

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. (Found on Moodle: an online platform used by the University.)

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.

Please note: Enrolment on a Pre-sessional English programme does not guarantee progression onto your chosen academic course at Coventry University. Please see the information in the ‘Enrolment section’.

How to Enrol

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:

  • arrive on the first day 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 do this, 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. 

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

Your SELT certificate must include the following to be valid for entry onto a Pre-Sessional English course:

1. Top right box must state ‘Academic'

2. Centre Number must be a centre number that shows on the UKVI approved test centres list

3. Must have a UKVI reference number


How will I meet people?

  • You will meet and work with students in your class. You have opportunities to meet students on other pre-sessional courses.
  • You can go on trips organised by the University and join University clubs.
  • You can use the University’s facilities (including the Student Union and Library). 
  • The International Office sometimes arranges social events for pre-sessional students.


How will I be supported?

You are supported before you attend your first class! Coventry University International Office (IO): guides you through your application and helps you prepare for arrival in the UK (including email updates and pre-arrival and visa guides). The IO continues to support you once you are in Coventry (visa support and advice). The International Student Support Team can help you with questions about living and studying at Coventry University.

On your PSE course you will:

  • have student induction
  • have access to a Student Handbook
  • get support from your course leader, tutors (including regular tutorials and feedback), and class student representative.

Other Information

Where is the PSE Course?

PSE’s building (Elm Bank) is near Coventry University’s Technology Park. At busy times PSE classes may be held in Faculty buildings on the main Coventry University campus. Elm Bank has space for self-study and there is a café in the nearby Technology Park. The main campus is a short walk away (10 minutes) where you can find the Library, Student Union and sports centre.

Elm Bank

Where can I find more information?

National holidays and study breaks 2019 and 2020


Monday 26 August (Summer bank holiday)

Wednesday 25 December (Christmas Day), Thursday 26 December (Boxing Day).


Wednesday 1 January (New Year's Day), Friday 10 April (Good Friday), Monday 13 April (Easter)

Friday 8 May (May bank holiday, VE Day), Monday 25 May (Spring bank holiday)

Monday 31 August (Summer bank holiday)

Friday 25 December (Christmas Day), Monday 28 December (Boxing Day – substitute day)

Study Breaks
Course Study Break
Autumn 30 week and Autumn 15 week 2019 Thursday 5th September – Tuesday 1st October 2019
Summer 30 week 2020 Wednesday 25th – Tuesday 31st March 2020
Spring 10 week, Spring 5 week, Summer 30 week, Autumn 30 week 2020 Wednesday 8th – Tuesday 14st April 2020
Summer 30 week, Summer 15 week and Autumn 30 week 2020 Wednesday 17th – Tuesday 23rd June 2020
Autumn 30 week and Autumn 15 week 2020 Thursday 3rd – Tuesday 22nd September 2020
Autumn 30 week, Autumn 15 week and Autumn 10 week 2020 Wednesday 28th October – Tuesday 3rd November 2020