International Pathways


6 weeks

This course is good preparation for postgraduate study. I have made good friends before starting my postgraduate course and I have met some great teachers.

~ 6 week course student



*Please note, we no longer run this course in Brussels.

Course Structure

Classes focus on reading and writing, project work, and listening and speaking. For pre-sessional courses delivered face-to-face, students are grouped according to the subject of their further programme of study for the reading and writing, and project work sessions. This allows these sessions to focus more specifically on materials and skills relating to a specialist area.  During the listening and speaking session, students’ nationality is taken in to account to create classes containing a wider range of nationalities. For pre-sessional courses delivered online, students are grouped according to where they are located in the world to consider time difference between the UK and student location.  Teaching includes seminars, lectures, individual and group tutorials, independent research tasks, as well as group and pair work.

The course aims to enhance your academic skills in preparation for undergraduate or postgraduate study.

Who is this course designed for?

  • Students holding a Conditional Firm (CF) offer to study at the University of Kent
  • English language entry requirements for exit level of 6.0: 5.5 IELTS (with a minimum of 5.5 in listening and speaking and 5.0 in reading and writing)
  • English language entry requirements for exit level of 6.5: 6.0 IELTS (with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills)
  • English language entry requirements for exit level of 7.0: 6.5 IELTS (with a minimum of 6.0 in all skills)
  • Expected English language exit requirements: 6.0-7.0

The programme is suitable for undergraduate and postgraduate International students intending to study at Kent*, who do not have the required level of English to allow them to start their intended degree programme; this includes all degree programmes with an entry requirement of IELTS 6.0, 6.5, 7.0 or equivalent. If you complete the Pre-sessional Course, and achieve a final grade which meets your condition of entry, you will not need to take an IELTS examination.

* Students who do not have an offer to study a degree at Kent are welcome to attend the online Pre-sessional course but they will need to check with their intended university to see if the Pre-sessional assessments will be accepted by the university as evidence of their current English language level.


This Pre-sessional course aims to further enhance your linguistic and academic skills, ranging from listening to lectures and note-taking in order to take relevant notes from lectures to summarise or paraphrase the content for effective participation in seminar discussions. Enhancing your presentation skills and expanding on your range of academic vocabulary, register and appropriate style for academic speaking and writing. Skills to carry out extensive reading, research, structuring essays and reports, and referencing (using the style appropriate to your programme of study). The course helps you to further develop skills in finding, critically assessing and understanding source material to develop and support your own point of view objectively. The following key transferable skills will be developed:

  • Introduction to UK academic culture
  • Academic writing: structure in essays and/or reports; practice and detailed feedback on academic essays, assignments and/or reports, critical thinking and using academic sources,
  • Skills for academic reading
  • Listening to lectures and in the general academic environment; using information and note-taking
  • Speaking: development of orals skills to structure and present reasoned arguments for seminars and academic presentations
  • IT: introduction to the software, student database and e-learning platform used in Kent, use of word-processing and presentation software

Pre-sessional Course Dates, Entry Requirements and Fees

For Pre-sessional course dates, entry requirements and fees, please refer here

Combined CAS

What is a combined CAS?

A combined CAS means that if you are eligible you will be given one CAS (called a ‘combined CAS’) to cover both your pre-sessional English programme and your main programme of study. This means you will only need to make one visa application and (if successful) will receive one visa that covers both your programmes.
Please be aware that if you are sent a combined CAS, certain parts of your visa application may change.

Who is eligible for a combined CAS?

The University will automatically assess whether you are eligible for a combined CAS when you make your application for the Pre-Sessional English programme. In order to be assessed, you will need to ensure you have:

  • Made an application for your main programme and completed all conditions except for English language condition
  • Have a UKVI approved IELTs with a minimum of 5.0 in all subcomponents

Once you have completed your application for the 6-week pre-sessional English programme and main programme, the University will assess whether you are eligible for a combined CAS using the UKVI guidance and regulations. The Centre of English and World Languages will then communicate with you to let you know whether you qualify for the combined CAS.

If I am eligible for a combined CAS, what do I need to do?

If the University decides you are eligible for a combined CAS, you will receive two unconditional offers:
                One for your Pre-sessional English course, and
                One for your main substantive programme
Important: You must accept both offers individually if you wish to be considered for a combined CAS. If you only accept one, you will not be issued a combined CAS.

You will also need to ensure you prepare the necessary documents for a visa application. Remember, your visa application will cover both your Pre-sessional English Programme and your main programme. For your visa application, you might need to:

  • Check what qualifications we have included on your CAS (as the CAS will cover the qualifications used to obtain an offer for your main programme)
    • E.g. Degree certificate, transcripts, English language evidence, etc.
  • Prepare your financial information for
    • Your full first year tuition fees for your main programme
    • Your maintenance funds for a full 9 months
  • Medical certificates (if applicable)
  • ATAS clearance (if applicable)
  • Passport and all UK visas

If I am not eligible for a combined CAS, what do I need to do?

If you are not eligible for a combined CAS, you will receive a CAS number for your Pre-sessional English course only. Upon successful completion of your Pre-sessional English programme, the University will assess your eligibility for a second CAS to cover your main programme.

What happens if my visa application is refused?

If you are refused a visa after applying with your combined CAS, you must submit your refusal document to the CAS Team as soon as possible. The CAS Team will assess your reasons for refusal and will let you know whether you are eligible for another CAS.
You will not be able to start either of your programmes without a visa.

Can I study the main programme without completing the Pre-sessional English course?

Although you have an unconditional offer, in order to begin your main programme, you must successfully complete the Pre-sessional English course. If you do not successfully complete this programme, your offer for your main programme will not be valid.  

What happens if I cannot make the start of the Pre-sessional English course?

You must register in person at the University of Kent by the latest enrolment date given to you by the University. If you are not registered by this date, you risk losing your place on both the Pre-sessional English course and the main programme.



The assessments for this course will be comprised of coursework and a final examination (Kent International Test of English – KITE).
Coursework assessments (formative and summative) include: individual presentations, seminar participation, and writing assessments - essay and/or report. Practice KITE tests (formative) will also take place in preparation for the final test. Further information relating to your assessments will be provided in your Student Handbook.



Centre for English and World Languages, Chipperfield Building, University of Kent, CT2 7PE

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824401 or contact us

Last Updated: 29/05/2020