Two male and one female student with laptops and notebooks working in a classroom

Pre-sessional courses

Our Pre-sessional courses prepare you for degree study in the UK. All our courses focus on developing your academic study skills. Our 6 to 16-week courses also focus on developing your English language proficiency. We also offer the Junior Year Abroad English PLUS programme which includes up to two terms studying academic modules.

Choosing the right Pre-sessional course

Our Pre-sessional courses run for 4, 6, 10 and 16 weeks. Offered both on campus and online, the courses cover:

  • what it is like to study at a UK university and what is expected of students
  • skills in academic reading, writing, critical thinking and using academic sources
  • listening effectively in lectures and classes, and taking notes
  • speaking in seminars and delivering presentations
  • the IT systems and e-learning platforms used at Kent.

The course you choose depends on:

  • whether you have a conditional or unconditional offer to study a degree at the University of Kent
  • your current proficiency in English language
  • the English language entry requirements for your chosen course.

We understand that Covid-19 restrictions may make it difficult for you to obtain evidence of your current proficiency in English. You can take a free test with us to find out the level of your English - find out more about the Kent English language test.

To study at Kent, you may need a visa. Visit Student Immigration Compliance  to find out more.

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 as evidence of their current English language level.

Our courses are accredited by BALEAP (formerly known as the British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes),  

BALEAP Logo

Thunjira Nacharoenkul is the 2018 winner of the Pre-sessional student video prize, giving their insights into student life at Kent.

Which Pre-sessional course is right for me?

Degree course
entry requirement*

Your current level**


Pre-sessional course

IELTS 7.0 IELTS 5.5 overall
Min 5.0 in all skills
16 weeks
  IELTS 6.0 overall
Min 5.5 in all skills
10 weeks
  IELTS 6.5 overall
Min 6.0 in all skills
6 weeks
IELTS 6.5 IELTS 5.0 overall
Min 4.5 in all skills
16 weeks
  IELTS 5.5 overall
Min 5.0 in all skills
10 weeks
  IELTS 6.0 overall 
Min 5.5 in all skills
6 weeks
IELTS 6.0 IELTS 5.0 overall
Min 4.5 in all skills
16 weeks
  IELTS 5.0 overall
Min 5.0 in all skills
10 weeks
  IELTS 5.5 overall
Min 5.5 in listening/speaking,
5.0 in reading/writing
6 weeks

* IELTS or equivalent, see your main course English language requirements for details.

** IELTS or equivalent, minimum language level recommended for entry onto each Pre-sessional course.

16-week Pre-sessional course

The 16-week course is for undergraduate and postgraduate international students who have a conditional offer (CF) to study a degree at Kent but do not have the required level of English to allow them to start their intended degree programme.  

If you complete the Pre-sessional course and achieve a final grade that meets your condition of entry, you will not need to take an IELTS examination.

Note: whether you choose the online or on-campus delivery for the 16-week course, the course will begin online from Friday 7 May to Friday 11 June 2021. There will then be a short break before the online and on-campus course deliveries resume. 

On-campus delivery

Course dates: Friday 7 May – Friday 11 June online, then a two-week break to allow travel to campus. Course resumes on campus Monday 28 June 2021 – Friday 3 September 2021 

Tuition fees: £5,400

Accommodation fees: £1,599 (standard room); £2,378 (en suite)

Application deadline: Monday 10th May 2021

Apply now for 16-week course on campus.

Note: If you require a visa for the on- campus delivery you will need a UKVI approved Secure English Language Test. Additional information is available here.

Online delivery

Course dates: Friday 7 May – Friday 11 June, followed by a one-week break until course resumes Monday 21 June 2021 – Friday 27 August 2021 

Tuition fees: £5,400

Application deadline: Monday 10th May 2021

Apply now for 16-week course online.

10-week Pre-sessional course

The 10-week course is for undergraduate and postgraduate international students who have a conditional offer (CF) to study a degree at Kent but need more intensive support to meet the English language requirements. The 10-week course runs twice a year, in summer and autumn. Bookings for the autumn course will open later in the year.

If you complete the Pre-sessional course and achieve a final grade that meets your condition of entry, you will not need to take an IELTS examination.

On-campus delivery

Course dates: Friday 25 June – Friday 3 September 2021

Tuition fees: £3,600

Accommodation fees: £1,658 (standard room); £2,465 (en suite)

Application deadline: Friday 28 May 2021

Apply now for 10-week course on campus.

Note: If you require a visa for the on- campus delivery you will need a UKVI approved Secure English Language Test. Additional information is available here.

Online delivery

Course dates: Friday 18 June – Friday 27 August 2021

Tuition fees: £3,600

Application deadline: Friday 4 June 2021

Apply now for 10-week course online.

10-week Autumn Pre-sessional course (online delivery only)

Course dates: Friday 01 Oct 2021 - Fri 17th Dec 2021

Tuition fees: £3,600

Application deadline: Friday 17 September 2021

Apply now for the 10-week autumn course online

6-week Pre-sessional course

The 6-week course is for undergraduate and postgraduate international students who have a conditional offer (CF) to study a degree at Kent but do not yet meet the English language requirements. 

If you complete the Pre-sessional course and achieve a final grade that meets your condition of entry, you will not need to take an IELTS examination.

On-campus delivery

Course dates: Friday 23 July – Friday 3 September 2021

Tuition fees: £2,160

Accommodation fees: £1,112 (standard room); £1,653 (en suite)

Application deadline: Friday 25 June 2021

Apply now for 6-week course on campus.

Online delivery

Course dates:  Friday 16 July – Friday 27 August 2021

Tuition fees: £2,160

Application deadline: Friday 2 July 2021

Apply now for 6-week course online.

4-week Pre-sessional course

The 4-week course is for undergraduate and postgraduate international students who have an unconditional offer (UF) to study at Kent and have already met the English language requirements related to their academic course. This courses therefore focuses on developing your academic skills.

On-campus delivery

Course dates:  Friday 13 August to Friday 10 September 2021

Tuition fees: £1,200

Accommodation fees: £702 (standard room); £1,044 (en suite)

Application deadline: Friday 30 July 2021

Apply now for 4-week course on campus.

Online delivery

Course dates:  Friday 13 August to Friday 10 September 2021

Tuition fees: £1,200

Application deadline: Friday 30 July 2021

Apply now for 4-week course online. 

How will my course be taught?

We intend to run our summer 2021 Pre-sessional courses on campus and online. We will review whether the on-campus delivery can go ahead closer to the course start dates, in line with the Covid-19 guidance provided at the time by the UK Government and the University of Kent.

Please note, you will require a laptop for study both on campus and online. 

If you are studying your course on campus, you'll receive a minimum of 16 hours face-to-face study each week. This will include:

  • in-class seminars (group discussions and activities led by a teacher, usually based on work you have prepared ahead of the session) 
  • individual and group tutorials, where you receive feedback and discuss progress with your teacher
  • group meetings with fellow students
  • pre-recorded lectures.

If you are studying your course online, we'll allocate you to a class based on your location and time zone, making it easier to interact with fellow students and your teachers. You'll also be given access to the secure software you need to take part in your course. More information about the online course requirements is available here.

You'll receive a minimum of nine hours live online study each week. This will include:

  • live seminars (group discussions and activities led by a teacher, usually based on work you have prepared ahead of the session) 
  • individual and group tutorials, where you receive feedback and discuss progress with your teacher
  • live group meetings with fellow students
  • pre-recorded lectures.

You are expected to complete at least 15 hours of self-study per week, using a range of resources including video and audio lessons and quizzes. Each week you will submit work and receive regular feedback to help you progress. 

How will my course be assessed?

Your final assessment has four elements:

  • E-portfolio – this is an ongoing assessment taking place over the duration of the course. It consists of weekly tasks to be completed and takes account of your level of participation through online engagement and interaction.
  • Final essay – related to the academic subject area to which you intend to progress.
  • Individual presentation based on the topic and research linked to the final essay.
  • Kent International Test of English (KITE) – this has been specifically designed to test your academic language skills and it covers reading, writing, speaking and listening. The accessible format and structure allow you to apply your language skills to authentic academic situations.

Please note that there is no final assessment for the 4-week course as this is for unconditional offer holders only.

What happens when I have completed my course?

As long as you meet the specific entry requirements for your degree course, you'll be able to start your degree at Kent. We'll be on hand to help you get started and we also provide free support for all international students throughout the year so that you can get the most from your studies.

Academic Skills for University Students

This free, one-week course is for international students who have accepted a place to study an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at Kent. It takes place the week before term starts, giving you the opportunity to settle in and find your way around before Welcome Week. 

The course introduces you to studying at a UK university, for example:

  • researching and writing academic essays
  • how to use sources and reference your work
  • how to write in an appropriate academic style
  • critical thinking. 

It also introduces you to the Canterbury campus and to student life at Kent.  

An indicative timetable for the course is included below. Please note this is subject to change.

2021 09.00 – 10.30
Self-access
11.00 – 13.00
Live session
14.00 – 15.30
Live session or Self-access
Mon 13 Sep Worksheet & discussion forum: Module Overview(worksheet) Writing: The Academic Essay Self-access Recorded Lecture: Student life at the University of Kent
Tue 14 Sep Worksheet & discussion forum: The nature and role of academic writing in the UK Writing: Academic Style and Register Live session: Campus Orientation
Wed 15 Sep Worksheet: Academic Grammar and Vocabulary Reading & Writing: Research for Academic Writing Self-access Recorded Workshop: Critical Thinking
Thu 16 Sep Recorded workshop: Using the Templeman Library Search Engine Reading & Writing: Using Sources: Paraphrase Live session: Canterbury Orientation
Fri 17 Sep Recorded lecture: Good Academic Practice Academic Skills and Awareness: Referencing and Plagiarism Self-access: Module feedback

Once you have accepted your place on your main course and received your Kent student log-in details, you can sign up for this course.

Register for this course

Nunnaphat Luksanawong is the 2018 winner of the Pre-sessional student video prize, giving their insights into student life at Kent.

Last updated