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Pre-sessional English – University of Reading

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  • BALEAP accredited

    BALEAP is the global forum that sets the standards for teaching English for academic purposes (EAP)

  • Classes tailored to your needs

    We run separate classes for undergraduates and postgraduates during the summer

  • We are a founder member of the UPA

    UPA: an alliance of University-led pathway providers.

Pre-sessional English

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

We are aware that the current situation is likely to have an impact on your plans to study with us at Reading, but we can reassure you that our Pre-sessional courses are now running online and will continue to do so through the summer.

For more information, please see our FAQs below.

Will PSE Block 6 starting at the end of July be online?

All the courses for the 2020 summer Pre-sessional programme are online.

Will the online course be the same as the classroom‐based course?

The online courses are of comparable quality to the classroom‐based courses. We will support you throughout your course to try and achieve the English level needed for your further studies.

Will I need a SELT to join the summer PSE blocks?

No. We will be able to accept you onto the programme using any of our acceptable English language tests that can be found on our Acceptable English Language Tests page.

Do I still need to pay a deposit to accept my Pre‐sessional Course offer?

No. Because of the global impact of the coronavirus (COVID‐19), we are temporarily waiving the need for offer holders to pay a deposit to accept their place.

Should I apply for a visa to come to the UK?

If you have been issued with a CAS for a Tier 4 visa or a Short‐Term Study visa letter already, please do not apply for your visa. We will advise you when it is appropriate for you to do so. Please do let us know if you have applied for your visa already or not. If you have not yet been issued with a CAS please note that we will not be issuing any more CAS's for Tier 4 visas or letters for Short‐term study visas until we are confident that you will be able to come to Reading to complete your Pre‐sessional course. This means you should not apply for a visa until we give you the relevant documentation needed.

I've already applied for my visa to come on the Pre‐sessional Course. What should I do?

If you have applied for your visa and not yet received a decision, you should request to withdraw your application with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). For advice on how to do this, please contact the University's International Student Advisory team by emailing

You may be able to receive a refund of your visa application fee, but this is dependent on the processing stage it is currently in with UKVI.

Can I get my money back if I have already paid but no longer wish to study if the course is online?

We would obviously be disappointed if you no longer wished to study with us on the online version of the course. However, yes we would refund any money that you have paid towards your tuition fees (including any deposit that you have paid). Refunded money gets paid back to the account that it came from and it usually takes around 4 weeks for the money to be returned.

Will the online course take place on the same dates as the classroom‐based course would have done?

The online courses will start on the same date as the classroom‐based courses would have. The online content for PSE Blocks 4, 5 and 6 will also finish at the end of the summer when the classroom‐based courses would have finished.

How much are tuition fees for Pre-sessional English courses?

Our fees are charged per study block. Please have a look at the ISLI webpage for details of fees. You will benefit from a 10% discount for online delivery of the Pre-sessional course 3, 4, 5 and 6 in 2020.

How do I pay tuition fees?

You can make a payment on the student payment website: Pay your fees online

Are classes delivered at UK time?

Courses are mainly asynchronous (available to download at any time) to ensure that students in any time zone can access what is delivered unit by unit, with some live events every week that should be accessible to students in most time zones.

How will I be assessed?

Students will receive detailed individual feedback on both written and oral work and there will be continuous monitoring of their progress. The final assessment is based on a combination of continuous assessment and the Test of English for Educational Purposes (TEEP). The TEEP will be an online version.

What can I do if I can't meet my English Language conditions?

Due to the closure of test centres we are pleased to confirm that we are now accepting some additional online language tests; the tests are Duolingo, TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition and LanguageCert International ESOL C1 Expert.

Details and all acceptable English language tests are available here.


Pre-sessional English

Develop the skills you need to start a degree course in the UK – and the confidence to make a success of it.

If you already have at least 4.0 in IELTS (or equivalent), our Pre-sessional English (PSE) programme will help you:

  • achieve the English language level you require for entry on to your chosen undergraduate or postgraduate degree course
  • prepare for academic study
  • progress to a degree course – most degree courses at Reading accept students from the PSE programme with an exit score of 0.5 below the target.

Whether you have already been accepted on to a degree course or are intending to study in the UK, by taking the PSE programme at Reading, you can make friends, become familiar with our campus and adapt to life in the UK before you start your degree course.

"When I compare before and after my experience… I see one word: confidence."

Ben Koulibali – Ivory Coast

A Flexible and tailored programme

This is a flexible programme that allows you to choose when you start and how long you study with us. The programme involves study blocks that start on different dates throughout the year – whichever date you start, you join a class of students at the same language level as you.

Our PSE programme is tailored to your needs:

  • you can enrol on as many study blocks as you need; we can advise you how long it is likely to take to reach your target English language level
  • if you join us over the summer (in study blocks PSE4, PSE5 or PSE6), separate classes are available for prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students.

What you'll learn

During the programme, you will learn academic English while developing the skills required to become a confident and independent student.

How you'll learn

Our small class sizes and expert teachers ensure you get the support you need. You will be encouraged to participate in learning activities that develop your English language and academic study skills. And as you are assessed as part of the programme, you do not need to take a separate, external language test at the end of the programme.


You can apply for accommodation in our comfortable halls of residence, which are either on or close to the campus and all of its facilities. Living with other students on the PSE programme gives you the chance to make friends and become part of a supportive community of international students.

How to apply

It's easy to apply and we can help you with your application if you need it.

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