Academic Skills Centre

Pre-sessional Courses

Our year-round Pre-sessional programme is designed to help you to develop and improve your language and study skills before your degree programme.

Mayte Reyes Melchor

Mayte Reyes Melchor, Mexico

10-week summer Pre-sessional (PSG4) 2016
MSc Conservation of Historic Buildings

The Pre-sessional General course really helps new international students adapt to University life and improve their English language with the help of excellent tutors.

To join a Pre-sessional course, your English language level must be at least IELTS 5.0 or equivalent. The specific entry requirements will depend on which future degree programme you want to join.

Special features

You will undertake a guided research project to develop your understanding of critical reading skills, the process of academic writing, and how to give a presentation on your research. As part of this process, you will have a number of individual tutorials.

If you decide you want to study Business or Management, you may transfer to the Pre-sessional (Management) programme. Please note that the October, January and April Pre-sessional and Pre-sessional (Management) courses may have to be combined depending on the size of the cohort. There will be at least one weekly tailored session for Management students.


Your progress is assessed by a reading test, listening test, final presentation, a timed essay, and an extended essay in your subject area. Your teachers also take all your course work and homework into account when deciding your final grade. 

If you meet the English language requirement for your degree programme at the end of your Pre-sessional course, you will not need to take another IELTS test as your department will accept your Pre-sessional report as proof of your level.

Pre-sessional (January to June)

These are two ten or eleven-week courses running from January to June.

This example timetable will give you an idea of your study week:

  9.15-11.05 11.15-13.05 13.15-15.05 15.15-17.05
Monday Academic Skills (Reading & Writing) Independent study & lunch Reading and Vocabulary Independent study
Tuesday Academic Skills (Listening & Speaking) Independent study & lunch Language Skills Development Independent study
Wednesday Academic Skills (Reading & Writing) Independent study & lunch Live lectures and visits Independent study
Thursday Academic Skills (Listening & Speaking) Independent study & lunch English in a Cultural Context Independent study
Friday Language Development Skills or Exam Skills Independent study & lunch News and Discussion Independent study

Pre-sessional Courses C and D

Our summer Pre-sessional Courses C and D are intensive preparation for joining your degree programme. You may be eligible for a combined offer if you are applying for Pre-sessional Course C (10 week course) or Pre-sessional Course D (5 week course).

Recognising the need to develop your English language and academic skills to succeed in your taught postgraduate degree in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Faculty of Engineering & Design, our intensive five and ten-week summer Pre-sessional courses are specifically designed to help you, as an international student, prepare for study and adjust to life at the University. For further information about the aims and content of these two courses, read what some of our summer 2016 Engineering and Design students and Humanities & Social Science students gained from doing a Pre-sessional Course.

This example timetable will give you an idea of a typical study week for both the 10 week and 5 week Pre-sessional summer courses:

Week Two Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
09:00 - 11:00 Academic Writing Language Development Academic Reading Discipline-specific Workshop Academic Listening
Break (11:00 - 11:30)
11:30 - 13:30 Presentation Skills  Seminar Skills Tutorials Academic Reading and Writing Academic (delivered by a University of Bath Academic)
Lunch (13:30 - 14:30)
14:30 - 16:30 Q&A Forum Independent Study Independent Study Independent study Independent study
Independent Study: Reflective diary/reading log/lecture pre-reading/pre-class tasks/research project