Pre-sessional Courses at the University of Bath
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Pre-sessional Courses at the University of Bath

If you’re looking to study a programme at the University of Bath but need to improve your English language skills to meet our entry requirements, you can study on one of three Pre-sessional courses delivered by the Academic Skills Centre (ASC) before you start your degree.

We spoke with Magdalen Ward Goodbody, Director of the Academic Skills Centre, to find out more about these Pre-sessional courses and the ASC.

What is a Pre-sessional course?

A Pre-sessional course is designed for students who are nearly at the required IELTS level to study on a programme at Bath but haven’t quite reached it. We aim to develop students’ English but also enhance their academic and study skills, develop their knowledge and understanding of the UK academic environment, and help them adapt to the cultural life of the University and of Britain.

For example, we teach them how to structure their essays and how to look at an assignment question and understand what it means; we teach them to read and analyse what they have read critically, and to refer to their reading in their writing. We develop those academic skills alongside improving their language, including writing, speaking, listening and reading.

The ASC offers three types of Pre-sessional:

  • Pre-sessional Preparation (PSP)
  • Pre-sessional General (PSG)
  • Pre-sessional Management (PSM)

Who can apply for a Pre-sessional course?

Anyone can apply for a Pre-sessional course, although which course is right for a prospective student does depend on the student’s current English language level and future degree programme. It’s safer to apply early because there are a limited number of spaces and they fill up quickly.

If your IELTS score is really close to the language requirement for the programme you wish to study, you may be given a combined offer. In this kind of offer a summer Pre-sessional course is combined with your actual postgraduate degree. This means you only need one tier 4 visa and you can automatically go from your Pre-sessional course to your postgraduate programme.

As well as in the summer, we also offer a year-round Pre-sessional course. We have entry points in October, January and April. If your IELTS score is below 5.0, the Pre-sessional Preparation course would be more suitable as it will give you the opportunity to improve your English language level over time.

How do you apply for a pre-sessional course?

You can apply on the Academic Skills Centre website for our Pre-sessional courses. For a combined offer (summer 5 week pre-sessional courses), you apply as normal for the degree programme you wish to study.

Find out more on our website >

What is the Academic Skills Centre?

The Academic Skills Centre offers academic skills and English language programmes to all students at the University. We aim to support, develop and enhance students’ academic skills to enable them to be successful in their degree programme. It’s not just about English language development; it’s also about academic skills development, with particular emphasis on writing, critical reading and presentation skills.

What does the Academic Skills Centre do?

We provide Pre-sessional courses for international students coming to study at the University of Bath. By the end of the summer approximately 450 students will have taken courses with us. 98% of these students usually go on to study at the University of Bath, mostly on postgraduate taught programmes.

In addition to this we run an Academic Skills Programme for all University of Bath students throughout the year. These courses include writing classes, seminars skills, presentation skills and critical reading. There’s a lot of skills support, including one-to-one tutorials, and we offer all this to our students free of charge.