Pre-Sessional Courses

Our pre-sessional courses offer intensive programmes of study to help you meet your language conditions at Aberdeen University.

  • Successful completion removes the language condition on your offer
  • Extremely high pass rates
  • Prepares you for life and study at Aberdeen University
  • Make friends and meet other international students

Our pre-sessional courses focus on helping you make the transition from IELTS to the real language and skills that you will need for university study.

  • Planning and structuring longer pieces of writing
  • Using source material in your own writing
  • Developing strategies and skills for effective academic study
  • Participating in seminars and giving academic presentations


We are offering two courses, one of 10 weeks and one of 5 weeks in length. The length of the course that you will be required to take is determined by your present level of English as shown on your SELT certificate.

Students requiring a Tier 4 visa should note that only the IELTS Academic for UKVI test, taken at one of the UKVI approved test centres, will be accepted with applications.

EU students who have taken a different English language test should contact the Language Centre for advice.

PSE minimum entry requirements 

 10 week course 

 5 week course

  Undergraduate Study

  IELTS 5.0 overall 

  Reading and Writing both 5.5

Speaking and listening both 5.0

  IELTS 5.5 overall

  All skills 5.5

  Postgraduate Study 

  IELTS 5.5 overall

 Reading and Writing both 5.5

Listening and Speaking both 5.0

  IELTS 6.0 overall

All skills 5.5


We are offering our pre-sessional English courses twice in the year:

  • June (10 weeks) / July (5 weeks) for students who are starting their degree programme in September/October.
  • October (10 weeks) / November (5 weeks)  for postgraduate students whose degree start date is in January 2019


  Course Length  

for September degree start  

for January degree start (PG)

 10 weeks  18 June to 24 August 2018  1 October to 7 December 2018
 5 weeks  23 July to 24 August 2018  5 November to 7 December 2018 


 Course Length    Cost    Deposit    Balance  
 10 weeks  £3000   £600  £2400
 5 weeks  £1500  £300  £1200


Applications submitted along with all the required supporting documents will be accepted up to 4 weeks before the start date of your course. Due to time constraints at the 4 week mark, we are unable to process last minute applications from International students already studying in the UK.

Documents to be Submitted

  1. Application form completed in full
  2. Proof of payment of deposit / sponsorship letter
  3. A copy of your IELTS Academic for UKVI certificate (all students) or other Secure English Language Test (EU students only).
  4. A copy of the Summary of Offer page for your degree programme, from the University of Aberdeen.
  5. A photocopy of your passport (photo page and any visa pages for the UK)
  6. Information and documentation relating to any courses that you have studied in the UK.

Payment Methods

  1. You can pay by credit card, debit card or paypal via our online store - you will also find the link to the store on the application form.
  2. Bank transfer details can be found on the application form

Application Procedure

  1. Complete the application form and return it along with the required documents to
  2. Failure to provide all the information required may delay your application
  3. Please ensure that you read and understand the declaration on the application form.
  4. Once all the required information has been received, it can take up to two weeks to process your application at peak times. So please be patient.
  5. Tier 4 offer letters are sent by email
  6. Student ID numbers are sent by email after you have received your offer letter. At peak times there may be a delay of about 2 weeks. You will need your student ID number to book university accommodation
  7. Details on how to apply for accommodation will be sent to you with your student ID number

Application Forms

The deadline for applications falls four weeks before the start date of the course.

start date application deadline deadline if already studied in UK
18 June 2018 18 May 4 May
23 July 2018 22 June 8 June
1 October 2018 31 August 17 August
5 November 2018 5 October 21 September


Terms and Conditions

  1. The deposit is non refundable so please do not pay the deposit until you are sure that you are eligible for the course. If you are in any doubt please email and attach a copy of your offer letter and your language certificate.
  2. We will provide one CAS number per student, so if you intend to take your IELTS test again, wait until you get the result before you apply. CAS numbers are not transferrable from the 10 week course to the 5 week course. Individual cases will be considered if there are exceptional circumstances. An administration charge of £100 will made in all other cases where a second CAS is requested. No second CAS will be issued if the first one has been used recently.
  3. By submitting your application and paying your deposit, you are confirming that the information within your application is complete and true. Should the Language Centre discover that this is not the case, it will reserve the right to withdraw its offer.
  4. Our courses have a limited number of places. Your place is only secure once you have received an offer letter from the Language Centre.
  5. If you choose not to attend all of the course, remaining fees will not be refunded. If you are on a Tier 4 visa you will be reported to the UK immigration authorities.
  6. In the unlikely event that there are insufficient participants enrolled on to a course, the Language Centre reserves the right to cancel it.

Further Contacts

Q: I am an international student. Why will you not accept my TOEFL certificate?

A: In order to enter the UK to do an English language course on a Tier 4 visa, the UKVI will only accept the IELTS Academic for UKVI test result taken at an approved test centre as evidence of your language skills. We have to submit details from this test to the UKVI in order to obtain a CAS number for you.

Q: I would like to book a place on the pre-sessional course using my current IELTS certificate and then cancel my place if I meet the entry requirements on my next test. Will I get my deposit back?

A: No, the deposit is non-refundable. Places on the pre-sessional course should not be booked on a 'just in case' basis so only apply if you are definitely intending to come. Your actions might deny a place on the course for someone else in greater need. 

Q: Can I apply for the 10 week course to ensure that I have a course to attend but then change to the 5 week course if I take my IELTS test again and get better scores?

A: Not if you have aleady received an offer with CAS for the 10 week course. We will only provide one offer and one CAS per student unless there are exceptional circumstances. CAS numbers are not transferrable.

Q: I intend to apply for a new passport but want to apply for a place on the course now in order to meet the application submission deadline. Will you issue me with a new CAS number once I have my new passport?

A: No, however, when you get your new passport, send us a copy of the photo page. We will advise the UKVI of the new passport number and will send you an amended version of your offer letter.

Q: I have an unconditional offer for me degree, so can I still apply for a pre-sessional course?

A: Yes, but as the deadline for applications approaches, we will reserve the final places for students who still have to meet their language condition.  Please bear in mind that the course will be aimed at students with a lower level of ability than yours. Apply early or you may miss out.

Q: Will I still have to take another IELTS test at the end of the course?

A: Successful completion of the pre-sessional course removes the need to take another IELTS test as the University of Aberdeen will accept this as evidence of meeting the English language requirement.

Q: Will I have to return home to renew my visa after my pre-sessional course?

A: Assuming you are on a Tier 4 visa and you successfully complete the course by 24 August / 7 December then you will not have to return home to renew your visa. You will only have a short time before the start of your Undergraduate /Masters / PhD programme so our International Advisors will offer guidance through the transition.

Q: Do I have to tell postgraduate/undergraduate admissions that I have passed the course?

A: No. Staff in the Language Centre office notify UG / PG admissions and send them a copy of your course certificate so that they can prepare your unconditional offer letter and provide you with your next CAS number as quickly as possible.

 Q: Do I need to buy any textbooks?

A: No. These are all supplied by the Language Centre.