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Durham University


Summer Pre-sessional Programme Information

The Pre-sessional programmes are open to prospective students who hold an offer for a Durham University degree programme and have narrowly missed their language condition. Students with unconditional offers are also welcome to take the course.

The deadline for applying to any of the programmes is usually two weeks before the start date, but you should apply as soon as possible to allow enough time to apply for your visa.

Q I have been offered a Pre-sessional as a way of meeting my language condition. What is a Pre-sessional?

A Pre-sessional courses are 30, 20, 10 or 5 week English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses designed to help you develop the academic language and literacy skills you will need to succeed in your academic department.

Q Why have I been given this specific length of pre-sessional? Can I take a shorter one instead?

A The Pre-sessional condition you are given depends on two things: your current language level and the required English language level set by your department. The gap between these two factors determines the length of Pre-sessional offered. You can only reduce this if you can prove your English language ability has improved (for example, by taking another IELTS test or similar).

Q I have an offer from Durham University and I have met my language condition, but I would like to further develop my academic writing skills and get to know the academic atmosphere of Durham better. Can I still take a Pre-sessional?

A Yes. You can elect to take the 5-week Pre-sessional course as an introduction to academic life at Durham and to develop your academic language skills. Please be aware that if you choose to do this, you will still need to complete the course successfully.

Q. What will I study on a Pre-sessional course?

A Our Pre-sessional courses will help you develop the academic language and literacy skills you need to succeed in your department. The course will help you to develop all aspects of your academic language. You will work towards producing extended academic writing based on complex academic reading, understanding academic lectures, taking effective notes, participating effectively in seminar discussion and giving coherent academic presentations. The course includes detailed on-going feedback on your spoken and written work and regular one to one tutorials.

Q. Will I have to take an IELTS course at the end of the Pre-sessional?

If you successfully complete the pre-sessional, you will be able to start your degree programme without taking another English language test.