Pre-sessional English courses

Our pre-sessional courses are the best way to bring your English up to entry level for university study.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently teaching all of our classes online, however we hope to offer face to face teaching on campus when it is safe to do so.

The courses are run by the English for Academic Study (EAS) unit, part of the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University.

Our courses give you:

  • Direct entry to your university programme for successful students (no need to take IELTS after the pre-sessional course)
  • Essential academic skills to help you study effectively at University
  • Flexible entry dates so you can join the right course for your level

Who are the pre-sessional courses accredited by?

Our summer pre-sessional course is accredited by BALEAP, the professional association for academic English teaching.

BALEAP guarantees that you will be joining a high quality course.

What are the advantages of the pre-sessional course?

There are many advantages to taking a pre-sessional course at Glasgow:

  • You have guaranteed entry to your University of Glasgow academic programme if you pass your online pre-sessional course (and if you have no other outstanding conditions for your academic programme).
  • We offer multiple entry dates, so you can join from your home when you are ready.
  • You do not need a UKVI IELTS to apply for the online pre-sessional course.  If we are able to offer face to face classes in future and you want to attend then you will need a valid UKVI SELT for visa purposes. 
  • You do not need a visa for the online pre-sessional course if you study from home.
  • Our online courses offer personalised interactive teaching as well as extensive self-study resources.
  • You will have 90-minute face-to-face interactive seminars with your teacher and a small group of participants four times per week (typically 6 to 9 students).
  • You will have a one-to-one tutorial with your teacher at the beginning, middle and end of each 4 or 5 week teaching block.
  • You will have high-quality self-study material to complete each weekday with answer keys available prior to your interactive seminars.
  • You will submit written work weekly and receive individual feedback and advice.
  • Technical support will be available 9am to 5pm GMT.

Which pre-sessional course should I take?

This depends on your starting level. For students aiming for the standard requirement of IELTS 6.5 and starting a degree programme in September we recommend:

IELTS (Academic) at entry

for more details see
overall 4.5, with 4.5 in Writing and no less than 4.0 in any skill Year-Round Pre-sessional
4.5 in all skills
overall 5.0, with 5.0 in Writing and no less than 4.5 in any skill

5.0 in all skills

overall 5.5, with 5.5 in Writing and no less than 5.0 in any skill
5.5 in all skills Pre-sessional Summer A
overall 6.0, with 6.0 in Writing with no less than 5.5 in any skill Pre-sessional Summer B
overall 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in any skill Pre-sessional Summer C


What if I have different start dates or need a higher level?
If your academic programme begins at a different time or you need to achieve a higher score, you should adjust the timing of your English course. Please see our English for Academic Study webpages for advice:

What if my scores are slightly below the recommended level for the pre-sessional course?

Please send us any other previous test scores you have to help us make a decision.

Who is the pre-sessional Summer C course for? 

Direct entry to this course is intended for students who already have or are very near their required English level, and who need to become familiar with the academic skills and language within their own subject area.

How do I apply for a pre-sessional course?

Which English language tests are valid for online pre-sessional courses?

All applications must be accompanied by an accepted secure English Language test.

Applicants should be aware that we will refuse their application if we have evidence that a false document has been submitted - even if the false document is not relevant to the application and even if the applicant is unaware that the document is false. A false document includes:

  • a genuine document which has been altered or tampered with
  • a counterfeit document (one that is completely false)
  • a genuine document that is being used by an impostor
  • a genuine document which has been fraudulently obtained or issued
  • a genuine document which contains a falsified or counterfeit visa / endorsement.

Information about applications refused because of false documentation may be shared by us with other University of Glasgow departments or with UKVI and could jeopardise future applications to study in the UK. If a student has supplied false information they will not be permitted to study at the University of Glasgow indefinitely. 

Will there be face to face pre-sessional English classes on campus?

We hope to offer face to face teaching on campus when it is safe to do so.  If you want to attend face to face classes in future then it is your responsibility to make the necessary arrangements which may include obtaining a valid UKVI SELT (for visa purposes) and a Tier 4 study visa, and arranging travel to Glasgow and suitable accommodation.