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Pre-sessional English programmes in English for Academic Purposes

Gain the relevant language and academic skills necessary for success on your future course
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Why choose this course?

  • Develop your general English language competence and communication skills
  • Become more confident about studying in a linguistic and cultural environment different to your own
  • Develop your intercultural awareness and competence within culturally diverse contexts
To join one of the programmes, you will need to have taken an internationally recognized English language test such as IELTS or Pearson Academic. 

The following table provides guidance on the minimum entry requirements to pre-sessional courses. The length of the course will depend on your current level of English, the required direct entry scores to your chosen degree programme and the nature of the programme. Once the university has made you an offer, your School will confirm which pre-sessional course is appropriate for your needs and the needs of your degree programme.

Click on the tables to enlarge.

IELTS: 

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Presessional English Language Entry Requirements

Pearson:

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Presessional English Language Entry Requirements
  • 20 week course: 20th April – 4th September 2015 - £6,100
  • 16-week: 18th May – 4th September 2015 £4,900
  • 12-week: 15th June – 4th September 2015 £4,100
  • 8-week: 13th July – 4th September 2015 £2,900

Students who have already met the direct English language entry requirements can follow our new 4-week preparatory course in academic skills

To apply for a place on a Pre-sessional programme, email: pre-sessional@aston.ac.uk 

Tel: +44 (0)121 204 3751


PLEASE NOTE
: The deadline for applications is two weeks prior to the start date of any course.

Our four Pre-sessional programmes in English for Academic Purposes are intended for international students who plan to study at Aston University. Courses last twenty, sixteen, twelve or eight weeks and it is usual for your future undergraduate/post-graduate department to decide the length of the pre-sessional course that you require. This is specified in the offer letter.

These programmes aim to equip you with the language and academic skills necessary for success in your future chosen subject area. You will also develop your communication skills so that you feel more confident communicating in a cultural environment different to your own.

During your pre-sessional programme you will focus on:

  • developing your academic writing skills
  • practising effective reading strategies
  • understanding academic lectures and taking notes
  • expressing your ideas and opinions in seminar discussions
  • developing your presentation skills
  • improving your pronunciation of English
  • developing your grammatical accuracy and range of structures
  • extending your general, academic and subject-specific vocabulary
  • developing your research skills 

As a pre-sessional student studying at one of the UK’s leading universities, you will be entitled to use all of the facilities available on campus including the sports centre, the library, and the e-learning centre for languages. Because Aston University is very close to the city centre, it will be easy for you to go shopping, visit museums and art galleries, take a trip on the canals, and enjoy the international cuisine of Birmingham, Britain’s second city.

CELCA course dates

1. LE2028 English Language Development  (10 credits)

This module aims to develop both your linguistic knowledge and skills in order to raise your English language proficiency before starting an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study at Aston University. Emphasis is given to building on spoken and written accuracy, fluency and overall communicative ability within the context of a British university setting. In addition, the module helps to develop your knowledge of UK academic conventions, as well as your intercultural awareness. The classes have an integrated skills approach, with practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening, as well as some work on grammar and lexis.

Assessment: all to be completed at the end of a four week period
1-hour timed essay (30%)
15 minute group presentation (20%)
Coursework portfolio (50%)

2. LE2017 English Language Development (10 credits)

This module is designed to further extend your linguistic understanding and skills in English language in preparation for an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study at Aston University. The classes have an integrated skills approach, with practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening, grammar and lexis. Students are required to complete practical tasks of an individual and group nature. As well as developing your knowledge of UK academic conventions, intercultural awareness and group working skills, a more intensive focus is put on applying the principles of independent learning, managing your own language learning more effectively and refining your basic research skills.

Assessment: all to be completed at the end of a four week period
1.5-hour class test of short answer questions (30%)
10 minute individual presentation (20%)
Individual reflective diary (50%)

3. LE2023 Using English in Academic and Professional Contexts (10 credits)

This module offers an intensive development of all English language skills for academic purposes before starting an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study at Aston University. With practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening, grammar and lexis, classes are delivered with an integrated skills approach. An emphasis is given to developing your proficiency and knowledge of UK academic conventions for writing case study/laboratory/technical reports and using appropriate referencing systems effectively, as well as extending your understanding of the nature and features of short academic texts and lectures in English, including those related to your future academic discipline. In addition, this module helps you to develop your overall communicative ability and contribution to academic discussions, your group working skills and intercultural knowledge.

Assessment: all to be completed at the end of a four week period
2-hour timed case study/laboratory/technical report (30%)
15 minute paired speaking test (20%)
Essay of 1000 words (50%)

4. LE2046 Using English in Academic and Professional Contexts (20 credits)

This module aims to hone your linguistic competencies and skills in using English within an academic and professional context in order to meet the specific requirements of an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study at Aston. Classes have an integrated skills approach, with practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening, as well as work on grammar and lexis.

On completion of the module, you will have developed understanding in the nature and features of full-length academic written texts and lectures in English, including those related to your future academic discipline, and will be able to critically evaluate sources of information. You will have gained experience in producing cohesively and coherently written research proposals and research reports, and have built up your confidence in delivering effective individual presentations in English.

Assessment:

Individual research proposal of 600 words (week 3 of an 8 week period) (30%)
Individual research report of 2000 words (week 6 of an 8 week period) (50%)
10-minute individual research presentation (week 7 of an 8 week period) (20%)

Our Pre-sessional modules are delivered by a team of qualified, experienced and dedicated staff at Aston University's Centre for English Language and Communication (CELCA).

We use a variety of innovative and engaging teaching methods which include lectures, seminars, tutorials and interactive workshops as well as private and small-group work.  There are also opportunities for individual project work, a chance to meet with students from a variety of nationalities and off-campus visits.

Click here for a list of useful online resources that can help to develop your English language skills.

Assessment and Feedback

These are intensive programmes which require commitment to studying and learning. The assessment of your performance on the courses will be based on attendance, punctuality, participation in class, team-working ability,  written assignments, oral  presentations, class tests, examinations and an individual research project.

Your lecturers will provide you with support and guidance  throughout  your course  and you will receive detailed feedback on your progress at regular intervals in tutorials.

Students successfully completing our pre-sessional programmes will be awarded the Aston Certificate in English for Academic and Professional Purposes.

NEW 30-week pre-sessional

NEW 30-week pre-sessional

4-week preparatory course in academic skills

4-week preparatory course in academic skills

For students who have already met the direct English language requirements.

Student Profile

Student Profile

Hailan Cheng

8-week Pre-sessional English Programme

The programme has developed my academic writing skills and presentation skills, which have been helpful for writing essays and delivering presentations during my masters. My confidence and communication skills have also improved.

 

Prepare for Success

Prepare for Success

The Prepare for Success website is aimed at international students with an IELTS level 5.0 or above.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research