Academic English

Build skills and increase your confidence - our courses are taught by specialists in Academic English and designed to meet the needs of students and staff at the University of Oxford. We also have courses for partners of University staff or students who are not members of the University in their own right.

Support on offer for international students and staff

Academic English courses at the Language Centre are open to all non-native English speaking members of the University, with special courses also available for Academic Visitors and partners of University Members, and pre-sessional summer courses.

It should be noted that for Academic English courses, there is no priority form and no requirement for prior approval by departments, faculties or colleges, as these courses are an entitlement for international students whose first language is not English. If you would like to discuss your students’ English learning needs, please contact the courses administrator by emailing

Important information about fees

The outcome of the 2009 consultation by the Education Committee on language learning in the University by non-specialists produced a clear view that priority should be given to language courses required for study and research and to courses in Academic English which would support international students for whom English is an additional  language. Since then, departments, faculties, colleges and institutions have met the charges for their matriculated students who require these courses.

The registration charge to departments, faculties and colleges for 2023/24 is £95 per student per term per course. Once students have enrolled, colleges, departments, faculties and institutions will be sent a list of their students for verification and payment on a termly basis. Additionally, students will be charged a fee of £95 per term per course.

Pre-sessional summer English course for prospective students

The University Language Centre offers a 6 week Online Pre-sessional course for incoming international students each summer. Please consider making the Pre-sessional English course part of incoming students’ conditional offer where appropriate, as it is likely to deliver stronger results for students than their working on just improving a numerical test score in their own country. For the overwhelming majority of students this course should raise their overall average IELTs score by at least 0.5, and as such would be appropriate for students narrowly missing the University entrance requirements, i.e. with an IELTs score of 6.5 (standard) or 7.0 (higher). For students with jagged profiles on the different components of the test (speaking, writing, reading or listening) this course can also focus on a particular skill. The Language Centre would not, however, recommend accepting students who have scores of less than 6 in any individual component. For more detailed information and advice, please email

What is the Academic English programme of courses?

The Academic English programme is for students and staff who need Academic English support to help them succeed in their work and study at Oxford. There are courses in Written Communication and Spoken Communication as well as several other courses for specific groups, such as English for international undergraduates, academic visitors, and partners of University staff.

What level do I need to enrol on an Academic English course?

We accept all matriculated Oxford students, that is, those who are taking a recognised course at the University. For term-time courses other learners such as academic vistors should ideally have reached the minimum Oxford University language requirement, the equivalent of C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or IELTs 7.0, but we will accept students slightly below this. Courses specifically for Academic Visitors accept students with a range between B2 and C1 on the CEFR. Courses for partners of University staff accept students with a range between B1 and C1 on the CEFR. For the summer pre-sessional course please click here.

What if I'm placed on a waiting list?

We do sometimes get cancellations, and if a space in class becomes available we will email you to let you know. Alternatively you may be able to enrol on a class at a different time. We also offer intensive classes in 9th week, at the end of term.

Are the course fees subsidised?

In 2022/23 the Language Centre will receive a grant of around 35% of its running costs from the University, which is the overall subsidy of the service. The Language Centre needs to raise the rest of its running costs from course fees (plus some premises rental income in the summer vacation). The course fees are set at four price points, in ascending price order, from the lowest prices for students, through staff, to related persons, and finally members of the general public. For term-time Academic English courses students’ college or department also make a significant contribution to the cost of the course so that we can limit the fees we charge to learners (see above).

What is the fee for Visiting and Recognised Students?

The fee is the student fee. We charge the same student fee for Matriculated, Visiting and Recognised students of Oxford University and its colleges.

How do I enrol on a programme organised specifically for my department/college?

Please contact your departmental or college course administrator.

Who will my tutor be?

Our tutors are specialists in Academic English.

What times are the classes?

Please see the timetables.

Our in-person courses run during the day (the Language Centre building is open between 08.45 and 17.00) but some of our online courses are in the early evening.

Where is the Language Centre?

We are at 12 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HT. Please see for more information.

Can I eat and drink at the Language Centre?

We provide water fountains and cups, but please bring your own water bottle to be environmentally friendly. There is no other drinks or food available to purchase. You are welcome to consume your own food and drink in the seating in the open area on the ground floor, but we ask that only water in sealed containers is taken into the classrooms.

Do you have wifi?

Yes, we are in an Eduroam zone for University students and staff. Members of the general public can access Sky's WiFi.


Related links

English language proficiency requirements

Prior to enrolling, students should have reached a minimum English language proficiency in line with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR). This differs between courses:

Course CEFR level
English for Partners B1+
Introduction to Academic Writing and Language B2
Key Issues in Academic Writing C1
Writing a Thesis or Dissertation C1
Using Corpora in your Field C1
Michaelmas Term Academic Spoken Communication and Pronunciation B2
Hilary Term Academic Spoken Communication and Pronunciation B2
Trinity Term Academic Spoken Communication and Pronunciation B2


Oxford University 2024/25 Term Dates

  • Michaelmas 2024: Sunday 13 October (Week 1) - Saturday 7 December (Week 8)
  • Hilary 2025: Sunday 19 January (Week 1) - Saturday 15 March (Week 8)
  • Trinity 2025: Sunday 27 April (Week 1) - Saturday 21 June (Week 8)

Contact us

The Language Centre
12 Woodstock Road

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