Summer Pre-Sessional English Course

Pre-sessional course and fee information for summer 2019 will be updated by the end of October, please check back to enrol online.

The Oxford University Language Centre is pleased to offer this preparatory course for new international students. The six-week intensive programme is designed to provide the necessary skills to succeed in the English-speaking academic environment. Its focus on language proficiency, academic writing and study skills prepares students to perform at a high level in their upcoming degree courses.

Visiting academics are also welcome on the course.

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Students will benefit from the tuition of expert tutors to improve their spoken and written command of English. This will include:

  • Developing oral communication skills through pronunciation training and active participation in seminars
  • The opportunity to conduct research and give a formal presentation in the student's specific area of study
  • Using online and offline resources to identify and locate academic material, and effectively incorporate scholarly opinions into their written work
  • Learning the fundamentals of advanced academic writing
  • Receiving regular individual feedback from the tutors

The pre-sessional course also provides an opportunity to learn about British culture, visit places of interest in and around Oxford, and make friends with students from around the world. This social aspect of the course is very important, as it makes it easier to integrate into university life from the beginning of the academic year.

The pre-sessional course was one of the most exciting experiences of my study period in Oxford. Not only did my English improve but I also had the chance to visit mind-blowing places in the countryside, which are usually difficult to reach by yourself. Most of all, I enjoyed making friends from all over the world and having conversations with them in English!’

Italian/Austrian student, MSc Economic and Social History

‘The most valuable part of the course for me was to get used to thinking and speaking in English. The listening classes were useful, especially listening to recorded lectures and broadcasts and taking notes. This course helped me to settle in at Oxford.’

Icelandic student, MJuris Law

Students will develop skills in:

  • Academic Writing
  • Reading texts more quickly and effectively
  • Pronunciation and Communicative Skills
  • Giving formal, academic presentations
  • Understanding lectures and improving note-taking
  • Interacting in social situations and networking

‘I really value different aspects of the course that I think are going to be very useful for me to apply during my degree, such as doing presentations, reading texts quickly and taking notes, and of course writing a text properly.’

Paraguayan student, MSc Latin American Studies

‘Excellent teaching and facilities.’

Taiwanese student, DPhil Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics

The course lasts for six weeks, from Monday 6 August to Friday 14 September 2018.

The summer Pre-Sessional is a full-time intensive course, geared towards improving the academic literacy and English proficiency of students in a compressed time-frame. This is achieved through:

  • 20 hours of tuition per week at the University Language Centre
  • Small groups, usually ranging from 12 to 14 students per class
  • Participating in organised weekly excursions and activities
  • Full access to the facilities of the Language Centre, such as: social space, wifi and networked computers, as well as the library’s study rooms and multimedia materials

The total cost of the course is £3,250. It includes all tuition, materials and excursions.

In order to secure a place, a deposit of £350 is payable on receipt of your offer. This deposit is non-refundable after 14 days from the date of payment. To cancel your booking and receive a refund of your deposit within that 14 day period, please email:

  • The course is open to all students with conditional or unconditional offers from Oxford University
  • Applicants need to demonstrate their current level of English prior to commencing the pre-sessional course. English tests recognised by the Language Centre include: IELTS, TOEFL, CAE and CPE
  • Oxford University requires evidence of ability in English for admission to its courses. While the pre-sessional may be a condition for entrance onto a degree course, it is not an alternative to the test scores required by the University. For details of the University’s English language requirements for undergraduate study, click here and for graduate study, click here
  • Information for students who need to apply for a Tier 4 visa



Students studying at Oxford University from October often secure accommodation in their own colleges for the summer pre-sessional period. In the first instance, students should contact their college as soon as possible to enquire about the availability, and cost, of rooms for August and September.

If college accommodation is not available, or for students intending to study at other universities, the Language Centre can provide information about suitable student accommodation in Oxford.

Applications are now open for the 2018 Pre-Sessional Course in English.

Click on the button below to apply, you will need to complete and submit the form in one session. It is not possible to save your work and return to it.

Applicants are required to complete the three forms below and upload these as part of their application. You will need to attach these before you submit your form.

As places are limited, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Please send any queries to

Data protection notice and declaration form
Ehtnicity and diversity form
Disability form

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