Information for Departments and Colleges

The information below describes the courses and students kindly sponsored by departments, faculties and colleges, and the associated fees which they pay.

Academic English

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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.

For more information about the types of Academic English courses on offer, and the course content, please visit the English pages.

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

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 is currently £60 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 £70 per term per course.


The University Language Centre offers a 6 week Summer Pre-sessional English Course for incoming international students each summer. 

If you have prospective students who would benefit from intensive English practice before their course starts it is recommended that they enrol in our summer pre-sessional course. Many students on the course have already achieved their University langauage requirements. These courses are extremely popular, and visa processing times must be taken into account, so please ensure that your students apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Please see the Summer Pre-Sessional Course page for more information on the course.

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. This course will raise students' overall 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 and raise this more than 0.5. The Language Centre would not, however, recommend accepting students who have scores of less than 6 in any individual component. Students who require an increase of a full point in IELTs could additionally be advised to take a specific IELTs course at the Language Centre prior to completing the Summer Pre-sessional English Course. For more detailed information and advice, please visit the Language Centre website:  or email


General and Academic modern language pathways (formerly LASR)


Students applying to the General and Academic modern languages pathways, just as for the predecessor LASR courses, may ask their college, department or faculty to sponsor a Priority place for them, based on their strong academic need. This Priority system does not apply to Fast Track pathways or Academic English.

The Priority system allows colleges, faculties and departments to support their students by guaranteeing them a place in the language class that they need through paying the 2018-19 course fee of £80 per term. The student obtains a Priority application form via the Language Centre’s online booking systemand must then secure two college/department/faculty counter-signatories: the first signature vouches for the student’s academic need and the second signature that the institution will pay the course fee. Students must return the form to the Language Centre by the deadline shown on the form to ensure their Priority place is reserved for them.

The Language Centre will invoice colleges, faculties and departments for the fees for students whose Priority application forms they have signed, soon after the start of each term.

Fast Track modern language pathway (formerly OPAL)


The Fast Track programme replaces the former OPAL programme, and the same partial reimbursement system for students remains in place. The fee for the 2018-19 academic year payable by students is £400. Colleges may consider offering a reimbursement of up to 50% of the fee to students taking Fast Track (formerly OPAL) courses, payable on completion of the course at the end of Trinity Term. Please note this reimbursement system does not apply to the General and Academic language courses.

More information is available on the downloadable reimbursement form for use between the student and their college, which can be found here

Tailored Courses

For departments, faculties and colleges who have identified  particular language learning needs among their students, the Language Centre provides courses tailored to the relevant students. Over the course of 2018/19, it is expected that the following tailored courses will be available:

Modern languages

History of Art

  • French for History of Art Undergraduates Beginners
  • Italian for History of Art Undergraduates Beginners


  • German for Classical Archaeology Postgraduates Beginners
  • German for Classics Postgraduates Beginners
  • French for Classics Postgraduates Beginners
  • Italian for Classics Postgraduates Beginners


  • French for History Undergraduates (2 stages)
  • German for History Undergraduates (1 stage)
  • French for History Postgraduates (3 stages)
  • German for History Postgraduates (2 stages)
  • Italian for History Postgraduates Beginners


  • French for Humanities Postgraduates (2 stages)
  • German for Humanities Postgraduates (2 stages)
  • Italian for Humanities Postgraduates Beginners


  • Dutch for Law Undergraduates Beginners


  • French for Mathematics Undergraduates (2 stages)
  • German for Mathematics Undergraduates (1 stage)

Chemistry and Physics

  • French for Chemistry and Physics Undergraduates (2 stages)
  • German for Chemistry and Physics Undergraduates (1 stage)


  • German for Theology Postgraduates Beginners

Academic English

  • Academic Writing for Blavatnik School of Goverment Students
  • Thesis and Dissertation Writing for Material Scientists
  • Academic Writing for St Peter's
  • Academic Communication for St Hugh's

If your department, faculty or college has language training needs, we would welcome you contacting us for a discussion as follows:

The Language Centre will invoice the sponsoring department, faculty or college for the cost of the course shortly before or at the start of the course. Students from the department/faculty/college attending the course do not pay a course fee to the Language Centre.

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