Pre-sessional Course in Academic English

The University of Oxford Language Centre is pleased to offer an Online Pre-sessional English course. This six-week intensive programme provides students with the necessary academic writing and speaking skills to prepare them for studying in English at Oxford. The course is suitable for both postgraduates and undergraduates. International academics, and students preparing to study at universities other than Oxford, are also welcome to apply.

Application deadline

Oxford University offer-holders: 10 July 2023

All other applicants: 3 July 2023

Course dates

Monday 17 July 2023 to Friday 25 August 2023

Over the weeks, students will learn to write accurate, well-organised papers in a style appropriate to their discipline, and to use a range of reading techniques to improve their critical reading and note-taking skills. Students will practise their spoken English, learning how to express their ideas clearly and concisely, and to interact effectively and appropriately with others in seminar style classes and during presentations. Furthermore, students will receive advice and practice on improving their listening skills. Specifically, the Online Summer Pre-sessional English Course will help students:

  • Write academic English for different audiences and purposes
  • Understand grammatical aspects of language that pose difficulty for non-native writers
  • Read more effectively, with increased efficiency and speed
  • Improve their pronunciation and learn to speak confidently in lectures, seminars and tutorials
  • Develop academic study skills such as searching for information and referencing sources

The 2023 Pre-sessional course fee will be £2750.

The course will be delivered through online lectures, recorded by our Academic English team and expert departmental lecturers. It will be supported with live classes, small seminars, and one-to-one and group tutorials with English tutors (using video conferencing software).

These real-time classes will be based around interactive exercises and collaborative tasks, and students will be expected to research and prepare written and oral assignments in their discipline of study. Comprehensive feedback will be provided by tutors via videoconferencing software and the Oxford Virtual Learning Environment.


Radcliffe Camera at sunset


The Oxford Online Pre-sessional offers a stimulating introduction to academic and social life at the University of Oxford. Pre-sessional students will discover the history, traditions and unique culture of one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities, while making new friends.


"The course exposed my shortcomings both in spoken and written English, and it provided a helpful guide on how to improve myself. I feel better prepared for the course in my discipline."

                   Wei Dong, China, Magister Juris (MJur) Law

There are a number of reasons to choose the Oxford Online Pre-sessional:

  • You are able to follow the course from the convenience of your own home, and do not need to travel to Oxford
  • The course is specifically designed for online delivery. Using cutting edge technology and software, the course follows the same curriculum, and offers the same quality of experience, as our in-person offering
  • You will not miss out on personal feedback and social interactions. Over the weeks, you will:
    • receive regular personalised tutorials and feedback with University of Oxford language tutors
    • have the opportunity to meet and socialise with students from around the world in a virtual classroom environment
  • The course is open to all students with conditional or unconditional offers from Oxford University
  • Graduate offer holders can use the English language Pre-sessional Course to meet their English language condition provided:
    • They have completed an English language test within the past two years
    • That result is no more than 0.5 IELTS points overall lower than the Standard or Higher level required (equivalencies for other tests can be found here
    • That result is no more than 1.0 IELTS points (or equivalent) lower than the overall score in any of the four individual components (Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening) for the Standard or Higher level required
  • Offer holders will need to provide evidence of their English language test result before being admitted to the Pre-sessional course. The successful completion of the Pre-sessional at the required level will automatically satisfy the English language condition and assessment will be completed in time for visa applications
  • An offer holder who narrowly fails to pass the Pre-sessional at the required level for their academic course may, at the discretion of the department with the agreement of the college, be allowed to make good their deficiency in the relevant skill by taking an appropriate course in-term in Academic English at the Language Centre. Both the department and student will pay their usual share of the course fee 
  • Graduate offer holders who wish to use the English language Pre-sessional Course to meet their English language condition should contact their academic department before enrolling on the course to notify them of their intentions
  • The course will also accept international academics and students intending to study at other universities
  • Oxford University requires evidence of ability in English for admission to its courses. Please see the University’s English language requirements for undergraduate study and postgraduate study.
  • A visa is not required for the online Pre-sessional course

The assessments will cover all four key skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and will take place throughout the course. 

Key information

  • Length: 6-week intensive course
  • Mode of delivery: Online
  • Dates: 17 July–25 August 2023
  • Cost: £2750
  • Terms and Conditions


Join the course


Application deadline

Oxford University offer-holders: 10 July 2023

All other applicants: 3 July 2023

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