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Pre-sessional English and International Foundation programmes

In addition to our year-round study skills programme, Birkbeck offers a range of English and academic skills courses. If you need to improve your academic English skills before you start your degree in order to meet our English language requirements, we advise you to consider taking one of our online pre-sessional academic English courses.

Please note: our online pre-sessional courses are designed to help students meet up to a 6.5 (or equivalent) IELTS standard entry requirement. If you have applied for a programme with higher English Language entry requirements, please as you might need to retake your English exam.

You can read more about the different pathways below and email us if you wish to enrol. You must include your full name, applicant number and a copy of your most recent English language test results in your email.

PRE-SESSIONAL ACADEMIC ENGLISH COURSES

Birkbeck offers three different pathways of online pre-sessional academic English courses designed to help you cope with all aspects of student life in the UK: from understanding lectures and academic texts to writing assignments, speaking in seminars and giving presentations.

Your existing English language test results will determine the most appropriate course for you, allowing you to fully prepare for your studies at Birkbeck. You can learn more about each pathway below.

PROGRESSION TO YOUR DEGREE

  • If you already have an IELTS score (or equivalent) of at least 5.5 and with at least 5.5. in all sub scores, you will not need to take any formal assessment at the end of the language course. Completing the pre-sessional will enable you study your chosen programme at Birkbeck. 
  • If you are asked to attend the 12-week course or if you have any sub scores below 5.5 in your IELTS test (or equivalent), you will need to sit an in-house English language test once you complete the pre-sessional course. Providing you are successful, you will be presented with a certificate of results, which you can then use as a supporting document for your UKVI student visa application. Our International Student Administration team will be able to guide you throughout your visa application, offering you one-to-one meetings.

THE PATHWAYS

  • Four-week course
    • Dates: 16 August - 10 September 2021
    • Fees: £1800
    • IELTS entry requirements 
      • If you scored 6.0 or above with at least 5.5 in all sub scores, you do not need to take an external English test for visa purposes.
      • If you scored 6.0 with sub scores lower than 5.5, you need to sit and pass an internal test or take an approved English test.
  • Eight-week course
    • Dates: 19 July - 10 September 2021
    • Fees: £3100
    • IELTS entry requirements 
      • If you scored 5.5 with at least 5.5 in all sub scores, you do not need to take an external English test for visa purposes.
      • If you scored 5.5 with sub scores lower than 5.5, you need to sit and pass an internal test or take an approved English test.
  • Twelve-week course
    • Dates: 21 June - 10 September 2021
    • Fees: £4400
    • IELTS entry requirements
      •  If you scored 5.0 with sub scores lower than 5.5, you need to sit and pass an internal test or take an approved English test.
    • Disclaimer: A minimum of eight students is required for this course. All applicants will be contacted by the 11 June 2021 if we are unable to run this pathway. 

COURSE STRUCTURE

  • Classes will be delivered from Monday to Friday 10am-12pm BST (participants are asked to check the timings for their time zones). All teaching will take place via the interactive online platform Collaborate and you are required to attend all classes. 
  • Each course has been designed to include 15 additional hours of self-directed learning per week. We understand that you may have other commitments to uphold, and the self-directed learning content can be completed flexibly, before or after classes or over the weekends. This content includes recorded lectures, reading and writing activities. You will also receive detailed feedback from the teacher throughout the course on your progress.
  • There will be many opportunities for you to interact outside of the lectures, and you will be expected to work together in groups on a variety of tasks. This will help you to connect socially with your colleagues and will allow you to make friends before your degree studies begin. You will also have weekly meetings with current Birkbeck students and be given the opportunity to learn more about British - and London's - culture. 

MEET THE TEACHER

  • Melanie Ferreira has been teaching international students from all over the world for over 25 years in the UK, France, Spain, Italy and China. She specialises in working with students to develop their academic English skill at university level. 

JOIN OUR WEBINARS

INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION PROGRAMMES

ONCAMPUS LONDON

  • Birkbeck welcomes applications from students who have successfully completed the Undergraduate Foundation programme and the Master’s Foundation programme, and some of our courses guarantee a place to successful students.
    • ONCampus Undergraduate Foundation programme/Master's Foundation programme: If do not meet the academic entry requirements for direct admission to your chosen programme at Birkbeck, you may benefit from joining the Undergraduate Foundation Programme or the Master's Foundation Programme offered at the ONCampus London centre. Based on the Birkbeck campus, you will have complete access to Birkbeck facilities - libraries, online resources and laboratories.
    • The Foundation Campus International Diploma is a 1-year (3 term) programme that offers successful students guaranteed progression to Year 2 of a range of business-related undergraduate degrees at Birkbeck.

IMPROVING YOUR STUDY SKILLS

  • In addition to our year-round study skills programme, there is a range of English and academic skills courses which are free to use. Check our online study skills materials and interactive tutorials and work through them at your own pace before and during your course to help you succeed.