Online Pre-sessional English courses at Kingston University

Improve your English language skills

If you are an international or European Union student, and would like to improve your English language skills before you start your degree at Kingston, or any other university, this course is for you.

The Pre-sessional course is also an alternative pathway to meet the English language entry requirements for your chosen degree. This means that you can use the Pre-sessional English results to meet your main course language conditions instead of an English test such as IELTs. Improving your English language skills on the course will also enable you to do well in your studies, giving you a better chance to succeed.

Why choose this course?

Online Pre-sessional can be cheaper and more convenient than face-to-face courses. Our Online Pre-sessional students are:

  • successful: 97% of Online 2023 Students were able to progress to their main Kingston University courses.
  • happy: 96% of Online 2023 Students are satisfied with the course.

The courses will:

  • develop your English language skills so that you become more confident in your use of English and can participate more fully on your chosen university programme.
  • develop the study skills and independence you need as a learner, which is important when studying at British universities.
  • introduce you to the University systems, helping you know what to expect when you arrive.
  • introduce you to other students in class and on the Social Programme so you can make friends before you arrive.
Why choose this course?

Course details, dates and costs

There are four lengths of Pre-sessional English courses. Your International English Language Test score (IELTS) will determine which length you should apply for. Please contact the Pre-sessional Team for advice if you are unsure of which Pre-sessional course to choose.

Extended English course

Students with an English score of 2 IELTS points below the target entry requirement overall, or in an individual element, for their main university degree should apply for the Extended Pre-sessional English language course.

Summer 2024

  • Course: Extended Pre-sessional
  • Date: 18 March – 2 August (latest start 9am, 20 March)
  • Fee: £7,875
  • Applications are now closed

Please read the guidance notes before making your application

Long English course

Students with an English score of 1.5 IELTS points below the target entry requirement overall, or in an individual element, for their main university degree should apply for the Long Pre-sessional English language course.

Summer 2024

  • Course: Long Pre-sessional
  • Date: 22 April – 2 August (latest start 9am, 24 April)
  • Fee: £6,600
  • Applications are now closed

Please read the guidance notes before making your application

Medium English course

Students with an English score of 1 IELTS point below the target entry requirement overall, or in an individual element, for their main university degree should apply for the Medium Pre-sessional English language course.

Summer 2024

  • Course: Medium Pre-sessional
  • Date: 20 May – 2 August (latest start 9am, 24 May)
  • Fee: £5,170
  • Applications are now closed

Autumn 2024

  • Course: Medium Pre-sessional
  • Date: 16 September – 29 November (latest start 9am, 20 September)
  • Fee: £5,170
  • Apply for this course

Please read the guidance notes before making your application

Short English course

The Short Pre-sessional English course is for:

  • students with an English score of 0.5 IELTS point below the target entry requirement overall, or in an individual element, for their main university degree.
  • students with an Unconditional offer who have already met their main course English requirements and want to take the Pre-sessional course for practice.

Summer 2024

  • Course: Short Pre-sessional
  • Date: 24 June – 2 August (latest start 9am, 24 June)
  • Fee: £3,000
  • Applications are now closed

Autumn 2024

  • Course: Short Pre-sessional
  • Date: 21 October – 29 November (latest start 9am, 29 November)
  • Fee: £3,000
  • Apply for this course

Please read the guidance notes before making your application

The Pre-sessional courses allowed me to gain an early understanding of future studies such as presentation skills and Harvard citations. It is an excellent course.

Danyang Yu, Pre-sessional then MA Sustainable Design

Through the Pre-sessional course, I have adapted well to the English teaching mode, which has boosted my confidence in English expression.

Jingyi Xue, Pre-sessional then MA Graphic Design

About the Online Pre-sessional English course

Students who choose this course are ambitious and motivated. They come from a wide range of countries and go on to study a wide range of degree programmes at Kingston and other universities.

What you will study

Teaching is through online interactive classes and individual tutorials; it involves our Canvas online learning management system. 

Course sessions are held every weekday, between 8am and 2pm UK time with breaks. You will also undertake at least 30 hours of organised and independent study per week outside class times.

We keep classes small with a maximum of 16 students where possible.

Integrated skills and language (Extended and Long Pre-sessional blocks)

These intensive courses will form a foundation for future studies: attention will be given to reviewing and building on your existing language skills in a communicative and student-centred environment.

Academic skills and language (Medium and Short Pre-sessional blocks)

These classes will help you to develop your language and skills in understanding, approaching and undertaking academic work. You will take part in reading and writing as well as speaking and listening classes to complete a range of activities which will develop the skills you need for university study.

The classes will include attention to context-specific grammar and vocabulary alongside the conventions of academic writing, using sources, and critical thinking. They also focus on effective skills and strategies for speaking and listening which are essential in many different settings such as presentations, tutorials and seminars.

The courses take a flipped classroom approach – this means you work on preparation tasks and come to class ready to apply your learning to communicative and analytical tasks.


Weekly project submissions will give you the opportunity to apply your learning. Project tasks will be assessed, and you will receive regular feedback to help you learn. You will also practise reworking your written and spoken work based on feedback to improve your performance and positively learn from mistakes.

Independent study

Effective independent study is vital for success at British universities and working well in groups is also a key skill. We support you to develop these with structured weekly independent and group study tasks.


You will have an individual tutorial with your tutor every week. This gives you one-to-one support; allows you to discuss feedback on your work, discuss your progress, and plan aims to work on.

Course assessment

Set project tasks include presentations, essays, and listening and reading assessments. These are assessed by your tutors who provide you with detailed feedback on how to improve the quality of your work.

Our end of course assessments are accepted by UK Visas and Immigration for entry onto undergraduate and postgraduate courses. If you achieve the grades you need on the Pre-sessional English course, you will not be required to take an IELTS test after completing the course (if you intend to study at another institution, please check that they will accept our course results).

If you do not achieve the grades you need, we will offer you retake examinations and give you advice about the possibilities that are open to you.

Entry requirements

Please see course details for information about which length of Pre-sessional course to choose.

  • Minimum entry score: Students must have an IELTS scores above 4.0 overall or in individual skills to be eligible for our courses.
  • Minimum exit score: For courses with entry requirements lower than IELTS 5.5 (e.g. foundation courses), students will be placed on a Pre-sessional that allows them to achieve minimum exit grades of 5.5 equivalent in all skills.
  • Maximum exit requirements: Our course is not designed for students aiming for grades higher than IELTS 7.0.

Accepted tests

We accept tests from IELTS Academic and PTE Academic. See also details of other accepted English language tests and qualifications.

For details of equivalent scores in other acceptable qualifications ask the course administrator for advice.

Attendance and completion

If you are studying on one of our Online Pre-sessional courses, you can complete the course in your home country. Visas are not required to enrol.

To complete the online course, you will need:

  • a laptop or PC with at least 8GB of RAM
  • a webcam
  • a stable and reliable internet connection: internet speeds with a minimum bandwidth of 600kbps (up/down), with a recommended speed of 1.5 Mbps (up/down)
  • a suitable quiet place to study alone
  • a detachable webcam for assessments.

If you choose to travel to or within in the UK during your Pre-Sessional course, you should check the national government guidance before you start your journey. Please contact the course administrators if you wish to come to the UK and/or stay in Kingston University halls accommodation.

Successful completion

In order to successfully complete your course, you will:

  • attend a minimum of 80% of all timetabled sessions from day one of your Pre-sessional English course.
  • complete a minimum of 80% of organised and independent study tasks.
  • attain an average minimum score of 80% in the organised and independent study tasks where relevant and review and redo tasks to achieve this score.
  • pass the end of course assessments at the level required for entry onto your main course.

With hard work and regular attendance all students can successfully complete their Pre-sessional English course.

Staff teaching on this course

Our teaching staff and administrative team are highly skilled and experienced in working with international students. They are committed to helping you successfully complete the course.

How we support you

You will have access to a range of support services before you arrive in the UK and during your studies on the Pre-sessional English course.

Before you arrive

Pre-course information

Our course administrators will support you through the application process. They will let you know how to prepare for the first day of your course.

We will be in contact regularly with updates via the email address that you provide on your application form. Please make sure that you read their emails carefully.

Advice on immigration or other aspects of studying at Kingston

University advisors can assist you before (and during) your studies with any questions or problems you may have on a range of matters, including immigration and visa questions, accommodation, financial advice, tuition fee payment and cultural issues.

During the course

Main course visa applications

University advisors will assist Pre-sessional students who need to apply for a visa for their main courses at Kingston University.

Study support

We are determined to help you successfully complete your course. The Course Director will stay in touch with you weekly about your progress.

In your weekly tutorial you can discuss with your teacher any problems that you may have, and receive valuable advice and guidance.

You will be introduced to the online systems, including the University's Library services and the University's extensive e-resources.

After the course

Further English language development

During your main course, we offer you free English classes to support you throughout your studies at Kingston. These include skills, language and one-to-one tutorials. At the end of your Pre-sessional English course you will receive information about the range of classes available and advice on which classes to join.

What our students say

I think the course is great! Because it helped me obtain the corresponding English scores and allowed me to successfully enter Kingston to study.

Cecilia Feng, Pre-sessional then MA Creative and Cultural Industries: Design Marketing

I learned how to reference (Harvard style) before my other classmates in my actual course, which gave me advantage in some things.

Sara Gonzalo, Pre-sessional then BA Dance

The Pre-sessional course improve my English, especially academic English, and allowed me to get into the main course smoothly.

Xinwei Song, Pre-sessional then MA Creative Practice

The teacher team is friendly and helpful.

Zicheng Zhao, Pre-sessional then MMus Composing for Film & TV

The Pre-sessional improved my academic skills and prepared me well for the main course.

Kasvera Onurme, Pre-sessional then MSc Clinical Applications of Psychology

How to apply and guidance notes

Before you apply

If you expect to have other commitments during the course, such as work, university or family obligations, please contact us to let us know before you apply, so we can advise you.

How to complete your online application

Before completing the online application form, please read the guidance below carefully:

Apply links

You will find the apply links for each course in the course details section on this page.

Mode of attendance

The application form states that the Pre-sessional is part-time. This is purely for technical university systems reasons. Each Pre-sessional course is full-time, and you will be considered a full-time student. This will not affect your CAS.

Documents required

As part of your application you must submit the following documents:

  • A copy of your English language certificate – This must be within the last two years. You may use IELTS Academic or other selected qualifications. If you have a different qualification, the Course Administrators can let you know if we can accept it.
  • A copy of your passport
  • Any sponsorship documents (if applicable)

Please make sure that you have these documents to hand, and that you upload them before you submit your application.

Saving your application

You have the option to save your unfinished application and return to it at a later date. You have 28 days from the date you save your application to complete and submit it. If you do not submit your application within this period, it will be deleted.

Submitting your application

Please make sure that the application is fully completed before finally submitting your application. If your form is not complete, there will be a delay in processing your application.

Non-refundable deposit

Once you have submitted your application, we will email you to confirm that you are eligible for the Pre-sessional course. At this time we will also request a non-refundable deposit of £1,000. When you have paid this, we will start to process your application. Please see the payment details section on our website for advice on how to pay.

Please note: the deposit is treated as the first instalment of your course fees.


Once we have confirmed your eligibility for the Pre-sessional course and you have sent proof of payment of your registration fee, we will process your application. We will contact you via email, so please check your email address is correct.

Further help

If you have any questions about completing the application form, please contact us.

We look forward to receiving your application.


You will pay for your Pre-sessional English course via online payments. We will contact you with further instructions after your application is processed.

Cancellation and refund policy

If you wish to cancel your place on a Pre-sessional English course, please contact us as early as possible detailing your reasons for withdrawing. If you wish to request a refund, please do so by email (please see refund policy below).

    • If you cancel your place before the start of the course you applied for, we will refund all monies paid (less the non-refundable deposit).
    • If you wish to change your course after applying (for example to a shorter course), you must inform us before the start of the course you applied for.
    • Deposit refunds may be considered at the University's sole discretion if you don't receive your visa for reasons the University considers were beyond your control and you can provide sufficient documentary evidence. Please remember that late applications are made at your own risk.

Refund policy for cancellations made after your course has started

  • Cancellation during an extended course block – Refund price of long course
  • Cancellation during a long course block – Refund price of medium course
  • Cancellation during a medium course block – Refund price of short course
  • Cancellation during a short course block – No refund

Please note, the £1,000 deposit is non-refundable.

Withdrawal policy

You will be withdrawn from the Pre-sessional English course in cases where:

  • you have not arrived and enrolled by the latest start date.
  • your attendance, completion or attainment fulfilment falls below 80% from day one of your course.
Explore our virtual experience

Explore our virtual experience

Discover more about Kingston University with our virtual experience. You can explore student life, accommodation, the support that will be available to you as well as personalised on-demand content for your subject of interest.

Contact us

Please get in touch if you have any queries about the Pre-sessional English course – we are here to help.