Sussex Centre for Language Studies

Course structure and assessments for 10 and 5 week pre-sessional courses

Pre-sessional courses are intensive academic development courses taught by experienced tutors from the Sussex Centre for Language Studies.

There are 21 hours of class time per week. The classes are divided into three main areas of academic development:

  • Academic Culture
  • Academic Practice, including general study skills
  • Academic Language, to develop appropriate and accurate academic English.

Weeks 1-5 of the 10-week course: the main focus is on developing language accuracy alongside the development of some essential study skills.

Assessment: the assessments in this section of the course are formative and include: an annotated bibliography, short writing tasks, tabular notes, mini presentations and oral reformulations.

Weeks 5-10 of the 10-week course and weeks 1-5 of the five-week course include input and teaching to develop academic practice and academic culture as well as continuing to develop the academic language skills necessary for undergraduate or postgraduate study. The courses include lectures from Sussex academic faculty and outside speakers.

Assessment: Class tests to assess reading and listening skills; a poster presentation and continual assessment of class based contribution to assess speaking skills; a short essay to assess writing skills and academic practice and accuracy in written language. There are also two mandatory, but  non-contributory assessments: a plagiarism awareness quiz and a cultural awareness quiz.

In addition to developing your overall command of English, a pre-sessional course will help you to develop good academic practice, including

  • note-taking in lectures
  • critical reading
  • writing synthesised summaries
  • undertaking research projects
  • writing academic assignments, such as essays and scientific reports
  • academic skills such as citation and referencing.