Pre-sessional English online courses

Find out how to apply for an online pre-sessional English course at Sussex.

Why study Pre-sessional English online?

On this course you will:

  • study from the comfort of your own home with live teaching sessions that suit your time zone
  • save money on accommodation costs and living expenses
  • join a community of like-minded students also progressing onto Sussex degree courses.

Apply now.

About the online course

This course is for you if English is not your first language and you need to improve your language skills before starting your undergraduate or postgraduate degree at Sussex.

Choosing the right course for you will depend on your incoming language level, and the level you need to achieve for your chosen degree.

Learn more about the courses below, including tuition fees, application deadlines and entry requirements. 

  • 8-week Pre-sessional

    When: 1 July 2024 - 23 August 2024

    Tuition fee: £3,224

    Application deadline: 17 June 2024

    Entry requirements: 

    • for conditional degree offers of IELTS 6.0 – IELTS 5.0 overall, with no less than 5.0 in every section (or equivalent)
    • for conditional degree offers of IELTS 6.5 – IELTS 5.5 overall, with 5.5 in Writing and Listening, and no less than 5.0 in Reading and Speaking (or equivalent)
    • for conditional degree offers of IELTS 7.0 – IELTS 6.0 overall, with 6.0 in Writing and Listening, and no less than 5.5 in Reading and Speaking (or equivalent).

    If you do not meet the requirements stated above, or have alternative English language qualifications, contact us at:

    Who is the course for?

    Our online eight-week Pre-sessional course is designed for international students who plan to study an undergraduate, postgraduate taught or postgraduate research degree at Sussex, and whose English language skills have not met the required level for direct entry onto their degree course.

    Course structure

    The course content draws on three essential academic areas:

    • academic language
    • academic practice
    • academic culture.

    These three areas are interconnected and provide transferable skills. They are also linked to the final assessments and your future studies at Sussex.

    You will study online using our teaching and learning platform called Canvas.

    You will be assigned to a Pre-sessional group of students within Canvas, and the teaching sessions will take place within the same or similar time zone as the other students in the group. Each group is assigned a dedicated tutor, who will lead and organise sessions. They’ll also help you to settle into your studies, feel comfortable with online learning and build a community.

    During the course, you will be expected to access the Pre-sessional Canvas site regularly in order to complete the allocated weekly sessions. You should familiarise yourself with Canvas as soon as the course begins. The group tutor will help with this during the first week of study.

  • Learning outcomes

    By the end of the course, you will be able to:

    • deal effectively with the reading requirements of your University course. This includes the ability to engage in critical reading of secondary sources at a post-intermediate level
    • deal effectively with the listening requirements of your proposed University course. This includes the ability to understand and take notes on academic lectures and use the notes to answer questions related to the lecture, at a post-intermediate level
    • engage in spoken communication in an academic setting and answer questions on a subject related to your future degree, as well as actively engage in seminar discussions on topics of academic interest, at a post-intermediate level
    • write well-structured essays that are linguistically accurate and develop an argument on topics of general interest at post-intermediate level
    • accurately observe academic conventions of citing and referencing when paraphrasing, summarising, and quoting.

How to apply

There are two ways you can apply for a Pre-sessional English course in two ways: 

If you are a scholarship holder or sponsored student, you must apply for the online Pre-sessional course via our online shop. You will need to show evidence of your scholarship or sponsorship. 

Already applied?

If you've already been accepted on to a Pre-sessional English course, you can pay the remainder of your fees. If you pay by bank transfer you must email the receipt to

Progression on to your degree

  • On successfully passing the online Pre-sessional course, the University Admissions department will send you the CAS statement for your degree.
  • Our immigration advisers can help with the Student Visa application from the UK.

 Terms and conditions

Late applications cannot be guaranteed a place on the course. There can be no refund or discount for late arrivals or early leavers. Please note you have 14 days after you have paid in which to cancel and receive a refund for tuition deposits. However, refunds will only be made if cancellation notice is received 4 weeks (28 days) before the start of the course. In the case of a refund, an administration charge of £50 will be made.

If you can provide proof of testing positive for Covid 10 days or less before the course starts we will give you a full refund.

If your country, or the UK, will not allow you to travel due to Covid, we will give you a full refund.

The University will be closed on UK public holidays and other University minimum service days. No teaching will take place on these days. See the full list of closure and minimum service days

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