English language support

We offer a range of English courses to help you and build your confidence using English.

To study at a British university, you need a high level of English to write academic essays and reports, listen to lectures and take notes, summarise academic texts, give academic presentations and take part in discussions and seminars.

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 International students study outside our library

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More about our English language requirements

English language cafe
A friendly and informal drop-in cafe for all international and home students and staff.
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If your language isn't at the required level, we have a range of courses for you before you start your academic programme. They will help build your confidence using English, adapt to life in the UK, make friends and get to know the University and local area.

What level do I need?

Check our English language requirements to study here

We specify our English language requirements in terms of:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
    IELTS test

TOEFL, Pearson PTE (Academic), Cambridge English scale and Trinity Integrated Skills in English taken overseas are no longer on the UK Visas and Immigration approved secure English language tests list.

We will continue to accept these tests for admission to programmes at degree level and above in conjunction with a video interview on Skype or equivalent. Trinity Integrated Skills in English tests, taken in the UK at UKVI approved centres, continue to be accepted for visa purposes for study at all levels.
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For some countries, where the education system is in English, we accept other qualifications. Please visit your country page to check if we accept your qualifications.

What if my level is lower than I need?

You can take one of our pre-sessional courses as long as your IELTS level is at least 4.0. If your level is below this, you will need to take English classes in your own country.

What course do I need?
Current level
You need
IELTS 5.5 or 6
You need
IELTS 4 28 weeks
IELTS 4.5 18 weeks 28 weeks
IELTS 5 10 weeks 18 weeks
IELTS 5.5 5 weeks 10 weeks
IELTS 6 5 weeks

For the pre-sessional English courses under tier 4 visa, the minimum band score must be:

  • IELTS - 4.0 in each band

Pre-sessional English courses

Now that you know which course you need, find out more about it.

In-sessional English courses

Teaching and assessment methods in the UK are often very different to your home university. Even students who meet the English language requirement often need extra support with academic English and study skills. If English isn't your first language, we ask you to have an assessment when you arrive - we'll give you details when you enrol.

If you score less than 70%, we place you on our free in-sessional academic English and study skills course (one two-hour class per week). When you complete it, you receive a University Certificate in Continuing Education in English for Learning - or 10 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits for Erasmus students.

International foundation years

A one-year programme that combines English language with some subject-specific modules.

British Council