English Language Teaching Unit

Presessional FAQ's

Please check our presessional frequently asked questions below. 


Who is presessional for?

It's for anyone looking to improve their English language and UK academic skills, particularly in order to study a degree at the University of Leicester. The presessional programmes will help you improve your English and meet the language requirement of your undergraduate or postgraduate academic programme.

Presessional programmes are academically challenging and designed to help you succeed on your future academic programme.

What is the minimum age to study on presessional?

The minimum age to study on presessional is 18 years old.

What is the course overview?

Find your preferred programme of study on our course pages and click on the Learn more and apply button to see the course overview and structure.

How much does it cost?

£3,975 per term (10 weeks) in 2023-24. This includes all tuition and course materials.

Do you offer any scholarships for presessional?

We offer Sanctuary scholarships for the presessional English programmes to people from refugee backgrounds in the UK who meet our entry requirements, subject to availability. Sanctuary seekers who would like to apply for presessional should complete our needs analysis form.


What English tests are accepted?

For our on-campus presessional programmes, students should take a Secure English Language Test such as IELTS or PTE. For online presessional programmes, we can accept a wider range of tests. Please refer to our presessional entry levels page for more detail.

Can I change from online to on campus?

Students are not able to switch between online and on campus courses and vice versa. This is because the online and on campus courses follow different programme structures which means that they are not interchangeable. They also have different visa requirements. It is not possible for a student to use a visa obtained for the on-campus course for any other reason than to take the on-campus course, doing otherwise would make the visa invalid.

Can I defer my place?

An offer for a presessional course can be deferred for a maximum of one year, provided you have a valid IELTS at the time of the start date (an IELTS certificate is valid for a duration of two years). You are also typically able to defer an academic offer for a year. 

Integrated offer

In order to qualify for an integrated offer, students need to meet all conditions of their academic programme but the language requirement. Students also need to meet the B2 requirement (a minimum of 5.5 IELTS or equivalent in every test component - reading, listening, writing and speaking). The range of English qualifications accepted to be considered for an integrated offer is the same as for academic programmes. For instance, we can accept an academic IELTS. 

Please note that you will still need to complete the presessional English programme successfully (i.e. meet the language condition of your academic offer) in order to be able to start your academic programme.

Covid and travel rules

What Covid measures are in place?

We follow university and government policies, which are continually under review as the situation changes and develops. You can find more information on our university wide strategy, which directly responds to the government covid policy.


We always advise that you check the latest travel guidance. Please make sure that you check the guidance on entering the UK.

Study and assessments

What is the class size?

A maximum of 16 students.

Will I meet with a personal tutor throughout my course?

You will have a personal tutor to guide you through the module in one-to-one tutorials. You will also have plenty of interaction with your tutors in class.

What is the time commitment?

Online and on-campus presessional modules are full time intensive study of 35 hours per week.

Students must be available for all lessons and be able to do further time in Guided Independent Study. The following are not accepted as mitigating circumstances if students do not meet the core task or attendance requirements: 

  • Childcare issues: students must make arrangements to care for their children in lesson time. 
  • Employment: we strongly recommend that presessional students do not continue a job during the course.  

What days will I have classes? What happens when there is a bank holiday?

Presessional classes take place from Monday to Friday. When a bank holiday or university closure day falls during term time, the teaching timetable may be adjusted. The full list of bank holidays and university closure days is published on the University's website and updated every year.

Please note that some religious and cultural celebrations such as Eid, Diwali or Lunar New Year are not bank holidays in the UK. 

Will I have to submit assignments throughout the module? How much homework will I have?

Presessional is a full-time course, and so you should be prepared to dedicate around 35 hours per week to your studies. This time will include: 

  • Classes and tutorials
  • Working on coursework assignments (you have to complete all the core tasks to complete the course. Modules C, D and E also include a project, which is a long piece of work in your academic subject area)
  • Guided Independent Study 
  • Self-directed independent study, where you decide on priority areas for further study, and seek out resources to help you develop in these areas. Your personal tutor will be able to guide you. 

What assessments can I expect?

Students will be assessed in all four skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking) in week 10 of each module.

Modules C, D and E students will also need to complete a project, which is a long piece of work in your academic subject area.

On Campus

Will I have enough time to get my visa for the presessional programme?

The application and payment deadlines are set up with the visa application timeframe in mind. As long as you complete every step by the deadlines, everything should be fine.

What if my visa arrives late? 

If needed, students can join the course up to 1 week after the start date of the programme. If students need to join later than 1 week after the start date, we will need to review the situation on a case-by-case basis.

If you are not able to start your course on time, please email eltu@le.ac.uk to let us know as soon as possible.

Which visa should I get?

Students should apply for a Student visa (formerly called Tier 4). For this, you’ll need to have taken a Secure English Language Test (IELTS or PTE). We also accept students who have a dependent visa valid for the whole duration of the presessional programme.

Can presessional students stay in university accommodation?

Yes, presessional students can stay in university accommodation. For more information and to apply, please check the student accommodation online portal. If you have any questions, you can contact the accommodation team.

What access to facilities do presessional students have?

Presessional students enjoy the same access as other university students. This includes free access to the David Wilson library, Careers Development Service, Students Union and study spaces. Students can also access our two sports centres for a fee or choose to join one of the many student clubs or societies.

Will I be close to my department?

The ELTU is centrally located on the main campus of the university, in the Charles Wilson building. This means that it is close to academic departments and students support services. To see where we are based in relation to your academic department, please see this map. https://www.le.ac.uk/maps/

How do presessional students become accustomed to the city and university?

On registration day, new presessional students will be taken on a campus tour by one of their tutors. All ELTU staff are generally happy to answer students’ enquiries about life in Leicester. Your programme administrator will send you a weekly social engagement bulletin to let you know about extra-curricular activities or events you can take part in at the university or in the city. We can also signpost you to other services, and explain how you can register with a doctor or with the police.

How can a presessional student make new friends?

You will meet and interact with other students through our interactive classes. We also organise some extra-curricular activities such as English CLUB and let you know about other opportunities to meet other people and make friends. It’s always a good idea to join one of the many student societies hosted by the Students’ Union at the start of the academic year.

At the end of presessional

What happens when students complete the presessional programme?

Once you’ve completed the presessional English programme, we will send your results to the Admissions team. If you have met the English condition of your academic offer and you have no other outstanding conditions, you will then receive an unconditional offer from the university. This means that you will not need to take another English test after completing the course.

When will I need to change my visa? 

If you are studying the presessional course on a Student visa (formerly called Tier 4 visa), you will need to apply for a new Student visa for your degree programme. You will be able to renew your visa from the UK once you’ve received your new CAS number. You will just need to show proof that you have applied for the new visa in order to be able to register for your academic programme.

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