English Language Teaching Unit

HeadStart+ Programme

The HeadStart+ Programme is a two-week preparation course aimed at giving international students training in key academic skills in preparation for university study in the UK.

The HeadStart+ Programme is ideal for international students who wish to develop essential skills and familiarise themselves with UK study culture in a supportive environment. It is designed to give students a head start in their academic studies, avoid common pitfalls and inspire them to succeed.

Entry requirements

An unconditional offer for a University of Leicester academic programme
Visa requirement No additional visa is required
Delivery mode On campus
Course dates 9-20 September 2024
Application deadline 26 August 2024
Acceptance deadline 28 August 2024
Course fees £575

Course overview

Our HeadStart+ Programme gives international students a flying start in their studies, by preparing them in all areas of written work that they are expected to complete during their degree. You will learn how to write an academic essay in your field of study and will receive feedback not only on your language, but also your development of UK academic cultural competencies. 

Course aims

The HeadStart+ Programme helps students:

  • To prepare students for written assignments and projects that they will be expected to complete during their academic studies.
  • To develop students’ subject-specialist language and study skills in preparation for academic courses.
  • To give an understanding of differences in academic values and expectations between the UK and students’ home countries.
  • To make students familiar with University of Leicester's teaching methodologies, facilities and resources.

Course content

Students will get personalised support in planning, researching, drafting and writing a 1,500 word essay in their area of academic study. The process is covered from start to finish with topics including:

  • Understanding the question
  • Research
  • Planning
  • Critical thinking
  • Referencing and citation
  • Drafting
  • Editing
  • Receiving feedback

Course features

  • A total of 30 hours of classes and tutorials. These will be delivered face to face at the University of Leicester. Attendance of these classes is compulsory.
  • 20 hours of guided activities and independent study (researching, planning and writing a draft).
  • Maximum class size of 16, allowing students to learn through interaction with the tutor and other students.
  • Friendly and supportive tutors with expertise and experience in teaching study skills.
  • High-quality materials delivered on the University’s online learning platform.
  • Personalised support and feedback, including in areas such as pronunciation and grammar.
  • Students will be registered students of the University of Leicester and have full access to the online resources of the award winning David Wilson library.
  • Certificate of completion.
  • Students will be able to register in advance their main degree programme and familiarize themselves with campus and the universities procedures.

Students' testimonials

"I’m very much pleased that I attended this course. I now feel little more confident about my writing skills and I have also understood where I should focus more. It helped me to understand the UK academic culture much better."

"This course gave me a great insight into the UK university education system in such a short period of time and also gave me a meaningful experience in talking with other international students before my study begins."

"Thanks to the tutors, I learnt how to prepare for an academic writing project. The best part is that we have different ways to communicate with tutors, by forum, email and so on."

What happens after I finish HeadStart+?

After you start your Undergraduate degree, Master's degree or PhD at the University of Leicester, you can continue to receive help from the English Language Teaching Unit. The ELTU provides a range of support classes and tutorials for international students studying at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.


Apply for HeadStart+ 2024

Email enquiries can be sent to cite@le.ac.uk.

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