Professional course Pre-Sessional English Programme

Entry year
Course code
Professional/Short Course
Creative and Cultural Industries
Frenchay Campus
Programme leader
David Phelan and Maria Teasdale

All face-to-face teaching at the University of the West of England has now been cancelled for the remainder of the 2019/20 academic year. Our Pre-sessional programme (PSE) will now be delivered online.

If you have an offer to study, conditional on your English language, or if you are already holding an offer for a Pre-sessional English course, we will contact you with information on how the online Pre-sessional course will take place and what you need to do to confirm your place on the course.

Page last updated 11 September 2020


The Pre-Sessional English programme (PSE) course is designed for international students who need to acquire the level of English language skills required to study at UWE Bristol.

The course will enable you to cope with all aspects of studying and living in the UK, including understanding lectures and academic texts, writing assignments, speaking in seminars and giving presentations.

At the end of the course, you will be required to pass an in-house assessment in order to progress to your degree programme.

Our Pre-sessional English Language programme is offered in a variety of durations depending on your current English ability level.

You can either attend a Standard PSE for 18 hours a week, or an Intensive PSE for 22.5 hours a week.

Please note that all Standard PSE courses move to an intensive format in the final five weeks of the course, with 22.5 hours of classes per week.

If you have an unconditional offer from UWE Bristol, we offer an English Language and Academic Culture course (ELAC) free of charge to all international fee paying students.

This course prepares you academically and socially for life in the UK.

Entry requirements

The length of the PSE you require will depend on your current IELTS score and the score you require to progress to your main programme of study. Entry to undergraduate degrees usually requires IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. Entry to post-graduate degrees and direct entry onto year three of an undergraduate degree normally requires IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. Some courses may vary. Please check individual courses for specific entry requirements.

PSE courses for main degree programmes starting in Sept 2019

Type of courseWeeks of studyIELTS for UKVI level required (totalscore)
Standard PSE35

Undergraduate  4.0

Postgraduate 4.5

Standard PSE25

Undergraduate 4.5

Postgraduate 5.0

Standard PSE15

Undergraduate 5.0

Postgraduate 5.5

Intensive PSE15

Undergraduate 4.5

Postgraduate 5.0

Intensive PSE10

Undergraduate: 5.0

Postgraduate: 5.5

Intensive PSE5

Undergraduate: 5.5

Postgraduate: 6.0

Intensive PSE2

Undergraduate: 6.0

Postgraduate: 6.5

Applicants with overall required score but with an IELTS score of 5 on one element.

PSE courses for main degree programmes starting in January 2021
Online PSE11

Undergraduate: 5.0

Postgraduate: 5.5

Online PSE7

Undergraduate: 5.5

Postgraduate: 6.0

Please note that unless specified, all students wishing to join a PSE programme must have a minimum IELTS score of 4.0 in each element.

UWE Bristol only accepts UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) approved Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) as evidence of English language ability. Please see our English language requirements for more details about these tests.

Applicants will be asked to submit a copy of their English Language qualification before an offer can be given.

For EU students or overseas students who do not need a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK, it may be possible to take the UWE English Language Placement Test to assess your level for entry. Please contact us to arrange this.

English Language and Academic Culture (ELAC) course

If you have an unconditional offer from UWE Bristol, we offer a two-week English Language and Academic Culture course free of charge to all international fee paying students.

This course prepares you academically and socially for life in the UK.

Please note that this course is available for degrees starting in September only.



As well as English language skills, the course will familiarise you with all aspects of studying and living in the UK including:

  • Understanding lectures and academic texts
  • Writing academic assignments
  • Presentation skills
  • Working in groups and individually
  • UK culture
  • Assessment preparation
  • Subject specific lectures (available for selected subject areas)
  • Guest lectures
  • Social activities including days out shopping or in Bristol.

Learning and Teaching

You will be taught by highly qualified and experienced language teachers. Dedicated tutors will have regular meetings with you to discuss your work and progress.

Classes are small, and you will have between 18 and 22.5 hours class contact per week depending on which course you are on, but you will also be expected to study independently.

You will have access to e-learning support, and their progress is monitored continuously through regular one-to-one tutorials with their class tutor.


You are expected to take the appropriate assessment which takes place after each teaching block. Listening, reading, writing and speaking skills will be tested at the end of each term.


Study facilities

You will be able to take advantage of our excellent study facilities. These include a modern library with its wide choice of course books, internet access and it is open 24/7.

Study in Bristol

You will be studying in Bristol, the largest city in the south west of England and home to international companies such as Hewlett-Packard, BBC, Aardman Animations, Atkins, Airbus and Rolls-Royce.

Bristol has excellent transport links with regular buses and trains to London, Scotland, Wales and the South Coast. London is only a 90 minute train journey away. Bristol International Airport makes it easy to travel to Europe at weekends if you wish to explore.

From Bristol, you will have easy access to traditional English countryside and towns including Bath and Oxford. You are also near to the beautiful Devon and Cornwall coastline.

Prices and dates

Supplementary fee information

Due to COVID-19, the Autumn PSE programme will now be delivered online. Please see below for dates and prices.

Degrees starting 2020/21

Intensive online PSE for main programmes starting January 2021:

Start DateEnd DateDurationPrice
5 October 202018 December 202011 weeks£2,500
2 November 202018 December 20207 weeks£1,500


How to apply

How to apply

Normally you will be offered a Pre-sessional English course when you submit your application for the degree programme you wish to study on. When we process your application, we will offer you a place on the necessary Pre-sessional English course as required. However, if you would like to enquire about Pre-sessional courses or English language testing, you can simply click on this link and complete the form.

Extra information


As a pre-sessional student, you can apply for UWE Bristol accommodation, However, we cannot guarantee that there will be availability. We can provide assistance in finding private accommodation if needed.

Privacy notice and policy

Find out more about our privacy notice and the University's terms and conditions.


For further information