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What is a Pre-sessional English (PSE) Course
A pre-sessional English course is a course designed to get future university students ready for the type of English and academic skills required to do well in their studies. Each PSE will vary a little bit, but common topics are:
- Techniques for studying, listening, reading, and taking notes.
- Techniques for writing, reporting, taking an exam, and writing a dissertation.
- Reading and research skills and identifying key points in a text.
- How to use references and a bibliography
- Oral communication strategies and developing students’ avility to speak fluently in a seminar setting
- How to give formal academic presentations
- Vocabulary students will experience at university
- Improving English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking
The above list is only some of the many topics students will cover on a PSE course.
Why take a Pre-sessional course?
One of the key benefits is that certain PSE courses can be used in lieu of an IELTS score. Students on our Heriot-Watt pre-sessional and our Strathclyde pre-sessional can both skip taking the IELTS and instead use the pre-sessional course grades to meet their university English requirements. Not all universities accept both pre-sessional courses though so our counsellors will make sure you are on the correct PSE course to match your future university.
Another important aspect of the PSE course is getting a head start on your university studies. There are many crucial academic skills that students need in order to succeed at their university, and these PSE courses cover them. This provides students with the best opportunity to succeed.
Which PSE course is right for me?
This will depend on two questions:
Do you already have the IELTS score you need to get into your program?
- If so, you can take any of the three courses we offer: Heriot-Watt PSE, Strathclyde PSE, or our BRIT UniPrep course.
- If not, then you will need to take either the Heriot-Watt PSE or the Strathclyde PSE.
Do you already know which university you will attend?
- If yes – tell our counsellors which university, and we will recommend a PSE that your university accepts.
- If no, let us know which universities you are considering and we will recommend which PSE is better for you.
What are the main differences between the three courses?
- The Heriot-Watt PSE is a 6-week course and requires a minimum of 5.5 overall and in all subskills on the IELTS. It is half the length and half the price of the Strathclyde PSE, but students will not improve their English as much due to the shorter length.
- The Strathclyde PSE is a 12-week or 8-week course and requires a minimum of 5.5 overall and a 5.0 in all subskills on the IELTS. As it is a longer course, students will improve their language more overall, while also spending more time on academic skills.
- Our BRIT UniPrep is a 3-week course and cannot be used in lieu of the IELTS. UniPrep is more for students who already meet their universities language requirements and are mostly interested in learning about the key academic skills and UK culture. This course is by far the cheapest of the three, but is not an official UK university pre-sessional. However, many of the teachers are the same on all three courses.
How can I sign up?
You can visit each course page
Once on the page, you can find more information about the cost, requirements, which universities accept that course, and steps to sign up.