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The University of Southampton

Pre-sessional English language courses

Our pre-sessional English language courses are the best way to prepare for study at the University of Southampton. The courses will improve your capability and confidence in using English language in your studies.

The programmes are designed for international and EU students wishing to progress to any of our undergraduate or postgraduate degrees.


Students on bench

Pre-sessional for International Foundation Year

Our pre-sessional programme will allow you to improve your language skills to the level required to join the International Foundation Year programme (IFY) at the University of Southampton in September.

Frequently asked questions

Am I guaranteed a place for pre-sessional if I apply before deadline?

We don’t limit the number of places on a pre-sessional course, so you are guaranteed a place if:

  • your UKVI Academic IELTS is at the correct level
  • you have an offer for the degree course
  • you have applied before the deadline.

Is there any circumstance in which the pre-payment is refundable?

The pre-payment of GBP 500 is used to secure high quality teaching for your course before you arrive, so we are not able to refund the pre-payment unless you have applied for a visa for this course and been refused.  You will need to provide proof of this for a refund.

May I transfer from the 11-week to the 6-week course if my new IELTS score has met the entry requirement before the 6-week course start date?

Yes, if you send the IELTS to us before the deadline for the 6 week course and you have not already used your 11-week CAS.  Please send us your new IELTS as soon as possible so that we can change your course and allow you to gain a correct CAS in time to allow you to gain your visa and arrive on time.

Do I have to change accommodation when I progress to my degree programme?

The pre-sessional accommodation is just for the duration of your pre-sessional course.  The advantage of this is you have a choice to continue to live in halls or choose private rented accommodation for your degree course.  If you want to stay in halls after the end the pre-sessional course you will be asked to move to a different room in order for the rooms to be cleaned.  To secure a place in accommodation for your degree course you must apply for accommodation for your main degree programme online before 1 August.

Other than language courses, will I attend subject related lectures?

The pre-sessional course is a short intensive language course.  Your focus will be to improve your language skills on this course.  You may attend lectures in order to help improve your English skills, but your main degree course lectures are not part of this course. 

Do I need to retake my UKVI Academic IELTS if I take the pre-sessional course?

You need to achieve a level of English suitable for entry to your degree course in the assessments at the end of the pre-sessional course.  You will be given a result at the end of the course and if you successfully reach the level required for your degree course, you will progress on to your degree and will not need to take a new IELTS. 

What would happen if I fail pre-sessional?

If you work hard on the pre-sessional course you have a good chance of progressing to your degree course. In a typical year, 90-95% of our pre-sessional students progress to their degree programme at Southampton. If by the end of the pre-sessional English course you do not achieve the level required to progress you may not be able to study on your main degree course.  You will be given advice on your options when you are given your results at the end of the pre-sessional course. 

Who can I ask about my visa?

The University has a dedicated team of staff to provide information and advice about visas and immigration for students and their dependants. You can submit questions on this student services enquiry form.

Can I arrive early/late?

Your course is a short intensive language course.  If you arrive late you will miss important teaching at the start of the course which may prevent you from successfully passing the course.  The day before your course starts a Meet and Greet service from Heathrow Airport will be available to take you to your accommodation in Southampton.  We suggest you arrive on this day to take advantage of the service.

Will there be an airport pick up?

The day before your course starts in Southampton a Meet and Greet service from Heathrow Airport will be available to take you to your accommodation in Southampton.  Details of how to book this will be available to you in your pre-sessional offer.

May I cancel my pre-sessional course if my new IELTS has met the course entry requirement?

You can cancel your pre-sessional course at any time before the start date of the course but you will not receive a refund of the pre-payment. This may also affect your CAS and visa application, so please get in touch if you decide to do this.

You may also be interested in:

Foundation Years

Pre-Masters programme

English for Academic Study (EAS)

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