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More in this section Pre-sessional English language courses

Course structure

PELP structure

Course structure

  • If you're taking the twelve week programme, you will attend all of the parts listed below.

  • If you're on the eight week programme, you will attend part two and three.

  • If you're taking the four week programme, you'll just attend part three.

Pre-sessional part one: Weeks 1 -  4

The first part of the programme is designed to improve your English language competence and communication skills while introducing you to a study environment. Learning activities include:

  • summarising academic texts

  • giving a presentation in English

  • listening to talks delivered by campus services staff.

Pre-sessional part two: Weeks 5 - 8

The next part of the programme aims to prepare you for studying effectively in English at university by building on academic literacy and language competence while focusing on essential study skills and conventions of the academic setting. Learning activities include:

  • writing an academic essay

  • and listening to live lectures.

Pre-sessional part three: Weeks 9 - 12

This part of the programme focuses on building your confidence for learning throughout your university career by further developing your English, academic literacy and study skills. If you're only joining us for part three, you'll study in a newly-formed group while those who studied parts one and/or two will continue in their current groups.

Learning activities include:

  • giving a presentation based on an area of your own academic interest 

  • writing an academic essay selected from a choice of titles.

Teaching and learning

The programme is intensive in nature with 40 learning hours per week (approximately 40 per cent of these hours will be teacher - student contact time). All three parts of the programme will provide students with the following:

  • a timetable allowing you to concentrate on core academic skills while ensuring there is time for independent study which is an important aspect of university level study in any subject

  • regular one-to-one or small group consultations where any problems can be discussed with an academic tutor

  • extensive supporting materials and learning resources in the College library, including the e-resources.

By the end of the Pre-Sessional English Language Programme you should:

  • have a greater understanding and working knowledge of the key skills and the language required for successful study at university

  • have developed strategies for independent learning

  • have improved your level of English

  • be familiar with the College’s Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle.


There are three elements of assessment on the Pre-Sessional English Language Programme:

  1. an essay based on research of academic texts which assesses reading and writing skills (65 per cent)

  2. an oral assessment where both presentation and discussion skills are assessed (20 per cent)

  3. a lecture comprehension assessment (15 per cent).

If you take the twelve week programme, you need to fulfill the programme attendance requirements and achieve a minimum mark of 40 per cent overall. You will then be able to progress to your chosen Royal Holloway degree.

If you take the four or eight week programme you must fulfill the attendance requirements and complete all assessments to progress to your chosen degree.

Please note that in addition to the requirements above, all students must either achieve or maintain an English language level of B2 (Common European Framework). This means achieving a minimum mark of 30 per cent in each the summative assessments at the end of the programme.


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