English Language Courses

Online pre-sessional English courses

GCU offers online pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet the minimum English language requirements for direct entry to their chosen degree course.

Our courses help students wishing to progress to one of our undergraduate or postgraduate degrees improve their English language skills. The courses provide expert preparation for students who are already academically qualified to study at GCU.

Our pre-sessional English courses run in both summer (June to August) and autumn (October to December).

Depending on your current language level and the requirements you need to achieve, you will be able to take one of the following:

The intensive course is for students who need more support/immersion and is especially good for building confidence in speaking as more tutorials and exercises for improved academic engagement will be included.

Why take a pre-sessional English course?

  • Students who successfully complete the course and meet the minimum English language requirements for entry to their chosen degree, are guaranteed an unconditional offer and entry to GCU Glasgow or London campus (if you have no other outstanding conditions for your academic programme).
  • As our courses are online you will not need a visa for the course  you can study from home.
  • If you achieve the required grades on the pre-sessional English course, there should not be a requirement to take an IELTS test after completing the course.
  • You will have an individual tutorial with your tutor every week.
  • You will build confidence in your English reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
  • You will gain essential academic skills to help you study well. 
Entry requirements

Those applying with an IELTS score of 0.5 below the admission criteria are recommended to take the six-week programme. Those requiring an increase to their IELTS score of 1.0 are recommended to take the 10-week programme.

Course description

Our online, high-quality English courses will prepare you for academic study at GCU. We focus on helping you to improve your English language proficiency in the core skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, and to develop the academic study skills required for university level study. 

  • Teaching consists of either 20 or 30 guided learning hours per week depending on the course you are attending. This will be delivered through interactive classes and individual tutorials.
  • Course sessions will be held Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm or 10am to 5pm (intensive course) with a timetabled coffee break and lunch break.
  • Students should also study independently for at least 20 hours per week outside class times.

An overview of the pre-sessional English curriculum

1. Integrated skills and language

These classes will form a foundation for future studies: attention will be given to reviewing and building on existing language skills in a communicative and student-centred environment.

2. Academic skills and language

These classes will focus on the building blocks of university assignments and will include a range of activities which will develop your academic skills, as necessary for university study.  

The classes will include attention to grammar and vocabulary alongside the conventions of academic writing, using sources and critical thinking. They also focus on effective skills and strategies for speaking and listening for settings such as presentations, tutorials and seminars. 

3. Projects

Regular projects will give you an opportunity to apply learning. Project tasks will be assessed and regular feedback will be given. 

4. Guided study

To promote and develop effective independent study, the online guided study programme will help to identify individual learning needs and how best to work on these with regular e-lessons outside class time throughout the course.

5. Tutorials

You will have an individual tutorial with your PSE tutor every week to facilitate one-to-one support, as well as regular discussions on academic feedback and progress, and additional guidance for guided study.

6. Group meetings

Group meetings will provide essential information about the course and the University and will give you a further opportunity to ask questions.

7. Course assessment

Set project tasks include presentations, essays and listening and reading assessments. These are assessed by qualified PSE tutors who can provide detailed feedback on how to improve the quality of work.

If you achieve the required grades on the pre-sessional English course, there should not be a requirement to take an IELTS test after completing the course. Instead you will be required to pass the course as a whole as well as the GCU internal English test.

If you do not achieve the necessary grades you will be offered retake examinations and given further advice as required.

At the end of the course you will receive a certificate outlining your attendance, your final grades broken down by component and your overall score and requirements for further English language development.

Course dates and cost

Summer 2022

  • Six-week intensive (30 hours per week) – 18 July to 26 August – £2,250
  • Six-week standard (20 hours per week) – 18 July to 26 August – £1,500
  • 10-week intensive (30 hours per week) – 20 June to 26 August – £3,750
  • 10-week standard (20 hours per week) – 20 June to 26 August – £2,500
How to apply

To apply for a pre-sessional English course you must have a valid UKVI IELTS test result (or other language qualification which is recognised by the University), and hold a conditional offer to study at the GCU Glasgow or London campus.

Find out more about our English language requirements

Loyalty scholarships

International students who complete a GCU pre-sessional English course and progress onto their chosen GCU master's degree course may receive a loyalty discount of up to 20% from loyalty scholarships, which will be subtracted from your tuition fees.

This scholarship is awarded as a discount on the relevant standard tuition fee.