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4-week Pre-sessional Course

Group seminar

What is the 4 week Pre-sessional Course?

This intensive four-week course will help to prepare students for study at Queen Margaret University. It also provides students with the opportunity to settle in to life here at QMU and to establish friendships with other students before the beginning of semester. The course has been developed by the QMU Effective Learning Service which provides ongoing support for all students wishing to develop their English language and academic study skills.

Who will benefit from the course?

This course will be extremely useful for students who:

  • wish to develop their academic and language skills before beginning their studies;
  • wish to build their confidence in using English in an academic environment or
  • wish to understand more about the cultural and study environment at a UK university.

IELTS Scores

In some cases students whose IELTS score is 0.5 below their chosen course entry requirement (overall or in any element) may be able to obtain an unconditional offer by successfully completing the pre-sessional course.


There is a strong practical element with an emphasis on student participation. Students prepare for and deliver a presentation in their subject area, participate in seminar discussions, and conduct research for a written assignment which is submitted in the final week. Opportunities for practising these skills are integrated throughout the programme. Academic reading and writing skills are developed and practised depending on student needs. A cultural trip is provided every Friday afternoon.

The main areas covered are:

  • planning and writing academic essays;
  • reading and writing critically;
  • conducting effective research;
  • using evidence to support claims;
  • giving presentations;
  • listening to lectures and taking notes;
  • participating effectively in seminars and
  • improving vocabulary and grammar.   

What previous students have said about the pre-sessional:

  • "It's really useful to practise presentations."
  • "Materials which were used were so effective."
  • "Writing skills were the most useful for me as I learned so much."
  • "The speaking skills made me participate in the discussions, and I enjoyed it." -week course designed to prepare non-native speakers of English for university study in Britain                     


DURATION Four weeks: 21 class hours and one cultural visit per week

Monday and Friday: 9:15 am – 12.45 pm

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday: 9:15 am - 4:15 pm

Friday pm: cultural visit

Here is a typical weekly timetable for the course


£950 for four weeks (without accommodation).

It is free under the following conditions:

Applicants who hold an offer for a full-time programme of study, of at least 9 months’ duration, and will be paying tuition fees at the international rate, are eligible to attend the pre-sessional programmes free of charge. All applicants who are self funding and require a Tier 4 visa to study with us, are asked to pay a £2,000 deposit towards the tuition fee for their main programme of study. This tuition fee deposit will not be refunded if the student fails to progress onto their main programme of study, after completing a pre-sessional programme.


On-campus accommodation may be available at £99-£116 per week. Further information can be obtained when booking a place.

Alternatively, students may wish to make their own arrangements off-campus.


Monday 7th August – Friday 1st September 2017

QMU induction week: starts Monday 4th of September


Register for the this course as part of your university application. Contact to register your interest or apply online.

12 week Pre-Sessional Course

Students whose IELTS score is one band below their chosen course entry requirement (overall or in any element) may be able to obtain an unconditional offer by successfully completing our 12-week Pre-sessional Course.

>> Download 4/12 week course brochure


last modified 19/04/17 Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh EH21 6UU - Tel: +44 (0)131 474 0000
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