Pre-sessional Course

We offer a 4-week pre-sessional English Course. This course is designed to prepare students who have English as a second or additional language for university study in Britain. More information about this course can be found below.


4-week Pre-sessional Course

What is the pre-sessional Course?

An intensive four-week course to help 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.

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.

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." 

Main areas covered:

  • 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
  • improving vocabulary and grammar                                  

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
  • wish to understand more about the cultural and study environment at a UK university

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.

Course details

Four weeks: 19 class hours and one cultural visit per week

Typical weekly timetable:

Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 9:15 am – 12.30 pm

Tuesday and Thursday: 9:15 am - 3.30 pm

Friday pm: cultural visit

What does the pre-sessional course cost?

  • £1,000 for four weeks (without accommodation)
  • This course is free for students whose IELTS score is 0.5 below their chosen course entry requirement (overall or in any element) provided that they hold a conditional offer form QMU.* These students may then be able to obtain an unconditional offer by successfully completing the course. Please note you will still be required to achieve an IELTS score of 5.5 in all 4 components of listening, reading, writing and speaking in order to enrol onto this programme.** 
  • 10 free places will also be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to students who hold an unconditional offer and have met all the other entry requirements for their chosen course at QMU*. This course will help these students get off to the best possible start at QMU. It gives them a chance to prepare themselves for academic life here at QMU, to find out what is expected from them, and to familiarise themselves with the IT and Library systems they will use throughout their studies here.
  • on-campus accommodation may be available: £124-£149 per week
  • further information can be obtained when booking a place
  • alternatively students may wish to make their own arrangements off-campus

*This offer must be for a full-time programme of study of at least 9 months’ duration where the tuition fees  are paid at the international rate. All applicants who are self funding and require a Student Route visa to study with us, are asked to pay a £5,000 deposit towards the tuition fee for their main programme of study.

** £4,000 of the tuition fee deposit will be refunded if the student fails to progress onto their main programme of study after completing the pre-sessional programme.

When is the pre-sessional?

Monday 7th August – Friday 1st September 2023

QMU induction week: starts Monday 4th September

How to book a place

Register for the this course as part of your university application. Contact to register your interest. The last day we will consider applications for the course is June 13.

ELS Support Enquiries

The ELS is based in room 1153 in the Library.

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Friday
09.15 a.m. - 16.15 p.m.

Show Contacts

ELS Support Enquiries

Effective Learning Service
ELS International International Learning Support