Skip to Content

Pre sessional English

Student in red coat reading lecture notes
English language requirements
Pre-sessional English

The Pre-sessional English course provides a short and intensive preparation in academic English for students who are already academically qualified and due to start an undergraduate or postgraduate degree programme at Queen’s University Belfast.

More information

What is online pre-sessional English?

Pre-sessional English provides high quality Academic English lessons which prepare international students for academic study at Queen’s University Belfast.

This course is designed to:

  • improve your English language proficiency in the core skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, within a university context
  • focus on subject-related work in your chosen area of study including a written project
  • help you to study independently using our extensive online materials

Who should apply for this course?

This 20-hour per week course is suitable for you if you are academically qualified, hold an offer from Queen’s University Belfast, and need to improve your English language level before starting an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree at Queen’s University Belfast. The Pre- sessional course runs from July to early September. Your course length will vary depending on your current language level and degree programme requirements.

What is special about this course?

  • Intensive language and study skills preparation in a friendly and supportive online learning environment.
  • Visa-free online learning option that overcomes any uncertainties related to visa interview cancellations and travel restrictions.
  • Teaching and assessments are tailored to the requirements of study at Queen’s University Belfast.
  • Delivered by the same experienced teachers and to the same standards as our face-to-face course, offering the best preparation.
  • Learn with students who will be studying the same, or similar subjects at the University.
  • Prepare for the UK education system.


You will be assessed to determine whether you have met the University’s English requirements before progressing to your degree programme. Methods of assessment include:

  • written essays
  • spoken presentations
  • timed writing, reading and listening assessments
  • real-time online English language tests

How do I register for this course and access the course content?

The course will be accessed through INTO’s online learning platform and live virtual classroom technology.
As we approach the start date for your course, you will be sent an email with a unique link and instructions on how to join.

What equipment do I need?

To ensure that you can fully participate, it is essential that you have:

  • a desktop or laptop computer
  • good quality headphones and microphone
  • a web camera
  • a reliable internet connection

Course Outcomes

Assuming you have already met the University’s academic entry requirements and any other outstanding conditions, achieving the level of performance required in the Pre-sessional English course to fulfil the conditions of your offer will allow you to progress to your university course without needing to retake the IELTS test.

Key course facts

Start dates

Mon 21 Sep 2020 – Fri 11 Dec 2020 (12 weeks)
Mon 19 Oct 2020 - Mon 11 Dec 2020 (8 weeks)

Course length
8 or 12 weeks

Class hours
20 hours per week

Age requirement
17 years and above

Academic entry requirements
You must hold an offer of a place on a degree programme at Queen’s University Belfast

English language entry requirement

If your IELTS score does not meet the minimum requirement for Pre Sessional English, please contact INTO Queen’s University. You may meet admission requirements using other standards.

For degree courses that require IELTS 6.5

for direct entry

  • 8 weeks: IELTS 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 in three subskills and 5.0 in one subskill) or equivalent
  • 12 weeks: IELTS 5.5 (with a minimum of 5.0 in any subskill) or equivalent

For degree courses that require IELTS 6.0

for direct entry

  • 8 weeks: IELTS 5.5 (with a minimum of 5.0 in any subskill) or equivalent
  • 12 weeks: IELTS 5.0 (with a minimum of 5.0 in any subskill) or equivalent

Please ensure you consult Queen’s University Belfast for details of the English language level required for entry onto your chosen course.

Need more information?
Contact INTO
Contact Queen's
Contact and support