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University Language Centre

Entry requirements

The decision to allow you to study on a pre-sessional course and evidence your English language proficiency using ULC bands at the end of the course lies with your academic school. However, your school may ask you to take a recognised English language qualification such as IELTS.

You should contact your School or refer to your main course offer letter before applying for the pre-sessional course to check the details of your conditional offer. See the main University study pages for more information.

Which pre-sessional course should I apply for?


20 week/10 week/ 6 week pre-sessional (indicative guide only)

I need to increase my score (overall or by sub-skill) by: Minimum Pre-sessional Length
1.5 (IELTS bands)  20 weeks
1.0 (IELTS bands) 10 weeks*
0.5 (IELTS bands) 6 weeks

The above information is a guide only. Students who must increase their score in writing or in multiple sub-skills may be required to take a longer pre-sessional course than indicated above (eg 20 weeks rather than 10 weeks / 10 weeks rather than 6 weeks). The ULC admissions team will recommend the most suitable Pre-sessional course based on the current English Language level.

*The PS10a course is only available for students with a minimum IELTS 6.0 overall (5.5 in writing preferred)

3 week pre-sessional entry requirements

  • Minimum IELTS 6.5 overall
  • English language and academic conditions already fulfilled
  • Unconditional offer holder for UG or PG course at The University of Manchester

Scores of IELTS 4.5 in any skill are too low for the ULC’s pre-sessional courses. We recommend a period of study on our year round English language courses.

Information for students studying on a Tier 4 visa

English language tests

Below indicates which English language tests are acceptable for entry onto Pre-sessional courses for students coming to the UK on a Tier 4 visa.

What kind of English test do I need?CAS* for Tier 4 visa covering Pre-sessional course onlyCAS* for Tier 4 visa covering Pre-sessional course plus University of Manchester degree course
PS20 UKVI IELTS Not applicable
PS10a UKVI IELTS UKVI IELTS, Non-UKVI IELTS, TOEFL IBT, Pearson PTE
PS10b UKVI IELTS UKVI IELTS, Non-UKVI IELTS, TOEFL IBT, Pearson PTE
PS6 UKVI IELTS UKVI IELTS, Non-UKVI IELTS, TOEFL IBT, Pearson PTE
PS3 Not applicable UKVI IELTS, Non-UKVI IELTS, TOEFL IBT, Pearson PTE

CAS - Confirmation of acceptance to study

Please contact the Admissions Office for your degree level programme to find out whether you will be able to obtain a CAS for a Tier 4 visa which covers both the pre-sessional course and the degree level course.  More information on this can be found in our frequently asked questions section.

If you have not yet completed your current academic study and are interested in studying a pre-sessional course, it is strongly recommended that you take the UKVI IELTS test to ensure that you are eligible for a separate visa for the English language course.

The current list of approved tests and providers accepted by the UKVI (in cases where separate CASs are required for the English language course and the degree course) can be found on the UKVI website.

Previous UK study

If you have previously studied in the UK on a degree level course, you will not be eligible to attend a pre-sessional course due to the UKVI limit on academic progression. Read more about Tier 4 Student Visa on the UK government website.