Course content - 10-week Pre-sessional (on campus)

You will focus on the key academic skills and language that you will need to succeed in your future studies.

The course aims to:

  • raise your level of English language proficiency and academic skills;
  • make you more confident in working in an academic environment;
  • help prepare you for studying at this University.

Your studies will include:

  • 12 hours per week of tutor-led sessions in groups of up to 18 students;
  • between 10 - 15 hours per week of interactive tasks to be completed either in study groups of up to 5 students or individually online;
  • an individual 20-minute tutorial meeting with your tutor every 2 weeks.


  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday


Tutor-led session

Academic reading: Reading for main ideas Academic reading: Navigating a journal article Academic writing: Rewording information from sources  Academic speaking: Referring to journal articles in a seminar Individual tutorials
12:00-12:30  B R E A K 


Tutor-led session

 Academic listening: Taking notes in lectures 

Academic reading: Taking notes when reading

Academic writing: Rewording information from sources

Academic speaking: Pronunciation - English sounds

Individual tutorials


 B R E A K 


Study groups


Academic listening: Listening to a lecture

Academic speaking: Discussion from the lecture   Academic speaking: Reflecting on seminar performance

1-2 hours

Individual study

Academic language: Using the academic word list in writing

  Academic speaking: Seminar preparation - reading journal articles  

Academic language: Varying sentence structures

*All times are local, Manchester time


In 2021, 96% of Pre-sessional students progressed on to their degree programmes.

In order for you to do the same, you must meet the required level in each academic skill - this will vary across degree programmes - and engage with the course.

In the final week of the 10-week course, we will assess your level in all four academic skills. All assessments will be online.

During the course, your tutor will give you a set of academic texts to read and discuss. On the day of the exam, your tutor will give you an essay question and you will have to support your answer using these academic sources.

On the assessment day, you will read extracts from academic journals and books and use the academic skills practised on the course to answer questions related to the texts.

During the course, you will read and make notes on academic texts. You will participate in a seminar using these sources to support your arguments and to refute others’ arguments.

On the assessment day, you will listen to sections of academic talks on a variety of topics and use the academic listening and notetaking skills practised on the course to answer questions.

Engagement with the course

The course is intensive and you must study full-time. Throughout the course we will assess your participation both inside and outside of the classroom.
You must:

  • attend and actively participate in your tutor-led sessions;
  • contribute to group study tasks;
  • engage with and complete the interactive online tasks.

Unconditional offer holders only

If you have an unconditional offer, and have chosen to study on the 10-week course, we will still assess your performance. However, this is for you to monitor your progress, and it will not affect your unconditional offer.

Technical requirements

All materials will be electronic and stored on Blackboard (our VLE – virtual learning environment).

All assessments will be online.

To access these aspects of the course you must have:

  • access to a laptop or a tablet - mobile phones are not suitable;
  • ability to connect to a wifi connection;
  • a webcam;
  • a microphone;
  • headphones.

After finishing the course, I did not feel unfamiliar or nervous at the beginning of my degree programme. The Pre-sessional course is a good way to adapt to university life when you are an international student.

Lingxuan Meng from China / studying on the online 10-week Pre-sessional course in 2020.