Course content - on-campus study


This option is only available for the 6-week and 4-week courses.

The Pre-sessional courses are intensive and you must study full-time.

Your studies will include:

• 12 hours per week of tutor-led lessons in groups of up to 16 students;
• between 10 - 15 hours per week of interactive tasks to be completed either in study groups of up to 4 students or individually online;
• an individual meeting with your tutor every 2 weeks.

The most fascinating point was collaborating with international peers who were of the same ability (or above me) with English skills and enhancing together. Even after the course, it is possible to connect with them while studying at the university, which is quite beneficial in terms of wellbeing

Kenichiro Sato from Japan / studying on the online 6-week Pre-sessional course in 2020.

Sample timetable:


09:00 - 11:00*

Tutor-led lessons 


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
  B R E A K

12:00 - 13:00 OR

13:15 - 14:15

Tutor-led lessons

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

14:30 - 15:30

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

Tutor-led classes are Monday to Thursday.

  • From 09:00-11:00 you will be taught on Zoom in groups of up to 16 students.
  • From either 12:00-13:00 OR 13:15-14:15 you will be taught face-to-face in groups of up to 8 students on campus.

Every 2 weeks, you will have a 20-minute individual tutorial with your tutor.

Every day you will have interactive tasks to complete in study groups or individually.

There is flexibility for you to choose when to do the individual tasks, but you must attend the tutor-led lessons and study groups at the specified time. These times cannot be changed and so it is important to know the time difference between Manchester and your country before applying for the course.

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

The courses aim 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 the University.

It helped me a lot in academic writing on my degree programme. Before I took the Pre-sessional course, I had never written an academic paper. However, the academic writing requirements of Manchester University are not low, and IELTS writing alone is not enough.

Nanyi Chai from China / studying on the online 6-week Pre-sessional course in 2020.


In the final week of the 10-week and 6-week courses, we will assess your level in all four academic skills. Also, throughout the course we will assess your participation both inside and outside of the classroom.

1. Writing
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.

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

3. Speaking
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.

4. Listening
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.

5. Engagement with the course
Throughout the course you must:

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

There is no assessment on the 4-week course. However, if you have an unconditional offer, and have chosen to study on the 10-week or 6-week course, we will assess your performance.

Progression to your degree programme

In order for you to progress onto your degree programme you must meet the required level in each academic skill - this will vary across degree programmes - and engage with the course.

In 2020, 96% of Pre-sessional students successfully met their requirements and progressed on to their degree programmes.

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.

Technical requirements

Online tutor-led lessons will be on Zoom, and online tasks and materials will be on Blackboard (our VLE – virtual learning environment).  There will be help accessing these, as well as technical support during the course.

To access these aspects of the course you must have:

  • access to a laptop or desktop computer - mobile phones are not appropriate;
  • a webcam;
  • a microphone;
  • speakers or headphones;
  • a browser such as Google Chrome/Firefox/360 Secure Browser;
  • a fast reliable internet connection (we recommend a minimum speed of 2mb/s, preferably broadband at 5mb/s).