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Pre-Sessional English FAQs

If you’re interested in studying a Pre-Sessional English course with us in the near future, you can find useful information on this page. Our flexible and adaptable approach to applications and blended learning means that you can apply to a Pre-Sessional course with confidence.

Bournemouth University International College

At Bournemouth University International College, for the immediate future your Pre-Sessional English course will be taught via blended learning. Or, if you cannot travel to the UK, you will have the option to study via digital learning from your home country.

Blended learning means that you will enjoy a mix of face-to-face teaching and online classes. When you choose digital learning you will study remotely and solely online. Whichever option you choose, you’ll receive excellent support throughout your studies.


  • How will I register on my programme?

    A few days before starting your programme, you will receive a link from the College Services team inviting you to join welcome sessions, so please check your emails regularly in the run-up to the start of your course.


  • What will my welcome sessions be like?

    Your welcome and registration activities will take place on the first Monday of your programme, with teaching starting on the Tuesday. These activities will be hosted through an online video conferencing service called Zoom.

    Welcome activities will include virtual meetings with members of the College team who will be assisting you throughout your programme, so you can ask them any questions you might have. They will explain more about studying with us, with suggestions for studying effectively online. There will also be a session where we will go through the documents you will need to complete your registration.

    From the first day, you will also be invited to take part in our online ‘Learning Outside The Classroom’ events during the week, which will give you the chance to meet students on other programmes and practise your language skills with them.

    You can see an example schedule below. All times are displayed in GMT.

    9am to 10am Welcome to Bournemouth University International College
    Guidance on completing registration documents
    10am to 10:30am Introduction to College Services
    10:30am to 11:00am IT Essentials, including accessing the VLE and using Zoom and Teams
    11:30am to 12:00pm Guidance on staying healthy and well while you study
    12:00pm to 12:30pm Introduction to our online Learning Outside the Classroom activities and keeping in touch through social media
    1pm to 1:30pm Discovering more about Bournemouth University and the progression process
    2pm to 2:30pm Your timetable and access to e-books
    Free time to prepare for your first day of class
    4pm to 5pm Group activity to help you get to know your classmates and other students

  • How will I access my course?

    You will be provided with a variety of materials for each of your modules, which will be hosted on our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). You will be given access and an introduction to the VLE during your welcome activities at the start of your course.

    In addition to having access to learning materials through our VLE, you will also be provided with e-books to use throughout your programme.

    Your classes will be run through digital platforms called Zoom and Teams. Links to your classes will be provided to you directly by your tutors in an email or calendar invitation, and you can also check on the module page on the VLE if you are not sure.

  • What computer equipment will I need?

    Zoom and Teams are easy to use and are currently accessible from all over the globe, provided you have a stable broadband connection. You will also need to use a laptop or a similar device with speakers, a microphone and a webcam — it is very important that you have this equipment as you will not be able to participate in your classes without it.

  • What will my timetable look like?

    Your timetable will be provided to you by email when you have completed your welcome activities.

    You will have 20 hours of scheduled sessions each week, and it is expected that you will attend all classes. In addition to this, you should spend around 8 to 10 hours a week studying independently at times which are convenient for you. This might include reviewing and practising what you have learned that day, and working on particular tasks ahead of the next class.

    Your timetable will look different depending on which modules you are studying, but we have provided an example online timetable below so you can see how your classes might be distributed across the week. We have also included the optional online Learning Outside The Classroom activities which we would encourage you join.

    You can see an example of an online timetable below.

    UK time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
    7am Class
    8am Self study Self study Class LOTC activity
    9am Class Class Class Class
    10am Self study Self study
    11am Class Class Self study Self study Self study
    12pm Break
    1pm Break LOTC activity Break Break Break
    2pm Self study Class Class Self study Self study
    4pm LOTC activity LOTC activity LOTC activity

    Please note that blended learning timetables will differ slightly. For example, classes will not start at 7am.

  • How will my attendance and engagement be monitored?

    Pre-Sessional English programmes are fast-paced, intensive, and require students to participate fully at all times if they wish to enhance their language skills to meet the conditions of their offer from Bournemouth University. As a result, attendance will be taken for every class and tutors will also monitor engagement with VLE based content, as well as the submission of all assigned work.

  • How will I be assessed and take exams with digital learning?

    Students will be assessed formally and informally throughout the programme based on the 4 key skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Assessments may include online discussions, written coursework, presentations, essays and comprehension exercises, as well as digital exams and interviews.

University of Essex International College

Pre-Sessional courses at the University of Essex International College are currently being delivered through blended learning.

You can rest assured you’ll still receive the same exceptional standard of teaching and personal support as you would in a fully on-campus environment.

We know that you’ll have questions about blended learning at the College, and how teaching and assessment will work, so we have answered a few of the most common questions for you below.


  • How will I access classes and learning materials from home?

    Students will be able to access learning materials quickly and easily through platforms such a dedicated Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) as well as email and video calls.

  • How will I engage with my teachers and classmates online?

    You will have a range of ways in which you’ll be able to talk to your tutors and to other students. These include live video classes with teachers, during which you can interact and ask questions as you would in a classroom, and online chat groups with your classmates to discuss prior reading. All students will also have regular email contact with their teachers, for example, to discuss feedback on assignments.

  • When will my classes take place?

    When you are not at the College, live online classes will typically take place during UK working hours, however other forms of study, such as further reading and written assignments, can be done at a time that’s convenient for you. You will have access to e-books and course materials 24 hours a day, as well as to a forum where you can share and communicate with your tutors and classmates.


  • How will my attendance and engagement be monitored?

    Pre-Sessional English programmes are fast-paced and intensive, so you’ll need to participate fully at all times. To make sure you’re keeping up with your course, attendance will be taken for every class, and tutors will monitor engagement with VLE-based content as well as the submission of all assigned work.

  • How will I be assessed and take exams?

    You will be assessed throughout your course on your listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. Assessments could include activities such as online discussions, written coursework, presentations, one-to-one speaking exams and comprehension exercises.

University of York International Pathway College

If you’re interested in studying a Pre-Sessional English course at the University of York International Pathway College in the near future, your programme will be taught via blended learning.

You will still be supported at every step of the way by dedicated tutors who will ensure you have the best possible learning experience.

To answer any questions you may have about how studying your Pre-Sessional course via blended learning works, please see the FAQs below.


  • What equipment do I need to study remotely?

    You can access everything you need to study your course via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). All you need is a laptop or tablet computer with access to the internet.

  • What if my internet connection is slow or unreliable?

    We understand that your learning may be affected by factors outside your control, such as a slow or patchy internet connection. There are measures in place to ensure that you can still study effectively, such as study materials that are available as downloadable PDFs, so you don’t need to be connected to the internet at all times to complete your assignments.

  • What will my learning look like?

    Your course will involve a mixture of in-person teaching at the College and remote digital learning — this is called blended learning. When you are at the College you will see that appropriate safety measures, including social distancing and hand sanitiser stations, have been put in place to protect your wellbeing.

    When you study remotely, your digital learning experience involves synchronous and asynchronous teaching. Synchronous learning refers to activities that you join in real time, like live classes, group seminars and one-to-one discussions with your tutors.

    Asynchronous learning involves activities you can do in your own time, like reading set texts, completing writing tasks, and creating your own video and audio recordings to share with your classmates.

  • How will I keep in touch with my teachers and classmates?

    You will still see and interact with your teachers and classmates regularly, for example, during live group sessions and individual tutorials. You will also use email, video calls, instant messaging platforms and discussion forums to keep in touch.

  • When will my classes take place?

    Classes will take place during UK working hours, in Greenwich Meridian Time (GMT).

  • How will be assessed?

    Your tutors will use 2 main methods to assess your progress: formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments take place throughout your course and include things like independent study tasks that your tutors will give you guidance and feedback on. This does not count towards your final grade.

    Summative assessments take place towards the end of your course, and are used to assess your reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. They usually include a research project, which is made up of a written assignment and spoken presentation; and a response journal, where you complete a task based on an academic text which you either read or listen to.

Other universities

If you’re interested in studying a Pre-Sessional English course at the University of Essex International College or the University of York International Pathway College, you can still apply with confidence too. We’ll update this page with further information soon; until then, if you have any questions, please just get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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