Our pre-sessional programmes are full-time, intensive English language programme specifically designed for international students with an offer to study at Cardiff University.
We offer summer Pre-sessional programmes for both undergraduates and postgraduates in preparation for courses starting in September, and a dedicated Pre-sessional programme for postgraduate research students in the autumn in preparation for doctoral study starting in January.
The minimum English Language entry requirement for our 8-week Pre-sessional courses is IELTS (Academic) 6.0 (with at least 4.0 in all skill areas). The minimum entry requirement for our 10-week course is IELTS (Academic) 6.5 (with at least 4.0 in all skill areas).
If your current English level is below these levels you may wish to consider studying the English for University Study Programme.
Course dates and fees
The length of your course depends on your level of English and academic requirements. The 10 week course is suitable for students with IELTS 6.5 who require a score of IELTS 7.0. The 8 week course is suitable for students with IELTS 6.0 who require a score of IELTS 6.5.
29 June to 4 September
8 weeks (Programme A)
6 July to 28 August
8 weeks (Programme B)
13 July to 4 September
The tuition fees for the Pre-sessional English course do not include accommodation or personal spending costs. Your tuition fees must be paid in full on your first day of class. We regret that Pre-sessional course fees cannot be paid in instalments.
Payment can be made by:
- Cheque payable to Cardiff University. This is the preferred, safest method of payment.
- Credit Card. Please note that a credit card transaction fee may apply.
- Cash. You may pay in Pounds Sterling when you arrive. Do not send cash through the post.
Please note: we cannot accept cash in foreign currency.
The tuition fees for the Pre-Sessional English Course do not include accommodation or personal spending costs.
You can find more information about accommodation on the accommodation page. You can also use our 'living costs calculator' to find out the international average living expenses as calculated from the expenditure of international students at Cardiff University.
Terms and conditions
As the course is short and intensive it is essential that students arrive in time for the beginning of the course. Please note that the cut-off date for all Summer Pre-sessional courses is 9am on the first Wednesday of the course. The cut-off date for the Postgraduate Research Pre-sessional is 9am on Monday 7 October 2013.
If you arrive after this time will not be permitted to join to join the course.
We hope that you will not want to leave your course once you have started. If, after arrival, you wish to reduce the length of your course for any reason, you should discuss the situation with the English Language Programmes staff as soon as possible. We require a minimum of 4 weeks’ notice in writing. If you have paid in full, the remainder of your course fees, minus fees equivalent to the 4 weeks’ notice period, will be refunded. If you have not yet paid in full we will charge 4 weeks paid notice.
The course syllabus includes English language skills, study skills and the academic information and training you need to successfully complete your chosen degree programme. The course consists of a programme of full-time study, usually between 9.00am and 4.00pm. This will include a minimum of 18 and a maximum of 23 contact hours per week plus assignments.
Improving your English
This part of the course will focus on the ways we use the English language in everyday situations – in class, with friends or out and about in the city. We will concentrate on grammar, vocabulary, comprehension and communication. You will also have plenty of opportunities to practise your pronunciation.
Academic study skills are invaluable and we believe that all university students would benefit from this course. In these classes, you will learn and practise the core skills needed to complete your chosen degree programme. They include skills such as note-taking, summarising, text structure, referencing, data analysis, understanding lectures, making presentations and participating in seminars and tutorials.
Our Academic Orientation lessons introduce you to the Cardiff University campus and academic facilities. They provide a basic introduction in the use of computer operating systems and how to use the University’s resource centres. They will provide information about learning strategies, British culture and the traditions of British universities.
Guidance and support
Students studying on the Pre-sessional English Course will receive educational counselling and support throughout their course. We will gladly help you to make arrangements for you to visit your new School and are happy to offer our advice and assistance during your transition. Our services do not end there: we offer open access support classes in English language and academic study skills as well as one-to one tutorial sessions to all full-time international students enrolled on undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Cardiff University. Our international Student Advisors offer comprehensive guidance and advice to our Pre-sessional students who will need to extend their visa after completing the Presessional course.
There is an IELTS test centre at Cardiff University. If you wish to take an IELTS test, we can help you to arrange this. The examination fee is not included in the course fee.
If you receive an unconditional offer for the Pre-sessional Programme, you will be eligible to receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Study (CAS), which you will need in order to apply for your Tier 4 (General) Student Visa. Please see the below timeline for more information.
Note: It is very important that you arrive in Cardiff with the correct visa. Students studying at another institution in the UK must apply for a new Tier 4 visa for Cardiff University.
Students without valid Tier 4 visas for Cardiff University will not be able to enrol on the Pre-sessional Programme.
The process is as follows:
For more information about preparing to travel to Cardiff, including important information about medical insurance, please consult our Before you arrive pages.
Cardiff University is offering a free coach collection service from Heathrow Airport for the Pre-sessional Programme 2014. There will be a coach collection for each of the three Pre-sessional Programmes this year. The collections will take place on the Friday before the start of each course.
Please do not book your place on the coach collection service if your flight arrives in Heathrow after 15:30. If you have booked a flight which arrives in Heathrow after 15:30, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Settling in and making new friends are important first steps when you study overseas. University Residences provides you with the ideal opportunity to meet people from different countries with a wide range of interests and cultural experiences. We recommend that all international students, especially those new to Cardiff and the UK, take advantage of the benefits of living in a University residence.
Advantages to staying in University residences
Many international students say that it’s a good idea to live in University residence in the first year of your studies in Cardiff. University residence provide an opportunity to meet and get to know other students, make new friends and help you settle into University life as quickly as possible.
When compared to private accommodation companies such as Liberty Living, University Residences do not have any additional charges and provide students with many extra services.
For example, University Residences provide:
- Guaranteed accommodation for the duration of the course (as long as you apply through the normal admissions cycle)
- Internet access to the Cardiff University server at no additional cost
- 24 hour Security patrol throughout all of the residences
- Advice and support from Residences Managers and staff
- Sporting facilities at Talybont North, South and Court Residences and the Heath Park Campus
- Social facilities at Talybont, University Hall, Aberdare House and at the Heath Park Campus.
- Flexibility in contract to suit the length of your course
- All bills are included in the cost of accommodation (no additional charges for electricity/gas and water)
- There is no additional cost for paying the accommodation in 3 instalments
- Residences will terminate your contract free of charge if you leave the University and will pay back all the remaining residences fees.
Types of additional charges incurred in private en-suite accommodation may include:
- In all private residences you have to pay the entire cost of your accommodation when you book (if you do not have a UK guarantor.)
- In Liberty Living if you do have a UK guarantor and pay in 3 equal instalments you pay 2% extra for your accommodation
- All private residences will charge an administration fee of £100 to terminate your agreement and you are responsible for finding a replacement, otherwise you are is liable for the cost of their accommodation
- There is a refundable security deposit of £200 that you have to pay to secure the accommodation at all liberty living accommodation
- Some private accommodation companies allow an annual consumption of up to £300 for 42 weeks. If you exceed this usage then you will pay more, e.g. Victoria Hall.
- Whilst all the private residences have 20 MB internet access in the rooms, some companies have additional charges for faster internet connection. The internet does not connect directly to Cardiff University server.
- There are no social facilities or sporting facilities at any of the private residences
Cardiff University Accommodation is cheaper than other Universities
When comparing en-suite accommodation with other university accommodation, Cardiff University in the vast majority of cases is found to be cheaper than other prestigious Russell Group Universities.
Our Pre-sessional students tell us that living with other students in University Residences is the best way to get to know Cardiff and your classmates.
Cardiff University offers an excellent standard of student accommodation:
- All single students who enrol on a Pre-sessional English Course through the normal admissions cycle are guaranteed University accommodation for the duration of their course.
- Each student has an individual study bedroom with 70% of rooms having private bathrooms (called "en-suite"). Students share kitchens and recreational facilities.
- University Residences are within walking distance to your classes, the Students' Union, shops and parks.
- All Halls of Residence have 24-hour security.
- The average cost of university accommodation is £80 per week.
Arranging your accommodation
All Pre-sessional Programme students are guaranteed a place in University Residences. If you would like us to arrange accommodation for you, you will need to tick the appropriate box on your Pre-sessional application form. Students who tick to indicate that they would like University accommodation will be sent a short Residences application. This should be completed and emailed to email@example.com Once we receive your Residences application form, we will arrange your accommodation. You will be sent full details of your residences before the start of the Pre-sessional course.
The English Language Programmes office can offer some minimal assistance to students who would like to find their own accommodation, but please note that these types of accommodation arrangements are not guaranteed or sponsored by Cardiff University.
There are a number of accommodation agencies that can arrange single or shared rooms and flats for students. We can provide you with a list of agencies that make these arrangements. Please note that most contracts are for a minimum of 6 months, and agents will charge a "finding fee" (equivalent to one week’s rent or more) to help you locate a room/flat to rent. We regret that Cardiff University cannot take responsibility for room/flat accommodation or any contractual or financial arrangements.
You can expect to pay about £75–£100 on rent per week in private accommodation.
In addition to the cost of accommodation, we recommend that students allow £90 per week on average for food and other essentials, entertainment, travel within Cardiff and small items of personal spending.