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20-week courses

Our 20-week summer pre-sessional courses focus on developing the English language and core study skills you need to study effectively on an academic course in the UK.

You can choose to complete the course online from your home country or to join us on campus in Cardiff.

Course dates and times

20-week Online course

The 20-week Online course will run from 25 April to 9 September 2022 as a fully online course which you can study from your home country.

The 20-week Online course will include live online classes and class tasks, plus seminars and tutorials between 09:00 and 13:20 UK time (British Summertime) with additional hours of guided practice and self-study. Week 8 is a Reading week, with no live online classes.

20-week On-campus course

The 20-week On-campus course will run from 25 April to 9 September 2022 on campus in Cardiff following a blended learning approach.

  • Weeks 1 and 2 of the course will consist of fully online induction and then teaching activities between 09:00 and 13:20 UK time (British Summertime).
  • Weeks 3 - 20 will include live classes every day on the University campus, as well as live online sessions and self-study. Week 8 is a Reading week, with no live classes. Timetables will vary with 08:45 as the earliest class start time and 16:15 as the latest class finish time (British Summertime). The majority of classes will be delivered face to face on campus with a small number of hours delivered live online.


The course fee for 2022 entry is £7,300.

Entry requirements

IELTS (Academic)

The 20-week course is for students with IELTS (Academic) 5.0 overall (with a score of 5.0 in Writing, 4.5 in Speaking and all other sub-scores at 4.0 or higher) and have a course entry requirement of IELTS 6.5 overall.


Pearson Test of English Academic

Applicants who have Pearson Test of English Academic must have a minimum score of 51 overall with at least 51 in Writing, 46 in Speaking and at least 43 in all other sub-scores.


On campus

Applicants for the on campus course will need to ensure that they take the IELTS (Academic) for UKVI test or the Pearson Test of English Academic UKVI test.


Students who are taking the online pre-sessional course and who are not planning to travel to the UK can use a TOEFL iBT or the non-UKVI version of IELTS (Academic) or Pearson Test of English Academic to meet our entry requirements.

Schools accepting this course

These Academic Schools will accept the 20-week on campus and online pre-sessional courses in 2022:

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

College of Physical Sciences and Engineering

We regret that these schools do not accept the 20-week course:

  • Business
  • Journalism, Media and Culture
  • Law and Politics
  • Dentistry
  • Medicine
  • Pharmacy
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences

Course outline

The on campus and online courses will:

  • develop your language and skills to prepare you for your academic course at Cardiff University
  • include a full teaching programme and course materials which will cover the skills of academic reading, writing, listening and speaking. The course also features 'guided practice' materials which provide extra opportunities to develop key areas of academic language and skills. These are supplemented by self-study materials that you may wish to practise in your own time to check your understanding of different aspects of the course
  • offer every student a rich classroom experience: you will be placed in a group of students for your lessons with our experienced and qualified tutors. We hope that you will enjoy working both individually and with the other students in your group as you develop your skills together
  • provide tutorials with your teacher and individual feedback on your progress
  • offer all students pastoral care from our approachable and caring team
  • introduce you to academic life and provide professional guidance on academic issues and expectations.

The primary focus of weeks 1 to 7 of the course is to quickly develop your language resource. It will focus on intensive study of the vocabulary and grammatical features common to academic discourse.

As a result, you will practise and develop both receptive and productive skills which are required in an academic context.

Following a Reading week in week 8, weeks 9 to 12 will concentrate on basic academic skills in preparation for the final part of the course.

The final part of the course is designed to develop your general study and research skills. These weeks will focus on providing you with the ability to improve the structure and style of your academic work in line with university expectations and conventions.

It will further assist you in developing your analytical and collaborative skills. In these classes you will learn and practise the core skills needed to complete your chosen degree programme.

These include skills such as:

  • note-taking
  • summarising
  • text structure
  • referencing
  • data analysis
  • understanding lectures
  • making presentations
  • participating in seminars and tutorials.

Academic orientation

During the final part of the course you will be introduced to the campus and academic facilities. You will also be provided with a basic introduction to using the computer operating systems and resource centres. You will also learn about the conventions and expectations of the academic community and how these should be met.