10-week Academic English pre-sessional course (blended learning) 2023 entry

This blended learning pre-sessional course includes six weeks of online tuition followed by four weeks of study in St Andrews. It is designed to prepare you for your postgraduate degree programme by focusing on the academic language and skills required for success at the University of St Andrews.

You will develop your ability to use English in academic contexts, as well as learn about academic, social and cultural life in St Andrews.

In summer 2022, 99% of students who studied a pre-sessional course at the University of St Andrews achieved the scores required to progress onto their intended degree programme.

Start date
22 June 2023
End date
31 August 2023
Ten weeks (six weeks online followed by four weeks in St Andrews)
International Education Institute

This is a blended learning course divided into online and on-site phases as follows: 

  • Online phase (orientation and six weeks of tuition): 22 June to 4 August 2023
  • On-site phase in St Andrews (four weeks of tuition): 3 August to 31 August 2023

Students must be available to study online from Thursday 22 June to Friday 4 August 2023, and to arrive in St Andrews before Thursday 3 August 2023.

Entry requirements

  • Applicants must have a conditional or unconditional offer for any postgraduate degree programme at the University of St Andrews. 
  • Applicants must also have a UKVI-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) score that meets the minimum requirements in their subject area for the 10-week pre-sessional. See English language requirements for pre-degree students.
  • Applicants will need to have a laptop computer that they can use during the online phase of the course, and to engage in learning activities during the on-site phase.

Application deadline

Saturday 20 May 2023

A limited number of pre-sessional places are offered each year, and these are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants should apply as early as possible to secure a place.

If students who have already been accepted onto the 10-week pre-sessional course submit language test scores that meet the requirements for the 4-week pre-sessional course before Friday 5 May 2023, they will be allowed to switch to this course without losing their deposit (subject to the 4-week course having capacity for them). It will not be possible to switch courses in this manner after this date. 

Course details

This is a full-time pre-degree course to prepare students who use English as an additional language, for postgraduate degree programmes.

This intensive course will help you to:

  • enhance your academic English
  • develop your academic skills
  • learn about studying at the University of St Andrews as a postgraduate student
  • adapt to living and studying in the UK
  • meet English language offer conditions.

The course introduces students to different services across the University, including:

  • the Library
  • Student Services
  • Careers Centre
  • Sports Centre
  • Music Centre.

Learning outcomes

Students who complete this course with an overall score of 14 or higher should be able to:

  • Write clear, well-structured texts on complex topics in an appropriate style for their field, using supporting evidence and examples from sources as required.
  • Contribute meaningfully to discussions on complex subjects in their field, expanding and supporting points of view with appropriate reasons and examples.
  • Demonstrate detailed understanding of a wide range of lengthy, complex texts where stated opinions and implied points of view are discussed, given time to reread where necessary.
  • Demonstrate sufficient understanding to follow extended speech on abstract and complex topics of academic relevance.
  • Produce work that demonstrates an understanding of good academic practice and scholarship, including strategies to avoid plagiarism. 

The University of St Andrews operates on a flexible modular degree system by which degrees are obtained through the accumulation of credits. More information on the structure of the modules system can be found on the flexible degree structure web page.


Online phase

During the online phase, you will participate in online learning activities for approximately 18 hours per week, and will work individually on assignments. Online learning activities will typically include:

  • watching lectures and other videos created for the course
  • completing interactive worksheets or online tasks
  • contributing to discussion forums
  • engaging in peer assessment of written work
  • joining live video tutorials or English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes.

You will also have to submit assignments and will receive electronic feedback from your teacher.

The online phase only includes formative assessments, which do not count towards your final grade. You will receive feedback on your assessments to help you enhance your ability before taking summative assessments (which do count towards your final grade) in the on-site phase. You are expected to participate fully in online learning activities, and your participation will be monitored.

On-site phase

The on-site phase of the course consists of EAP classes, combined with academic lectures and seminars. These sessions will help you to enhance your academic reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, as well as your understanding of good academic practice in higher education.

Some or all in-person teaching on this course may change to online teaching depending on health and safety measures in summer 2023.

During the course, you will be tested across the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking using assessments that are benchmarked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

You will be awarded an overall grade on the University of St Andrews 20-point scale to reflect your performance on course assessments, as well as individual scores for each of the four skills.

Overall grades and individual skill scores are benchmarked to CEFR levels as follows:

a score of 4-6 is equivalent to CEFR B2- level
a score of 7-10 is equivalent to CEFR B2 level
a score of 11-13 is equivalent to CEFR B2+ level
a score of 14-16 is equivalent to CEFR C1- level
a score of 17-20 is equivalent to CEFR C1 level

You can see how these grades and scores compare with those on other tests using our CEFR benchmarking table for English language tests.

You can use your pre-sessional grades and scores to meet your English language offer conditions, provided that the pre-sessional is listed in the English language test profile for your subject area. See English language requirements for postgraduate students for more details.

Progression requirements

In addition to maintaining satisfactory attendance on the course, you must also achieve an overall grade and individual skill scores to meet the requirements of your chosen degree programme. 

You can check the overall grade and individual skill scores you need to achieve for your subject area by looking at the:

Further explanation of assessment and progression will be provided during orientation. 

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.



  • A non-refundable deposit of £300 is required to reserve your place on this course.
  • Fees must be paid in full by Wednesday 31 May 2023.
  • You can pay your deposit and your fees, by:
  • When making a payment by bank transfer or credit card, choose the ‘Tuition fees’ option and enter the relevant amount. This applies to deposits and balance payments.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.


Students can apply for University accommodation for the duration of the pre-sessional course.

Students arriving at the beginning of August to study the on-site phase of the course (the final four weeks of the course) will be able to check into their University accommodation from Wednesday 2 August 2023.

Students will have to move out of their allocated room on Friday 1 September 2023.

To apply for University accommodation, you must complete the online accommodation application form. When you complete the online application, you must ensure you check the box for the 4-week pre-sessional course as accommodation is only available for the last four weeks of this course.

If you do not wish to apply for University residential accommodation, please be aware that you are responsible for making your own alternative arrangements. Find out more about private accommodation in St Andrews.

Your future

Whether you have questions about your application or student life, or you would like to meet a member of staff from the School you wish to study in, you can do so no matter where you live.

Meet us in your country

Meet us online

Meet us in St Andrews

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2255
International Education Institute

University of St Andrews
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews
KY16 9DJ

International Education Institute website