English language and English tests
- Accepted qualifications and English tests
- Pre-sessional English courses
- In-country English
- Tests in the UK
- Tests outside the UK
- Tests online
In addition to running pre-sessional English courses in the UK, Birmingham City University also arranges in-country courses which enable you to improve your English skills prior to coming to the UK to begin your main course. Download the schedule below for the list of the locations and dates of our pre-sessional English courses.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is the in-country pre-sessional English course good for you?
- This is a high-quality course designed specifically to help you improve your overall standard of English and reach our English requirements.
- You can study the course in your own country.
- You don’t need a visa to study on the course.
- It will cost you less to study in your own country (you won’t need to pay UK accommodation and living costs).
- You don’t need IELTS to study the pre-sessional English course. Instead, you can use our own English test as an English entry qualification for your main course.
- You will be assessed by the University's own tests, which are accepted by the United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI).
- The course will be completed in time for you to prepare your visa and travel to the UK.
- If you apply for a pre-sessional programme in China, you will have the option to study a 6-week UK-based pre-sessional course if you narrowly fail the in-country course. Studying the 6-week course in the UK will only be possible if you already had IELTS when you joined the in-country pre-sessional. This option is not open to students studying pre-sessional programmes outside China.
Who should study the in-country pre-sessional English course?
The pre-sessional English course is for you, if:
- You hold a conditional offer for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree course at Birmingham City University, and
- You narrowly miss the minimum English language entry requirements.
Where are the courses delivered?
10 + 6 week courses (10 weeks in China, followed by 6 weeks in Birmingham)
- Shanghai, China
- Beijing, China
- Nanjing, China
8 week courses
- Shanghai, China
- Nanjing, China
- Xiamen, China
5 week courses
- Shanghai, China
What are the tuition fees of the course?
- Tuition fees are 3250 GBP for the 10-week course, 2600 GBP for the 8-week course and 1,625 GBP for the 5-week course.
What offer do I get to take the pre-sessional English course?
- You will get an unconditional offer to study the pre-sessional course if you meet the English entry requirement for the course.
- You don’t need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Students (CAS) to study the in-country pre-sessional English.
- Your offer for your main course at the University will be conditional on you successfully completing the pre-sessional course.
When do I need a Confirmation of Acceptance for Students (CAS) to apply for a student visa?
You will get a CAS after you have successfully completed the in-country pre-sessional course.
Do I get a score certificate after the course? Can I use it for visa application purposes? Does the UKVI accept the Birmingham City University English certificate?
If you have successfully completed the course and met the language level required for your intended degree at the University:
- We will issue you with a score certificate.
- The certificate can be used as evidence of English proficiency to support your visa application to study a undergraduate or postgraduate degree at Birmingham City University only.
- The certificate is accepted by the UKVI; however, the UKVI may interview students when necessary.
Do I need to take a Secure English Language Test (SELT), ie IELTS/TOEFL/PTE, again at the end of the pre-sessional English course?
Only if you were unsuccessful and you need to take the 6-week UK-based pre-sessional English course. The 6-week option is not open to students studying pre-sessional programmes outside China.
How do I pay the tuition fees?
- The tuition fees may be paid by banker’s draft only. Banker’s drafts should be made payable to ‘Birmingham City University’.
- No cash, credit card or bank transfer is accepted.
- You will be asked to pay the tuition fee before the course starts.
- You will also be required to pay the deposit of GBP1,500 for your main course at Birmingham City University before the in-country pre-sessional courses start.
What are the English entry requirements for the courses?
If main programme requires IELTS 6.0, you need IELTS 5.0 with min of 4.5 in any individual band
If main programme requires IELTS 6.5, you need IELTS 5.5 with min of 5.0 in any individual band
If main programme requires IELTS 7.0, you need IELTS 6.0 with min of 5.5 in any individual band
If main programme requires IELTS 7.5, you need IELTS 6.5 with min of 6.0 in any individual band
If main programme requires IELTS 6.0, you need IELTS 5.5 with min of 5.0 in any individual band
If main programme requires IELTS 6.5, you need IELTS 6.0 with min of 5.5 in any individual band
If main programme requires IELTS 7.0, you need IELTS 6.5 with min of 6.0 in any individual band
If main programme requires IELTS 7.5, you need IELTS 7.0 with min of 6.5 in any individual band
What should I achieve after studying the course?
On successful completion of the course you will:
- have reached the language level required for your intended degree (eg overall IELTS 6.0, 6.5 or 7.0) with a minimum of IELTS 5.5 in each of the four skills of writing, reading, listening and speaking.
- have improved the accuracy of your grammar and spelling
- have a good idea of the structure of a piece of academic writing
- have improved your listening skills
- be more confident in expressing yourself orally
- have increased your vocabulary range
- realise the importance of working together
- be looking forward to your time at Birmingham City University and in Birmingham
What and how do I study on the course?
The course is professionally delivered and you will undertake a variety of modules.
Materials: A range of authentic and up-to-date materials will be used, both commercially produced and specially written by experts from Birmingham City University. Full use will be made of appropriate online resources.
Writing: You will be given the chance to improve your general writing skills and will be required to produce a short academic essay. This will form part of the course assessment.
Speaking: You will have many opportunities to practise your speaking both in the classroom and socially with your tutors. You will also be required to make a short oral presentation at the end of the course, which will be assessed.
Reading: You will read a lot on your degree course, so it is very important to develop techniques for reading more quickly and selectively. The classes will give you a good idea about how to do this, but it's important to practice outside of the classroom: magazines and newspapers are just as helpful as more 'serious' writing.
Listening: The classes will guide you through listening to lectures and enable you to practise listening for both general and specific information.
What happens if I do not successfully complete the course?
You will have the following options depending on the results of your pre-sessional course:
- If you have studied on the pre-sessional programme in China, take the 6-week pre-sessional English course in the UK. (If your course at BCU requires IELTS 6, you must have achieved an overall IELTS equivalent of 5.5 on the pre-sessional, with a minimum of 5 in each band. You also need to have scored a minimum of 4 in each band of an official IELTS test (or equivalent)).
- Take the one-year Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCEAP) programme, which starts in September. (You need to have IELTS 4.5 to study the course.)
Does the University provide accommodation for the in-country pre-sessional English course?
Unfortunately we cannot provide accommodation for the in-country course. However, our local partner institution can recommend accommodation.
In terms of quality, is there any difference between the in-country course and the UK-based course?
There is no difference in quality between these two courses because:
- The in-country courses are taught by our own and approved teaching staff.
- The course syllabus, teaching methods, study materials and assessments are exactly the same as the UK-based course.
What is the refund policy?
The tuition fees for the in-country pre-sessional course are non-refundable.
However, if you cannot meet our entry requirements after completing the in-country pre-sessional course, the deposit you paid for the main course can be refunded.
If your student visa application is rejected by the UKVI, the deposit you paid for the main course can be refunded. Terms and conditions apply.
How do I apply?
In order to apply for the course, you must have the following documents:
- A copy of your offer from Birmingham City University
- A copy of your IELTS or other recognised English test results
- A copy of your passport
- A deposit of 3,000GBP paid by banker’s draft
Does Birmingham City University run its own English test in country? If so, can I use the test result to study the in-country pre-sessional course?
We run English tests in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Hanoi. Please contact our regional offices to confirm the dates.
The test will include listening, speaking, reading and writing.
The test results can be used for entry onto the in-country pre-sessional course. They cannot be used for entry to the UK-based pre-sessional course.
There is a charge for taking the test. Please contact our regional offices to confirm the fee.
What happens if I miss part of my in-country course?
Your attendance forms part of your final score. It is your responsibility to maintain 100 per cent attendance; otherwise, you may not pass the course.
Who should I contact if I have questions about the course?
If you intend to take the course in Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen or Nanjing, please contact:
Birmingham City University Shanghai Office
Room 1569, Level 15, One Corporate Avenue
222 Hubin Road, Luwan District
Shanghai, 200021, PR China
Tel: +86 21 61221117 Fax: +86 21 61222418
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