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Pre-Foundation English

Pre-Foundation English

English language preparation for students beginning a Foundation Diploma or Level 3 Introduction course at UAL.

Course overview

Pre-Foundation English is for students who are going to begin a Foundation Diploma or Level 3 Introduction course at UAL.

It is an English language preparation programme for students who want to improve their language level in order to progress onto Foundation Diploma in Art and Design or Level 3 Introduction courses at University of the Arts London.

We have prepared some important guidance to help you to confirm your eligibility and to apply for Presessional. If you still have any questions, please contact:

Important course updates (9 July 2019)

Pre-Foundation English applications are now closed.

For advice about alternative English courses at UAL, please email

Great reasons to apply

  • Successful completion of this course means you can progress onto your Foundation Diploma or Level 3 course without having to take another IELTS test.
  • Pre-Foundation English will develop your English language and study skills in a creative arts context. You will have the opportunity to visit several of UAL’s colleges to become familiar with their resources. You will also gain experience of the teaching and learning methods at UAL, which is great preparation for your main course.
  • Learners will be using English in everyday situations, in real-life contexts.
  • Pre-Foundation English is an excellent opportunity for you to network with other students before you join your main course. Learning and collaborating with others is a great opportunity to build social and creative relationships.
  • All Presessional courses offer you much more than any IELTS course. Although Presessional and IELTS courses both have assessments which test students on their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, Presessional also focuses on preparing students for their university studies.
  • All Presessional courses give you a head start in immersing yourself in life at UAL and in London. You will likely find that study in the UK is very different to the education you have experienced in other countries. Presessional gives you the opportunity to become a more confident and independent student in the UK and at UAL. See the comparison between Presessional and Exam Preparation courses (PDF 94KB).

The syllabus focuses on the language and skills that you will need in Higher Education, including specific skills for courses at University of the Arts London.

You will use a range of materials on the course including core materials compiled by tutors who also deliver English language support for students studying main courses at UAL. The materials include a mixture of academic texts, essays, journals, newspaper articles, essays, film, and online materials sourced from writing and media within the fields of fashion, art, design, and communication.

Presessional lessons take place Monday to Friday for 4 hours per day, in either the morning or afternoon as per the timetable for your course (a total of 20 hours per week). We want to help you to become a confident and independent student so we will regularly give you additional homework and self-study tasks.

You will be expected to do approximately 8-10 hours of self-study per week. This is likely to increase when you are preparing for your assessment.

You will be able to use all of the university facilities including the libraries and IT facilities and university staff will be on hand to show you how to use them.


In the first few days of the course you will be given induction presentations from a variety of university services. You will be given information on health, housing, banking and Tier 4 visa applications.

We suggest that you investigate UK banking options before arriving. Each bank has different requirements and you are responsible for researching these before requesting a reference letter from the Presessional Office.


You will be assessed in academic writing, presentation and discussion, listening and reading. These assessments help you to develop the skills and knowledge you will need for your main course.

You will have one-to-one tutorials with your tutor to discuss your progress and receive advice on your studies. There will also be workshops to help you adapt to living in the UK and studying at UAL.

Location and class size

This course is taught at the Foundation Centre, part of Camberwell College of Arts with a maximum class size of 18 students.

Staff information

Presessional is taught by experienced English language tutors. They all have a diploma or equivalent level ELT/TESOL qualification and some also have an MA in Linguistics or Visual Arts.

Additional information

We ask that all students bring a tablet or laptop computer for research and assignment work.

You will not know your class timetable until you enrol onto your Presessional course. It is therefore important that you do not make other commitments, including accepting work, until you receive your timetable.

You are required to attend at least 90% of the course otherwise you may be asked to leave. Do not arrange holidays during the course. If you are absent due to sickness for more than 3 consecutive days you will be asked to provide a certificate from an NHS doctor.

Entry requirements

You can only join Pre-Foundation English if you have an offer for a UAL Foundation / Level 3 Introduction course, starting in academic year 2019/20. You must meet the language entry requirements for Pre-Foundation English. If you do not meet the entry requirements, please contact the Language Centre ( for information on alternative English courses.

To apply for Pre-Foundation English, you must have the following:

  • A conditional offer to study a UAL Foundation / Level 3 Introduction course at UAL
  • A need to improve your English level by 0.5 IELTS band equivalents
  • A firm knowledge of which one main course you wish to study at UAL. If you have several main course applications, you will need to know which one is your first choice.
  • A valid 4-skills English test result, which you must provide on application to Pre-Foundation English – we do not accept UK degree qualifications on entry to Pre-Foundation English as a degree qualification does not confirm English level in reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Please note we will not process applications without an English Test result listed in full and uploaded with an application. Please also note we do not accept multiple language results used in combination for entry to Presessional courses.

Please see the minimum language requirements for Pre-Foundation English:


Language entry requirements for Pre-Foundation English

Foundation Diploma / Level 3 Introduction course entry requirements (IELTS)

Overall IELTS (or equivalent) score required

Each skill (minimum)




How to Apply

You can apply for Pre-Foundation English through your UAL applicant portal account.

Students Under 18

If you will be under the age of 18 at the beginning of Pre-Foundation English, you will also need to submit a completed Parent and Guardian Agreement (PDF 35KB) prior to application for Pre-Foundation English. We cannot process your application until we receive this.

For full guidance about what we will require of you in addition to your application, please refer to our FAQs (PDF 186KB).

Required information

The application form will require you to provide information about your:

  • IELTS certificate
  • Passport
  • Any past UK study visa documents (including visa refusal documents)

If you have made several applications to multiple main courses at UAL, you will need to know which of these courses your preference is and let us know as soon as you have submitted your application. Please see our FAQs (PDF 186KB) for information about how to avoid delays to your application

Current students

If you are currently enrolled on a UAL main course in academic year 2018/19, you are required to provide a new English test result when applying to join Pre-Foundation English. You are not able to apply to Pre-Foundation English using the same IELTS result that you submitted to meet your current UAL course entry requirements. This is because since you have been studying full time and living in the UK, your English level is likely to have improved and the IELTS result you used to join your current UAL course will therefore not reflect your current English level.

Which visa should I apply for?

Tier 4 visa

You must take an IELTS for UKVI test if you want to study Pre-Foundation English under a Tier 4 visa. Other internationally recognised certificates may be accepted if you will not be studying Pre-Foundation English under a Tier 4 visa.

If you have a certificate other than IELTS, please contact the Presessional office well in advance to check whether this can be accepted as proof of English level (email:

Please note that students for Pre-Foundation English are not eligible to apply for a Tier 4 combined visa.

Short Term Student visa

You do not need to provide an IELTS for UKVI in order to be eligible to study Pre-Foundation English under a Short Term Student visa. Forms of language evidence you can provide in order to meet the Pre-Foundation English entrance requirements include: standard IELTS result certificate, UAL Progress Test, Pearson Test result (PTE).

If you have a certificate other than those listed above, please contact the Presessional office well in advance to check whether this can be accepted as proof of English level (email:

If you study Pre-Foundation English under a Short Term Student visa, you will need to return to your home country. This rule applies whether you pass or fail Pre-Foundation English. If you pass, you will need to make your visa application for your main course only once you return back to your home country.

To learn more information about each visa type please see the UK government guidance on student visa types.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted your application, we will review it and you will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Applicant Portal in due course. We aim to make a decision about each student’s application as quickly as possible. In order to make sure your application is processed quickly, make sure to submit a complete application as early as you can.

Dates, fees and additional costs

Course dates: 1 July – 16 August 2019

Application deadline: 6 June 2019

Applications will not be considered after this date.

Enrolment deadline: 3 July 2019

Students will not be allowed to join the course after the enrolment deadline.

Course fees

The fee for this course is £2,800

Please note that if you are made an offer to study Presessional, you will be required to provide evidence of having paid this fee to UAL within 5 working days of being made the offer.

Insurance, provided by the company Endsleigh, is included in your tuition. The policy starts 6 days before your course start date and ends 6 days after the last day of your course. The policy covers medical emergencies, theft and many other things.

Please note: we are currently reviewing some of the details of our Endsleigh insurance policy. If you have any questions about your insurance cover, please contact

Additional costs

During the course you will attend various class trips which will require you taking public transport at your own cost. Fare prices are available on the Transport for London website.

Please read our information about additional costs.

Your next steps

If you would like to make an application to study Pre-Foundation English, you will need to do the following:

  • Make sure you know which UAL main course you want to study.
  • Decide which visa you want to apply for. Remember to refer to our Presessional Visa information 2019 (PDF 149KB) for information about what each visa type requires you to prepare.
  • Submit an application for Pre-Foundation English making sure to include all requested information.

Dates and Fees