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Winter 9 Week Presessional English for Conditional Offers

Winter 9 Week Presessional English for Conditional Offers

English language preparation for students who need to improve their English level by 0.5 IELTS bands in order to take up their conditional offer for a UAL winter postgraduate course.

Course overview

Winter Presessional is a specialist academic English language preparatory programme for students with a conditional offer for any of the postgraduate courses that begin in January 2020 at University of the Arts London. It is designed for students who need to improve their English level by 0.5 IELTS bands.

Winter Presessional is designed to enable you to progress onto your main course of study at UAL

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

Important course updates (updated 19 September 2019)

Winter Presessional applications are now closed.

For advice about alternative English courses at UAL, please email

Great reasons to apply

  • Successful completion of Winter Presessional means that you can progress to your main university course at UAL without having to take another IELTS test.
  • A large majority of all Presessional students successfully pass their Presessional course. Last year, 100% of our Winter Presessional students passed their assessments and were able to progress to their main course at UAL.
  • Winter Presessional 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.
  • 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.
  • Teaching materials used in Winter Presessional focus on English in your chosen area of study, to prepare you as well as possible for your UAL main course.
  • Winter Presessional gives 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 table 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, between 12:30pm and 5pm, and 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 High Holborn with a maximum class size of 18 students.


Accommodation is available in our halls of residence for Presessional students. If it is your first time studying in the UK, we strongly recommend staying in our halls to get yourself familiar with London. Take a look at our accommodation options for Presessional 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 the Winter Presessional if you have an offer for a UAL postgraduate main course starting in January of academic year 2019/20. You must meet the language entry requirements for the Winter Presessional course. If you do not meet the entry requirements, please contact the Language Centre ( for information on alternative English courses.

To apply for the Winter Presessional, you must have the following:

  • A conditional offer to study a postgraduate main course at UAL
  • A need to improve your English level by 0.5 IELTS band equivalents (if the amount you need to improve by is higher than this, please see 13 week Presessional for 1.0, or contact the Language Centre by emailing
  • A valid 4-skills English test result, which you must provide on application to EPIC – we do not accept UK degree qualifications on entry to Presessional 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.

  • 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)

You can join the Winter Presessional course at University of the Arts London if your current IELTS score (or equivalent) is 0.5 below the requirement for your UAL main course entry requirements. Please see the minimum language requirements:


Language entry requirements for Winter Presessional

University main course entry requirements (IELTS)

Overall IELTS (or equivalent) score required

Each skill (minimum)







How to apply

Bookings for Winter Presessional will be open from mid-January 2019. Applications can be made through your UAL applicant portal account.

Students under 18

If you will be under the age of 18 at the beginning of Winter Presessional you will additionally need to submit a completed Parent and Guardian Agreement (PDF 35KB) before you apply for Winter Presessional. 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) document.

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, this may delay us processing your Presessional 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 Presessional. You are not able to apply to Presessional 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.

If you are a current UAL student you need to evidence your current level of English on application to Presessional, by submitting a new IELTS result, UAL Progress Test result, or an equivalent 4-skills English test result.

Which visa should I apply for?

Tier 4 visa

You must take an IELTS for UKVI test if you want to study any of our Presessional courses under a Tier 4 visa. Other internationally recognised certificates may be accepted if you will not be studying Presessional 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 (

Please note that students for Winter Presessional 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 Presessional under a Short Term Student visa. Forms of language evidence you can provide in order to meet the Presessional 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 (

If you study Presessional under a Short Term Student visa, you will need to return to your home country. This rule applies whether you pass or fail Presessional. If you pass Presessional, 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: 7 October – 6 December 2019

Application deadline: 16 September 2019

Applications will not be considered after this date.

Enrolment deadline: 10 October 2019

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

Course fees

The fee for this course is £3,600.

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

You may be required to buy some art materials for the London Project at the end of the course. Students typically spend around £30-£50 on materials for this project, but the cost may vary depending on your choice of medium.

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 the information on additional costs.

Your next steps

If you would like to make an application to study the 9 week Winter Presessional, 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) document for information about what each visa type requires you to prepare.
  • Submit an application for Winter Presessional making sure to include all requested information.