Pre-sessional English courses

Pre-sessional English courses allow you to study English with the objective of reaching the language requirements necessary to enrol on your chosen undergraduate or postgraduate course. Our pre-sessional English courses will give you a mix of:

  • live face-to-face online or on-campus teaching sessions in groups
  • Activities delivered in an encouraging and supportive teaching style
  • regular, individual tutorials with one of your main teachers
  • asynchronous (guided self-study) work, created by our experienced in-house staff, to prepare you for the live face-to-face online sessions
  • a series of guided tasks to complete during the courses, e.g., essay, presentation, research, seminar preparation, discussion preparation, depending on the course

As well as this, you will be able to develop study skills such as independent learning, critical thinking and research. These skills are all vital for successful study at undergraduate and postgraduate level at DMU. 

If you have already reached the required level, attendance at the pre-sessional is not compulsory but highly recommended. Non-DMU students are also welcome to study English at the university on the standard route.

If you wish to study for a PhD, but do not have the required 6.5 IELTS, please enrol on our specialist Research Degree Pre-sessional course.

For Chinese students who have any specific queries or want to apply for our 2022 courses, please contact our DMU China Office: 

Courses, fees and dates 

For summer 2023, students will have a choice of studying online or on campus. Both programmes will involve a mixture of live face-to-face classes and independent learning using our new virtual learning environment, Learning Zone. Dates and fees will be confirmed shortly.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What will I get out of doing a 2022 pre-sessional course at CELL?

    Our pre-sessional English courses allow you to study English with the aim of reaching the language requirements that you need to start your chosen DMU undergraduate or postgraduate course.

    During our pre-sessional English courses, you will learn and improve your:

    • vocabulary and grammar
    • academic reading and writing skills
    • lecture listening, identifying key information in all listening activities
    • speaking – seminar and discussion skills, presentations
    • researching information and note-taking
    • critical skills when reading, writing, listening & speaking
    • paraphrasing, summarising, referencing, avoiding plagiarism
    • how to check & proofread your own work
    • independent learning
    • UK academic culture – what is expected of you when doing a DMU degree

    All of these skills are vital for successful study at both undergraduate and postgraduate level at DMU.

  2. What experience does CELL have of online teaching?

    In 2020 and 2021, we successfully taught over 600 pre-sessional students, all online. We have a pool of highly experienced staff and have external recognition for our own creative and relevant in-house materials.

    We were the first section of DMU to offer full face-to-face online teaching sessions when the pandemic first hit the UK in early 2020. Our pre-sessional materials are developed in-house, and CELL colleagues have created numerous asynchronous (guided self-study) materials to support our live face-to-face online teaching.

    CELL at DMU has been shortlisted as a Finalist in the Green Gown Awards 2020 specifically for the quality and relevance of that material, focusing on sustainability issues.

    Learning English through sustainability: Teaching international students English for academic purposes using the SDGs.

     CELL-Green Gown-finalist-img

  3. What are pre-sessional entry levels?

    You will need a good level of English language ability to start your DMU degree. This is usually found in your offer letter. Most DMU degrees ask for an IELTS equivalent level of 6.0, while some postgraduate degrees and MPhil/PhD study need 6.5 IELTS equivalent. This is your degree entry level.

    You should then determine what your current IELTS or IELTS equivalent level is. This will let you determine your pre-sessional entry level. For each half point below your degree entry level, you do one of our pre-sessional courses.

    We normally have three different pre-sessional courses. Each of our courses is intended to raise your English level by an IELTS equivalent of 0.5. So, your final exit level of our pre-sessionals should be your degree entry level.

    Example 1

    Sammy needs degree entry level 6.0 to do an Interior Design (BA) degree but is currently at 5.0. This will be his pre-sessional entry level and so, he will have to do our last two pre-sessionals, B+C. If he passes in August he will exit at IELTS equivalent 6.0 and be able to start his degree.

    Example 2

    Mona needs degree entry level 6.5 to do Education Studies (MA) but is currently 5.0, so this is her pre-sessional entry level. She will have to do all three of our 2021 pre-sessionals, increasing her level by 0.5 IELTS equivalent for each course. If she passes all three courses, in August she will exit at IELTS equivalent 6.5 and be able to start her degree.

  4. How did the British Council Inspection in 2021 rate the quality of teaching?

    The British Council Inspection in 2021 saw DMU meeting all necessary standards to continue to receive accreditation. The inspection showed that "strengths were noted in the areas of strategic and quality management, student administration, premises and facilities, learning resources, course design, teaching, care of students, accommodation, and leisure opportunities."


We hope that the above information has been helpful for you. If you have any specific queries about our 2023 courses or would like further information, you are welcome to contact our admin team:

For Chinese students who have any specific queries or want to apply for our 2023 courses, please contact our DMU China Office: 

Note: It may take up to 2 weeks to fully process your application. Please therefore apply as early as possible to maximise the chance of starting your pre-sessional courses on time.

View the Centre for English Language Learning (CELL) brochure.