Pre-sessional English courses at DMU

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.

Courses, fees and dates 

CELL is offering three pre-sessional courses in summer 2024, available both online and on-campus and spanning either 5, 9 or 13 weeks, depending on your current language ability. 

We are also running pre-sessional courses on campus in spring 2024 including for students starting with a lower level of English.

Each individual course is intended to raise your English level by the equivalent of 0.5 of an IELTS score.

You will need an IELTS 6.0 equivalent to enrol on to most DMU degree courses, or an IELTS 6.5 equivalent to apply for MPhil/PhD study and some postgraduate courses.

You should choose your pre-sessional course in relation to your current English language level and the IELTS equivalent level that you need to start your degree course. See What are pre-sessional entry levels? in the frequently asked questions section below for further explanation and examples of how to choose the correct pre-sessional entry courses.

If you need an IELTS equivalent of 6.0, you can review the below table to determine which course you need to enrol on.

Your current IELTS Pre-sessional course(s)  Duration Start date End date Fees
4.5 Online pre-sessional A + B + C 13 weeks 20 May 2024 16 August 2024 £4,750
5.0 Online pre-sessional B + C 9 weeks 17 June 2024 16 August 2024 £3,450
5.5 Online pre-sessional C 5 weeks 15 July 2024 16 August 2024 £1,980
Your current IELTS Pre-sessional course(s)  Duration Start date End date Fees
4.5 On-campus pre-sessional A + B + C 13 weeks 10 June 2024 6 Sept 2024 £4,750
5.0 On-campus pre-sessional B + C 9 weeks 8 July 2024 6 Sept 2024 £3,450
5.5 On-campus pre-sessional C 5 weeks 5 August 2024 6 Sept 2024 £1,980

Courses for lower starting IELTS

Your current IELTS Course Duration Start date End date Fees
3.5 Pre-sessional English Preparation Programme A + B 24 weeks 28 October 2024 9 May 2025* £9,120 (£380 per week)
4.0 Pre-sessional English Preparation Programme B 12 weeks 10 February 2025 9 May 2025 £4,800 (£400 per week)

*Pre-sessional English Preparation Programme A finishes on 31 January. There is a 1-week break before Pre-sessional English Preparation Programme B commences on 10 February

There is a 2-week Christmas break between 23 December - 3 January

There is a 1-week Easter break between 21 - 25 April

Applications for Pre-sessional English Preparation Programme A will open on 1 July 2024.

Book your English language course

Need an IELTS of 6.5 or higher?

CELL can meet your language requirements if you need an IELTS of 6.5 or higher for your degree. Please complete our pre-sessional 6.5 form.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What will I get out of doing a 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, 2021, and 2022, 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."


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

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

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.