Course information


See table below

Course overview

This intensive programme is for international students about to start full-time study at a UK university.

Please note: For 2024, our 12-week, 9-week, and 6-week pre-sessional programmes will be offered online only. Programme details are the same, we will just deliver the course digitally. Please see the Pre-sessional Online page for more information.

This programme is more than just a language course, which is why it is longer than other pre-sessional programmes you might find elsewhere. It will also familiarise you with the British education system and will develop your study skills. And it is tailored to the arts and social sciences, so it’s ideal if you’re planning on studying these subjects in the future.

The programme covers:

  • English language
  • Academic study skills
  • Cultural background studies
  • Critical analysis

There is continuous assessment through regular assignments, especially listening exercises, presentations and essays. At the end of the programme, you receive a profile of your performance and progress and recommendations for your future language development.

Dates and Fees for 2024

  • 10 June – 30 August 2024 (12 week) - £4870
  • 1 July – 30 August 2024 (9 week) - £4050
  • 22 July – 30 August 2024 (6 week) - £2970

There are different UKVI IELTS requirements depending on the length of the programme you want to apply for. See below for details.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Programme Convenor, Marl'ene Edwin.

What you'll study


  • Academic Reading and Writing Skills
  • Academic Listening
  • Academic Grammar and Vocabulary
  • Pronunciation Skills
  • Presentation and Seminar Skills
  • Modernity
  • Critical Thinking
  • Research and Study Skills
  • Postmodernity
  • Textual Analysis

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.


The 12-week, 9-week and 6-week programmes all follow a weekly timetable of 21 hours of online learning, consisting of 21 hours of work online (including three hours of guided independent study and webinars and tutorials). There is also a series of five lectures that takes place during the final five weeks of the programme covering some key themes generic to most Goldsmiths disciplines.

Lessons are every day with some classes accompanied by recorded lectures and flipped classes.

In addition students are also expected to engage in a minimum of 10 hours of independent self-study outside of the programme hours each week.


Students are required to complete formative written assignments throughout the programme.

The end-of-programme summative assessment includes:

  1. An analysis of sources (including a library source being one)
  2. Annotated notes on sources
  3. A draft of an argumentative essay including a thesis statement
  4. A final essay based on feedback as well as other criteria
  5. A joint presentation on the theme of sustainability
  6. A listening to summary assessment.

The overall aim of the Goldsmiths Pre-Sessional Programme is to improve your Academic English to the level whereby you can participate in your chosen undergraduate or postgraduate programme.

Learning outcomes

Successful completion of the programme will mean that you have:

  • developed both independent and collaborative academic study skills, enabling you to both analyse issues and formulate questions;
  • developed your English for academic purposes and gained the ability to both listen to and communicate complex ideas to a variety of audiences;
  • developed as an autonomous learner, so that you can derive meaning from complexity using evidence;
  • increased your intercultural awareness, gained a better knowledge of Goldsmiths, London and the UK and developed your social and academic life.

This is achieved by:

  • the programme concentrating on increasing cultural and interdisciplinary knowledge through independent and collaborative learning;
  • focusing on the four language learning skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing;
  • the skills being practised within a genuine academic context; i.e. listening to lectures, reading academic texts, understanding academic presentations and writing academic essays. Guided independent study will also focus on grammar and vocabulary development;
  • gaining confidence in academic writing conventions, including in-text citation, referencing, direct quotation and compiling bibliographies;
  • studying content with a discipline specific focus. This means that you will be developing your academic English through content that is challenging, dynamic, interesting, and often useful for your future studies;
  • the programme allowing you to develop creative thinking along with critical thinking skills through debating, and evaluating complex ideas. 


Progression onto your degree programme will depend on achieving an overall pass mark of 50% for Postgraduate students and 40% for Undergraduate students.

Failure to achieve the required grade or not engaging appropriately with the Pre-sessional course will mean students have not met the conditions of their offer from the University and will therefore not be permitted to progress on to their degree programme.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Between 2020 and 2022 we needed to make some changes to how programmes were delivered due to Covid-19 restrictions. For more information about past programme changes please visit our programme changes information page.

Entry requirements

English language requirements

For IELTS and alternative English language requirements for Pre-sessional Programmes, please see the Alternative Requirements page.

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

Fees & funding

Dates and fees for pre-sessional online 2024

  • 10 June – 30 August 2024 (12 week) - £4870
  • 1 July – 30 August 2024 (9 week) - £4050
  • 22 July – 30 August 2024 (6 week) - £2970

Tuition fees must be paid in full when you accept our offer of a place.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments.

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