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 2023, 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 2023

  • 12 June - 1 September 2023 (12 week) - £4640
  • 3 July - 1 September 2023 (9 week) - £3860
  • 24 July - 1 September 2023 (6 week) - £2830

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.

What our students say


"The tutors are attentive, detailed and thorough, and helped me learn much more about London and the UK."

"I found out that the Pre-sessional course was beneficial, especially for the students with no western education background.

I learnt how to write essays according to the education of the western system, and learnt the post-modern core theory and thinking, which is useful for studying the main MA courses.

Also, I talked much with my tutors in the sessions. They are attentive, detailed and thorough, and helped me learn much more about London and the UK.

In addition, the Centre for Academic Language and Literacies helped us register for the GP, which was very convenient.

The Pre-sessional course was excellent preparation for studying my MA."


"The course exceeds my expectations... staff and lecturers are dedicated and passionate about what they do"

"I took the five-week Pre-sessional course to pass the English language requirement to study for an MA. The course exceeds my expectation. It's not only preparing me to research, read academic texts, critically analyse, think and write on a postgraduate level but also providing me with insights on theories and knowledge on postmodern philosophy, capitalism and society. I graduated with a BA in Fashion Design last year in Bangkok and most of the theories I studied on this course is on my new territory. By studying it paved way for me to see my life and my study in a new light, how everything is entangled and can be critically observed. Staff and lecturers are dedicated and passionate about what they do, which is doing their best to convey knowledge and make sure we have the best learning environment at Goldsmiths. I'm now studying MA Brands, Communication and Culture, which so far is the most fulfilling educational experience I ever had."


"I have learnt the most important thing for me, the attitude to study"

“I found the Pre-sessional course through an online article written by a former student who has taken this course. My eyes were drawn to the curriculum of which postmodern theories were an intrinsic part. Then the experience itself was as enjoyable as the anticipation. During the course, not only I had the chance to speak in English A LOT on various topics from what I've done on the weekends to my understanding of Foucault's repressive hypothesis, but also I improved my writing through reading the challenging but thought-provoking essays in the well-organised handbooks.

Also, I was impressed by the professionalism of the teachers. Sabina's passion for telling us the nuance of conjunctive words; Richard's impromptu performance for us to remember the word 'dodgy' (it may sound dodgy but actually not); and Magnus' special master class on cockney. All of these let me be prepared for my following MA, because I have learnt the most important thing for me, the attitude to study.”

See more profiles for this programme

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 2023

  • 12 June - 1 September 2023 (12 week) - £4640
  • 3 July - 1 September 2023 (9 week) - £3860
  • 24 July - 1 September 2023 (6 week) - £2830

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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