Pre-sessional courses

The International Education Institute provides two pre-sessional courses for students who use English as an additional language and who have an offer to study at the University.

10-week blended learning course

The 10-week blended learning pre-sessional course (six weeks online, followed by four weeks in St Andrews) is for students who have:

  • a conditional offer for postgraduate study, and
  • English qualifications which are not sufficient for entry to the 4-week pre-sessional course. This includes students who are experiencing delays in obtaining English language test scores or completing undergraduate courses because of COVID-19/coronavirus disruption.

4-week course

The 4-week pre-sessional course is for all conditional and unconditional offer-holders.

A pre-sessional course may be a condition of your offer, or you can choose to attend the 4-week pre-sessional course as it will prepare you for your future studies and introduce you to the town and culture.

Pre-sessional course changes for 2020 entry

Due to coronavirus disruption, the 10-week pre-sessional course has been replaced by the 10-week blended learning pre-sessional course. The 10-week course will now take place online for the first six weeks and then in St Andrews for the final four weeks. 

University staff are aware you may not be able to get your English test results on time due to exam centre closures. If you have a conditional offer you can still apply for the 10-week course even if you have not obtained your English test scores yet.

Students with conditional offers for postgraduate taught courses in Computer Science, Economics and Finance, International Relations, Management, Mathematics and Statistics, and TESOL, can present alternative qualifications to evidence their English language ability and may be able to apply for a combined visa to cover the duration of their pre-sessional course and their postgraduate degree. See the equivalent scores section in the English language requirements for postgraduate students page for more information.

If you accepted an offer for the 10-week pre-sessional course before the course changes were announced you will receive an email with further instructions.

Pre-sessional courses take place during the July to September period and involve around 20 hours of class time per week, Monday to Friday. They provide an excellent orientation to the University and enable students to develop:

  • language knowledge and academic literacy
  • attributes of reflectiveness, criticality, autonomy, confidence and academic integrity
  • critical analysis skills and the ability to incorporate sources and evidence in academic work
  • knowledge of academic and discipline-specific conventions
  • familiarity with institutional services, processes, and forms of assessment.

These courses are designed, where possible, to take into account your particular needs whether you are a taught or research student, as well as the School you intend to join for your degree programme.