4-week Academic English pre-sessional course 2024 entry

This 4-week pre-sessional course is designed to prepare undergraduate and postgraduate students for their degree programmes by focusing on the academic language and skills required for successful study at the University of St Andrews.

You will develop your ability to use English in academic contexts, as well as learn about academic, social and cultural life in St Andrews.

In summer 2023, more than 95% of students who studied on pre-sessional courses at the University of St Andrews achieved the scores required to progress onto their intended degree programme.

Course dates below include compulsory orientation sessions on Thursday 8 August and Friday 9 August 2024.

Start date
8 August 2024
End date
5 September 2024
Four weeks
International Education Institute

Entry requirements

  • Applicants must have a conditional or unconditional offer for any degree programme at the University of St Andrews. 
  • Applicants with a conditional offer for a degree programme must have a UKVI-approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) score that meets the minimum requirements in your subject area or Faculty for the 4-week pre-sessional. See English language requirements for pre-degree students.
  • Applicants with an unconditional offer for a degree programme do not need to provide an English language test score.
  • As the course uses online tools to enhance students’ learning, applicants will need to have a laptop computer to use in class and out-of-class assignments. 

Application deadline

Saturday 8 June 2024

A limited number of pre-sessional places are offered each year, and these are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Applicants should apply as early as possible to secure a place.

Course details

This a full-time pre-degree course to prepare students who use English as an additional language for postgraduate or undergraduate degree programmes.

This intensive course will help you to:

  • enhance your academic English
  • develop your academic skills
  • learn about studying at the University of St Andrews as an undergraduate or postgraduate student
  • adapt to living and studying in the UK
  • meet English language offer conditions.

The course introduces students to different University services, including:

  • the Library
  • Student Services
  • Careers Centre
  • Saints Sport
  • Music Centre.

Learning outcomes

Students who complete this course with an overall score of 14 or higher should be able to:

  • Write clear, well-structured texts on complex topics in an appropriate style for their field, using supporting evidence and examples from sources as required.
  • Contribute meaningfully to discussions on complex subjects in their field, expanding and supporting points of view with appropriate reasons and examples.
  • Demonstrate detailed understanding of a wide range of lengthy, complex texts where stated opinions and implied points of view are discussed, given time to reread where necessary.
  • Demonstrate sufficient understanding to follow extended speech on abstract and complex topics of academic relevance.
  • Produce work that demonstrates an understanding of good academic practice and scholarship, including strategies to avoid plagiarism. 


The course combines English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes with a series of academic lectures and seminars.

These sessions will help you to enhance your academic reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, as well as your understanding of good academic practice in higher education.

During the course, you will be tested across the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking using assessments that are benchmarked to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

You will be awarded an overall grade on the University of St Andrews 20-point scale to reflect your performance on course assessments, as well as individual scores for each of the four skills.

Overall grades and individual skill scores are benchmarked to CEFR levels as follows:

  • a score of 4 to 6 is equivalent to CEFR B2- level
  • a score of 7 to 10 is equivalent to CEFR B2 level
  • a score of 11 to 13 is equivalent to CEFR B2+ level
  • a score of 14 to 16 is equivalent to CEFR C1- level
  • a score of 17 to 20 is equivalent to CEFR C1 level

You can see how these grades and scores compare with those on other tests using our CEFR benchmarking table for English language tests.

You can use your pre-sessional grades and scores to meet your English language offer conditions, provided that the pre-sessional is listed in the English language test profile for your subject area or Faculty.

You can check the overall grade and individual test scores you need to achieve for your subject area or Faculty, by looking at the:

Progression requirements

In addition to maintaining satisfactory attendance on the course, you must also achieve an overall grade and individual skill scores to meet the requirements of your chosen degree programme.

Further explanation of assessment and progression will be provided during orientation.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements.

To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.



  • A non-refundable deposit of £300 is required to reserve your place on this course.
  • Fees must be paid in full by Friday 28 June 2024.
  • You can pay your deposit and your fees, by:
  • When making a payment by bank transfer or credit card, choose the ‘Tuition fees’ option and enter the relevant amount. This applies to deposits and balance payments.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to students each year.


Students can apply for University accommodation for the duration of the pre-sessional course.

Accommodation will be available from Wednesday 7 August 2024. Students will have to move out of their allocated room on Friday 6 September 2024.

To apply, you must complete the online accommodation application form. When you complete the online application, you must ensure you check the box for the 4-­week pre-sessional course.

If you do not wish to apply for University residential accommodation, please be aware that you are responsible for making your own alternative arrangements. Find out more about private accommodation in St Andrews.

Your future

Whether you have questions about your application or student life, or you would like to meet a member of staff from the School you wish to study in, you can do so no matter where you live.

Meet us in your country

Meet us online

Meet us in St Andrews

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2255
International Education Institute

University of St Andrews
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews
KY16 9DJ

International Education Institute website