Coronavirus information and guidance

6-week Academic English Pre-sessional Course for Unconditional Postgraduate Offer-holders (distance learning) 2021 entry

This entirely online pre-sessional course, designed for unconditional postgraduate offer holders, will prepare you for your degree programme by focusing on the academic language and skills required for success 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.

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Course type

Full-time pre-degree course to prepare unconditional offer-holders who use English as an additional language for postgraduate degree programmes.

Course dates

  • Start date: 24 June 2021
  • End date: 6 August 2021

These dates include orientation sessions on Thursday 24 June and Friday 5 June 2021.

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

Six weeks

Entry requirements

  • Applicants must have an unconditional offer for any postgraduate degree programme at the University of St Andrews. 
  • Applicants will need to have a laptop computer that they can use to engage in the learning activities of the course.

Tuition fees


  • A non-refundable deposit of £300 is required to reserve your place on the pre-sessional course.
  • Fees must be paid in full by 10 June 2021.
  • Payment can be made by the following methods:
  • When making a payment by bank transfer or credit card, please choose the ‘Tuition fees’ option and enter the relevant amount. This applies to deposits and balance payments.

Application deadline

28 May 2021

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 be sure of securing a place.

Course information

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 a postgraduate student 
  • adapt to living and studying in the UK
  • meet English language offer conditions.

This course is taught entirely online.

Teaching format

During the course, you will participate in online learning activities for approximately 18 hours per week, and will work individually on assignments. Online learning activities will typically include:

  • watching lectures and other videos created for the course
  • completing interactive worksheets or online tasks
  • contributing to discussion forums
  • engaging in peer assessment of written work
  • joining live video tutorials or English for Academic Purposes (EAP) classes.

You will also have to submit assignments and will receive electronic feedback from your teacher.

You will receive feedback on your assessments, with a particular focus on helping you to enhance your academic writing and speaking skills in English before you begin your degree programme.

Learning outcomes

Students who complete this course successfully 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. 
  • Give clear, well-structured presentations 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. 

Grades and scores

Grades and scores from the 6-week pre-sessional cannot be used to meet English language offer conditions but will provide you with useful feedback to assist you in preparing for the start of your degree programme.

Other features of the course

The course introduces students to different services across the University, including:

  • the Library
  • Student Services
  • Careers Centre
  • Sports Centre
  • Music Centre. 


International Education Institute
University of St Andrews
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews
KY16 9DJ

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2255

IE website


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online (PDF, 84 KB).

Study at St Andrews

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