Pre-sessional English language courses

Our pre-sessional English courses are designed to improve your English language skills to the level required by your chosen degree at Stirling. The courses are delivered in partnership with global education leader, INTO University of Stirling.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the University has withdrawn all on-campus pre-sessional English courses for summer 2020.

You can now study your Pre-sessional English course entirely online.

The online courses have been designed by our expert partners at INTO University of Stirling to provide the same high-quality level of teaching and student support as the on-campus courses. We have also reduced our fees for the online courses. 

As the pre-sessional English language course is taught online, you will not need a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) or a Tier 4 (General) Visa as you will not be required to travel and can take the course from the comfort of your home.

Our range of courses

Students starting a postgraduate course in October 2020

Students can study a 12-week course starting in July 2020, an 8-week course starting in August 2020 or a 3-week course also starting in August 2020:

  • 12-week Pre-sessional English course - designed to improve your IELTS score by 1.0 in one or more skills
  • 8-week Pre-sessional English course - designed to improve your IELTS score by 0.5 in one or more skills
  • 3-week Pre-sessional English course – a short course designed to help you prepare for the University of Stirling learning environment, while studying with students from around the world.

Students starting a postgraduate course in February 2021

You can take a 10-week course starting in October 2020. It's designed to improve your IELTS score by 1.0 in one or more skills.

Dates and fees

Check the table below for important information.

Course dates, fees and deadlines
Column one lists the length of course, column two lists term dates, column four lists the fee and column five highlights the booking deadline
CourseTerm datesOnline feesBooking deadline
12-week 6 July – 25 September 2020 £3,500 29 June 2020
8-week 3 August – 25 September 2020 £2,000 27 July 2020
3-week 31 August - 25 September 2020 £950 26 August 2020
10-week 12 October - 18 December 2020 £2,800 5 October 2020



Pre-sessional English entry requirements

The online courses are suitable for students with current IELTS levels between 5.0 and 6.5.

The University accepts a wide variety of English language tests including IELTS (UKVI & NON-UKVI) and IELTS Indicator, PTETOEFL iBTTOEFL iBT (Home), TOEFL ITPPassword English Language TestingDuolingo English Test and China College English Test (CET) for online pre-sessional English courses.

English language grade equivalencies
Column one lists the IELTs score, with its equivalents in other tests in rows two to six
IELTS and IELTS Indicator, Password SoloTOEFL iBT, TOEFL iBT (Home) and TOEFL ITPPearsons Test of EnglishDuolingoCET4 (Total)CET6 (Total)
5.0 overall with 5.0 in each part 63 overall with 15 in Listening, 14 in Reading, 19 in Speaking, 16 in Writing 36-41 overall  with 36-41 in each part 75-80 425 N/A
5.5 overall with 5.5  in each part 72 overall with 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking, 17 in Writing 42-49 overall with 42-49 in each part 85-90 550-600 425
6.0 overall with 6.0 in each part 80 overall with 19 in Listening, 20 in Reading, 22 in Speaking, 19 in Writing 50-57 overall with 50-57 in each part 95-100 650-700 550-600
6.5 overall with 6.5  in each part 88 overall with 21 in Listening, 22 in Reading, 23 in Speaking, 22 in Writing 58-64  overall with 58-64 in each part 105-110 650-700 550-600
7.0 overall with 7.0 in each part 95 overall with 22 in Listening,  24 in Reading, 25 in Speaking, 24 in Writing 65-72 overall with 65-72 in each part 115-120 N/A 650-700
  • 20 learning hours delivered per week for the 12-week and 8-week courses. 25 learning hours per week for the 10-week course.
  • Half of the teaching will be delivered live through a state-of-the-art virtual classroom, enabling students to engage with other students and with the lecturer.
  • Live virtual classroom sessions will be delivered within the hours of 8:30 and 13:00 GMT.
  • Classes are delivered by experienced and qualified English language teaching staff.
  • If you pass your online pre-sessional English course and decide to defer your studies until Feb 2021 or September 2021, then your PSE qualification will still be valid.
  • Classes will include lectures, interactive quizzes, video, group projects, presentations and writing practice.
  • Students will develop and enhance their skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing, research and presentation.
  • Students will be able to balance their study time between live virtual classroom sessions, self-study and group work with fellow students.
  • An IELTS equivalent score at the end of the course.


Students will have a number of formative tests over the course and a final summative assessment at the end of the programme.

Accessing course content

The course will be accessed through INTO University of Stirling’s online learning platform and live virtual classroom technology.

As we approach the start date for your course, you will be sent an email with a unique link and instructions on how to join.

Equipment needed for the course

To ensure that you can fully participate, it is essential that you have:

  • a desktop or laptop computer
  • good quality headphones and microphone
  • a web camera
  • a reliable internet connection

How to apply

If you have already applied for a course and have received an offer from the University of Stirling, you can apply for our online Pre-sessional English language course via our portal. 

Want to find out more?

Find out more about studying at Stirling or our pre-sessional English courses.