• UE banner

University English


This pre-sessional English course helps you to improve your academic English for successful study at an English-speaking university. You will meet the language requirements for your Oxford Brookes degree by passing this course with required grades at the right level.

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

June 2020 / July 2020 / September 2020 / January 2021 / June 2021 / July 2021

How to apply

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

The pre-sessional University English (UE) course helps you to improve your academic English for successful study at an English-speaking university. You will not need to retake a language test (like IELTS) to progress to your degree at Oxford Brookes.

Teaching learning and assessment

Teaching is organised on a modular basis. The modules cover the essential academic English skills of writing, reading, listening and speaking; language and vocabulary development; and study and research skills.

Teaching takes place in small groups with no more than 18 students in a class. You will also have access to additional learning materials on Brookes Virtual – our online learning environment – to build on teaching in class.

You will gain experience of the variety of assessment techniques used in UK universities. Each of the four modules contains several different assessment tasks including research essays, in-class tests, seminar presentations and discussions, group assignments and portfolio assignments.

You will be taught by highly qualified academic staff who are specialists in English for Academic Purposes (EAP). They have many years of teaching experience in the UK and overseas. Our teaching and research expertise includes intercultural communication, IT-enabled learning and academic reading.

You will be allocated an academic adviser to help you with academic issues and guide you through the progression to your next course.

Teaching hours

You will have 18 class hours per week. Classes are held Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays), usually between 9am and 5pm. Classes are 4 hours with a short break in the middle.

You will need to spend at least 20 hours per week on independent study which includes homework, assignments, tutorials, reading and preparation for classes (in groups or individually).

Course content

The course is designed to build up your confidence, improve your English language abilities and equip you with the skills to succeed at university.

You will improve your listening and speaking skills for lectures, seminars and tutorials, develop comprehension and analysis techniques for reading academic texts, and develop academic writing skills for producing summaries, essays and reports. You will also learn more about British society and culture.

Study modules

The course contains four compulsory modules:

  • Academic Writing helps you to prepare for, and write (research) essays, reports and critical reviews. You will also develop the micro-skills necessary for these, such as brainstorming, planning, editing and drafting; and gain a more thorough understanding of the academic features of texts. Specific attention is given to the linguistic micro-skills necessary to build your productive vocabulary and techniques for presenting an argument in a variety of writing genres. In addition, you will look at techniques to improve your critical analysis skills, such as synthesising information, drawing inferences and forming interpretations.
  • Academic Reading is designed to raise your level of reading comprehension. There are two distinct aspects to the course: extensive reading of literary texts and intensive reading of academic texts. You will analyse and interpret the texts, write notes and summaries and gather ideas from the texts to use in extended pieces of writing such as academic essays and reports. It also covers the micro-skills: anticipating main ideas from headings, skimming for the main idea, scanning for specific information and deducing the meaning of unknown words in context. Library, internet and other source-gathering techniques will receive specific attention.
  • Academic Listening and Speaking gives practice in listening to a range of authentic recordings including academic lectures and television documentaries. Activities such as note-taking, summary writing, evaluation of information gathered, intensive listening practice and preparing for lectures will be covered. Information exchanges, seminar discussions, debates and presentations will also be covered in this module. You will be given practice in individual, small-group and whole-class activities designed to perfect skills in these areas.
  • For students on Level 1, Grammar and Vocabulary Skills, and for students on Level 2, Academic Language Development give you the opportunity to develop an awareness of the importance of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation in language learning. Classes will give you plenty of opportunities to practise and consolidate grammatical structures and vocabulary and explore the English sound system. The course will link in with the other modules to help you to speak and write clear, accurate English.
  • Research (for students on Levels 3 and 4) aims to help you think critically and conduct small-scale research projects. You will study and use a number of approaches to doing research, and share and present the findings of your research in various ways. 

Course dates

The course is available from June 2021

(See our university calendar for details of bank holidays.)

Course length

Full time 12 weeks or 6 weeks (the 6 week option is only available in the summer)

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

June 2020 / July 2020 / September 2020 / January 2021 / June 2021 / July 2021

Whatever your dreams and ambitions after completing your English course, our teaching, admissions and support teams will help you achieve them.

You can progress to further levels of University English, or onto foundation, undergraduate, pre-master’s or postgraduate level courses in a wide range of academic subjects.


You will satisfy the English language requirements for entry to most Oxford Brookes undergraduate courses if you complete:

  • Level 2 with an average mark of 60%, plus 60% in reading and writing
  • Level 3 with an average of 50%
  • Level 4 with an average of 50%.


You will satisfy the English language requirements for entry to most Oxford Brookes postgraduate courses if you complete:

  • Level 3 with an average mark of 60% (50% for business master's)
  • Level 4 with an average of 50% (some courses ask for an average of 60% at Level 4)

Entry onto a foundation, undergraduate, pre-master’s or postgraduate programme at the university will also require appropriate academic qualifications. Please check the specific language and academic entry requirements of the course you wish to enter.

Start date Course length Tuition fee GBP
June 2020 12 weeks £3,835

July 2020

6 weeks £2,030

Fees for September 2019 and January/June 2020 entry are £3,875 and these courses will last 12 weeks each.

Fees for July 2020 entry will be £2,050 and this course will last 6 weeks.


These fees are the same for international, EU and UK students. A £1,000 deposit is required for the University English course.

Teaching materials

Your tuition fees include most of your teaching materials, and gives you access to the university’s learning facilities including the libraries, computers and virtual learning environment. You will need to purchase specific text books for this course costing up to approximately £50.

Deposits and refunds

A non-refundable £1,000 deposit is required to secure your place on this course.

In the unlikely event that you decide to leave within the first four weeks of the course we will refund the tuition fees minus the £1,000 deposit. No refunds are available after the fourth week of the course. For more information see our terms and conditions.

Entry requirements

You will need to take a recognised English language test before applying for this course. This will enable the admissions staff at the university to place you on the most appropriate course and level. A list of acceptable language tests can be found on our English Language requirements page.

Applicants are welcome from any academic discipline. The minimum entry requirements for each level are:

  • Level 1: IELTS 4.5 (minimum 4.0 in all skills)
  • Level 2: IELTS 5.0 (minimum 4.5 in reading and writing)
  • Level 3: IELTS 5.5 (minimum 5.0 in reading and writing)
  • Level 4: IELTS 6.0 (minimum 5.5 in reading and writing)

(IELTS tests must be a UKVI-approved SELT taken at an approved test centre)

For details of entry levels using other UK Visas and Immigration approved English language tests, please contact us via pathways@brookes.ac.uk.

Our admissions team will make the final decision on the most suitable level for you taking into account your scores in each element of your English language test and your overall academic performance.

Minimum age

The normal minimum age for this course is 18. We will admit 17-year-olds on a case-by-case basis if they turn 18 during the academic year in which the course runs.

Under 18s are only admitted to the University if they live in student accommodation. Find out more about the university's policy on the safeguarding of children.

More information for students aged under 18.

How to apply

Apply online directly to Oxford Brookes

For assistance with your application contact our admissions team on admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Terms and conditions of enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the conditions of acceptance. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.