The Pre-sessional English Programme (PEP) is designed to help International Students intending to study undergraduate or postgraduate Programmes at the University of Northampton to develop their competence and confidence as users of English in an academic setting.
Successful completion of the programme will demonstrate that you have satisfied the University’s English Language requirements. In addition, you will have become familiar with the culture of UK Higher Education and will be equipped with the tools to help you succeed in your undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
The University of Northampton PEP is a course which aims to improve your English language and academic study skills so that you are well-prepared for joining your next course of study. You will study Academic English and develop a clear understanding of the teaching and learning methods used in UK universities.
Specifically, we aim to help you to:
- Improve your knowledge of the grammar, vocabulary and functions of English. This will enable you to communicate your ideas more effectively.
- Improve your understanding of the relationship between the language and the culture in which it exists. This will help you operate more efficiently in a UK academic setting.
- Build your knowledge of and competence in Academic English. This will help you to improve/enhance the quality of your academic assignments.
- Encourage you to become an independent learner. This will help you to discover your own voice and express your ideas effectively.
- Show you the teaching methods which are common in British schools and universities. This will help you to understand UK academic culture.
- Support you in accessing the range of learning resources available to you through multi-media. This will help you develop an awareness of English outside the classroom.
- Take part in social activities and make friends. This will help you to adapt to UK culture and improve your fluency.
On successful completion of the course, you will have developed the confidence and Academic English skills necessary to study effectively as an undergraduate or postgraduate student at the University of Northampton.
My name is Xuan Zhou and I am studying MA Education at the University of Northampton. I studied on the Pre-sessional English Programme in the summer and it really helped me to improve my English level. The course improved my reading and academic writing skills. This is due to my Pre-sessional tutor, who is a patient, professional and responsible teacher. He helped me many times to improve my academic writing skills during tutorials.
Park Campus, the larger of the two campuses, is set in 80 acres of open green parkland, occupying an impressive and spacious site.
Facilities available on-site include a sports hall, restaurant, Students’ Union, Student Centre, shop, bar and nightclub. Safe and secure accommodation for more than 1,300 students is spread throughout Park Campus, with the majority placed within our student village combining stunning green spaces with welcoming Halls of Residence.
A Multi-Faith Chaplaincy and Medical Centre (providing a full GP service and free counselling) are also available at Park Campus.
Park Campus is within easy walking distance of a busy, local shopping area, complete with banks, supermarkets, shops and pubs.
The University of Northampton
Boughton Green Road
The content is general English although there is an element of study skills in one module. Emphasis is on improving accuracy and range of grammar structure and vocabulary use across all four language skills, namely reading, writing, listening and speaking and so improving the student’s general communication skills.
Methods of Learning
One of the most important aims of the course is independent learning. This means that the programme will help you to develop skills that will make you an independent learner. An independent learner is able to learn English outside the classroom and to take responsibility for their own learning. An independent learner can identify what he or she needs to do to improve their English and decide what action is necessary to take. We will help you develop these skills. In class we will practise them and you will be given coursework that further develops them. Correction and feedback will help you and us to see how you are progressing.
The Pre-sessional English Programme consists of the following Assessments, which are intended to mirror the types of tasks and assessments you will meet on your undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes:
- The Portfolio – This comprises regular written assignments during the course. These written tasks gradually increase in size and complexity, enabling you to act on corrective feedback from your tutors and improve on your performance. The great benefit of the Portfolio assessment is that you will be able to track your progress throughout the course, which will in turn demonstrate the standard you have achieved at the end of the course.
- The Project – This consists of a small-scale research project on a topic related to your intended degree subject. You will work in small groups to produce a written report and a group presentation. The aim of this assessment is to help develop your skills in researching, team work and presentations, all of which are essential components in undergraduate and postgraduate study.
- The Reading-into-Writing Exam – This is an integrated test taken at the end of the course. You will receive one or more unseen academic texts on which you will answer comprehension questions and then write an essay on the concepts in the text. The assessment is designed to test students’ ability to respond to an academic text within time constraints. There will be opportunities during the course to do practice tests to prepare you for this final assessment.
- The Listening Exam – This will involve listening to an authentic lecture, taking notes and answering questions. During the course, you will have opportunities for practice in listening to lectures and develop your note-taking skills.
- The Reading-into-Writing Exam – You will read an academic text, answer comprehension questions and then write4 a short essay based on the concepts you have read. Again, you will have timed reading and writing practice during your Portfolio class.
These assessments take place in the 6-week EAP Course (see Course Dates & Fees).
At the end of the Programme, your performance in the five assessments will be combined to produce an overall grade, however, it is important to note that students need to pass the Portfolio in order to progress. An overall grade of ‘Pass’ demonstrates that you have met the University’s entry requirements. Successful completion of the course means that you do NOT need to take another English exam, such as IELTS or Pearson.
Facilities and Special Features
- Experienced and supportive tutors
- Improve your English in a university environment
- Engage with a variety of learning activities to improve your reading, writing, speaking and listening
- Classes are given in teaching rooms across the campus, all of which are equipped with audio and visual facilities, together with smartboards and online access.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
The PEP is designed for students who have received a conditional offer to study at the University of Northampton, but who have not satisfied the English language requirement.
To study on a Pre-sessional course, you should have a minimum English language level of IELTS 4.0 (with a minimum of 4.0 in each skill)
The PEP is structured to offer entry and exit points that reflect students’ different entry levels and the available start dates of academic programmes. Two term durations are offered:
6-week (English for Academic Purposes)
The 6-week terms are designed for students that are 0.5 IELTS points below the entry standard for their academic programme, i.e.
- Undergraduate IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent)
- Postgraduate (Taught) IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent)
- Postgraduate (Research) IELTS 6.5 (or equivalent)
Students may either join the University at this level, or have reached this level by following one or more of the 12-week terms.
12-week (General English)
The 12-Week terms are designed for students that need to improve their English language level in order to meet the University’s entry requirement, and are currently more than 0.5 IELTS points below the entry standard for their academic programme. Please note, as you have already satisfied the English Language requirement, you do not need to pass the assessment on this course.
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 16/17 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
Fees for 16/17 to be confirmed.
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.