The IFCELS International Summer Programme offers short on campus academic and English courses for international students who wish to improve their language and academic skills. The courses are suitable for students:
taking undergraduate degrees in their home countries,
considering future postgraduate study in a UK university,
who are professionals interested in a study break,
near the end of their secondary education and keen to experience university teaching.
There are two types of courses: subject courses in Humanities and Social Sciences with English support, and academic English courses. The first category combine subject study with integrated language support, and the second group focus on language skills development for academic purposes. All courses are taught in an interactive, communicative way.
Yes, we are pleased to say that we are delivering the programme on our Russell Square campus in the centre of London this summer.
Subject courses include International Relations, Global Development Studies, Art of the World, Global Business, World Literature, Media, and Environment and Development. Academic English courses are offered at different levels from pre-intermediate to advanced. All options and dates are available on the Summer programmes dates, courses and fees page.
Each course is full-time and runs for 3 weeks. Many students choose more than one course and study for 6 or 9 weeks. One option, Intensive Academic English, is a 6-week course.
Yes, you can apply for two or three courses, lasting 6 or 9 weeks in total. You also receive a discount when applying for more than one course. If you are not sure which course is the most suitable, please contact us by email: email@example.com
The courses are full-time. So students will have around 18 hours of classes a week, with additional trips and activities. Students will also need to spend time carrying out independent study and research.
After reviewing your application, you will receive an offer of a course place. To accept the offer, you will need to pay the tuition fees in full. You will then be sent confirmation of your place. If you have requested halls of residence accommodation on the application form, our accommodation provider will also contact you to arrange it. Nearer the start of the course you will receive more details about the courses and orientation.
In order to have time to obtain a visitor visa in order to travel to the UK, the application deadline is three weeks before the start of each 3-week block of courses. That is also the deadline for applying for accommodation. Of course, we recommend that you apply as early as possible in order to have plenty of time to make all necessary arrangements to travel to and stay in London.
Yes. We organise events for all international summer programme students as well as subject-related study trips.
Yes, you require a Visitor Visa to travel to the UK for a short study period.
Yes, students are presented with a certificate of attendance at the end of the course. Some universities award credits for successful completion of our summer course and we can provide a transcript when required.
Because your IELTS/TOEFL score is not high enough to enter directly.
No. The English language assessments for each pre-sessional course are different for each course.
No. You have to complete the minimum attendance requirement and pass the final writing and oral presentation tasks to pass the pre-sessional. However, most students do achieve this.
Yes. You will have ongoing feedback and advice from your teacher.
Yes. You will get a certificate of attendance.
No. At SOAS we have a wide mix of nationalities in our classes.
You will have to defer for one year if you do not have a SELT score high enough to allow for direct entry
If your offer letter states that you are required to have In-sessional academic English support, it means that you are a new Phd candidate, and this could be for a number of reasons.
1. You submitted IELTS or TOEFL (or other) test evidence
Normally this means that the assessment of the test has identified a skills area or a number of skills areas that fall slightly below our normal minimum unconditional English language requirement, e.g. scoring less than 6.0 or 6.5 in IELTS in one or more of the four skills sub-scores. So if the requirement for speaking is 6.5 you may have scored 6.0. This would indicate a shortfall in speaking and you would be asked to take the Seminar Speaking Skills course.
In most cases a student will be required to take an in-sessional English course that focuses on the weaker skills area, e.g. Academic Essay Writing (writing), Seminar Speaking and Presentation Skills (speaking), Reading and Note-taking (reading), Listening and notetaking skills (listening) or Grammar Improvement (writing and speaking).
2. A significant amount of time may have passed since you completed your previous studies.
In this case, students are normally asked to follow a 6 week 'Academic Essay Writing' course in order to regain a greater academic focus to their English and learn the conventions of essay writing in UK HEI.
3. Your previous study may have been predominantly mathematical or scientific, and therefore may have involved little essay-based work.
In this case, students normally follow a 6 week 'Academic Essay Writing' course.
4. You used English as the medium of study at university but it did not take place in a country where English is the first language.
In this case, students may be asked to follow an 'Academic Essay Writing' course in order to familiarise themselves with the expectations of UK academic discourse in Higher Education.
5. You used English as the medium of study at university but references accompanying your application mention areas of your language which need further development.
In this case students are required to follow a course or courses which would best suit the nature of the language weakness identified in the references, e.g. Academic Essay Writing, Seminar Discussion and Presentation Skills, Grammar Improvement.
In-sessional courses run in 'blocks' which are long enough for a short course to be completed.
Some courses run across two blocks (eg if it is a 10 week course starting in the middle of term 1).
There are five blocks of In-sessional courses throughout the year which correspond to the terms and half terms.
Block 1 is the first half of term 1 (starting second week of term)
Block 2 the second half of term 1
Block 3 the first half of term 2
Block 4 the second half of term 2
Block 5 the first half of term 3
There are no lessons during Reading Weeks.
For Block 1 the application form will be available at the end of September around the end of Welcome Week. Or for example for Block 2 courses the application form will be available in week 4 or 5 of term 1. For Block 3 courses, the application should be up at the end of term 1.
When completed and submitted, your application will be considered for course placement. Course placement is done largely on a first-come-first served basis with those with recommendations and requirements prioritised over those without.
If there are problems with your first application (for example if your timetable changes), you can send in another one or wait for the next block of courses. There are 5 blocks per year.
The application form is available (through our In-sessional Academic Support page) at a time close to the Block start date- a week or so before, or in the case where there is a holiday at the end of the preceding term.
For Block 1 courses the application form will be available towards the end of Welcome Week
For Block 2 courses the application form will usually be available in week 4 or 5 of term 1
For Block 3 courses, the application should be up in the middle of December at the end of term 1
For Block 4 courses around week 4 or 5 and for Block 5 courses in the last week of term 2.
Yes, feel free to apply to as many different courses as you like. You may only be placed on only one because of demand. If there is one course you particularly want to do at a particular time you can just apply for that one, or you can spread your choices. We don't recommend you do more than two courses at once as they can be time consuming.
In-sessional courses are open to all for whom English is not a first language at SOAS, except staff members, those on Distant Learning courses and IFCELS students. So if you are someone who fits that profile, yes you can apply. We are here to support you.
Those with requirements on their offer letters or recommendations from Pre-sessional courses will be placed first.
Yes, but it is unlikely you would be placed in term 1. There are usually places available in term 2. We offer places to external students according to supply and demand. We charge external students for courses.
12 hour (6 week) courses cost £228
8 hour (4 week) courses cost £152
After the application deadline is reached the In-sessional programme tutor will start to allocate classes. As places are limited not everyone will be placed. Then in the next few days applicants will be informed by e-mail of whether they have been allocated a class or not.
Yes, you should attend all classes. You may think you are familiar with a particular skills area but may find you still have things to learn. Also you are a valuable resource to other students so it helps them the more you attend.
Sometimes you may need to miss a lesson if you are unwell or have an important deadline. If this is the case, please let your teacher know by e-mailing them in advance. Normally at least 75% attendance is expected and if you have a requirement to fulfil this is the minimum expectation.
In-sessional courses run in 5 blocks throughout the year, so you can apply again for the next block. Each block runs through half the term so Block 1 is the autumn term, Block 2 is after Reading Week first term, Block 3 is from the start of the Spring term and so on. Different times for different courses are offered in different blocks.
Also there are a number of other resources available to you.
‘English Language Skills’ on BLE (see 'Skills' drop down menu). These are online self-study activities on different areas of Academic English which take about 20-30 minutes per unit. They cover all four skill areas in English and grammar and vocabulary exercises also.
Online resources - other than the resources we offer the internet has many useful resources for non native students. Have a look on the In-sessional BLE page for some ideas.
Books - there are a number of really useful books available that will help you with your approaches to writing, reading, speaking and listening. Go to Waterstones in Malet street EFL/ linguistics section or browse online.
No they don’t, so you need to keep a record of the room number, course title and teacher from the confirmation e-mail you receive if you are placed on a course. Also it is a good idea to keep a note of which courses you have applied for (as there is no ‘receipt’ for this) when filling in the application form or take a screen shot of your application form before submitting it.
In-sessional courses are paced for international students whose second language is English. So delivery is more gradual and staged than courses designed for first language students where there can be a large amount of input all at once or they can be self-access courses which depend on your independent learning skills.
In-sessional courses have face to face classes of 10-15 students, with closer contact with the teacher.
Both In-sessional and Learning and Teaching Enhancement offer 1-1 tutorials. If In-sessional 1-1 places have been taken, we recommend you take advantage of the Learning Enhancement tutorials which are organised slightly differently.
In-sessionals offers personal 30 minute sessions with an EAP (English for Academic Purposes) teacher on any issue that the student wants support on- this may be an ongoing essay, reading or a presentation. You may want focused help with referencing or grammar, presentations or reading lists. There are four of these 30 minute sessions in one course.
Places on these 1-1 courses are limited, so if you want to get a place on one, you should try to get your application in early.
You can start by looking at some useful literature and websites. Here are some recommended texts below:
Brandt, C. (2009) Read, Research and Write. Los Angeles: Sage.
Greetham, B. (2013) How to Write Better Essays. Palgrave Study Skills, London: Macmillan.
Swales and Feak (2004) Academic Writing for Graduate Students. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
Godfrey, J. (2013) How to Use your Reading in your Essays. Palgrave Study Skills, London: Macmillan.
Murphy, R. (2004) English Grammar in Use, Cambridge: CUP (intermediate grammar, general English)
Hewings, M. (2005) Advanced Grammar in Use, Cambridge: CUP (advanced grammar, general English)
Paterson, K. Wedge, R. (2013) Oxford Grammar for EAP, Oxford: OUP