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Combined Pre-sessional

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Pre-sessional Academic English Taught Online for 2020

All Pre-sessional programmes in 2020 will be delivered and assessed online so that you are able to continue your journey to your chosen degree of study in the 2020/21 academic year. Please go to the Pre-sessional online course page for more information on this format of study. 


The Combined Pre-sessional course offers preparation for international and EU students who have an offer with King’s and need to meet their English language requirements before starting their degree. 

The Combined Pre-sessional course offers a modern way of studying, blending online and on-campus learning. It provides you flexibility by allowing you to start the course online, from the comfort of your own home.

If you'd rather start your studies in London, you still have the option of applying to our face-to-face Pre-sessional course, which is taught on-campus. The combined and face-to-face courses are equivalent, both of them aiming to provide you with the skills you need on your main degree courses. 

Key benefits

  • Introduction to the UK academic culture 
  • Improved ability to use academic English appropriately and effectively at university level
  • Focus on improving your linguistic and academic skills required for successful study at King's
  • Great alternative to retaking external English tests as it teaches both the academic and English language skills needed to succeed at King’s
  • Develop your academic language and confidence online before joining the on-campus part of the course
  • All the benefits of using an online platform and face-to-face learning
  • Online study allows a more flexible approach to learning
  • On-campus learning in an unrivalled location in the heart of London

Key information

Application status Open

Duration 16-weeks, 11-weeks & 6-weeks (online and on-campus)

Study mode Distance Learning by eLearning, Full-time

Credit value N/A

Course leaders Ms. Jessica Cooper

Further details

Course contact for further information

Course contact form Postgraduate admissions

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty King's International Foundation



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Course detail


The Combined Pre-sessional course includes online and face-to-face learning, offering you flexibility in the way you study. The first four weeks of the Combined Pre-sessional course take place online. You will then come to King’s to study the remaining part of the course on campus, meeting your tutors and classmates face-to-face.  

There are three course lengths to choose from, depending on your current level of English and the English language requirements you need to meet for your degree offer:

  • 16-weeks
  • 11-weeks
  • 6-weeks

Use our Pre-sessional English calculator to see what English language score is required for your degree and which Combined Pre-sessional course you should take.  

During the course you’ll focus on reading, writing, listening and speaking English in an academic setting, and develop useful academic skills like notetaking, library-based research, essay writing, discussion, presenting, critical reading and active listening.  

You’ll also have regular tutorials during which you will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues related to your studies on the course.

During the online component of the course, you will be exposed to:

  • E-lessons made up of high quality bespoke videos, interactive exercises, and collaborative tasks
  • Live classes with your tutor & classmates (using a video conferencing tool)
  • Live tutorials (using a video conferencing tool)
  • Lectures
  • Social forums to interact with your classmates.

Pre-sessional course

We also offer a face-to-face Pre-sessional course, delivered on the King's campus from day one. There are various course lengths, depending on your needs.

Extra preparation 

Do you meet the academic conditions for your degree and the English language requirements, but feel like you could improve your academic English before starting your degree? 

The 6-week Combined Pre-sessional course is a great choice to build your confidence and help you to be better prepared before starting your studies.  

If you need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you may also be eligible for an integrated CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies), covering your Pre-sessional course and your main degree. 

Please contact our Admissions team for more information.

Term Date

Pre-sessional Programme timetable
online induction 
Online start date   End date

16-week Combined Pre-sessional



11-week Combined Pre-sessional   



6-week Combined Pre-sessional


*To be completed flexibly at some point during this week.

**For students beginning in 2020 please see Presessional taught online start dates here

1-week transition period 

We will have an on-campus transition week as part of the programme, held prior to on-campus degree teaching.

Course purpose

The purpose of the Combined Pre-sessional course is to help you:

  • meet the minimum language entry requirements for your chosen degree course
  • improve your academic writing 
  • practise seminar skills and academic discussion in order to express arguments more clearly and concisely 
  • make you a more effective reader 
  • develop your grammatical competence
  • acquire lecture listening and note-taking skills
  • improve your understanding of and ability to use academic English appropriately and effectively in an academic environment
  • develop your independent research abilities
  • introduce you to UK academic culture
  • develop your digital literacy skills

Course format and assessment


The first four weeks of the Combined Pre-sessional courses are studied online. These classes will include a combination of self-directed interactive learning units, discussion forums, and collaborative tasks.

16-week and 11-week Combined Pre-sessional

The first four weeks will be studied online and you will typically be expected to participate in online tasks for approximately 10 hours per week plus, on average, 10 hours of self-directed study.  Some weeks will see more contact hours than others. 

For the on-campus part of the course, a typical week includes contact hours,however, some weeks will see more contact hours than others.

6-week Combined Pre-sessional

The first four weeks of the course will be studied online where you will typically be expected to participate in online tasks for approximately 12.5 hours per week plus, on average, 12.5 hours of self-directed study. Some weeks will see more contact hours than others. 

For the on-campus part of the course, a typical week includes contact hours, however, some weeks will see more contact hours than others. 


Typically, students may be assessed by means of any of the following:

  • Essay(s)
  • Viva(s) (a written or oral explication of a piece of research)
  • Oral presentation(s)
  • Exam(s)
  • Seminar(s)
  • Portfolio(s) of work, written and/or oral

The study time and assessment methods detailed above are typical and give a good indication of what to expect. However, they may change if the course content changes.


Year 1

The Combined Pre-sessional course is taught through a combination of online and face-to-face learning including lectures, seminars and classes and you are expected to dedicate time to self-study and independent research tasks. 

Students will be allocated to one of 4 modules, dependent upon their target degree course:

The ‘Academic English’ module will be taken by all 6-Week Combined students and students on any Pre-sessional programme aiming to progress to:

-          The Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy

-          The Dickson Poon School of Law

-          Arts & Humanities (with the exception of CMCI and DDH)

-          The science and health faculties (NMS, IoPPN, FoLSM, Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care) 

The 'Management' module will be taken by students aiming to enter management-related courses delivered by King's Business School.

The 'Finance' module will be taken by students aiming to enter finance-related courses delivered by King's Business School.

The 'Cultural Industries and Digital Humanities' module will be taken by students aiming to enter programmes delivered by the Department of Culture, Media and Creative Industries and the Department of Digital Humanities.

The Management, Finance, and Cultural Industries & Digital Humanities modules contain a mixture of core, general content and language and skills central to the target subject area.  The Academic English module focuses on the ability to use academic English vocabulary, genres of text, and skills relating to a wide range of academic situations and topics.       

Please note that the module a student takes is determined by their target degree course; students cannot opt for an alternative module. 

You will study the following:

English for academic purposes 

The course helps you to develop your academic essay writing, language, and research skills, as well as your critical reading and listening abilities.

Seminar and presentation skills

The course also helps you to develop your oral skills, focusing on your ability to express ideas clearly and concisely, to present and defend a position, and to listen and respond to other people’s ideas. 


Students’ progress is monitored carefully. Regular tutorials are arranged throughout the course, during which you will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues related to your studies on the course. 

Required Modules

Students are allocated to one module.  6-Week Combined students are allocated to the ‘Academic English’ module.  For all other Pre-sessional programmes, the module to which a student is allocated is determined by their target degree course.

Optional Modules

Entry requirements & how to apply

Academic entry requirements 

Before you can enrol for the Combined Pre-sessional course, you need to have a conditional or unconditional offer to study at King's. 

The 6-week Combined Pre-sessional course also requires you to have the ability to obtain an integrated CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies) visa, covering your Combined Pre-sessional course and your main degree. 

Please contact our Admissions team for more information. 

English Language entry requirements 

Each Combined Pre-sessional course length has a minimum entry level depending on the English language score required by the individual academic department. 

Use the Pre-sessional English Calculator to determine the English language score required by each department.

See the Pre-sessional IELTS entry requirements and the Pre-sessional TOEFL, Pearson and Cambridge CAE/FCE entry requirements for more information.

If you do not know which faculty offers your degree course,  you can search for your course on our website.

Please see below details of accepted English tests.

For International students 


If you need to apply for a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, we can usually only accept results from a UKVI approved IELTS test with your application. However, if you are applying to our 6-week Pre-Sessional face-to-face English course or our 6 week Combined Pre-Sessional English course, you may be eligible for an integrated Tier 4 visa, which allows us to accept a wider range of English language tests.

Please contact the Admissions team for further details.

For European Union/EEA students  

  • Pearson
  • Cambridge FCE 
  • Cambridge CAE 
  • Cambridge CPE 

Application procedure

If you have already submited an application, you can review your status in the King's Apply Portal. Please contact Admissions on +44 (0) 20 7848 7000 if you have any questions. 

Please be aware that places on Combined Pre-sessional courses are limited and offers are made on a rolling basis. Your place can only be confirmed once you have paid your Combined Pre-sessional course tuition fees in full. Places may fill up before the application deadline.


Please contact our Admissions team if you have any questions about the course or if you are unable to access the online application form.

Personal statement and supporting information

A Personal statement is not required for the Combined Pre-sessional course.

The online application requires you to upload documents to our application portal, King's Apply. You do not need all of these immediately, but your application will not be considered complete without them. We also have guidance notes to help with your application.

1. English Language Certificate

This must be dated within the last two years. If you have not yet taken an approved test, such as the IELTS, then we will be unable to consider you for our Combined Pre-sessional course as it is a compulsory requirement.

2. Official Offer Letter

If you are holding an offer of study at King’s College London then you do not need to attach your letter, but without an offer for your main course of study we will not be able to process your Combined Pre-sessional application.

Application closing date

16 week Combined Pre-sessional - 8 May 2020

11 week Combined Pre-sessional - 15 June 2020.

6 week Combined Pre-sessional - 20 July 2020.


Please note that being enrolled on a Combined programme is not the same as having an Integrated CAS (sometimes referred to as a ‘combined CAS’).  For information about Integrated CAS, including criteria for eligibility, please click here.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

2020 fees*

16-week Combined


11-week Combined    


6-week Combined


The Combined Pre-sessional course is the same cost as the equivalent 16-week, 11-week and 6-week Pre-sessional courses taught on campus (face-to-face).

*These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Additional costs/expenses

In addition to the costs above, you can also expect to pay for:

  • Books if you choose to buy your own copies
  • Clothing for optional course related events and competitions
  • Library fees and fines
  • Personal photocopies
  • Printing 
  • Society membership fees
  • Stationery
  • Graduation costs
  • Travel costs for travel around London and between campuses

For further information, please visit our fees and funding pages.


Please refer to the Terms and Conditions in your offer letter.

If you are claiming a refund on the basis of being unable to obtain a visa, you must provide documentary evidence that your visa application has been rejected.

Note that if the condition of your offer was related to achieving a higher IELTS score, you must show that you sat an IELTS exam in between accepting your offer and the start of the course. Offer holders who do not retake an IELTS exam in time for the start of the course will not receive a refund.

Please note: You must provide evidence of meeting the above conditions within two weeks of the start of the course.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

To continue your studies at King's


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

View guide

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