Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Applying for a course

We offer year-round courses from October to June (Pre-sessional Stages 1, 2 and 3) and Pre-Sessional Summer courses from June to September.  

How many weeks of English do I need? 

The examples below relate to a degree offer of conditional IELTS overall 6.5 and at least IELTS 6.0 in each component

  • IELTS Overall 4.5 with no lower than 4.0 in each component 42 weeks (Stages 1, 2, 3 and PS12)
  • IELTS Overall 5.0 with no lower than 4.5 in each component 32 weeks (Stages 2, 3 and PS12)
  • IELTS Overall 5.5 with no lower than 4.5 in each component 22 weeks (Stage 3 and PS12)
  • IELTS Overall 5.5 with no lower than 5.0 in each component 12 weeks (PS12)
  • IELTS Overall 6.0 with no lower than 5.5 in each component 8 weeks (PS8)
  • IELTS Overall 6.5 with no lower than 6.0 in each component 5 weeks (PS5)

If you need to improve your IELTS Academic (or equivalent) score by 1.0 (overall or an individual skill) then you should take our Pre-Sessional 12 course.  If you have already achieved the necessary IELTS Academic scores (overall and individual skills) for your degree course then you may wish to consider our Pre-Sessional 5 course. 

If you intend to study on one of our pre-sessional English language programmes and you require a Tier 4 (General) Student visa, you will usually need to provide a valid UKVI IELTS Academic report, which is a UKVI approved Secure English language Test (SELT). Grades required can be seen on the individual course pages.

The deadline for application is 4 weeks before the start of each individual course. We may close the application process early if the maximum numbers are achieved and we may also keep the programmes open longer if we do not. It is essential for students to arrive on the first day of the courses and it should be taken in to account the time to obtain a visa when applying. We would advise you to apply as soon as possible as places fill up quickly.   

Before the course

 It may be possible to arrive up to two nights early and move into University accommodation.  Students on English Language courses normally arrive the day before their course starts.  Students leave on the day after their course finishes.  It is possible to arrange your own accommodation locally.

No, there will not be an airport pick up for your Pre-sessional course.  If you would like a taxi to take you from the airport to the University, it is advisable to pre-book your taxi before you arrive at the airport.  Only a few authorised taxis are allowed to operate within the airports (and therefore these tend to be very expensive).  However, any taxi may pick up a passenger if this has been pre-arranged. The fee for the journey is agreed at the time of booking. You can contact

Beeline Cars, Weyford House, Woodbridge Meadows, Guildford, Surrey  GU1 1BA 

Tel: (0044) 1483 823232
Fax: (0044) 1483 572211   Email:

Cost of a taxi fare from Heathrow or Gatwick to Guildford are approximately £60. We regret that we are unable to book the taxi for you.

Find out more about how to get to the University.

During the course


After the course

In most cases you will remain in the same accommodation when you progress to your degree programme.

Yes. English Language Support Programme (ELSP) courses are or students on degree courses at the University of Surrey who would like/need help with their English Language at the same time as studying on their degree courses.  ELSP classes run from September to May each year.  ELSP classes are  free to University of Surrey full-time students.

Contact us

Find us

School of Literature and Languages
Elizabeth Fry Building
University of Surrey