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ADTIS: Pre-Sessional

Pre-Sessional Course

Pre-Sessional Course


The objective of this five-week intensive Pre-Sessional course is to provide you with extensive tailored support in order to equip you with the necessary academic English skills for you to hit the ground running in October.

The Pre-Sessional is not really a language course at all - but an academic skills training course tailored to the needs of international postgraduate students at Cambridge.

Whilst attendance on this course can be a condition of postgraduate entry to the University of Cambridge, it is not an alternative to taking an English test. For more information on what to do if the minimum language requirement has not been met, go to Language Condition.

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The focus of this five-week intensive course is to enable you to heighten not only your linguistic ability in English, but also your postgraduate skills set, for example, by:

    • refining the style and accuracy of your writing in your particular discipline;
    • enhancing your awareness of the academic conventions of your discipline;
    • extending you ability to listen to lectures and in seminars, take notes efficiently and ask questions appropriately;
    • enabling you to participate confidently and appropriately in academic seminars;
    • increasing your confidence and accuracy when presenting their research; and
    • developing and refining your range of transferable skills.

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The Pre-Sessional is a FULL-TIME course with 40 contact hours per week. On arrival, we will determine your level of proficiency in the four skill areas, thereby defining your objectives for the course. Classes will be grouped according to individual needs.

During the course you will:

    • attend 20 hours of classes per week;
    • attend weekly lectures by Cambridge Lecturers;
    • receive individualised weekly support in the form of one-to-one supervisions;
    • study at least 10 hours per week independently with guided support;
    • write three research papers in your discipline;
    • deliver three oral presentations in your discipline;
    • receive an orientation to the University's main services; and
    • develop your transferable skills in such areas as communication skills, postgraduate authoring, and presentation skills.

This is more than just a language course. Through the medium of English you will become autonomous and reflective learners who use language strategies to cope efficiently with your academic workload. Whilst your listening, note-taking, writing, reading, speaking, seminar and presentation skills will improve, you will also learn about university conventions, learn to communicate in everyday situations both within and outside university contexts whilst learning about everyday British traditions and conventions.

To give you an idea of what we cover each week on the Pre-Sessional, take a look at this Sample Schedule.

You will receive a certificate upon satisfactory completion of this course, which, if you have a language condition, will be deemed as its fulfillment.

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Social Programme

As a Pre-Sessional student there is a full social programme organised for you. There is no obligation for you to attend and there may be a small charge for some events. You will be provided with a Social Programme Handbook which details the calendar of events (Click on the image below to enlarge it.).

The Social Programme provides a great opportunity for you to socialise with your classmates and have an enjoyable time. From a punt on the river Cam to the Shakespeare Festival, you will be able to experience English traditions and discover more about Cambridge.

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Pre-Sessional students are housed in the University's oldest College, Peterhouse. Founded in 1284 by Hugo de Balsham, Bishop of Ely, it is Cambridge's oldest, and the smallest of the Cambridge Colleges that admits both undergraduates and graduates.

Accommodation will be available from the Sunday before the start of the course to the day after the course has finished.

Meals are provided in the Hall, which is located in Old Court.
(Monday - Friday: breakfast and evening meal;
Saturday and Sunday: breakfast only.)

Visit the Peterhouse College website for more information about the college, including maps and directions.

Peterhouse college

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Dates and Fees

2024 Pre-Sessional Course Dates

The ADTIS Pre-Sessional Course will run from:

    • Monday 12 August 2024 - Wednesday 18 September 2024

Accommodation is booked from:

    • Sunday 11 August 2024 - Thursday 19 September 2024

2024 Pre-Sessional Course Fees

    • Conditional: £3,630
    • Unconditional: £3,240
    • Accommodation: £1,995
Cancellation and Accommodation Policy and Fees

Please download the Terms and conditions document below:

Terms and Conditions

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Students applying for postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge, are you eligible to apply?

You must be a postgraduate applicant for the University of Cambridge, and be:

    • a student with a language condition who has been assessed by the Language Centre and attendance at the Pre-Sessional has been confirmed by the Postgraduate Admission Office,
    • or, a student with no language condition.

The Pre-Sessional Course caters both for students who have narrowly missed their language condition requirements as well as students with no language condition. All students need to apply for an assessment before acceptance onto the Pre-Sessional Course can be confirmed.

Do you have an outstanding language condition?
One of the entry conditions for applicants whose first language is not English is that you pass an English language proficiency test to show that you have the necessary command of the language in order to get the most out of your course. For details on the minimum levels required and which English language proficiency tests are accepted, please refer to the Competence in English section.

Whilst attendance on this course can be a condition of postgraduate entry to the University of Cambridge, it is not an alternative to taking an initial secure English Language Test.

To apply for this course, please email

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Latest News

Student Testimonials

I felt the urge to give you feedback on the ADTIS-course. Not about the teaching, which was great, of course, but about everything else.

I see that the ADTIS people are much more confident about the start of their course than even the native speakers ... and to know about the ongoing support is a great relief.

Not to mention the great friends everybody has made through the ADTIS course.

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