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Pre-sessional English language programmes

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Pre-sessional English language programmes

For Autumn 2020, the Pre-sessional English Language Programme (PELP) will be offered both online, delivered by Study Group and on campus, delivered by Royal Holloway teaching staff.

The online 12, 8 and 4 week programmes will be delivered by Study Group and will be 100% online through a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) using a mixture of both synchronous and asynchronous delivery to provide a supportive and engaging experience.

The on-campus 8 and 4 week programmes will be delivered by the Royal Holloway teaching staff and will follow a blended learning approach where students will be taught face to face as well as working online. Students who are able to join the on campus programme will be able to experience life at Royal Holloway before starting their degrees.

 Both the on campus and online courses are aimed at students holding a conditional offer who need to improve their academic English and study skills before they start their studies.

To view our frequently asked questions (FAQs), please click the button below.

Frequently asked questions

What will you study?

The Pre-sessional English course content will fully prepare you for your degree at Royal Holloway. The course will include the following areas:

Academic Listening & Speaking

These areas will include considering the listening skills you will need for lectures and seminars and those you need to interact and participate.

  • Following lectures & making notes
  • Understanding seminar interaction & participation 

Academic Reading & Vocabulary

These areas will include strategies to develop your reading and writing skills. You will look at a variety of texts and consider different types of academic writing.

  • Exposure to a variety of academic texts
  • Understanding different reading strategies 

Academic Writing & Research Skills

These areas will include strategies to develop your reading and writing skills. You will look at a variety of texts and consider different types of academic writing.

  • Organising an essay with formal language
  • Finding and supporting ideas with relevant sources

Independent Study Portfolio

  • Completion of set tasks based on weekly content

Online PELP

  • Language development

How will you study?

Face to face/live delivery

Each week your English tutor will meet you live using video-conferencing, live chat or instant messaging to introduce and explain the planned work for the week. It will be an opportunity for you to ask questions, meet other students in your group and help create a sense of community. During the course, such sessions will typically involve the whole group, smaller break-out groups and individual 1:1 tutorials to provide more personal feedback.

Working independently

A variety of materials, tasks and additional reading associated with each week of the course will be available on the VLE 24 hours a day. The content will include:

  • Course documentation including the handbook
  • PowerPoints with added audio or video that provide content
  • Academic lectures via audio or video that provide content
  • Online quizzes, surveys and comprehension tasks
  • Guided reading to support and extend content knowledge
  • Discussion forums, wikis or blogs to discuss ideas and deepen understanding
  • Links to external resources to extend knowledge and pursue areas of interest
  • Activities to promote critical reflection

One of the most critical skills that UK Universities value and promote is the ability to study independently. The asynchronous materials available to you will encourage you to acquire these skills gradually over time with more expected of you as the course progresses each week. You need to set aside time each day on the course to do the work allocated by your English tutor but also spend an equal if not more time on independent study.

How will you be assessed?

You will be assessed through a combination of course work submitted to the VLE and online exams that will test your skills in Academic Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing as well as your engagement with the online materials set. In addition, each student will get feedback from their English tutors on how they are progressing via 1:1 live tutorials and formative assessment.

Who will be teaching me?

The online Royal Holloway Pre-sessional English Language programme will be delivered by our pathway partner, Study Group. Royal Holloway have a long-established partnership with Study Group and they have established experience of offering English pre-sessional programmes both online and in person. The teaching of the online pre-sessional will be done by Study Group’s experienced English Language tutors.

On campus PELP

How will you study?

The programme will follow a blended learning approach, and this means you will have classes taught face to face as well as work which you will do online. The face to face classes will be conducted following the most up to date government guidance on social distancing.

Teaching and learning

The programme is intensive in nature with 40 learning hours per week (approximately 40 per cent of these hours will be teacher - student contact time). All three parts of the programme will provide students with the following:

  • A timetable allowing you to concentrate on core academic skills while ensuring there is time for independent study which is an important aspect of university level study in any subject.
  • Regular contact with a staff member either through face to face teaching or online.
  • Extensive supporting materials and learning resources in the College library, including the e-resources.
Working independently

Apart from the time you will spend in class, you will be working independently to prepare for participation and interaction in class sessions as well as working towards the different assessment that you will take on the programme. This aspect of the programme is important as it will prepare you for the independent study that will be an important part of your degree at Royal Holloway.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in the four skills areas and at the end of the programme will have the following assessments:

Students on the 4 and 8 week programmes must fulfil the programme attendance requirements and pass the programme at the required level in order to progress. Individual assessment weightings are as follows:

  • An essay based on research of academic texts which assesses reading and writing skills (65%).
  • An oral assessment where both presentation and discussion skills are assessed (20%).
  • A lecture comprehension assessment (15%).
Who will be teaching me?

You will be taught by Royal Holloway teaching staff. The staff are both qualified and experienced with many of them having taught on pre-sessional programmes for a number of years.

Dates and fees for Autumn 2020 on campus and online PELP

Programme Length Start date Latest Enrolment date  End date  Tuition fees
12 weeks (online only) 21 September 2020 5 October 2020 9 December 2020 £4,005*
8 weeks 19 October 2020 2 November 2020 9 December 2020 £2,735*
4 weeks 13 November 2020 19 November 2020 9 December 2020 £1,470*

*Progression scholarship applies, see details below.

PELP Progression Scholarship

All students who successfully proceed on to Royal Holloway from the Royal Holloway 4, 8 or 12 week Pre-sessional English Language Programme (PELP) will qualify for the PELP Progression Scholarship. The Scholarship is 25% of the total PELP tuition fee paid by the student and will be taken off the first year of degree tuition fees. Terms and conditions apply, please see below.

Terms and Conditions for the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College Pre-sessional English Language Programme (“PELP”) Scholarship 2020 (“the Scholarship”)

  1. The Scholarship will apply automatically to undergraduate and postgraduate students who have successfully completed the 4, 8 or 12 week PELP 2020 and who thereafter commence a degree course at the College during the academic year 2020/21.
  2. The Scholarship will apply to students who have completed the PELP online through Study Group Ltd between June and December of 2020 or on campus at the College during September to December 2020.
  3. The Scholarship will amount to an automatic 25% reduction in the tuition fees payable by the student for the academic year 2020/21.
  4. The Scholarship will be applied only for the academic year 2020/21.

How to apply

Once you have accepted an offer to study at an undergraduate or postgraduate level, you can then apply for one of our pre-sessional programmes through your Applicant portal.

You must already hold an internationally-recognised English qualification at a level that will enable you to benefit from a pre-sessional programme. See ‘How to work out which Pre-Sessional English Language Programme to take’ below.

How to accept your offer?

If you are going to study the 12 or 8 week PELP, you can accept your offer by paying at least 50% of your tuition fee which is due before you start the course (50% of 12 week PELP fees is £2,003 and 50% of the 8 week PELP fees is £1,368). The remaining tuition fees will be due halfway through your English language programme.

If you are going to study the 4 week PELP, you can accept your offer by paying your full tuition fees (£1,470) before the start of your English language programme.

How to pay your tuition fees?

For payments of £3000 or less please use Royal Holloway’s secure online card payment facility - ‘epay’- by debit or credit card. You can access ‘epay’ via the follow link epay

For amounts over £3000, we recommend using Globalpay for students platform- globalpay.

This service allows you to pay in your local currency and from your home bank account without worrying about exchange rates, bank charges or funds arriving short at the University.

To make payment you will need your Royal Holloway Student Number.  Please allow up to 5 working days for the payment to be processed.

How to work out which pre-sessional English language programme to take

To find out which pre-sessional English language programme (PELP) you need to take, look at the table below:

  • Select the relevant heading showing the English language test you’ve taken or are planning to take eg IELTS or Pearson.
  • Then select the English language requirement for your chosen degree.

The table will then show you whether you need to take the four, eight or twelve-week PELP programme depending on your current English language level.




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