welcome to the bcu pre sessional programme
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Welcome to the BCU Pre- sessional Programme. Tutor: Francesca Sweeney- Androulaki. Birmingham 2014. Course requirements. At the end of the Pre- sessional you must achieve: an overall level equivalent to IELTS 6.0/6.5 (depending on your degree course)

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welcome to the bcu pre sessional programme

Welcome to the BCU Pre-sessional Programme

Tutor: Francesca Sweeney-Androulaki

  • Birmingham 2014
course requirements
Course requirements
  • At the end of the Pre-sessional you must achieve:
    • an overall level equivalent to IELTS 6.0/6.5 (depending on your degree course)
    • minimum of IELTS 5.5 in each of the four language skills.
  • If you do not achieve this level, you will not be allowed to progress to your degree course.
  • You will have to complete assessments during the course and at the end of the course.
no automatic progression
No automatic progression!
  • PLEASE NOTE: there is NO automatic progression from the Pre-sessional to your main course at BCU
  • You will need to work very hard in the next 6 weeks to reach the required level
failure to meet requirements 2 week re sit option
Failure to meet requirements:2-week ‘re-sit’ option
  • If you do not achieve the required level (5.5) in ONE skill, you will have a ‘re-sit’ option
  • This involves TWO more weeks of intensive study (40 hours) to improve that one skill
what academic skills do you need
What academic skills do you need?
  • Reading – textbooks, journals, other print and online materials
  • Writing– essays, reports, making notes from books and lectures, paraphrasing, summarising, referencing
  • Listening – seminars, lectures, study groups
  • Speaking – discussions and seminars, presentations
  • Critical thinking skills – analysis & evaluation of information, ideas and sources - thinking for yourself!
pre sessional timetable
Pre-sessional Timetable


  • Timetable online
  • Regular tutorials
  • Faculty afternoons on


  • Reading/ Conversation


1 1 tutorials
1:1 tutorials
  • 1:1 tutorials will be held regularly
    • to give you support for the essay
    • to provide feedback on your progress with the essay and other aspects of the course
  • Tutorials provide opportunities for you
    • to ask questions about the essay/ course
    • to discuss any difficulties you are having
academic essay 50 of score
Academic essay (50% of score)
  • Essay topics will be provided
  • Word limits
    • 1200 words for BA students
    • 1500 words for MA students
  • Deadline: end of week 5 (Fri 29 August)
writing essay 50 of score
Writing - Essay (50% of score)
  • You will need to submit:
    • one hard (printed) copy AND
    • an electronic copy
  • Turnitin: your essay will be checked for plagiarism (i.e. copying from sources)
writing 2 x tests 50 of writing score
Writing: 2 x tests(50% of writing score)
  • Test 1: Micro-skills test (e.g. grammar, vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, paragraphing) – week 4
  • Test 2: IELTS type essay– week 6
speaking presentation
Speaking: Presentation
  • You will give a 10-12 minute presentation on a topic related to your assessed essay
  • You should focus on one or two aspects of your essay topic
  • The presentation must NOT be a summary of the whole essay
  • The content must be accessible and interesting for a general audience
course rules your turn
Course Rules – your turn!
  • In pairs, discuss your ideas and decide on FIVE rules
  • Compare your ideas with another pair (5 min)
  • Share your group’s ideas with the class
  • Agreed rules will be displayed in the classroom
general course rules 1 to compare with yours
General course rules (1)(to compare with yours)
  • 100% attendance is expected unless there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. ‘real’ illness)
  • Lateness will not be tolerated - you will not be allowed into the class if you are >5 min late
  • Late comers will be marked absent for the WHOLE morning/afternoon if they are >5 min late
general course rules 2
General course rules (2)
  • Electronic dictionaries should not be used in class unless your tutor gives permission
  • Mobile phones must be switched off in class
  • Electronic devices used without permission will be confiscated!
general course rules 3
General course rules (3)
  • ONLY ENGLISH should be spoken in class!
  • Your spoken English will not improve if you keep using your own language in class
  • Practice makes perfect!
general course rules 4
General course rules (4)
  • Homework must be submitted on time
  • Your homework record will form part of your final report
presenting your written work
Presenting your written work
  • Written work must be double spaced with a 2.5cm margin, to leave room for corrections and comments .
  • Homework and class work must be written on A4 paper – small pieces of paper taken from notebooks will not be accepted
  • Written work will be regularly redrafted, making corrections and responding to comments.
organising your course work
Organising your course work
  • Your class work and homework should be kept in one file so that you – and your tutor -can regularly review your work
  • Word processed homework (e.g. essay drafts) must be handed in as HARD COPY – it is your responsibility to print the documents.
essential equipment for the course
Essential equipment for the course
  • A ring binder (file) with dividers to help you to keep together work for different elements of the course
  • Lined A4 paper
  • Vocabulary notebook
course books academic skills
Course books: Academic Skills
  • Headway Academic Skills: Reading, Writing and Study Skills, Level 3
  • Headway Academic Skills: Listening, Speaking and Study Skills, Level 3
  • Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students (Bailey)
  • Passport to Academic Presentations (Garnet)
  • Listening (Garnet)
course books general english
Course books: General English
  • New Headway Intermediate
  • Grammar for IELTS (Hopkins and Cullen, CUP)
  • Vocabulary for IELTS (Cullen, CUP)
  • Real Listening and Speaking (Craven, CUP)
learning contract
Learning contract
  • You will receive a copy of the Learning Contract by email
  • You need to print and read the Contract by Friday this week (1 August)
  • You will be tested on the content of the Contract on Friday morning
  • You need to sign the final page of the Contract and return it to your tutor
study commitment
Study commitment
  • 20 hours of class study/ week is not enough
  • You will also need to spend at least 2 hours each day on homework/ self-study
motivation goal setting
Motivation & Goal Setting
  • What you achieve in the next 6 weeks is up to you
  • Work hard with clear learning goals
  • Submit your homework on time and pay careful attention to the feedback you receive
  • Please ask if there is anything you do not understand or if something is unclear
  • The 1:1 tutorials give you an opportunity:
    • to ask questions
    • to discuss your progress and any issues you want to raise
  • Working together, we can make the next 6 weeks a stepping stone to:
    • Academic success in your degree course at BCU
    • Life-changing adventures in Birmingham/ UK
email address
Email address

[email protected]

Thank you to Yvonne Grifiths for putting this PowerPoint presentation together.