Academic Language Support Service

Pre-sessional Programmes

Pre-sessional Programme C


Due to the ongoing Covid -19 situation and the success of the online pre-sessional programmes in 2020, the university has taken the decision to deliver the 2021 pre-sessional programmes ONLINE ONLY. For more information on the teaching and learning for the Online Pre-sessional Programmes 2021 please see the information below.

Online Programme Content

The main emphasis for Online Pre-sessional Programme C is on academic English.

Whilst you are expected to read and conduct research on your subject area for your coursework, the pre-sessional programme covers English for academic purposes that can be applied to any discipline. Please note these programmes are full time and attendance is compulsory.

Approach to Learning

Our online programmes have been carefully designed to maximise your learning potential in a supportive environment. We are using a successful teaching approach called ‘flipped learning’ where you work through learning materials before your live small group seminar. Having these materials online means that you can look at them again in your own time, take a break when you want, look things up and fully prepare for your live small group seminars with your tutor on Microsoft Teams. 

Dedicated study materials are available for you on our virtual learning environment called Learn. These materials have full instructions and carefully guide you through the learning tasks. The study materials are broken down into three main areas:

  • course materials that you have to complete in preparation for your seminar or tutorial with your tutor;
  • homework that helps to consolidate your understanding;
  • and independent learning where you can focus on areas that you want to improve upon.

You will be working on these tasks either independently, with a study buddy or in a group. The study materials are delivered through online videos, interactive activities and worksheets. A weekly syllabus is published on Learn in advance to help you plan and manage your learning and time.


Assessments cover each of the four skills; reading, writing, speaking and listening, and are based on the academic skills and language development you learn during the programme. Each of these assessments will be conducted online and have been carefully planned into your timetabled learning. Experienced tutors will mark your work and provide personalised feedback to help guide you on the areas upon which you could improve.

Our 2020 pre-sessional programmes were delivered successfully online and 99% of our students progressed on to their academic programme.

Learning Outcomes

The Online Pre-sessional Programme is designed to equip you with the skills to succeed on your academic programme here at Loughborough University. 

By the end of the programme, successful students should be better able to:

  • deliver effective oral presentations;
  • function within a variety of speaking situations in an academic context, including seminar discussions and tutorials;
  • identify key points in a lecture and take effective notes;
  • plan, structure, write and review extended pieces of writing;
  • demonstrate an understanding of academic writing conventions, to include in-text citation, referencing, direct quotation and bibliographies;
  • summarise and paraphrase effectively from written and spoken sources;
  • write reflectively on their academic development and independent learning;
  • use a range of reading strategies for different purposes;
  • critically read, analyse and evaluate academic texts;
  • locate, research and take effective notes from written sources;
  • work independently and collaboratively.

Teaching and Learning

Live small group seminars

Part of your learning will be compulsory attendance at seminars. These are conducted by your tutor, held live via Microsoft Teams and include a small group of students (approximately 6). The small group size allows your tutor to focus on your individual learning needs and enables greater participation for all students.  It also allows you to discuss learning and ideas with your peers; develop speaking practice and use of academic language, and work with others as you would in your taught programme.

The number of seminars and tutorials you have each week can vary slightly depending upon the timetable and assessment schedule. You will normally attend 3-4 live seminar sessions per week, as well as having a weekly individual tutorial with your tutor.  

1 to 1 tutorials with your tutor

We understand the importance of having regular one to one tutorials with your tutor and these are carefully planned into your schedule. Typically held once a week, this time with your tutor is focused on key learning and assessment elements throughout the programme giving you time to ask questions and develop a deeper understanding of the personalised feedback you receive.

Personalised feedback

Throughout the programme, you will be regularly completing and submitting tasks.  Your tutor provides you with personalised feedback on these tasks which you can then apply to further improve your key skills. The feedback and tasks are also discussed in your tutorials.

Supported study

We appreciate that undertaking study which may be different from what you are accustomed to can be challenging. A core team of highly experienced academic teaching and learning professionals who understand these challenges have designed the programme and provide extra support to help you achieve your learning goals in a supportive environment. We support you in a number of ways throughout the programme from seminars to your tutorials and buddy tasks.  However, we also provide other support systems:

  • Comprehensive induction to allow you to familiarise yourself with the learning environment, technology, and content of the programme. As part of the induction you will attend live taught sessions as well as access course materials, undertake tasks and meet your tutor and other students.
  • Timely topic specific forums are provided at key times in your learning to provide another layer of support where you can ask questions for further clarification.
  • Class forums are used during the programme where you can discuss specific topics such as academic culture with your seminar group and tutor.
  • Action plans are provided to help you organise and monitor your personal learning needs in the different key skills. These can then be used in tutorials to help focus and aid your development.  There are a range of specifically created additional resources to help you target key areas of your learning journey.
  • Personal learning reflection using your own blog helps you to identify your progress at different stages of the programme and which your tutor responds to.
  • An opportunity to be elected as a programme representative. As a programme representative you are a leader within your seminar group and can be the link between students and the core pre-sessional team. This is an opportunity to help shape the programme through feedback by yourself and your peers. We are responsive to feedback and make alterations where possible to aid your learning. This mirrors what happens on your academic programmes at Loughborough University and Loughborough University London.
  • Access to library materials with thousands of online resources and support from Academic Librarians.
  • Information about the Loughborough and London campuses, the local area and some interesting aspects of British culture and language is available to help you acclimatise prior to your arrival in the UK.

Buddy tasks

We learn so much when we work with others and our understanding of a subject increases. Within the programme there are specific tasks and activities you do with your ‘study buddy’. A ‘study buddy’ is another student you work with and is allocated by your tutor. Your tutor will change who your ‘study buddy’ is during the programme to allow you to work with others and make new friends.

Independent learning

Independent learning is very important when studying at a UK university and is a skill that we help you to develop within the supportive environment. As well as undertaking learning within your seminar group, and with a buddy, there are many learning activities and tasks that you complete alone. You are then able to bring that learning and understanding to your seminar, study buddy or to your tutorials to get further help and guidance as you develop.

Daily syllabus

You can access a weekly syllabus to refer to which explains things such as: study focus for each day of the week; whether you have seminars, tutorials or assessments; any homework; timings for the day, etc. The timings will be based around a normal GMT (UK time) working day. Below is an example day based on students living in Asia.


Morning time for a student based in Asia.

PROGRAMME MATERIALS for students (complete before their seminar session)

  • 1.7. Evaluating sources
  • 1.8. Surveying sources

Set: Source note-taking template

  • 1.9. Research Task 2: Library search methods

Set: Finding sources for the Literature Review

  • 1.10. Reading research articles 1

Buddy Task:

  • Share ideas for finding and choosing sources. Review library search methods


9.00 - 10.30am or 11.15am-12.45pm GMT+1 (British Summer Time)  


Source note-taking template

Find sources for the literature review