This is an Online course designed for students whose first language is not English who wish to pursue PhD studies at Durham. You can join for either 20 Weeks or 10 Weeks.
Programmes are suitable for both those who have narrowly missed their language condition and those with unconditional offers for their main programme.
If you take the 20 week course, the first ten weeks includes a thorough grounding in the listening, reading, writing and speaking skills you will need to participate effectively in your studies at Durham.
The skills you will learn on the first ten weeks of the 20 week Pre-sessional include:
The Pre-Sessional programme often mirrors the academic process that many of you will follow in your department:
The 10 Week course (and the second half of the 20 Week course) is more specialised and is designed in consultation with academic departments and supervisors to reflect the specific needs of postgraduate research candidates.
In addition to language skills the course aims to develop student’s awareness of academic culture and conventions at British universities, and thus be linguistically and culturally better prepared for the demands of doctoral level study in the UK, and, more specifically, at Durham University. Individual student programmes may vary depending on the needs of their discipline and potential skills and typical tasks are listed below.
You will be expected to participate in activities, discussions and video classes with your tutor and fellow students daily (Monday-Friday) within our Virtual Learning Environments (VLE).
We provide full course materials digitally, including reading materials, lesson materials and supporting video content. You will have homework and assessment tasks to complete and submit, as well as being expected to dedicate significant time to homework and assessment tasks.
We will be expecting you to be spending at least 25-30 hours a week on your studies.
You will have regular opportunities for video conferencing and access to dedicated discussion space to work on academic tasks, share questions and ideas and work together in developing your learning. In addition to class time, you will have frequent one-to-one contact with your tutor to discuss your learning, progress and work you have produced. You will also get regular, detailed written feedback on work produced to help you improve.
To pass the course you need to attend 90% of all classes, submit all assessments, and achieve the pass level required by your department.
Assessments are designed after consultation with your department and supervisor and will differ according to their requirements. They will typically include:
The Durham University Pre-sessional Courses are accredited by BALEAP.