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What Our Students Say About Us

3 students talking


MA TESOL (DCAD) student:

"I would like to say the 3-month period when I took pre-sessional course in DCAD has been one of the most fantastic periods in my year 2018. To be honest, I felt quite depressed when I knew I have to take the pre-sessional course because I did not meet the request for the IELTS test at first. However, I ended up gaining a lot more than the IELTS score! I not only learnt knowledge about academic reading and writing, but also met the greatest teacher and classmates in this summer. I do appreciate the pre-sessional course!"

LLM Law student:

"It was a wonderful experience, I learned a lot of useful academic learning skills, which helped me get ready for my department. What's more, I got 2 more months than other students to know about Durham, this beautiful town. I loved it."

MSc Islamic Finance Business School student:

"It has been my pleasure and privilege to be here at the pre-sessional course, and it is fair to say that this has been the best experience after three English schooling experience in US universities! …I value and appreciate the hard work of all the pre-sessional team, the lovely and brilliant people who are working hard to making this programme a remarkable place! Thank you, all indeed!"

MA TESOL (DCAD) student:

"It was a good opportunity for me to take part in the pre-sessional course in Durham. Throughout the three-month course, not only could I learn more about academic writing, but also I got accustomed to life here faster than I thought. I am able to improve myself through teachers' feedback as well as seminars with classmates. I also met many fantastic friends and brilliant teachers during the summer, and most of them remained good friends even after the course finished. Josephine Butler College supported us by organizing various activities such as Wolf Night, Harry Potter's Night and various travels. This period of life is so fulfilling that I believe I will never forget it."

LLM Law student:

"I am really appreciate that I can take part in the pre-sessional course. The atmosphere of the class is fantastic, wonderful Jane, lovely Katy and interesting classmates…I learned lots of academic writing skills which helped me a lot in the LLM study. It is a memorable experience.

Student Blog

Name: Lifeng Xu

Course: MA Translation Studies

Year of study: 1

I’m very lucky that I took this year’s pre-sessional course. Although it lasted for only four weeks, less than a month, but still I feel it is very helpful to both my future academic studies and my life in the UK.

As a foreign student, I felt a little bit nervous before I came to the UK because I have never taken any courses oversea and I’m not familiar with the education system in the UK. However, Durham’s pre-sessional course offered a great opportunity for us to get used to the academic life and enable us to be more prepared for the future courses. During the pre-sessional, the main task for us was to get good command of how to write an academic essay and improve our presentation skills. It was combined with lectures and seminars. Some lectures helped us to understand our essay topic better, other lectures helped us learn some useful technique such as how to cite correctly, how to search for more useful materials on the library website and so on. Our teachers were very nice and patient. They used technologies to make the class more vivid and attractive. The course was detail-oriented. We started from how to understand a broad topic to how to write a paragraph and how to form a completed section, which really solved many problems we have while we are writing an academic essay. Apart from that, we also had many opportunities to do presentations based on our essay, which gave a chance for us to practice presentation skills that are needed for the future study. The teachers always gave feedbacks in time, and we really learned a lot from their feedbacks.

We were all members of Josephine Butler College when we were studying in the pre-sessional course. Josephine Butler College played an important role during that month. It really helped me to feel comfortable in a foreign country far away from home. All the students in pre-sessional course had a mentor. We had a mentor night every Tuesday evening. My mentor would tell us interesting stories and famous area about Durham city. We also discussed things about the University and traditional events in the UK. Josephine Butler College also held formals and balls for the presessional students. These were very unique experiences for us and is also a great chance to make new friends. The best part was that we have trips to other cities every Saturday. My friends and I visited York, Edinburgh and Alnwick Castle and had a wonderful time when traveling.

To sum up, I feel every day in the pre-sessional course is useful and meaningful. I really appreciate that I had this great opportunity to spend such a wonderful time with my lovely school mates and the pre-sessional team!


The Durham University Pre-sessional Courses are accredited by BALEAP.