Pre Sessional English & UKVI Secure English Language Test (SELT)

If you need a Tier 4 student visa, the UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) will require evidence of your English Language level unless you are from a UKVI defined majority English-speaking country.

When applying to an Undergraduate or Postgraduate programme at Keele, the University will evaluate your English language proficiency using the evidence and information you send us with your application. The Admissions team will inform you with your Offer if they require further evidence of your English Language ability.

Undergraduate applicants recently educated in English-medium schools will normally be able to demonstrate their English language proficiency by having achieved a satisfactory level in the English component of their school leaving qualifications. For example, GCSE or IGCSE English Language (Specific Syllabus’s), or the English courses within the International Baccalaureate and European Baccalaureate.

Postgraduate applicants who have recently been educated in English, for example a Bachelor’s Degree studied in the UK will normally be exempt from the requirement to take a separate language test.

If you are planning on undertaking a Pre Sessional English programme to achieve the English condition of your offer or you have been offered a place on a standalone foundation programme at the University, you must provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT). The SELT that the University accepts is IELTS Academic for UKVI. This is a separate test to the normal IELTS Academic and contains a specific UKVI reference number on the test report form in addition to the IELTS TRF number.

More information on this can be found from the IELTS web pages with a full list of test centres can be found on the UK Home Office web site, available from here

You may find it helpful to take the free online IELTS course offered by the British Council. It will help you to prepare for an English language test and applying to a UK university.


When you return your Visa & Confirmation (pre-CAS) checklist, your English level be checked again against the requirements of the UKVI. If the evidence or level of English provided is not suitable for sponsorship the University will not be able to issue a CAS to support a Tier 4 Visa application.

Pre Sessional Academic English

Pre Sessional Academic English

If your Keele offer is conditional on achieving a higher level of English language proficiency, the University’s Pre-sessional course offers you a unique opportunity to develop your English language ability and confidence you will need on campus. One advantage of enrolling on the Keele University Pre-sessional Course is that by the time you start your degree at Keele you will be familiar with Keele’s facilities, staff, campus, accommodation and the local area.

For more information on the Pre-sessional Academic English programmes at Keele University please go to the Language Centres Pre Sessional web pages.


Entry Requirements (2019 entry)

The following table shows recommended IELTS entry levels. If your profile does not match the ones below, please contact admissions@Keele.ac.uk for further advice. 

Your chosen Keele programme requires IELTS (academic)

You currently have IELTS SELT (academic)

You need to take this pre-sessional course

5.5 

(with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests)
Excluding Stand-alone Foundation courses

 4.5 

(with a minimum of 4.5 in all sub-tests)

11 week

starting 21/06/2019

 

6.0

(with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests)

5.0

(with a minimum of 4.5 in all sub-tests)

11 Week

starting 21/06/2019

6.0

(with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests)

5.5

(with a minimum of 5.0 in all sub-tests)

6 Week

starting 26/07/2019

6.5

(with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests

5.5

(with a minimum of 4.5 in all sub-tests) 

11 Week

starting 21/06/2019

 

6.5

(with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-tests)

5.5

(with a minimum of 5.0 in al sub-tests)

11 Week

starting 21/06/2019

6.5

(with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-tests)

6.0

(with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests)

6 Week

starting 26/07/2019

7.0

(with a minimum of 6.5 in all sub-tests)

6.0

(with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests)

11 Week

starting 21/06/2019

7.0

(with a minimum of 6.5 in all sub-tests)

6.5

(with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-tests)

6 Week

starting 26/07/2019

Please note that airport pick up services are usually the day before the start date. To book on to an airport pick up services please contact International Student Support, their details can be found online here www.keele.ac.uk/welcome

Application information

If you wish to apply for a place on the Pre-sessional Academic English programme at Keele University, you would normally have an offer for your main Degree Programme of study. If you need to complete the Pre Sessional course to achieve the English requirements of your course, you must then provide a copy of your IELTS for UKVI (SELT) Academic English language certificate. A member of the Admissions team will assess your suitability for the pre-sessional course and advise you which course you need.

You will then receive an offer letter for your main course of study and an offer for your pre-sessional course. If you wish to accept this offer, you need to email the Admissions team admissions@keele.ac.uk

When you have accepted your offer for the pre-sessional course you will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of £150 for the Pre-sessional course. If you are planning to continue onto a Keele Degree course following the pre-sessional course, for a Visa you will also need to pay the tuition fee deposit of £2000 for your degree in addition to the pre-sessional course, a total of £2150. The quickest way to pay your deposit is via the online payment form available online here www.keele.ac.uk/finance/income/paymentmethods/onlinepayments/. For information on deposits please see the ‘Deposits and Tuition Free Payments’ section below.

Please note that students are responsible for any bank charges and will need to take this into account when making a payment.

When applying, you need to allow sufficient time for all the administrative processes to be completed so that you can apply for your visa. You should therefore accept your place as soon as possible. We recommend that you apply for your place at least 6 weeks before the start of the Programme.

If you need any more information on the Keele University’s pre-sessional courses please email presessional@keele.ac.uk

Joint CAS

In some circumstances we may be able to issue you with a joint CAS to cover both your Pre-sessional Academic English and Degree course. This would remove the need for you to apply for two separate Tier 4 Visas; one for the Pre-sessional Academic English course, the other for your Degree course.

Joint CAS is only an option if your only remaining condition of your offer is to achieve the level of English needed for admission. Even then it is dependent upon which Pre Sessional Course you need to do, the programme you have an offer to study at the University, plus your current level of English; if you are able to have a joint CAS.

For the 11 & 6 week Pre Sessional courses it depends on your current level of English and the level you need to get to (the entry requirements of the course), this should be in your Admissions Offer letter. If at the end of the 11 or 6 week Pre-sessional Academic English course your English (IELTS) need to be at or above CEFR C1 (IELTS 7.0) in all sub-tests then you would not be able to have a joint CAS. 

For example, if you are attending a 6 week or 11 week Pre Sessional Academic English language course at the University and have met all the conditions of your Degree course offer (including; academic, references and personal statement) but not the English level then in the majority of cases, we may be able to accept you unconditionally, issuing a CAS statement to you to include both the English language course and the degree course at Keele, as long as you successfully complete the pre-sessional English course at the required level. To do this you will need to pay a deposit for both the degree and pre-sessional programme totalling £2150.

However, if you do not achieve the required level of English at the end of the Pre-sessional Academic English course you will not be able to progress to the Degree course and the University is required to withdraw you and your Tier 4 Visa which covers both the Pre-sessional & Degree programme, meaning you will have to leave the UK and you will not be able to continue your studies.

The courses that may be suitable for a joint CAS are outlined in the table below:

Your chosen Keele programme requires IELTS (academic)

You currently have IELTS SELT (academic)

You need to take this pre-sessional course

Eligible* for a joint CAS 

6.0

with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests

5.0

with a minimum of 4.5 in each sub-test

11 Week

starting 21/06/2019

Yes

6.0

with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests

5.5

with a minimum of 5.0 in all sub-tests

6 Week

starting 26/07/2019

Yes 

6.5

with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests

5.5

with a minimum of 4.5 in all sub-tests

11 Week

starting 21/06/2019

Yes

6.5

witha minimum of 6.0 in all sub-tests

5.5

with a minimum of 5.0 in all sub-tests

11 Week

starting 21/06/2019

Yes

6.5

with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-tests

6.0

with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-test

6 Week

starting 26/07/2019

Yes

7.0

with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-tests

6.0

with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-tests

11 Week

starting 21/06/2019

Only if by the end of the course you would not be at IELTS 7.0 in all sub tests

7.0

with a minimum of 6.5 in all sub-tests

6.5

with a minimum of 6.0 in all sub-tests

6 Week

starting 21/06/2019

Only if by the end of the course you would not be at IELTS 7.0 in all sub tests

*Eligibility will be checked for each individual student and considered on a case by case basis.

The end date of the Pre-Sessional Academic English course at the University will be 2 weeks before the start and international enrolment date of the Degree programme, this is to allow students who need to make a new Visa application the time to do so.

Deposits & Tuition Fee Payments

All new international students are required to make a deposit payment of £2000 towards their tuition fees prior to a CAS being issued. Students who are undertaking a Pre Sessional English course at the University are required to make an additional deposit payment of £150 for the Pre Sessional, totalling £2150 towards their combined tuition fees prior to a CAS being issued.

Refund requests on the deposit payment are only considered if a student’s visa application is refused, with a copy of the refusal being sent to the Immigration Compliance Team and an unsuccessful UKVI administrative review (appeal against the UKVI refusal decision). However deposits are not refunded in instances of fraud.

Please note that the deposit payment for the Pre-sessional Academic English course is non refundable.

The quickest way to make a deposit payment is via the University’s online payment system.

Students who have a financial sponsor to cover part or all of their Tuition Fees will need to send an email copy of their sponsorship letter to the University’s Admissions Team who have managed your application, which if suitable will be used to waive the requirement for a tuition fee deposit. The financial sponsorship letter must meet the requirements as stated by the UK Home Office (UKVI), as detailed in the previous tabs.

  • Applicants to; Foundation, Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught and English Language Courses need to email admissions@keele.ac.uk with this information.
  • Applicants to Postgraduate Research courses need to email the relevant Faculty / Research Institute admissions office with this information.
  • All other applicants please email cas@keele.ac.uk with this information.

The financial sponsorship letter will be reviewed by the University’s Immigration Compliance Team and if suitable (and all other requirements are achieved) then a CAS will be issued. However if the financial sponsorship letter / evidence is not suitable then a CAS will not be issued and a student will be expected to pay a Tuition Fee Deposit of £2000 or £2150 in the case of students under taking a pre sessional English course. 


If you make an additional payment towards your tuition fees, and want this to show on your CAS statement you will need to make this payment online with the University, rather than paying by bank transfer. Online payments can be added to a CAS Statement (before you submit your visa application) within 24 hours; however bank transfers can take up to 10 working days. To make an online payment please go to the online payment web page.

Please note that once you have submitted your Visa application, the University cannot update your CAS with any additional payments.

Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR)

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international standard for describing language ability. The CEFR level describes language ability on a scale of levels from A1 for basic users up to C2 for those who have mastered a language. This allows educational institutions to compare a student’s English language ability against a common scale.

For Degree level study in the UK, the UKVI Immigration rules require students to be proficient to at least CEFR B2 across all elements of English Language learning, however the University’s requirements are normally above the minimum level the UKVI requires.

To find out what English CEFR level you currently have you will need to take an English Language assessment such as IELTS or Pearson Test of English. These tests will give you an overall score as well as individual scores for the subtests in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. To achieve a CEFR level you will need to ensure that you have the minimum score in each of the subtests.

IELTS CEFR Levels

For students who take an IELTS test, the test certificate will give you a CEFR Level on the test report form which is based upon your overall score, however this score is not necessarily your CEFR level as you need to achieve the require minimum scores in each of the subtests before you achieve a CEFR Level.

Each IELTS score is linked to a CEFR level going upwards from IELTS 4.0 being at B1, as shown in the table below:

CEFR

IELTS score

IELTS Band Score Description

B1

4.0

Your basic competence is limited to familiar situations. You frequently show problems in understanding and expression. You are not able to use complex language.

4.5

5.0

You have a partial command of the language, and cope with overall meaning in most situations, although you are likely to make many mistakes. You should be able to handle basic communication in your own field.

B2

5.5

6.0

Generally you have an effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings. You can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.

6.5

C1

7.0

You have an operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriate usage and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally you handle complex language well and understand detailed reasoning.

7.5

8.0

You have a fully operational command of the language with only occasional unsystematic inaccuracies and inappropriate usage. You may misunderstand some things in unfamiliar situations. You handle complex detailed argumentation well

8.5

C2

9.0

You have a full operational command of the language. Your use of English is appropriate, accurate and fluent, and you show complete understanding.


The following are examples of how to work out your CEFR level to include all your four sub tests (band) scores.

Example 1: if you achieve the following scores (below) your CEFR level is B1, as your Reading score is below IELTS 5.5

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

Overall

6.0

5.0

5.5

6.0

5.5

 

Example 2: if you achieve the following scores (below) your CEFR level is B1, as your Writing score is below IELTS 5.5

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

Overall

6.5

5.5

5.0

6.0

6.0

 

Example 3: if you achieve the following scores (below) your CEFR level is B2, as your Listening score is below IELTS 7.0

Listening

Reading

Writing

Speaking

Overall

6.5

7.0

7.5

7.0

7.0