Pre-sessional English Courses

All you need to know about pre-sessional English courses. What are they? How are they different to IELTS? Where can you study them?

What are they?

Pre-sessional English courses are short courses which seek to better the English of international or overseas students with either a conditional offer, or the aim to study a UK university degree.

While pre-sessional courses commonly range from 4 to 12 weeks in length, it all depends on the individual’s current English language level, and the language level required by their chosen degree.

Who needs it?  

Pre-sessional English course students are, more often than not, international or overseas students whose first language is not English. Students can also be those who:

  • have yet to meet the minimum language requirement of their conditional offer;
  • are joining an exchange programme in the UK (e.g. Erasmus or Study Abroad);
  • and / or are planning to progress onto a degree programme at a UK university.

Though, there are rare cases where people do a Pre-sessional English course just to familiarise themselves with British university culture and life before beginning their actual studies… We’re not here to judge!

pre-sessional-englishhttp://www.coventry.ac.uk/international-students-hub/new-students/courses-and-fees/pre-sessional-english-courses/

Who provides them?

Many HEIs (Higher Education Institutions), as well as Pathway Providers, offer Pre-sessional English courses that are tailored to the degree programmes they offer.

Whilst it makes more sense for individuals to choose the same university of their intended degree course, it is important to consider the gap between their current and required language level to be accepted for their intended degree course.

Length of Pre-sessional English course Score difference to achieve conditional offer requirement
4 – 6 weeks 0.5
8 – 12 weeks 1.0
16 – 24 weeks 1.5

This is due to the reason that some UK universities offer lengthier pre-sessional courses than others (e.g. 100+ weeks pre-sessional courses), which are more useful in some cases!

Here is a short list of the HEI Pre-sessional English course providers:

·         Royal Holloway University, London ·         University of Oxford
·         University of Essex ·         University of Edinburgh

A short list of some Pathway providers and their partner universities:

To check whether a university offers Pre-sessional English courses, contact Team AppUK on info@applicationuk.com.

What are the entry requirements for a Pre-sessional?

Pre-sessional English course programme students are expected to have at least a basic level of knowledge in the English language. Different universities however, have different levels of minimum English language requirements. It is therefore advisable to check with us before making your decision.

What happens after the Pre-sessional course? Is there an assessment?

Unfortunately, yes. After the Pre-sessional course is fully completed, a test with four different components – Listening, Speaking, Writing and Reading (similar to IELTS exams) – follows.

The big difference between a Pre-sessional’s assessment and an IELTS examination however, is that the test will cover what was taught during the Pre-sessional course. IELTS tests are a more general English exam.

Is there a high success rate for Pre-sessional students?

The short version – yes (hooray!). In comparison to the IELTS rate, Pre-sessional English courses tend to have a higher pass rate. For instance, the Brunel Language Centre (Brunel University London) reported that their Pre-sessional programmes  have an average pass rate of 96%. Plymouth University also hold a ‘high student success rate’ for their Pre-sessional courses.

What are the pros & cons of doing a Pre-sessional?

Pros 😊 Cons
A large variety – Tailors to different needs, hence better chances at succeeding Costly
UK study experience, prior to intended degree course Time consuming
Enhancing your English Language ability Examination
No need to take the IELTS repeatedly  

 Pre-sessional English course vs. Internal English Test

University Internal English Tests are distinct English tests created by universities.

Internal English Tests are much shorter in duration since they do not require the need for classes nor lessons. While they are also similar to the IELTS tests, which assesses four different components at once, they are only offered by a limited amount of UK universities such as Birmingham City University and Coventry University.

 

For more information, and to apply for a pre-sessional course, contact Team AppUK on info@applicationuk.com.

 

ApplicationUK’s easy-to-use online application portal provides a simple solution to postgraduate application stress. With its smart digital self-assessment tool, personalised application plan, and application tracking system, you can be rest assured that your application will go through smoothly. Our experienced counsellors are also here to provide expert advice, reassurance, and continuous support.

Keep up to date with all the latest news from ApplicationUK on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

 

Media Graduates – What to do Next?

It may be seen as a ‘soft option’ by many, but media studies and its related fields are by no means easy degrees. Along with the industry being notoriously difficult to get into, you may now be worrying about what you will do after you graduate. Luckily, that is where we come in. A fair amount of Team AppUK are themselves media graduates, and so we have plenty of experience in what to do once you have completed your course. We know that your degree has enabled you to develop excellent communication and analytical skills, you have great cultural awareness, and are up to date with all the latest technologies and theories. These skills are some of the top for employability, making you stand out to future employers. Media Studies degrees have high employability rates, with over 78% of students in full time employment after graduating, whilst a little over 6% of graduates go into further study.

Here, we will talk you through the top job opportunities available to media graduates, and how further study could boost your employability even further.

social-media

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/aug/19/how-to-land-a-job-in-social-media

Social Media Marketing

The amount of job vacancies with ‘Social Media’ in the title has jumped by over 1500% (and climbing!) since 2010, meaning that social media is one of the fastest growing jobs markets out there. With a high number of dedicated agencies, who provide social media marketing services to other companies, alongside the growth of in-house social media teams, there are plenty of options for those who want to go in to social media marketing. Social media roles are ideal for new graduates, as many of you will have grown up with social media and so have a solid understanding of how the various different platforms work. This is an area in which young, fresh graduates have an advantage over older, more professionally experienced colleagues.

Using social media in a professional sense is not the same as using it personally however, so you may feel that you need a little more training before you enter the work place. Many universities now have both MA and MSc courses in social media available, covering areas such as understanding social media, analysing social media statistics, social research, and business intelligence. Offering both practical and theoretical practice and experience, a Master’s in social media would give any new graduate the edge over their contemporaries.

Find out more about Master’s courses in Social Media here.

Digital Marketing

If you are interested in Social Media Marketing, but would prefer a job that covers a slightly broader base of activities, Digital Marketing could be for you. Digital Marketing Assistants and Executives traditionally look after all online marketing activities for a company, including social media, SEO, email marketing, and website management. Digital marketing roles combine creativity with technical knowledge and know-how. Again, there are many agencies who will look after the online marketing activities for external companies, whilst other businesses will have their own in house teams. In general, in house digital marketing roles will have a far broader scope of activities. Within an agency, the job may be more specialised.

A digital marketing postgrad qualification will enable you to learn the basics of theory behind digital marketing activities. You can complete a qualification in Digital Marketing through The Chartered Institute of Marketing (the top professional body in the UK). You can find details of these courses here. Alternatively, universities also offer both MA and MSc courses in Digital Marketing. Within these you will receive full support from industry professionals and leaders, and could even carry out placements within professional settings.

Find out more about Master’s in Digital Marketing here.

Public Relations (PR)

PR covers all aspects of advertising a company that are not marketing. It is a hard role to explain, and an even harder industry to get in to, but the rewards from a PR job can be great. In its essence, a PR role involves raising brand awareness through indirect activities such as news stories, events, and social media, amongst others. It is a creative and challenging industry, but there is a reason it is so popular with job seekers! PR works across many different markets, and again you would have the choice between working in an agency for a range of different clients, or working in house focusing on one brand and identity.

Universities across the UK offer great quality PR Master’s courses, both MA and MSc. Many of these also include placements within PR agencies, allowing students to gain real professional experience and build a network of useful contacts before they have even entered the industry as a professional. These aspects make graduates look favourable to future employers, and enable you to stand out from the crowd in what is a very competitive market. Courses include modules on areas such as media relations, brand strategy, crisis management, and even digital media.

Find out more about Master’s degrees in Public Relations here.

Media Planning

Media Planners work with clients to identify which media platforms would best promote their products. Platforms range from social media, to television, to billboards at the side of the road, and those in media planning apply both critical thinking and creative ideas to decide which would be best for their clients at building brand awareness and driving sales. Media planning is a slightly more analytical, and less creative, role than those we have previously discussed, and so may suit some graduates more. Media planners tend to be agency based, rather than in house, so have to opportunity to work with a range of clients, sometimes within a range of industries.

As of yet, there are no specific media planning qualifications or postgraduate degrees. However, more general marketing master’s courses will often have elements of media planning within their structure and content, and many courses will allow students to choose elective modules so that they can focus on their individual interests.

Find out more about MA and MSc courses in Marketing here.

TV/Video/Radio Production

Another area in which your Media Studies degree will come in useful is in producing for TV, film, and/or radio. A bit of research on the top producers in the industry reveals that many of them started off with an undergraduate degree in media and communication studies. The roles require good communication skills, and a strong knowledge of the media and culture, both of which your degree will have provided you with and allowed you to develop. The industry is competitive, and experience is extremely beneficial. If you feel you have time, you could complete an internship whilst studying for your undergraduate degree. Even getting involved in your university’s TV channel or radio station would help.

Fortunately, many master’s courses in media production also offer placements, and encourage you to get professional, hands-on experience of the industry. Many universities in the UK have links to some of the top media companies, and courses are taught by industry experts and professionals themselves. Therefore, completing a master’s degree provides you with both an excellent theoretical understanding, and practical skills.

Find out more about TV/Video/Radio Production courses here.

To find out more about all master’s courses, visit our Find A Course page, or contact Team AppUK on info@applicationuk.com.

 

ApplicationUK’s easy-to-use online application portal provides a simple solution to postgraduate application stress. With its smart digital self-assessment tool, personalised application plan, and application tracking system, you can be rest assured that your application will go through smoothly. Our experienced counsellors are also here to provide expert advice, reassurance, and continuous support.

Keep up to date with all the latest news from ApplicationUK on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Cover photo credit: http://combiboilersleeds.com/keywords/media-1.html

 

Studying ACCA at Birmingham City University

Previously, we discussed the benefits of studying ACCA in the UK. So, now you have decided that you want to complete the course over here, you now need to decide on which university you want to attend. Here, we take a look at Birmingham City University, examining the benefits of choosing them to study your ACCA qualifications.

Why choose Birmingham City University?

Birmingham City is one of only two public universities in the UK that are Platinum approved by the ACCA. This is the highest level of accreditation, and showcases their high-quality tuition and outstanding pass rate success.

Industry experienced staff and small class sizes mean students get personal, dedicated tuition and support.

Fees are very competitive and include revision, tuition and mock exams, providing our students with great value for money.

The university is ranked within the top 100 in the UK, has a high student satisfaction rate of 84.0, and has the largest intake of international students out of the five universities in Birmingham, making it extremely attractive to students from all over the world.

Why study ACCA at Birmingham City University?

As discussed above, Birmingham City University are a Platinum Status tuition provider for ACCA, meaning you will be receiving top class tuition and teaching. Students studying ACCA at BCU, will study in the brand new, state of the art Curzon Building on campus, along with students from over 80 countries, and various other subjects and disciplines. From its central location in the heart of Birmingham, the BCU campus is in close proximity to a number of large, multi-national companies, providing students with great experience, networking, and employment opportunities.

acca-logo

ACCA Course Details

Papers available at BCU:

Birmingham City University teaches F4, F5, F6, F7, F8, F9 and P1, P2, P3, P4, P6, P7.

Paper Structure:

  • 4 to 5 papers – 12 months
  • 6 to 7 papers – 18 months
  • 8 to 11 papers – 24 months

Students starting at Level 6 would need to complete or be exempted for F1 – F3.

Students starting at Level 7 would need to complete or be exempted for F1 – F6.

Students that have studied an MSc (Level 7) and would like to apply for ACCA would need up to 6 papers exempted in order to demonstrate academic progression.

CIMA_Logo_Spot

Similar courses offered by Birmingham City University

MSc Accounting and Finance – 15 months

Birmingham City University’s accreditation from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) helps boost your postgraduate qualification even more, giving you professional qualifications employers would be hard pressed to ignore.

The university’s accreditation enables them to offer an extensive list of CIMA exemptions, including all CIMA papers up to (but not including) the Final Strategic Case Study, which they also offer tuition for upon completion of your MSc (in November / December).

60 credit top-up option – students that have completed a CCAB, ACCA or CIMA can choose to study a 60 credit dissertation module to gain an MSc Award.

 

Find out more about studying at Birmingham City University here, or contact Team AppUK on info@applicationuk.com for more information.

 

ApplicationUK’s easy-to-use online application portal provides a simple solution to postgraduate application stress. With its smart digital self-assessment tool, personalised application plan, and application tracking system, you can be rest assured that your application will go through smoothly. Our experienced counsellors are also here to provide expert advice, reassurance, and continuous support.

Keep up to date with all the latest news from ApplicationUK on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Image credit: http://examinerinterviews.accaglobal.com/Channel/Exams

Image credit: http://shop.cipd.co.uk/shop/cipd-training/courses/cima-short-courses?limit=all

 

What Now? Next Steps After Your Undergraduate Degree

whats-next

 

If you are in your final year of undergraduate study, February is probably the time you are starting to think seriously about your future. You’ve got around four months before you graduate. What are your next steps? The reality is, you’ve got three options; employment, travel, or further study. As an international student you will also have other factors to consider, namely: do you want to stay in the UK? During your three years spent completing your undergraduate degree, you will have met plenty of people you may not want to leave, meaning that being able to remain in the UK is a priority for you. But what do you do whilst you are here?

Here, we run through the three top post-graduation options, hopefully making your decision a little easier! 

Employment

One option, post-graduation, is to go straight into employment. Should you choose to stay in the UK, you have two choices; graduate scheme or direct entry. Graduate schemes are typically offered by large companies and can last anything between 18 months and 3 years. They generally include a mixture of paid training and work, and have start dates in the autumn months. This means you get a summer off! Direct entry jobs work just like any normal job in that you would be expected to start soon after accepting the role. These roles tend to be in smaller organisations, and often employers will be looking for more specialist skills. Depending on your home country, the situation is likely to be similar, and your UK degree will certainly work in your favour in a crowded jobs market. Working in the UK, even for a short period of time, after you graduate will nonetheless provide you with great experience that will help you stand out in the global employment market.

Going from student life, to employment life, is a big adjustment though. No more lie ins, midnight feasts, or mid-week nights out! And your holiday time will be seriously reduced. In the UK, the minimum holiday entitlement is 28 days (including the 8 national bank holidays), which is just four weeks in total, making it very hard to fit in any travelling you may still want to do.

For more information on graduate employment, click here.

 

world-signpost1

 

Travelling

During your undergraduate degree, you probably took advantage of the prevalence of cheap flights and the UK’s proximity to the continent, and so have seen much of Europe already. Therefore, you may be keen on venturing further afield. Traditional travel routes for student’s post-graduation include Australia, the USA, and Asia. Now, as an international student, you may likely be from one of these countries or areas anyway, so this option might not be for you. You also need to consider what you want to do once you’ve finished travelling. If your ultimate goal is to settle in the UK, you may find it difficult to get visa approval after having been away for a number of months or years. And if you think the adjustment between student life and employed life will be hard, returning to the 9-5 after months of living it up in paradise will be even tougher!

Which is why we would recommend your third option:

 Postgraduate Education

Whether it is a masters degree or a conversion course, further study will ultimately enhance your employment prospects both in the UK and worldwide. You’ll be able to stay in the UK for at least another year, meaning you won’t have to say goodbye to your UK based loved ones just yet. You’ll also be able to take advantage of university term times and holidays, and fit in some more travelling. Did we mention that postgraduate students are also eligible still for student discount? Whilst still being an official student, you can take advantage of websites such as STA Travel, who offer significantly reduced rates and discounts to those still in education.

Applying for postgraduate study doesn’t even have to be a stressful process! ApplicationUK’s online platform allows you to compare and apply for UK postgraduate courses in one simple process. We also have a team of dedicated advisors on hand to give you personalised support and help, whenever you might need it. There are plenty of scholarships available for international postgraduate students, details of which can be found here, including those based on country of origin, subject type, and academic merit. Apply and enrol on a course through ApplicationUK and you could even receive a £300 bursary.

 

We hope this has made your options, and future decisions, a little clearer. Should you decide to go for postgraduate education, applications for courses beginning in the next academic year are still open. Search for your ideal course here, or contact Team AppUK on info@applicationuk.com.

Keep up to date with all the latest news from ApplicationUK on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Image credits: 

http://imperfectconcepts.com/2013/10/03/youve-graduated-what-now/

http://projectym.com/whats-next-activity-discussion-on-trusting-god-with-our-next-ste

http://www.puretravel.com/blog/2016/04/15/travelling-with-disabled-friends-and-family/