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English & Foundation courses

English for University Study Programme

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The English for University Study Programme (formerly known as the "Bridge Programme") is a full-time English language and study skills course for international students.

The English for University Study programme is specifically designed for students who:

  • want to improve their English language skills to the level needed for English-medium university education in the UK
  • want to learn the academic study skills they need to study effectively in the UK

The programme provides each student with the skills and language needed for a smooth transition into academic study. We aim to develop confident and successful students who are equipped for university study in the UK.

Entry points

To cater for different student needs and levels the English for University Study Programme has entry points in September, January and April. To work out the best month to start visit the Entry Requirements page.

  • September entry - IELTS 4.0 (with at least 4.0 in each sub score)
  • January entry - IELTS 4.5 (with at least 4.0 in each sub score)
  • April entry - IELTS 5.5 (with at least 4.0 in each sub score)

Please contact elt@cardiff.ac.uk for advice if you:

  • would like to start in April and want to do a summer Pre-sessional course
  • have any sub scores below IELTS 4.0
  • are interested in coming to the UK on a Student Visitor Visa

Semester dates & fees

Course dates and fees are given in the chart below.

Fees are usually payable in full on the first day of the course, although September-entry students may pay fees in three instalments and January-entry students may pay fees in two instalments. The first instalment is due on the first day of the course.

Start date End date Total fee
22 September 2014 12 December 2014 £2,860
22 September 2014 27 March 2015 £5,850
22 September 2014 11 June 2015 £7,800
08 January 2015 27 March 2015 £2,990
08 January 2015 11 June 2015 £4,940
20 April 2015 11 June 2015 £1,950
21 September 2015 11 December 2015 £2,860

The English for University Study Programme (formerly known as the "Bridge" Programme) focuses on providing students with the academic study skills they need to study effectively in a UK environment, covering language, study and professional skills and British academic culture. Classes are normally held between 9.00am and 4.00pm. This will include approximately 20 class hours per week plus directed study. All students study all areas of the course. The combination and content of each module helps to produce confident students who are capable of operating in English in every aspect of their lives.

The modules are:

English for Academic Speaking

This module aims to enable students to communicate effectively in a range of academic situations. This is assessed at the end of the year through a formal interview and a presentation.

Key speaking skills covered in the module:

  • Describing experiences
  • Expressing opinions
  • Developing an argument
  • Paraphrasing and reformulating
  • Conversation
  • Giving presentations
  • Taking part in informal discussions
  • Taking part in formal discussion and meetings
  • Taking part in interviews

English for Academic Writing

This module aims to provide students with the written skills they need to operate effectively in an academic environment.

Key writing skills covered in the module:

  • Planning and writing essays on complex issues
  • Developing coherence and cohesion
  • Developing sentence structures
  • Developing arguments with ideas and evidence
  • Writing reports describing data and processes
  • Writing formal correspondence
  • Referencing in an academic piece of work

English for Academic Listening

This module aims to provide students with the listening skills they need to function efficiently in an academic environment. Key listening skills covered in the module are:

  • Comprehension of extended speech on simple, complex and abstract topics
  • Understanding conversations, including discussions and debates
  • Listening to recorded materials from the media, including academic lectures and talks
  • Listening and taking notes
  • Listening and paraphrasing
  • Listening and writing summaries

English for Academic Reading

This module aims to provide students with the reading skills they need to function efficiently in an academic environment.

Key reading skills covered in the module are:

  • Understanding long, complex and abstract texts
  • Reading for information and argument
  • Reading longer texts for gist
  • Reading longer texts and locating specific information
  • Reading and taking notes
  • Reading and paraphrasing
  • Reading and writing summaries
  • Understanding formal correspondence

English Usage

This module aims to equip students with the English skills they need to communicate fluently and accurately in spoken English and to understand spoken English in a wide variety of contexts. Students will also be able to understand and produce a range of written texts.

The key elements of the English Usage module are:

  • Developing oral fluency in a range of everyday situations
  • Developing grammatical range, flexibility and accuracy
  • Developing lexical range, flexibility and accuracy
  • Developing a wide range of pronunciation features
  • Developing listening skills for short and extended speech in a range of everyday situations
  • Using appropriate register, style and genre to produce long and short written texts.

UK Study Skills

This module aims to develop the independent study skills that students need to succeed in a UK academic environment and to help them become familiar with UK education and UK culture.

The key elements of the English Usage module are:

  • Producing a portfolio of study skills tasks
  • Producing a group project based on research
  • Planning and writing the different sections of a research project
  • Lectures on UK culture
  • Writing effective CVs and personal statements

Guidance and Support

Students studying on the English for University Study Programme will receive educational counselling and support throughout the year, including guidance and advice throughout the application process.

The table below is a guide for students wishing to continue with academic study.

Current English language level: I need an IELTS score of: Can I start in September? Can I start in January? Can I start in April? Can I start in April and do a Summer course?
IELTS 4.0 5.5 Yes No No No
IELTS 4.5 5.5 Yes Yes No No
IELTS 5.0 5.5 Yes Yes Yes No
IELTS 4.5 6.5 Yes Yes * No No
IELTS 5.0 6.5 Yes Yes No No
IELTS 5.5 6.5 Yes Yes No Yes *
IELTS 6.0 6.5 Yes Yes Yes Yes *
IELTS 6.0 7.0 Yes Yes No Yes *
IELTS 6.5 7.0 Yes Yes Yes Yes *

*We will advise you (in June) on which summer course to take. See pre-sessional course information for further details.

Please note we only accept the IELTS academic test or equivalent secure English language test as proof of English language ability. If you are already in the UK and do not need a Tier 4 Visa for your English for University Study programme, you can arrange to take a free Entry Test in Cardiff. Please contact elt@cardiff.ac.uk for more information.

The above table is based on the achievements of international students who complete their course successfully and is not a guarantee of IELTS achievement. "Successful completion" mean students who have a minimum attendance of 90%, who complete all assignments on the course and have a positive attitude to learning.

Follow the steps below for a guide to the application process.

Before you apply

Gather supporting documents

You will need to provide:

  • the application form, including personal statement, signature and date

Please write your correspondence address, e-mail address and telephone number clearly so that we can contact you quickly and easily.


  • a completed Equal Opportunities Monitoring form
  • evidence of English language test results or note when you will sit the exam/receive the result
  • a copy of the photograph page of your passport which must include your passport number and full name

If you don’t yet have all the evidence required, you can still apply and submit your supporting documents when they become available.

Apply

To apply for a course you need to complete the application form and the equal opportunities form. Once you have completed the forms, send them to the English Language Programmes Office with your supporting documents: elt@cardiff.ac.uk

Download application form Download monitoring form

Receiving your offer

You’ll receive an email and letter from the Academic Registry confirming your offer.

The email and the letter will tell you your student number. Please include this when you contact us so we can help you easily.


When will I receive a decision on my application?

Most applicants hear back from us within four weeks.

Unconditional offer

This means you have been offered a place - congratulations! Now all you need to do is accept the offer.

Conditional offer

This means you have been offered a place, but we haven't received one of your supporting documents or you are still to complete the English language qualification required in order to gain admission to the University. Your offer letter will clearly state what evidence needs to be supplied. Once we have all the documents required to show you have met the conditions of your offer, your offer will change to Unconditional.

Accepting your offer

You need to accept your offer online through the applicant portal.

Please ensure you have read the enrolment terms and conditions prior to accepting your offer.

Log into the portal

You will receive your user name and password to access the portal via email. If you do not receive your user name and password, please contact us.

After you’ve accepted your offer

Apply for your visa

Once you have accepted your Unconditional offer to study via your student record we will send you a CAS email in support of your visa application.

If you are coming to Cardiff with a Student Visitor Visa, you will not be eligible to receive a CAS.


Plan your travel to Cardiff

We will send you information by email about travelling to Cardiff and the University, your residences and the first day of your course.

Celebrate!

Tell your friends and family you’re going to Cardiff University.

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If you are planning on studying an academic course in the UK, the English for University Study Programme (formerly known as the "Bridge" Programme) will provide you with the English skills and confidence to make the most of your studies.

If your English has improved to the level of language proficiency required for the course you have applied for, and you meet the academic requirements for the course, you can often proceed to undergraduate or postgraduate study at the University on successful completion of the EfUS exit test. Some courses may require you to sit a IELTS test prior to entry; please check your offer letter for details.


If your English needs a little further improvement for the course you have applied for, and you meet the academic requirements for the course, you can apply for a Pre-sessional Programme to raise your level of proficiency to the course entry requirements. You will not need to sit an IELTS for the pre-sessional course, but some schools may request that you sit an IELTS on completion of the pre-sessional as part of the conditions of your offer. Please check your offer for details.

The Comparison table for EfUS gives an indication of the exit levels.

If your English needs further improvement for undergraduate study, and you need to do further academic study before enrolling on an undergraduate programme, you can attend the International Foundation Programme (IFP) to improve your English language and academic skills before starting an undergraduate degree. You will not need to sit an IELTS for the IFP, but some schools may request that you sit a IELTS on completion of the IFP as part of the conditions of your offer. Please check your offer for details.

Read more about International Foundation Programme entry requirements here.

English Language Programmes

Prospectus

Download the English Language Programme information sheets