Students at the freshers fair

Pre-sessional English Language Programme (PELP)

The 10-WEEK PELP programme is for international students intending to study at Lancaster University who are required to improve their English language and study skills before starting their academic studies.

10-Week PELP programme: July 2023

The PELP Programme will be delivered in person on campus. If you are unable to attend in person, there may be the option to take the programme online. Please contact us for further information.

Programme Aims

The primary aim of PELP is to provide thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable students to best achieve their academic potential at University. The main aims of the programme are:

  1. To develop awareness and competency in the range of language-related academic skills required for successful study at Higher Education level. These include the approaches to academic research, processes and conventions of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures.
  2. To develop the range and accuracy of written and spoken language to enable students to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence.
  3. To support students in reflecting on their learning and identifying how to improve their skills and language.
  4. To ensure students are able to meet the requirements of the UKVI and the destination University through demonstrating the required minimum English language level for programme entry in the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

How you will be taught

The programme is taught through a mix of synchronous (live, online) and asynchronous sessions (work undertaken in your own time) that seeks to improve your knowledge and practice of academic Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking and Study Skills.

Synchronous sessions

Depending on the programme format chosen, each week you will attend either online or face-to-face live synchronous sessions, totalling up to 12 hours and 15 minutes. These sessions will include:

  1. Whole group lessons focused on improving your knowledge of new skills and concepts
  2. Smaller group seminar sessions focused on providing you with speaking practice and discussion
  3. One-to-one tutorials focused on offering you individual feedback and guidance

Asynchronous activities

During the course of your studies you will be required to engage in a range of asynchronous activities. You are expected to complete these activities in your own time, outside of the ‘live’ timetabled classes. Asynchronous activities cover a range of tasks and may include independent reading as well as research and assessment preparation. In the course, you will also be required to complete a range of platform-embedded activities designed to complement your learning. These activities will feed into your live classes and help you meet the module’s learning outcomes; as such, they are considered to be a compulsory component of your studies and will be monitored by tutors.

The asynchronous activities on this course are grouped into the following screen types:

Preparation screens

Preparation screens introduce the skills and concepts that will be discussed in your live classes through a range of short videos, input texts and interactive activities. You must complete relevant preparation screens before each of your synchronous sessions or you will not be able to fully participate in live class activities and discussions

Extension screens

Extension screens follow your synchronous Reading & Writing and Academic Skills sessions. They are designed to consolidate your learning and take it further, allowing you to deepen your knowledge of the concepts presented and gain greater mastery of the skills introduced in the preparation screens and live classes

Learning Development screens

The language development component is fully asynchronous. You are expected to complete language development activities in your independent study time. You can select the screens which best suit your needs and interest and complete them at your own pace.

PELP Assessments

You will not be required to take an IELTS or TOEFL test at the end of this programme. Instead you will take the course assessments, which if you successfully pass we can use for the English language requirement for your visa application. The programme will assess your progress throughout the course using a range of formative (practice) and summative (final) assessments to check that you are meeting the learning outcomes of the programme. Regular feedback will be provided by the online platform tasks and the tutor. Assessments include both coursework and exams:

Coursework Portfolio

This takes you through the key stages of academic research, presentation and writing. You will be given a choice of topics based on your subject of study:

  • Coursework 1: Source Report
  • Coursework 2: Presentation (online or face-to-face)
  • Coursework 3: Essay


  • Reading and Writing (online)
  • Listening (online)
  • Seminar discussion (online or face-to-face)

Each skill of reading, writing, listening and speaking is equally weighted at 25% of the overall mark. The marks for each skill are comprised of: Clear briefs, examples and practice for each assessment type, including information on how each assessment is marked. Exams are taken online through a secure digital platform. Written coursework assessments are submitted electronically allowing for greater standardisation in marking.

More information

This course is one of Lancaster University's pre-sessional English language programmes. Find more information on how to apply, entry requirements, dates and fees on our pre-sessional English language courses page.

Download the PELP course outline (PDF).

For enquiries about the course content, logistics and arrivals, please email

For enquiries about your main degree programme, please contact your department.