Frequently asked questions
What is the Centre for Academic English?
The Centre for Academic English helps international students and staff at Imperial College London participate effectively and confidently in the academic community.
For international students in science, engineering and medicine we offer in-sessional courses, workshops, consultations and other resources to develop their academic language and literacy and to help them successfully complete their studies whilst here at the university, as well as summer pre-sessional courses for students who are about to start their studies at Imperial. In addition, we offer students classes focused on everyday English for different social contexts to enhance their communication skills and employability.
For international academic staff and visiting researchers in science, engineering and medicine we provide a range of English language support for academic, social and professional purposes.
We can also offer bespoke courses, targeting the specific requirements of international Imperial members (students and academic staff) within individual departments.
How long are your English courses?
All of our free English courses for Imperial College London students and academic staff are either four or eight weeks long in duration. The lengths of individual courses are listed on the course sign-up pages.
The Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) course is the only exception to this, which runs for 18 weeks over the autumn and spring terms.
Weekly classes are two hours long in duration, apart from Listening & Speaking courses, which consist of one hour weekly classes.
When are your English courses taught?
English courses are offered over an 8-week period during each of the autumn, spring and summer terms throughout the year.
Academic writing courses for PhD students are taught during the three main terms, as well as in a short 'vacation term' period in the early summer months.
The Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) course is offered once a year, during the autumn-spring months. The course commences in mid-October and attendance is usually required from the start of this 18-week course.
Are your English courses free?
All of our English courses are free to Imperial College London students and academic staff studying or carrying out research in science, engineering or medicine.
The Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) 18-week course is the only exception to this, which is designed to prepare you for and improve your chances of success in the CAE exam. The fee for this course is listed on the course registration page
Our English courses are not available to non-Imperial College London students.
How do I register for your English courses and workshops?
To enrol onto our courses and workshops, please visit the relevant section of our website for your student group (e.g. undergraduate, Master's, PhD) and look at what's on offer, then register online once registration for the upcoming term opens.
Most of our courses are either 4 or 8 weeks in duration. If the course you want to register for is already full, please check the website to see if we are running it again during the next 4-week block or the following term, as it is likely you will be able to take it soon.
I'm an Imperial College Business School student. Can I enrol on your English courses?
Imperial Business School applicants:
N.B. The Business School no longer offers its own pre-sessional courses, or recognises other pre-sessional courses, as a means of meeting the English language requirement. If you have any questions about this, please contact the Business School directly.
I cannot attend the course I booked a place on. How do I cancel my place?
To cancel your place on a course, there is no charge. However, we request that you email us as soon as you know that you can no longer attend so that your place can be offered to one of the many students on our course waiting lists.
I'm not an Imperial College London student or member of staff. What English courses are available to me?
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer any courses to non-Imperial College London members.
The Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication at Imperial College offer an English Conversation Evening Class for non-native speakers. Please visit their webpage and contact them to find out more about this course.