Pre-Foundation Programme

• Improve your IELTS score

• Increase your cultural awareness

• Develop your study skills

• Prepare for university classes anywhere in the world

Pre-Foundation Programme

This course is designed to bridge the gap between school and university – and is the perfect preparation for a University Foundation Programme in September.

Progress and achievement are outstandingISI PFE March 2019

Key Facts: Pre-Foundation Programme

Age: 16+
Level: From Intermediate (CEF B1)
Start date: 16 February 2020 and 14 February 2021
Course length: 20 weeks
Class size: Maximum 12 students
Lessons (hours): 25 (19.25) Monday to Friday
Lesson type: 21 in a group and 4 teacher-guided self-study sessions
Fees: From £14,740 
Accommodation: College residence or homestay 
Sample timetable: Pre-Foundation Programme
  Lunch available Monday to Friday – £46 per week
  One-to-one English language classes – £59 per lesson
  Excursions/Activities – £5 – £30
  Airport transfers from £120 – Depending on pick-up from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton or Stansted airport
  Courier charge for visa support documents – approx £25


Develop your language and study skills before a University Foundation Programme

  • Increase your cross-cultural awareness to help the move from high school to university
  • Prepare for a university course taught in English in the UK or anywhere in the world
  • Improve your IELTS score and develop your academic study skills
  • Use your language skills in Study Visits in and around Oxford
  • Continue your progression on to the year-long University Foundation Programme
  • Supportive teachers help you make progress: Small class-sizes (maximum 12) and weekly meetings with your personal tutor provide dedicated academic support
  • Develop your English through shared activities like Study Visits and guest speaker events



  • Writing: brainstorming, planning, drafting, checking.
  • Reading: develop reading sub-skills: scanning, skimming, sifting.
  • Speaking: improve your pronunciation and confidence. Project your voice!
  • Listening: learn how English is really spoken and convert sound into words.
  • IELTS Tests: one entrance fee is included in your tuition fees.

Cultural Awareness

  • Awareness: learn about life in the UK and other countries.
  • Cooperation: take part in group discussions and learn with classmates in pairs.
  • Collaboration: work together and make presentations in pairs and small groups.

Topic-based Content

  • Business Studies
  • Economics
  • Discoveries and Inventions
  • The Environment
  • Styles of Leadership
  • Transport
  • Health and Fitness

Study Skills

  • Time Management: learn strategies to make the most of your time.
  • Self-study: structure and review your learning with guidance from a teacher every day.
  • Skills surgery: focus on your own linguistic needs every week.
  • Note-taking: revise more effectively with clear and concise notes.

Critical Thinking

  • Develop an open mind and question your ideas.
  • ‘Triangulate’ the truth
  • Identify ‘fake news’.
  • Broaden your horizons by attending talks from guest speakers and going on study visits.

Academic Literacy

  • Autonomous learning: find out how to learn on your own.
  • Write your own words: not Wikipedia’s!
  • Learn how to cite and reference sources in academic essays.
  • Careers Advice: start planning for university with the Higher Education Advisor.

Entry requirements

Our Pre-University Foundation Programme entry requirements are:

  • 16 years or over
  • English language level: 4.0 IELTS score, CEFR B1 or equivalent

Application procedure

  • Complete our online booking form and pay the £100 registration fee plus £500 deposit
  • Send an official English test certificate or complete our language grading test (including a SKYPE interview)
  • We assess your application and send you a confirmation letter and invoice
  • Apply for a visa, if required. If you have questions about your visa please contact us
  • Pay the full course fees 3 weeks before the start of the Pre-Foundation Programme
  • Read the terms and conditions
Qiliang from China

Gateway Course

The Gateway to University course was really good. I liked my teachers and made friends with people from different nationalities. Playing basketball with classmates and practicing my English in a supportive environment helped me to settle into life in the UK.

IELTS exams

IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It measures your ability to communicate in English across the four language skills — listening, speaking, reading and writing — and is for people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication.

It is recognised worldwide in more than 4,500 institutions in 120 countries including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Not surprisingly, therefore, it is the most popular examination for St Clare’s students.

IELTS is regarded as the single most important requirement for non-native speakers who wish to enter a university in the UK. Tests can be taken in Oxford every month and the results are available within three weeks. You will normally need a score of 6.0 or higher to join a university in the UK.

Monitoring progress

The team at St Clare’s is very experienced and successful in preparing students for IELTS. We can help you in the following ways:

  1. Entry test: we give you a number of tests on arrival to help assess your level on entry.
  2. Setting goals: your teacher discusses your needs and agrees “learning milestones”.
  3. Classroom tasks: small classes provide a supportive learning environment.
  4. After-class: teachers set homework tasks which extend your classroom learning.
  5. Self-Access: you are given guidance on computer-aided learning and test packages.
  6. Regular tests: you take internal tests in class to help decide the date of your examination.

Success at IELTS

During the classes you practise the skills required for success at IELTS:

  1. Examination strategies
  2. Practice tests
  3. Speaking and listening tasks
  4. “Against the clock” activities
  5. Top tips from the examiners

Quality Pre-Foundation Programme

Improve your English language and study skills so you are fully prepared for a University Foundation Programme

Contact us

Please fill in this form to submit an enquiry about our Pre-Foundation Programme. 

You may also wish to get in touch to arrange a campus tour or find out what it is like to live and study in the city of Oxford.

Contact Manuela on:
+44 1865 517706
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St Clare's, Oxford