Gateway to University

• Improve your IELTS score

• Increase your cultural awareness

• Develop your study skills

• Prepare for university classes taught anywhere in the world

A Pre-Foundation Course

This course is designed to bridge the gap between school and university – and is the perfect preparation for a University Foundation Course, at St Clare’s or elsewhere, in September.

Course information

Age: 17+
Level: Intermediate IELTS 4.0 or CEF B1
Length: 20 weeks
Class size: maximum 12 students
Lessons: 21 English & Content plus 3 guided self-study per week (19.25 hours plus 2.75 hours)

Benefits for you:

Individual support and guidance is a high priority at St Clare’s. Small class-sizes (maximum 12) and weekly meetings with your own personal tutor provide academic support; and the enrichment programme creates opportunities to develop your English in new and exciting ways through shared activities, special study visits and guest speakers.

Course content: special features of the Gateway to University Course


  • 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.

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.

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.

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

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.


Contact Us
This course is perfect for you to prepare for a University Foundation Course. It is such an important decision so please contact one of our advisers, Manuela or Louis, for more advice.
Manuela Williams
Admissions Registrar
+44 1865 517706
Louis Jobin
Client Relations Coordinator
+44 1865 517184
Entry requirements

Entry Requirements


Students wishing to enrol on the Gateway to University Course must:

  • be 17 years or over
  • have a knowledge of English at or above the following:
    • IELTS score 4.0 or equivalent CEFR B1

Application procedure

  1. Complete this online booking form and pay the £100 registration fee plus £500 deposit
  2. Show proof of English level, either by:
    • sending an official English language test certificate or
    • by completing the St Clare’s grading test and have an interview via SKYPE
  3. We assess your application and send you a confirmation letter and invoice
  4. If needed, apply for a visa. If you have questions about your visa please do not hesitate to contact us
  5. Full fees are due three weeks before the start of the course
  6. Please read the terms and conditions
Term Dates and Fees

Course Dates and Fees

Each student’s level of English will be tested before a place is offered on the course.

Course dates

Arrival day:  Sunday 17 February 2019

Departure day: Saturday 6 July 2019

1 IELTS examination entry included in fees

Course fees

£9,480 tuition
20 weeks

£100 registration fee

£500 deposit
Refundable after the end of the course less any outstanding charges

Registration fee and deposit to be paid at time of booking.
The balance of your tuition and accommodation fees are due for payment three weeks before your course begins.

Please read our Terms & Conditions

Accommodation fees

Homestay accommodation
All students aged under 18 must go into homestay accommodation.

£4,760 homestay single standard
£6,280 homestay single superior

College residence
All students in college residence will move to homestay from 25 March until 7 April 2018.

£4,760 twin standard
£5,780 twin superior
£6,140 single standard
£7,520 single superior

What the Accommodation fees include


  • Accommodation from the day of arrival to the departure date above
  • Single room
  • Bed linen and towels
  • Breakfast and dinner every day (lunches can be bought in college Monday to Friday)
  • 24-hour support provided 7 days a week

College residence

  • Accommodation from the day of arrival to the departure date above
  • Bed linen and towels
  • Room cleaning (as per rota)
  • If you have chosen to include meals you are entitled to lunch Monday to Friday (excluding the semester breaks)
  • 24-hour support provided 7 days a week

Travel Insurance

All students studying on our academic year courses are covered by our travel insurance. This insurance policy covers, for example, medical expenses, personal accident, cancellation expenses, personal belongings and travel delay. This detailed Travel Insurance policy document lists those items that are covered. There is no extra charge for this insurance. All students are advised to take out personal possessions insurance for items such as laptops, cameras, mobile devices, and phones.

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
Careers and Higher Education

The careers service at St Clare’s is exceptional. You can visit the careers library to find out more about universities around the world, read the St Clare’s careers blog, and you will receive a weekly newsletter with information and ideas about education and the world of work.



Our team of dedicated, experienced and impartial advisers can help you explore your options after the gateway programme and prepare for your future.

Optional Extras

Personal Language Training
Students can add one-to-one English language lessons to their language classes. Lessons last 55 minutes and are charged at £57 per lesson.

Examination fees
Fees for the following examinations are currently between approximately
£150 -£210.


Cambridge examinations
B2 First (FCE)
C1 Advanced (CAE)
C2 Proficiency (CPE)

Other examinations

Optional college weekend trips / theatre visits / excursions, etc.
Day excursions at weekends — free to £40
Theatre tickets and transport — £25 to £45
Weekend trip with overnight stay (two nights) — £70 to £300
Additional sports and other activities — £10 to £15 per week

Other costs
Stationery/book purchase (loan of books is included in fees)
General spending money — allow a minimum of £80 per week
Bus travel: single trip from £2.00; 1 week £14.50; 4 week 49.00
St Clare’s sweatshirt £20

Please note: Prices are approximate please contact us at if you have any questions.

Book your place on this course

This exciting new course will help you advance from school to university
Boost your study skills and level of English in just 5 months

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