Derby English Language Centre

Develop your language skills

The Derby English Language Centre (DELC) offers you the opportunity to develop your English language skills at one of the UK’s top performing universities for fair access (HEPI Report, Benchmarking Widening Participation in Universities, April 2018). 

Whether you are thinking about going to university or have already started your studies with us, we will work closely with you to improve your academic writing and presentation skills, pronunciation and grammar, among many other things. We know that as you progress with us your needs will change so we offer a range of bespoke sessions and support from foundation and degree to masters level.

If English isn't your first language you will need an English language qualification to study at Derby. At DELC we will assess your needs and recommend a course of action for you. International students will normally require a minimum IELTS (International English Language Testing System) level of 4.5 and a student visa to study on one of our courses but please check the exact requirements on the relevant course page. 

Derby English Language Test

We are now also delighted to announce the availability of the Derby English Language Test (DELT). This is an online test in two parts: reading and writing, and listening and speaking. The online test is proctored: in other words it contains software to ensure that candidates are not accessing external help, and therefore replicates a full invigilated exam.

If you have an offer to study at the University, you can access the exam through our online shop. The cost is £60. You can book your time for the reading and writing exam through the online shop. You will then be contacted by the University to book a separate time for the speaking and listening exam. Once you have taken the test, you will be informed of your result within five working days.

Book your Derby English language test

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English language test requirements for September 2021 entry

Are you concerned about being able to provide English language requirements? While the current situation continues, we will temporarily accept some alternatives to the standard IELTS test for most courses.

Find out more about English language testing for September 2021Find out more about English language testing for September 2021
100%pass rate on Pre-sessional courses**Derby English Language Centre 2019

English for Academic purposes 

Pre-sessional English courses will help you to achieve the entry level English requirements for your degree choice at the University of Derby. These courses are full time and last five, eight or twelve weeks (depending on the level of English required for your chosen degree). Courses run twice a year in the summer and then in the autumn to prepare students for a September or January degree start.

For more information including dates and costs, visit our pre-sessional English page.

We can also develop pre-sessional courses specifically for your organisation so if you would like to discuss this with us, please contact Helen Boulton at

Our Technical English Certificate of Credit is a level 3 module which is studied online where you will learn essential terminology and vocabulary that you need for reports and assignments.

International Foundation Programme

If you are an international student with English language requirement of IELTS 4.5 you can apply for our International Foundation Programme which will give you a recognised English qualification so that you can progress to your chosen degree. Students study full-time (15 hours of class per week plus self-study) for two semesters – normally September to June.

 For more information please visit the International Foundation Programme course page.

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In-session classes

We provide free, in-session English language classes to help you perform better in your studies. We offer courses in Speaking and Academic Writing.

Find out about our in-sessional English coursesFind out about our in-sessional English courses

TESOL provision 

Derby’s position as a leading provider of international qualifications for TESOL teachers (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) means that these qualifications are ideally placed to meet your professional teaching needs, no matter where you are in your teaching career. We offer opportunities at undergraduate degree and masters level.

These include:

We can also develop, a TESOL course specifically for your organisation. The programme has been aligned to the theory underpinning the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

International Foundation Programme (60 credits)

If you are an international student with English language score of UKVI IELTS 4.5 you can apply for our International Foundation Programme which will give you a recognised English qualification so that you can progress to your chosen degree. Students study full time (15 hours of class per week plus self-study) for two semesters – normally September to June.

The programme starts on 17 September until April.

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International Summer Schools

The University offers a number of overseas summer schools to enable international university students to have a British university experience, prior to application. Students prepare socially, academically and linguistically for successful entry onto programmes at the University of Derby. For example the University has been successfully delivering English courses with British culture summer schools for students at Hubei University in central China for three years.

If you are interested in developing a Summer School for your University then please contact our China Enquiry Team at

Important information

The UK Visas and Immigration department (UKVI) has made some changes around the English language tests that international students need to take before studying in the UK. It’s vital that you read and understand the information below.


The new UKVI IELTS tests are Secure English Language Tests, approved by the UK Visas and Immigration department. The tests are taken at approved testing centres and they provide evidence of your English language level by giving you a score in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The full name of the test you need to take is IELTS Academic for UKVI. This new test came into effect on 6 April 2015 and has the same questions and content as a standard IELTS test.

If you are an International student and want to study a pre-sessional programme at the University of Derby you will need to take an IELTS Academic for UKVI test.

You can take the IELTS Academic for UKVI at an approved IELTS SELT Centre.

Book online at and follow the instructions for ‘Applying for a UK Visa? Find a test'.

We are an institutional member of BALEAP (formerly British Association of Lecturers in English for Academic Purposes).