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ESOL Study Programme at Cambridge Regional College

Course description

This course is for you if you live in the UK and need to learn English either to continue with your studies or to find work.

As part of the course you will take an exam called "Skills for Life". This exam is offered at 5 levels (Entry 1 to Level 2) and learners are placed in classes corresponding to their initial level of English. Students who make enough progress can take their exams early and take a higher exam if they reach the required standard for a second exam by the end of their programme.
You will study English at your level (including pronunciation, exam skills, oral presentation skills, dictionary and study skills) and also learn about British culture and way of life, British Values, Equality and Diversity. You will also study work-related topics and language; for example: where to find work, understanding job adverts, volunteering, cv writing, interpersonal skills.

You will have regular one-to-one tutorials with your personal tutor, to review  your targets and ensure you are making at least the expected progress.  You will also receive careers advice both from your tutor and from the College Careers office.

If you do not have Maths GCSE grade C (or the equivalent from your country: certificate of compulsory secondary education, Pass grade) you will have to study Maths and sit an exam during your course. This is obligatory for all English and ESOL students aged 16-18. It is an excellent opportunity to improve your Maths skills and help you in your studies and at work.

Entry requirements

You must be at least 16 years of age and no older than 18 years of age on 31 August 2017.

You will need a good school report, showing good attendance and behaviour.

You will need to sit a placement test which includes a speaking, grammar and writing test before we can accept you on the course. The result of the placement test will determine which class you attend and which level of exam you are asked to sit.In addition to the entry qualifications listed, the offer of a place on the course is subject to the outcomes of initial assessment, which will be taken at the College as part of the admissions process. Please note that entry criteria may vary quite significantly between courses at the same level. This is to take account of the specific skills needed for success on particular courses, the length of the course and the requirements for progression to the next level. Entry criteria are given as a guide, and the exact requirements in order to obtain a place on a particular course will be confirmed following attendance at a Welcome Event/Interview.


You will have tests regularly in your class to check on your progress and understanding. At the end of a level you will be given a test to check that you are ready to move up to the next level (at least 75% test result).
During and/or at the end of your course (depending on the progress made) you will sit an official English exam as well as a Maths exam (if you don't have GCSE grade C when you start your ESOL programme).
The English exams consist of exams in speaking and listening, reading and writing.

Your teachers and College specialist staff provide both learning and personal support. Your teachers schedule regular individual meetings with you (tutorials) to check that you are making at least the expected progress.
We have specialist staff in the College who can support students outside of class if they have specific learning needs.

Financial information

We are committed to providing financial support to learners where it is available. We would actively encourage you to enquire about possible financial support as soon as you can. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for a contribution towards College costs such as kit, equipment, residential fees, meals, childcare etc. Enquiries can be made to

Future opportunities

You can enrol on this course as long as you are not over 18 on 31 August, as many times as you need in order to achieve your target level of English.

Once you have reached your target level of English, you will be able to apply for other courses, at Cambridge Regional College or outside. However, you will need to research the courses you are interested in very carefully as some programmes have very specific entry requirements.

It is recommended that you try to achieve Skills for Life Level 1 before you apply for a vocational course and Level 2 if you want to pursue academic studies (such as GCSE or A Level).

Learners on this programme have progressed to vocational or academic courses, depending on their interests, their educational background and their level of English, either at Cambridge Regional College or in other schools/colleges in the UK or back in their own countries.

Further information

If you need any more information about any of our courses, please request a copy of our full-time prospectus or contact our Information & Advice Team on 01223 226315.

Students who currently attend a Cambridge Area Partnership school should apply online via or by using the Cambridge Area Partnership application form (depending on your school). Please ask your careers teacher at school.

Once we have received your application, you will be invited to attend a college Welcome Event, which gives you and your parents/carers the opportunity to have a look around the College, talk to the tutors and ask any questions you may have.

We look forward to seeing you at the College soon!

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 05 September 2018
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Key information

Contact details

    • Contact name:
    • Information and Advice Team
    • Contact telephone number:
    • 01223 226315
    • Email address: