School of Education
Centre for English Language Education

Joint Academic and Presessional Offers

If you want to take a presessional English course of 10 or 6 weeks to precede an academic course start date in September, and you are holding an offer for a postgraduate taught (masters level) course, you could be eligible for a joint CAS. A joint CAS covers the presessional course and the academic course, meaning that you only need to apply for your Student Visa (formerly Tier 4) once.

How can I apply for a joint CAS?

Students who qualify for a joint CAS will automatically receive a joint offer letter from the Admissions Office.


In what situation am I eligible for a joint CAS?

A joint CAS can be issued if you hold an offer for a postgraduate taught (masters) course* providing that:

  • English language is the only condition on your academic offer and you have accepted your offer
  • You have a minimum of 5.5 overall and 5.5 in all elements in your current IELTS

* Due to professional accreditation and/or Clinical practice compliance requirements, the following courses cannot be supported with a joint CAS:

  • MSc Nutritional Sciences
  • PG Cert Veterinary Education/Veterinary Medicine and Surgery

Please email our team of experts for clarification if you believe any of the options might apply to you.


What length of presessional course is eligible for a joint CAS?

A joint CAS is only available for presessional English courses of 10 or 6 weeks which immediately precede an academic course start date in September.


Would I be eligible for a joint CAS if I have an unconditional offer already but choose to take the 10 or 6 week presessional course?

Yes, that is possible in most cases. However, if you have received any CAS for either the presessional or academic programme already, we cannot change the CAS. You are welcome to email us for advice in this situation.


I have an unconditional offer for my academic programme already. I would like to take the 4 week presessional course for unconditional offer holders, can I get a joint CAS?

You do not need a joint CAS. Instead, you can apply for your visa based on your main academic CAS. You will be permitted to enter the UK one month prior to your course start date, which should be enough time to start the 4 week presessional course.


I am holding an offer with two conditions, one is an academic condition related to my degree results and one is an English language condition. Is it possible for me to get a joint CAS and will I have time to do so?

If you are likely to meet your academic condition/s (based on degree results, for example) no later than 4 weeks before the start date of your 10 or 6 week presessional course, then you could be considered for a joint CAS based on question one or two of this guidance. Because of timing, if you prefer to receive a single CAS for your presessional English course, please let us know. For relevant deadline information, please refer to our course details webpage.


When do I need a UKVI IELTS?

You need a UKVI IELTS test if you are planning to join the presessional course and you will come to the UK with a CAS that only covers the presessional programme. Many students choose to have a UKVI IELTS to make sure that they can keep all options open.


 Can I apply for a Joint CAS with a non-UKVI IELTS?

Yes. A non-UKVI IELTS with at least an overall score of 5.5 and 5.5 in all elements (reading, writing, listening and speaking) can be used to apply for a joint CAS. Please note that you must still meet the required IELTS score for the pre-sessional course you wish to take. Please visit the presessional courses page for requirements.


Will I need to take an assessment at the end of my presessional course?

You will need to pass an assessment at the level specified in your academic offer if you are studying the presessional English course on a visa which covers your presessional course only.

If you don’t pass the assessment, you should seek advice from CELE. Please be prepared that you may be required to defer your academic offer and return home.

If I accept a 10-Week Presessional offer and then get an IELTS score that allows me just to do 6 weeks, can I change course? 

It is only possible to switch course length before the deadline of the course that you wish to switch to if you have not already received a CAS.  If you have already received a CAS, it is not possible to switch.  

If I receive a joint CAS and then find I don’t want to take the presessional course, can I just come for my academic programme?

If you receive a joint CAS, you are obliged to attend both courses in order to comply with the attendance and engagement rules of the UKVI.

What is the acceptance deadline for my joint offer?

Two weeks after receiving the offer, but the sooner you can let us know, you want a place on the course, the easier it will be for us to reserve you one. 

Do I need to pay a deposit if I accept a joint offer?

Yes you will be expected to pay a CAS deposit of £2,000 before you can receive your CAS.


Glossary of terms and definitions
Unconditional You have no conditions outstanding for English or academic reasons
Academic conditions Conditions that you have to fulfil before your academic offer is unconditional (for example providing references, reaching your English language target).  You can only get a CAS if your offer is unconditional
IELTS International English Language Testing System
UKVI IELTS A UK Visas and Immigration recognised English test - this is a specific type of IELTS required in certain cases at the Student Visa (formerly Tier 4) application stage by UK Visas and Immigration


Centre for English Language Education

Presessional enquiries
Insessional enquiries

School of Education
Dearing Building
Jubilee Campus, Wollaton Road
Nottingham NG8 1BB