Choose a provider with confidence
Each type of English language provider offers a different study experience
There are many different types of English language course providers in the UK and each type can offer a different study experience. The best choice will depend on the student’s personal preferences and language learning goals as well as their age and course choice. All types of English language centre are accredited by the British Council, so students can be confident they will experience high-quality standards with all providers.
English language schools
Most UK English language schools are open all year and can offer flexible start dates and different course durations. They usually offer a range of cultural and social activities including excursions and day trips in addition to their language course offer.
English language schools come in different shapes and sizes, although they are much smaller than universities or further education colleges.
Young learner and summer centres
Young learner centres focus on providing an English language learning experience for younger school aged learners. The centres are sometimes only open during the summer months or during other vacation periods such as Easter. They are often residential centres, where students study and have activities in the same location. Sometimes these centres are located in British boarding schools or university campuses.
Young learner centres put a significant focus on student wellbeing and safety. Read more about how English language schools in the UK protect students under the age of 18 years.
Further education colleges
UK further education (FE) colleges are government-owned institutions which offer a range of academic and vocational courses to students aged 16 years or older. Some FE colleges have specialist international centres where international students can study a range of English language courses.
English language students at FE colleges may study with students from the UK as well as international students. There will often be the opportunity to access other UK qualifications such as GCSEs, A-levels and vocational qualifications that are designed to equip students with job-specific skills. Some UK FE colleges also offer offer higher education (HE) qualifications such as HNC, HND, foundation degree or PGCE.
University language centres
University language centres give students access to a university experience and related student services. Language centres in universities often specialise in teaching academic English. They usually offer pre-sessional courses for students who need to improve their English before studying for a UK-based higher education qualification such as a bachelor degree, HND or postgraduate course.
Some UK universities will offer ‘English plus’ courses, which is an English language course with extra studies in a different subject.
Home tuition providers
Home tuition providers help students learn the English language in the home of an specialist English teacher. Classes are usually one-to-one or in smaller groups and can focus on General English or English for specific purposes.
Often there will be the option to do activities with the teacher. Students will be fully immersed in the English language, practicing inside and outside of their lessons.