UPDATE 15.30pm 01/07/2022: Online Applications Update
We are currently experiencing an intermittent availability issue with online applications for full-time courses, apprenticeships and part-time courses. If you are trying to make an application or if you are having trouble logging in, we kindly ask that you try again a few hours later

*This issue does not affect applications for University Centre Colchester Degree level courses

English as a Foreign Language (EFL)

Colchester Institute has been offering English classes for over 40 years, recruiting students from all over the world and achieving pass rates of over 90% in the past 10 years. Our classes have a mix of students from different backgrounds and ages, ensuring that the lessons are a multi-cultural learning experience. The EFL course includes all elements of language; listening, speaking, reading, writing, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary development and learning to use English to communicate successfully with others. The English language department was named a Centre of Excellence by the EL Gazette in 2013.

Many of our students take the internationally recognised Cambridge English Language examinations (Preliminary, First, Advanced, Proficiency and IELTS). You will receive guidance on all parts of the EFL exam, ensuring you have the best chance of exam success.

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for au-pairs, school language assistants, workers on temporary contracts and current students who wish to improve their English. The course gives students the opportunity to improve their language skills, grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary, with the chance to take an internationally-recognised exam at the end of the course.

How will I learn?
  • General English, including elements of cultural studies, citizenship and employability
  • Exam Preparation

Students will be thoroughly prepared for all parts of the exam (reading and Use of English, writing, speaking and listening), working in pairs and small groups to increase fluency. Students will have regular progress tests throughout their studies and will receive individual tutorials with their tutor to discuss their learning and development. Students will receive homework every week, which forms an important part of the course and will ensure the best chance of exam success.

The maximum class size for the part-time EFL programme is 16, as required by the British Council.

When are the classes?

Classes are on Wednesday morning and/or Friday morning or one evening for Cambridge: Advanced.  All classes are three hours, including a 15-minute break, and in Colchester you can choose to study three or six hours per week – the price for six hours is double.

Course Levels

What level of English will I study?

These courses are for students wanting to study English at all levels from pre-intermediate upwards. Students will be invited to Colchester Institute to complete a reading, writing and speaking placement test. The test will provide the teacher with details on the student’s current level of English to ensure they are placed in a class best suited to their development needs.

Part-timeA0Pre-EntryComplete Beginner
Full-timeB1E3Pre-Intermediate → Intermediate
Full-timeB2L1Intermediate → Upper Intermediate
Full-timeC1L2Upper Intermediate → Advanced
Entry and Enrolment Requirements

No formal qualifications. However, your language will be assessed on arrival through a simple test to place you on the most appropriate level. The minimum age of enrolment for the part-time EFL programme is 16 years old.


Students are prepared for internationally recognised Cambridge examinations.

EFL Cambridge Main Suite examinations:

  • B1 – PET – Preliminary English Test: £47.75
  • B2 – FCE – First Certificate in English: £87.50
  • C1 – CAE – Certificate in Advanced English: £91.50

If the teacher is satisfied with the student’s progress then students can take these examinations in December or May/June (depending on numbers).

Students will need to pay extra if they choose to take an exam.  Prices are available on request

Additional Costs

Students will need a pen, pencil, paper and folder. Students will need to purchase an English learner dictionary (We recommend the Longman Active Study dictionary or the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary; prices range from £20 – £25).

Term Dates
AutumnWednesday 1st September – Friday 22nd October 2021*

Half Term: Monday 25th October – Friday 29th October 2021

Monday 1st November – Friday 17th December 2021

SpringTuesday 4th January – Friday 11th February 2022*

Half Term: Monday 14th February – Friday 18th February 2022

Monday 21st February – Friday 1st April 2022

Easter Break: Monday 4th April – Monday 18th April 2022

SummerTuesday 19th April – Friday 1st July 2022

Please note there is no half-term break in the Summer Term

Please note that the College is closed on Bank Holidays.

*Learning and Teaching Development Days (non-student days): 3/9/21, 22/10/21 and 1/2/22

University Centre Colchester Term Dates 2021 – 2022:

Semester 1Registration and Induction: Friday 17th September 2021

Semester 1 start: Monday 20th September – Friday 14th January 2022

Reading Week: Monday 25th October – Friday 29th October 2021

Christmas Break: Monday 20th December – Friday 31st December 2021

Semester 1 restart: Assessment/Tutorials/Examinations:

Monday 3rd January – Friday 14th January 2022

Inter-Semester Break/Marking:

Monday 17th January – Friday 28th January 2022

Semester 2Semester 2 start: Monday 31st January – Friday 1st April 2022

Reading Week: Monday 14th February – Friday 18th February 2022

Easter Break: Monday 4th April – Friday 15th April 2022

Semester 2 restart: Monday 19th April – Friday 27th May 2022

Assessment/Tutorials/Examinations: Monday 16th May – Friday 27th May 2022

What can I do next?

Career Opportunities

Developing English Language skills offer students the opportunity to access further career opportunities, whether within their existing field or a different one.

Course Progression
Progression onto further education or training in a variety of subject areas and on successful completion of the IELTS examinations, students may progress to university or a higher education institution in the UK, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand or in their home countries.

Information for Under 18's

Many students at Colchester Institute are under 18.  In the English Language department, we have a mixture: some students are under 18 and some are adults.  You may be in a class with some adult students. They will welcome you and help you with your studies. Your teachers will also work hard to keep you safe.

Commitment to Safeguarding

Colchester Institute believes the health and safety of all our students is important.  All of the English Language staff are trained to help keep students safe, happy and healthy in college.

Well-being and keeping safe

Bullying [using words or actions to make someone feel bad] is not allowed in the college.  The College is committed to making our classes a place where all students are respected and where bullying is not allowed.  If a student has a problem or complaint, we will listen to them and work to solve the problem quickly and fairly.

What should I do if I have a problem?

If a student has a problem or complaint they should speak to their teacher or the Student Services Welfare Team (Ground Floor, Main Building, Colchester Institute).   At The College at Braintree, please go to Student Services A56.  Student Services are very good at solving students’ problems.

We hope you will enjoy your studies with us and that you will always feel safe and happy to study here.


You need to arrange where you are going to live during your studies before you arrive in the UK. Colchester Institute is able to offer accommodation to students but it is limited depending on demand.

Accommodation offered by Colchester Institute

If you would like to arrange accommodation through Colchester Institute you will need to complete an Accommodation Request Form, you can email the Accommodation Officer to ask for this form once you have received your course offer.

Please contact:

UCC Operations

Tel: 0044 (0)1206 814090 Email: ucc.operations@colchester.ac.uk

UCC Operations
Colchester Institute
Sheepen Road
Colchester, Essex
How To Apply

To apply to study on this part-time course you will need to complete the application form in the next menu.

English Language courses can start at various points during the year and can be studied on a part-time (3 or 6 hours per week) basis depending on what suits you, your schedule and your needs.

Please see the menu below for the next course start dates.

Applicants will receive an acknowledgement email or card within one week of the application being received by our Admissions team, if you do not receive this you should contact the team to check that your application has been received. Courses will run subject to sufficient applications being received.

If you have any further questions about the application process or next available start date, want to check the progress of your application or if you are unsure about anything please contact us using the enquiry line or enquiry form buttons in the next menu.

If you are ready to apply then please click the ‘Part-time English Language Application Form’ Button in the next menu to fill in the application form.

English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
DurationSep – Dec (14 Weeks)
Sep – June (35 Weeks)
Jan – June (21 Weeks)
Study ModePart-Time
CampusColchester Campus
AttendanceVariable: 3 or 6 hours per week.
You have a choice of morning, afternoon or evening classes.
Fee(s)Sep - Dec (13 Weeks): Fees available upon application
Sep - June (34 Weeks): Fees available upon application
January - June (21 Weeks): Fees available upon application


All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.