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The University of Southampton
Welcome Pre-sessional

Welcome to the University of Southampton

Before you arrive


Congratulations - it's almost time for you to join us for your pre-sessional programme and we can't wait to welcome you.

This website guides you through the important steps you need to complete before you arrive and in your first few days. Please read each step carefully, confirm you have completed the tasks that are relevant to you, then "Complete Step" to continue.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact the University.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Arrange your visa

Find out if you need a visa

Many international students need a Tier 4 (General) visa in order to come to the UK.

You will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) number from the University. You will need to use this CAS number on your Tier 4 visa application.

Students issued with a single CAS will receive a Tier 4 visa in their passport and it will be valid for their pre-sessional course only. You will then have to apply for a new Tier 4 visa extension in the UK for your main programme of study. The University Visa & Immigration Student Advice Service provides a comprehensive set of activities and resources to support students to extend their visas.

Some students will be issued with a joint CAS for both their pre-sessional and their main programmes of study. This will mean that you will receive a temporary entry visa in your passport and a letter informing you where you can collect your Tier 4 visa, which will be a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card. Students can choose to collect their BRP card from the University; to do this enter our Alternative Collection Location (ACL) code 2HE382 in your online visa application.

If you have a joint CAS and your main programme of study is a 1 year Masters programme, you will qualify to apply under the Tier 4 pilot scheme. Please refer to our website for further information. 

When will my visa application be accepted?

Getting a Tier 4 visa can take a long time. You can apply for your visa up to three months before the programme start date and you should apply for your visa at least six weeks before you come to Southampton. You will not be able to join the programme if you arrive in the UK after the programme start date, so it is very important to allow plenty of time for your visa application.

Register for meet and greet

Meet and greet

To help make your arrival in the UK as easy as possible, we run a free Meet and Greet service at London Heathrow Airport. On the day before your programme begins we will be at the airport to meet you and there will be a coach service to take you to your accommodation in Southampton.

Once your place on a pre-sessional course has been confirmed, you will receive an email inviting you to book a place on the Meet & Greet service.

Course A students

Please book by 10:00 (BST) on 17 June 2019 for the Meet and Greet on 26 June 2019. You can also book a place by accessing our booking form directly.

Course B students

Please book by 10:00 (BST) on 21 July 2019 for the Meet and Greet on 24 July 2019. You can also book a place by accessing our booking form directly.

On arrival

Meet and Greet representatives will be at London Heathrow Airport from 08:00 until 22:00. The last coaches will depart when all pre-booked students have been met by a member of the Meet and Greet team – this may be before 22:00.


Luggage allowance will be two large bags and one small hand luggage bag.

Please note that the coach service is for students only. If there are seats available, your friends and family members may be able to join you on the coach but priority will be given to students. If there are no places on the coach for your friends or family, we will help them find another form of transport to get to Southampton.

Arrange your accommodation

Have you arranged your accommodation?

If you want to live in one of our Halls of Residence during your pre-sessional course, you will need to apply.
All pre-sessional students with a confirmed place for a pre-sessional course, and who apply for a room with us by the deadline, are guaranteed accommodation in Halls of Residence.

You will be able to apply for accommodation on our website - from February 2019.

The deadline for applications is four weeks before the start of your pre-sessional course:

  • 29 May 2019 for the 11 week course starting in June.
  • 26 June 2019 for the 6 week course starting in July.

 Please submit an application even if these dates have passed and we will look to allocate you within our Halls of Residence.

Accommodation for your pre-sessional programme

Once your place on a pre-sessional programme is confirmed and after we have received your application, we will allocate you a room in Halls of Residence for the duration of your programme. Please note that if demand for rooms is high, some students on the 11 week course may need to move rooms within the first 10 days of the course.

You will receive an offer of accommodation from us in June (Pre-sessional Course A) or July (Pre-sessional Course B). You will need to accept the offer by the deadline included in the email.

We recommend you regularly check the status of your application using the online accommodation system. You will be required to register card information and create a payment plan to accept your offer.

Before you arrive

You will be emailed a link to our e-induction. You must complete this e-induction as it contains important information about living in halls. It will also tell you which room you have been allocated, although there are situations when we may need to make changes before you arrive.

On arrival

You will need to show us some photographic ID, for example your passport. This will help us get you to your room more quickly.

What to bring

  • There is no need to bring any bedding - a bedding pack will be provided in your room containing a duvet, duvet cover, pillow, pillow cover and sheet.
  • Cooking utensils like pots, pans, plates and cutlery are not provided. These can be purchased at low cost from local stores when you arrive.
  • Please do not bring electrical items, such as kettles, rice cookers or hair dryers from your home country to the UK. You will not be allowed to use them in Halls of Residence because health and safety regulations require electrical items to be manufactured to UK safety standard. We retain the right to confiscate any equipment that does not meet British or European standard. You can buy these sorts of items when you arrive in the UK. 
  • Mobile devices and computers from home are permitted in Halls.

Contents insurance

If you live in Halls, you are automatically covered by the University's contents insurance policy, meaning your personal belongings may be replaced if they are stolen or damaged.
It is important that you check the terms and conditions of the policy so that you understand what is included in the insurance cover. You may need to buy additional cover, for example, if you want cover for a bicycle.

Cancelling your accommodation

If you wish to cancel your accommodation before you arrive for your pre-sessional programme please email:

Accommodation for your main degree programme

There is a separate application process for University accommodation for your main degree programme. The application form will be live on our website early March 2018. If you haven’t already done so, you must apply for accommodation for your main degree programme online before 1 August 2018.

Your University student ID number will be the same for your pre-sessional course and your main degree programme. You will need to use it for your Halls of Residence application(s).

If you decide you would like to find a room in a private house for your pre-sessional course, you can still apply for a room in Halls of Residence for your main degree programme.

If you meet the terms of our accommodation guarantee, which includes applying by the deadline, you will be guaranteed an offer of a place in a Halls of Residence for your main degree programme. This is likely to be a different room or hall to the one you stayed in during your pre-sessional programme, so you may need to move before your main degree programme begins.

After you apply

After you have submitted an application please check your online accommodation account regularly - this is where you will see the offer.
You must accept the offer of accommodation for your main degree programme by the deadline given (normally four days) – if you do not, the offer will expire.
To accept the offer, log in to your online accommodation account and accept within the deadline.

Rejecting your offer

If you are offered University accommodation but you then find alternative living arrangements, please reject your offer of accommodation as soon as possible by logging into your online accommodation account.

If you have any questions about your accommodation, please email:

Alternative accommodation

We encourage students to live in Halls of Residence, as the accommodation fee includes costs of services (electricity, gas and water) and also includes WiFi and a wired internet connection. You also have a bus pass for the uni-link bus service that gives you free use of their network around the city.

If you decide not to apply for University accommodation, the Residences Services and Students’ Union can advise you on how to look for private rented accommodation in Southampton and Winchester.

The University is a partner in the Southampton Accreditation Scheme for Student Housing (SASSH), which only advertises properties where the landlord agrees their property complies with certain safety and quality standards.

If you are looking for private rented accommodation, you will need to show your landlord proof of your right to live in the UK. This can be completed once you arrive in the UK.

Do not, under any circumstances, part with your original documents. We advise you bring photocopies of your passport and visa to give to your landlord.

The end of your pre-sessional programme

If you accept an offer of University accommodation for the first year of your main degree programme, you are likely to be in a different room to the one you stayed in during your pre-sessional studies. You will have given us your preferences for location and room type and we will try to match these if possible. 

You may need to move from one room to another during the ‘move weeks’ that follow the end of your course. Move weeks are the period between the end of your pre-sessional accommodation contract and the start of your main degree accommodation contract.

We will email you with guidance to make sure you are aware of the steps you need to take before you move.

You will need to plan to remain in Southampton during this time period, in order to move your belongings if you are either moving rooms or leaving the University accommodation. If you are leaving University accommodation you will need to move out of your room at the end of your contract. If you are moving rooms within University accommodation, the normal moving date is Sunday 18 September 2018.

Transportation and storage

While the Residences Services will provide support and guidance during move weeks, we cannot provide transportation or lifting assistance during your move.

We can provide short term storage for your belongings (less than 24 hours) as you move from one room to another - longer term storage will have to be arranged privately if necessary.

If you have any further enquiries about your accommodation, please contact us or visit the accommodation website for more information.

Set up your IT account

Your IT account

Prior to arrival you must set up your University computing account and email address. You can do this from any computer with an internet connection. You will be asked to provide:

  • your pre-sessional student ID number (you will find this in the email correspondence from the pre-sessional admissions team)
  • your family name
  • your date of birth

When you set up your account you will be provided with a computing account username and you will also be asked to select a password to use with our services. It is very important to remember both your username and password, so you can access the services available.

Step-by-step guide

Please note that this process must be carried out by the student and not by their agent or representative. It is essential that students know their username, email address, password and the answers to the security questions when they arrive at Southampton.

Once you have set up your University computing account, it is very important that you check your University email account regularly. The University will send important information to you using this email address, for example, information about your course, fees and accommodation.

To access your emails, go to SUSSED, sign in using your new username and password and then click on the 'Email' icon which is accessible from the 'Home' tab.

This step-by-step guide will take you through the process of setting up your University computing account:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on 'Create your University computing account'.
  3. Enter your details and click on 'Next' – the system should now recognise you. If you receive an error message, check and correct your details if necessary. You will be then asked to accept the conditions shown on the screen.
  4. Enter the answers to the security questions (you may change the questions if you wish).
  5. You will be given a username. Make sure you write it down as you will need it later and it will not be displayed again.
  6. Choose and enter a password, and then enter it again to confirm it. This will ensure you did not make an error when typing the password. Please make sure this is a password you will remember.
  7. Tick the boxes to show whether you want to be included in the external online directory.
  8. Click on 'Next'. If no mistakes are found, you will see a message confirming your username and your university email address along with a green bar, this is confirmation that you have successfully set up your University computing account.
  9. Your account will become fully active within 30 minutes.

Apply for your ID card

Your student ID card

We advise that you apply for your ID card up to 1 week before you are due to arrive in Southampton.

You will be asked to log in using your University username and the password, which you chose when you set up your IT account. You will need to upload a photograph for your ID card. Please make sure that this photograph shows your face clearly and is suitable for an academic setting.

If you are on the pre-sessional programme for Foundation Year Students, you should apply for your ID card by Monday 8 July 2019.

If you are on the 11 week pre-sessional programme, you should apply for your ID card by Monday 24 June 2019.
If you are on the 6 week pre-sessional programme you should apply for your ID card by Monday 22 July 2019.

If you have applied for your ID card on time, you will be able to collect it during registration when you arrive.
If you have difficulty ordering your ID card online, it will be printed during your registration appointment

How does it work?

Your ID card grants you access to University buildings and allows you to use certain University facilities.

Pay your tuition fees

Have you paid your fees?

You must pay your fees in full before you arrive.

Your fees will be stated in the email sent to you confirming your place on the pre-sessional programme. They will also be stated in your CAS statement if you are a student who requires a visa to study in the UK.

You will need your student ID when paying your fees. You will have received this by email from the Admissions team.

Please note that we do not accept fee payments in cash.

Pay online

This is the fastest and cheapest way to pay. We advise that you use Internet Explorer to access our payment system.

If you have already used the web payments system for your pre-payment, you can log in using the same details.

If you haven't used the web payments system before you will need to create a new user account and create a new password and security question of your choice. You will also need your pre-sessional student ID. You will receive an email with instructions on how to activate your account before you can make a payment.

When you log into the web payments system you will see a page called 'Current Items'.

On the Current Items page, you may see an invoice for your pre-sessional programme fees. If so, tick the 'Pay' box and click on 'Pay invoice'.

If it says 'You have no outstanding invoices' on the Current Items page, click on 'Pay on account' at the top right hand of the screen and follow the instructions to make your payment.

Pay by telephone

Contact the Student Services Centre on +44 (0)23 8059 9599 to pay by credit or debit card.

Please state that you are paying pre-sessional programme fees and give your pre-sessional student ID number when you pay.

You can telephone between 08:30 and 18:00 BST, Monday to Friday.

Pay by bank transfer

Please use our online payment system: WU Business Solutions

Are you sponsored?

If your fees are being paid by a sponsor then you will need to provide a financial guarantee from your sponsor. You can send a scanned copy of this directly to before you arrive.

Prepare for registration


During your first few days in Southampton, you will need to attend a registration event to verify your attendance at the University. You will be given a timetable of induction activities, including information about this registration event, on arrival at your Halls of Residence.
If you are staying in private rented accommodation, your schedule will be emailed to you a week before induction.

It is very important that you attend this event on the time and date given to you. If you do not attend the event, you will be unable to start your programme.

What to bring

  • a valid and in-date passport
  • your valid and in-date visa/biometric identity card (BRP), leave stamps or immigration status document showing your permission to stay in the UK for study at the University of Southampton.
  • your student ID number (you should find this on your offer letter)
  • your personal email address
  • If you have been issued with a Joint CAS and your visa is for both your Pre-sessional course and your main degree programme, you must bring the original qualification documents as shown on your CAS. We cannot accept copies and you must only bring the original documents. If the documents are not in English, you must also bring an official translation.


To do this, you will need the username and password you created when you set up your IT account (see step 4), so it is important to create your IT account in advance and remember your log in details.

You are able to enrol online before you arrive at the University of Southampton by visiting our website.

Before you do this please take the time to look at the short learning guide below which will help you fill in your address correctly.  This is extremely important because the enrolment letter which you need to open a UK bank account will use the address information that you enter when you enrol online.  If you enter your address incorrectly, the bank may reject your application to open a UK bank account until you have corrected the errors.  

If you are unable to enrol online before you arrive you will be able to enrol during registration after you have completed the identity check.

Next steps

Congratulations - you have now completed the important steps required before you arrive.

Please visit the When You Arrive section to find out what happens when you arrive in Southampton.

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