A number of students come to Acorn House with a good level of English but for several reasons they may need specific support to help them achieve their academic goals. This may be support to achieve a grade in a particular exam or help with academic English.

International Students

The English level of our overseas students is assessed on application and an appropriate programme is then offered to support the academic aims of each individual student. This may be dedicated one-to-one support or small group teaching and will be focused towards increasing their use of academic English as well as preparing for a qualification in English.

English GCSE

Students both from overseas and the UK for various reasons may need to take or retake GCSE English alongside their A levels. A ‘pass’ grade in English GCSE is required by most UK universities and some may require an A or B grade for certain subjects.


Students who do not have English as a first language and do not have English GCSE have the option to demonstrate their proficiency in English through the IELTS (international English Language Testing System). Acorn House can tailor a programme of IELTS preparation that is designed to support a pass at the required level for the course the student applies for at university. UK universities will usually require a score of 6.0 or higher as a minimum requirement, but many courses will have a higher requirement.