Yes, the course is compulsory, if you receive a conditional offer, while it is not necessary for people who get unconditional offers. No matter what kind of offer you get, I would like to say studying the pre-sessional course is a good start for international students. Not only do you get a chance to improve your academic English skills including writing, reading, listening and speaking, but you also have an opportunity to make new friends, who might be studying in the same school as you, or from different schools.
Academic English is different from English in everyday life, so the course will be very useful for international students. You can build a network, and create long lasting friendships. For me, I have still kept in touch with some of the friends I made since I finished my master’s in 2011.
This blog post is by Kunphatu Sakwit