The English and Study Skills Programme (ESSP) is for anyone who needs to communicate more effectively in English in the maritime field. ESSP students are typically:

  • WMU students enrolled in the ESSP as a condition of entry into the MSc programme
  • WMU students who elect to take the ESSP in preparation for the MSc programme
  • Non-WMU students who wish to upgrade their professional and academic English communication skills in the maritime context.
The ESSP runs each year from mid-June to early September. The 12-week intensive programme incorporates the following core compoments:

  • Academic Writing
  • Thematic Integrated Skills
  • Speaking and Presentation Skills
The programme also includes maritime-focused academic lectures by WMU professors, and IT and library workshops. Students are expected to complete individual assignments as well as group work, homeowrk and self-study.

All applicants to the University must submit an internationally recognized English language proficiency test. Acceptable tests include IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge examinations, and GCE O-levels in English language. Other tests are accepted by the Admissions Board only under exceptional circumstances; applicants should check with the Registry in such cases.
Applicants to the standard MSc programme have the opportunity, if necessary, to enroll in the pre-sessional English & Study Skills Programme (ESSP). Applicants to the accelerated programme are not eligible to attend ESSP since the accelerated programme has higher English skills requirements.

Candidates are assessed in accordance with the following general guidelines:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

ESSP participation required
IBT: 61 to 79
PBT: 500 to 549  

no ESSP participation required
IBT: 80+
PBT: 550+
WMU’s TOEFL institution code is 9198.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

bands 5.0 and 5.5 ESSP participation required
band 6.0 or above no ESSP required
Please note: the academic, not the general training, version of the test is required

Cambridge Examinations

First Certificate (FCE) ESSP participation required
Proficiency (CPE) no ESSP required

Students who have a pass in a GCE O-level or the equivalent (WAEC, CXC etc) must enclose a copy of their examination results for evaluation by the Admissions Board.
Sometimes applicants’ test results meet the University’s general guidelines, but show weaknesses in a certain skills area. In such cases, the Admissions Board will evaluate the skill level based on guidelines shown above. Information on TOEFL may be obtained through US embassies/consulates or the US Information Service, and on the IELTS and Cambridge Examinations from the British Council or Australian or UK  embassies/consulates.
More information can be found by visiting these websites: