Pre-Master's

Preparing international students for direct entry on to a master's degree, with guaranteed progression to one of  NCUK's universities.

The Pre-Master's will develop your English language skills, a wide range of academic study skills, and postgraduate research skills. It is not subject-specific, and has been designed for international students looking to study a business or management-related course.

Why apply for the Pre-Master's programme?

  • A quality-assured, Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK) accredited programme.
  • Guaranteed conditional offer from an NCUK university for all successful students.
  • Recognised by a wide range of other leading UK universities.

Course options available

  • Pre-Master's (3 terms, September entry)- this offers an additional preparatory term of the Management Studies module and has a lower English language requirement
  • Pre-Master's (2 terms, January entry) - this is the standard option, suitable for most students
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What is special about this programme?

  • high contact hours and small class sizes
  • experienced and qualified teachers
  • regular assessment to monitor your progress
  • professional support and guidance with university applications

The Pre-Master's programme will give you the opportunity to:

  • improve your language skills in preparation for postgraduate study
  • increase your knowledge of academic theory and improve your understanding of key academic subjects
  • develop the necessary research skills for postgraduate study
  • gain an understanding or the UK education system before entering as a postgraduate

Who should apply for the Pre-Master's programme?

The Pre-Master's offers a conversion course for students:

  • who are changing disciplines with a plan to study in a business-related subject on their master's programme
  • who have a relevant academic background and wish to progress to a master's in the same subject
  • who have successfully completed a three-year university diploma in a relevant subject

Please note that significant changes to discipline are not always possible, and that progression options are limited for university diploma holders.

What will I study?

You will study the following modules:

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) The aim of this module is to provide you with the EAP skills that will prepare you for a postgraduate course at a UK university.

Through 10 contact hours per week and an additional two hours tutorial time, you will develop your academic reading, writing and listening skills as well as presentation skills.

You will be assessed by authentic, continuous assessment tasks, including a dissertation as well as EAP final exams.
Research Methods Seven hours of your total contact time per week will be dedicated to Research Methods.

These classes will help you to plan a research project, conduct research and write up a dissertation. You will develop strategies for undertaking research projects within your chosen field and you will have the opportunity to explore different approaches to research methods and analysis.

The dissertation will be an independent piece of research, though you will have language support as well as a tutor who will offer clear guidance on planning, content and structure. Your focus will be on a topic of your choice which relates to your future postgraduate course.
Management Studies (3-term course only) In the preparatory term, the Management syllabus is delivered over six timetabled hours per week for students who started the Pre-Master's programme in September. In the core and final terms the syllabus is delivered over three timetabled hours per week for all students.

In addition to teaching you about business management, the module is designed so that you have the opportunity to develop a range of postgraduate study skills that will help you to succeed at a UK university.

The methods of learning and assessment that are introduced in this module will also support the work you do for Research Methods and English for Academic Purposes (EAP).

Please note that this is a compulsory module which is not credit bearing.

How will I be assessed?

  • Assessment is both formal and informal, using NCUK's EAP (English for Academic Purposes) criteria.
  • Assessment of English language and communication skills will be based on written assignments, oral presentations, interview and written examinations.
  • Assessment of subject content will be based on written assignments, group project work, oral presentations and written examinations.
  • Assessment of the research dissertation will be based on the final written version of the project.
  • Progress is monitored by continuous assessment of course work and class tests.
  • The final grade is based on a mixture of course work and examinations.
  • Successful students will achieve a pass, credit or distinction for their dissertation or project proposal.

Academic guidance

All students who successfully pass the Pre-Master's programme are guaranteed a place on a taught master's degree at an NCUK university.

Places at some universities are subject to previous undergraduate or diploma qualifications.

Students should be aware that:

  • their previous educational performance will be considered in their university admission, in particular to selective universities and/or master's programmes
  • students are not guaranteed a place in any particular NCUK partner university

How do I qualify?

Academic requirements: Students must have successfully completed a bachelor's degree or have an equivalent three-year university Diploma.

Students with a three-year diploma are usually offered a more limited range of NCUK universities progression opportunities for master's study. Work experience in a related area can increase this range for diploma holders.

For information about country-specific entry requirements please contact us.
English requirements: 3-term programme: IELTS 5.0 (with a minimum of 5.0 in reading and writing) or equivalent.

2-term programme: IELTS 5.5 (with minimum of 5.5 in reading and writing) or equivalent.

Please note: for visa purposes students requiring a Tier 4 visa must have IELTS 5.5 (with a minimum of 5.5 in all subskills) or equivalent.

From 6 April 2015, the Centre can only accept a UKVI approved IELTS test for this course. Read more about UKVI IELTS or contact us.

If you do not meet the minimum English language entry requirements, you can apply for English for University Study.
Age: 21 years and above.

To have a chance of progression to selective universities (in particular those within the Russell Group), students should have:

  • completed a degree in their home country with a good grade - normally a 2:1 equivalent or above
  • missed out on direct entry for their favoured master's course because they do not meet the English entry requirements
  • in some cases, students may be considered if they have narrowly missed out on academic requirements for master's entry

When can I start?

Start date Term dates Fees
September 2016 start
(3 terms)
Term 1: Mon 26 Sep 2016 - Fri 09 Dec 2016
Term 2: Mon 16 Jan 2017 - Fri 31 Mar 2017
Term 3: Tue 18 Apr 2017 - Fri 23 Jun 2017
£13,995
January 2017 start
(2 terms)
Term 1: Mon 09 Jan 2017 - Fri 31 Mar 2017
Term 2: Tue 18 Apr 2017 - Fri 23 Jun 2017
£9,930
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Tuition fees do not include:

  • enrolment fee: an additional charge of £150 per academic course, to be charged upon confirmation
  • text books: an additional charge in the region of £225 per academic course
  • accommodation is not included in the fees: view our accommodation options
  • students who progress on to an NCUK will receive a £500 bursary towards university tuition fees

How do I pay?

You can pay by bank transfer or by credit card. Please contact us for bank transfer details.


What's the difference between the 2 and 3-term course?

The 3-term course offers an additional preparatory term of the Management Studies module and has a lower English language requirement.

Where will this programme take me?

As a successful student, you will have a wide choice of degree options at 11 NCUK universities.

Please note that students looking to progress to a Russell Group university will need to meet additional entry requirements.


Degree options

This programme leads to a wide range of master's degrees at NCUK owner universities in areas such as:

NCUK owner universities
  • Accounting
  • Advanced Computer Science
  • Business and Management
  • Computing
  • Economics
  • Electronics and IT
  • Environmental Management
  • Finance
  • International Banking and Finance
  • International Business and Management
  • Marketing and Management
  • Public Relations Management
  • Sustainable Architecture
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