Preparing international students for direct entry on to a master's degree, with guaranteed conditional progression to one of NCUK's 16 universities.

The Pre-Master's will develop your English language skills, a wide range of 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.

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

What is special about this programme?

  • university-style teaching with qualified and experienced teachers
  • high contact hours and small class sizes
  • professional support and guidance with university applications
  • you can also apply for entry to an appropriate course at one of NCUK’s other universities

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.

INTO Manchester Alyona Afonina from Russian Federation

Alyona from
Russian Federation

"From the very first day of my master’s course I started
to use knowledge which I had gained at INTO Manchester."

Read more Read less

Meet Alyona from the Russian Federation who:

  • achieved a distinction on the Pre-Master's at INTO Manchester
  • graduated with a MSc Marketing from The University of Manchester
  • is now working as a Strategic Analyst at Louder in Moscow

Have you felt at an advantage at university since progressing from INTO Manchester?

From the very first day of my master’s course I started to use knowledge which I had gained during the Pre-Master's programme at INTO Manchester. I felt at an advantage writing my dissertation because I was familiar with the process as I had written both a research proposal and short dissertation during my Pre-Master's programme. As I was one of the few students who were familiar with the research proposal structure, other students frequently asked me for advice on the research proposal writing process.

Do you view the INTO Manchester as an integral step in your career success?

I view the INTO Manchester Pre-Master's programme as an integral step in my career because having competed the programme I entered one of the best universities in the world. As I was prepared for my master’s course, I did not waste time learning how to avoid plagiarism, using academic English or writing a dissertation. I was able to focus entirely on my marketing subjects. This, I believe, became the reason for my high academic achievements and gaining excellent knowledge of marketing this year.

Would it be difficult to progress to a master’s without this INTO course?

I think it would have been very difficult for me. The system of education in Russia differs from the UK education system. For example, if you write an essay you do not have to justify your opinion with a reference to an academic source and you do not have to paraphrase other authors’ words. So I would probably have been accused of plagiarism and spent much time learning paraphrasing techniques, instead of focusing on my core modules. This would have slowed my progress down.

Will you use things you learnt at INTO Manchester in your career?

Yes, of course. As I am planning to work in marketing I will have to give presentations frequently. Therefore, I will use my presentation skills, which I learnt at INTO Manchester very often. I learnt how to bring a presentation to life with the use of visual aids and how to keep an audience’s attention. Moreover, due to my tutors’ feedback I stopped an annoying habit of moving whilst presenting.

Do you believe students hoping to study a master’s in the UK would benefit from taking the Pre-Master's course?

I am absolutely sure that students who are planning to study a master’s in the UK would benefit from taking the Pre-Master's course. After this programme they will have a clear understanding of academic text structure; will learn how to write an essay using different academic resources; and how to describe research data and findings in professional language. Students will be taught how to avoid plagiarism which is essential for education in UK. In addition, different types of research and data collection will be explained to students. This will help them to have a clear understanding of dissertation writing process which is very important for a master’s course in the UK.

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.

Management Studies

In the preparatory term, the Management syllabus is delivered over six timetabled hours per week for 3-term students; in the core and final terms the syllabus is delivered over three timetabled hours per week for 3-term and 2-term 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 EAP.

The Management Studies module is a compulsory module which is not credit bearing.

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.

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 conditional 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:

Successful completion of an undergraduate degree or have an equivalent 3-year university diploma.

Students with a 3-year diploma are offered a more limited range of progression opportunities for postgraduate study.

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.

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 level you can apply for our Academic English course.


21 years and above.

Places at some universities are subject to previous undergraduate or diploma qualifications. 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 postgraduate degree '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 postgraduate entry

When can I start?

Start date Term dates Fees
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
September 2017 start
(3 terms)
Term 1: Mon 25 Sep 2017 – Fri 08 Dec 2017
Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Fri 29 Mar 2018
Term 3: Mon 16 Apr 2018 – Fri 22 June 2018
January 2018 start
(2 terms)
Term 1: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Thu 29 Mar 2018
Term 2: Mon 16 Apr 2018 – Fri 22 Jun 2018

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 £240 per academic course
  • accommodation is not included in the fees: view our accommodation options
  • social programme (costs for some excursions and activities are in addition to fees paid)
  • students who progress on to an NCUK university 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?

Successful completion of Pre-Master's leads to the award of Pre-Master's in Higher Education (FHEQ Level 6) from NCUK.

As a successful student, you will have a wide choice of degree options at 16 NCUK universities. The progression options available to students will vary depending on previous academic study and degree area of interest.

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.

The following are some of the most popular postgraduate study choices for international students.

Please note that students with a 3-year diploma are offered a more limited range of NCUK universities progression opportunities for master’s study. 

For a complete list of all available progression options for students with both 3-year and 4-year diploma, please visit NCUK's website.

University of Bradford
  • MSc Automotive Engineering
  • MSc Civil and Structural Engineering
  • MA/MSc Computer Animation and Special Effects
  • MA Conflict Resolution
  • MSc Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • MSc Finance
  • MSc Human Resource Management
  • MSc International Business and Management
  • MSc Management
  • MSc Marketing and Management
  • MSc Mechanical Engineering
  • MA Media Studies
  • MEd/MA TESOL and Applied Linguistics
The University of Huddersfield
  • MA/MSc 3D Digital Design
  • MSc Accounting
  • MSc/PG Dip Automotive System Design and Analysis
  • MSc Business Project Management
  • MSc/PG Dip Electronic and Computer-Based System Design
  • MSc/PG Dip Engineering Management
  • MSc Finance
  • MSc Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • MSc International Business Management
  • MSc Marketing
Leeds Beckett University
  • MSc Accounting and Finance
  • MSc Computer Animation Technology
  • MSc Digital Video and Special Effects
  • MA English Language Teaching
  • MA Filmmaking
  • MSc Finance
  • MA Human Resource Management
  • MA International Business
  • MSc International Hospitality Management (full-time or placement route)
  • MA International Trade and Finance
  • MSc Marketing
  • MA Public Relations
  • MSc Strategic Project Management
  • MA Town and Regional Planning
Liverpool John Moores University
  • MBA Business Management
  • MSc Commercial Property Management
  • LLM International Business and Commercial Law
  • MA International Journalism
  • MSc Maritime Operations
  • MA Marketing
  • MBA (Executive Leadership)
  • MA Sport Development Management
  • MSc Telecommunications Engineering
  • MA Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • MSc Water, Energy and the Environment
  • MSc Wireless and Mobile Computing
The University of Manchester
  • MSc Accounting and Finance
  • MSc Commercial Project Management
  • MSc Economics and Econometrics
  • MSc Engineering Project Management
  • MBus Global Business Analysis
  • MSc International Business and Management
  • MSc International Fashion Retailing
  • MA/PG Dip International Politics
  • MSc Management
  • MSc Marketing
  • MSc/MEnt Mechanical Engineering Design
  • MSc Petroleum Geoscience
  • MSc Structural Engineering
  • MSc Textile Technology
Manchester Metropolitan University
  • MSc Accounting and Finance
  • MA Architecture and Urbanism
  • MSc Engineering with Management
  • MSc Finance and Business
  • MSc Hospitality Management
  • MA Human Resource Management
  • MSc International Business Management
  • MSc International Fashion Business: Marketing Management (subject to approval)
  • MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • MSc Management
  • MSc Marketing Communications
  • MA Teaching English as a Foreign Language
The University of Salford
  • MA Applied Linguistics
  • MSc Audio Production
  • MSc Design Management
  • MSc Digital Architectural Design
  • MSc Financial Services Management
  • MSc Gas Engineering and Management
  • MSc Human Resource Management and Development
  • MSc International Banking and Finance
  • MSc International Business
  • LLM International Business Law and Regulation
  • MSc International Corporate Finance
  • MSc International Events Management
  • MSc Management
  • MSc Marketing
  • MSc Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • MA Social Media
  • MSc Structural Engineering
  • MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
  • MA Translating for International Business
The University of Sheffield
  • MA Applied Linguistics with TESOL
  • MSc Business Finance and Economics
  • MSc East Asian Business
  • MSc Financial Economics
  • MA Global Journalism
  • MSc Human Resource Management
  • MSc Information Systems Management
  • MA Intercultural Communication
  • MPH International Development
Sheffield Hallam University
  • MSc Accounting and Finance
  • MSc Advanced Engineering
  • MSc Advanced Engineering and Management
  • MSc Banking and Finance
  • MSc Computer and Network Engineering
  • MA Design (Graphic)
  • MA Filmmaking
  • MSc Food Process Engineering
  • MSc International Business Management
  • MSc Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • MSc Mechanical Engineering
  • MA Public Relations
  • MSw Social Work
  • MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology
General, UK and China enquiries: +44 (0)1273 876 040 [email protected]
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