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Pre-Master's Certificate - Study Skills


The Pre-Master's Certificate: Study Skills will prepare you for your future master's course. You will develop your study skills and subject knowledge in your chosen area. You will understand the demands of British postgraduate higher education so feel confident to start your degree.

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

January 2020

How to apply

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

Prepare for postgraduate study

If you are a native or near-native speaker of English, this course will improve your academic knowledge and study skills for your future master's course.

You can specialise in a subject of your choice from a wide range of subjects that include business, tourism, hospitality and leisure, law, social sciences, arts, humanities, computing and technology.

You should choose this course if:

  • your undergraduate qualifications do not meet the level required for postgraduate study
  • you wish to take a master's in a subject that is different from your undergraduate degree
  • you wish to improve your study skills before starting your master's course
  • you want to better understand what is required at master's level in the UK
  • you have had a break from education and want to build your confidence before starting your master's
The course runs once a year from January to May. There is then a summer break before starting your master's degree in September. 
This course is also available part-time which runs over two semesters starting in January. This option would suit UK-based/EU students without visa issues, who prefer the flexibility of part-time study due to other commitments.

Teaching learning and assessment

You will be taught by highly qualified academic staff who have many years of teaching experience in the UK and overseas.

Your teachers will familiarise you with the range of techniques that are used in postgraduate study. Learning methods include:

  • lectures, seminars and tutorials
  • group and individual project work and presentations
  • supervised independent learning
  • critical thinking tasks.

There will be a maximum of 18 students in a class in your compulsory modules. Your subject specialisation modules may be larger.

Teaching hours

You will have 16-18 class hours each week, with approximately 20 hours per week additional time needed for homework, projects, assignments and independent study.

Classes are Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays), usually between 9am and 4pm. Some subject modules may be 5pm and 8pm. Most classes are 3 hours long including a 10 minute break.

Assessment is by a range of coursework, including essays and papers, in-class writing tasks, project work and presentations, listening and summary assignments, and the compilation of reflective portfolios. You subject modules may also be assessed by formal exams.

Course content

The course consists of:

  • Modules to develop your research and study skills to enable you to succeed in postgraduate level study
  • Subject modules to increase your knowledge of the area you wish to study in the future, and give you experience of studying at a UK university.

This course will also give you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the teaching, learning and support facilities at Oxford Brookes, and to adapt to university life in a supportive international environment.

Study modules

You will take 2 compulsory study skills modules:

  • Advanced Reading and Research Skills will widen your research skills and develop the necessary reading skills as preparation for writing and seminar assignments at a master’s level. You will learn to apply your reading to a specific issue or question, and to evaluate and summarise secondary sources for use in writing assignments. You will also develop your knowledge of quotation, paraphrasing and citation techniques, and to write a bibliography following academic conventions.
  • Extended Writing Project gives you the opportunity to carry undertake a research project leading to an extended research paper in your own subject area, and to a reflective essay on the process followed. The research can be undertaken using only secondary sources, or both secondary and primary sources. It is a double module, ie 6 hours a week (2 x 3 hours) to enable you to get practice and support with writing through classes, tutorials, lectures, workshops and online discussion forums.

Subject modules

You will take two subject modules to improve your knowledge of your subject area, and give you experience of studying at a UK university. You can choose from a wide range of undergraduate modules that suit the master's degree you want to study afterwards:

Foundations of computation
Web Technology
Basic Mathematical Methods I

Social sciences, international relations and law
Legal Method
Commercial Law
Corporate and business law
Introduction to Politics
Introduction to International Relations 1: Perspectives
Introduction to International Relations 2: Themes and Issues 
Global governance and civil society
Foundations of developmental psychology
Learning from influential papers in psychology
Personality and individual differences
Biological psychology
Social differences and divisions
Foundations of social theory

Built environment

Introduction to Architectural History and Theory
Essential skills in the built environment
Economics of built environment
Sustainability and development
Environmental Decision Making

Business, marketing, accounting and hospitality management
Accounting and Financial Information
Raising Individual Financial Awareness
Management Accounting
Accounting information systems
Corporate and business law
Corporate Finance
Applied financial skills
Foundations of Business
Business Strategy for Competitive Advantage
International Business
Microeconomics 1
Macroeconomics 1
Business Economics and Financial Markets
International finance
Management in International Hospitality and Tourism
Operational Finance for Hospitality and Tourism
Festival and Cultural Events Management
Food, drink and culture
Revenue management and pricing
Foundations of Marketing
Customer Relationship Management
Managing Business Projects
Purchasing and Supply Chain Management
Context of International Tourism
Planning a successful event
Global Business Communications
Introduction to people management
Organisational behaviour and management

Humanities, education and publishing
Key Issues in Film
Publishing Principles
Publishing Business
Museums and Society
Social world of childhood and youth
Psychology and education
Comparative and international perspectives on education
Understanding language: systems and use
Language acquisition
Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching
Understanding Communication
Understanding Media

Science, nutrition and public health
Physiology for human movement
Physical activity and health
Scientific skills for health scientists
Psychology of food
Motivating health behaviour

Please note: the choice of subject modules depends on availability and may change without notice.

Student support

Our student support team provides academic and pastoral student support services for all students across all Pathways programmes. The Pathways student support is facilitated by the Student Support Co-ordinators (SSCs) for the Oxford Brookes Business School. Find out more.  

Course dates

January 2020 start
27 January 2020 - 1 May 2020
(See our university calendar for details of bank holidays.)

Course length

Full time 1 semester - January-May Part time 2 semesters - January to August

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

January 2020

The Pre-Master's Certificate is a recognised qualification. Most students who successfully complete the course with required grades go on to study a master's degree at Oxford Brookes or other universities.

You can progress to one of the following master's degrees after your pre-master's. (Some master's degrees such as architecture or arts may require a portfolio of work; others such as health-related courses may require additional work experience).

Arts, Publishing and Humanities

  • MSc Digital Media Production
  • MA Digital Publishing
  • MA Film Studies: Popular Cinema
  • MA History
  • MA Music
  • MA Publishing Media

Biological Sciences

  • MSc Medical Genetics and Genomics

Business and Management

  • MSc Accounting and Finance
  • MSc Business Management
  • MSc Business Management (Corporate Social Responsibility)
  • MSc Business Management (Entrepreneurship)
  • MSc Business Management (Human Resource Management)
  • MSc Business Management (Marketing)
  • MSc Digital Marketing
  • MSc Finance
  • MSc Human Resource Management
  • MSc International Business Economics
  • MSc International Events Management
  • MSc International Events Marketing
  • MSc International Human Resource Management
  • MSc International Luxury Marketing
  • MSc International Management
  • MSc International Management (Human Resource Management)
  • MSc International Management and International Relations
  • MSc International Trade and Logistics
  • MSc Marketing
  • MSc Marketing and Brand Management

Computing and Information Technology

  • MSc Computer Science
  • MSc Computer Science for Cyber Security
  • MSc Computing


  • MA Education

Environmental Science and Management

  • MSc Environmental Assessment and Management

Health and Social Care

  • MSc Applied Human Nutrition
  • MSc Applied Sport and Exercise Nutrition
  • MSc Management in Health and Social Care
  • MSc Public Health
  • MSc Rehabilitation


  • LLM in International Economic Law
  • LLM in International Human Rights Law
  • LLM in International Law
  • LLM in International Trade and Commercial Law

Real Estate, Construction and Built Environment

  • MSc Building Information Modelling and Management
  • MSc Construction Project Management
  • MA Development and Emergency Practice
  • MSc Historic Conservation
  • MSc Project Management in the Built Environment
  • MSc Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management
  • MSc Real Estate
  • MSc Real Estate Investment Finance
  • MSc Spatial Planning
  • MSc Sustainable Building - Performance and Design
  • MA Urban Design

Social Science

  • MA International Relations
  • MA International Security
  • MSc Primate Conservation
  • MSc Psychology

Tourism Hospitality and Leisure

  • MSc International Hospitality, Events and Tourism Management
  • MSc International Hotel and Tourism Management
  • MSc International Tourism Management

Applications for the master's course will be considered on an individual basis dependent on academic and English language entry requirements. Normally, you can progress to your chosen master's by achieving an average grade of 60% (55% for business/hospitality master's) on the Pre-Master's Certificate. We will help you to apply for your master's during the Certificate.

The tuition fees are £5,960 (Sept 2019/Jan 2020).

This fee is the same for international, EU and UK students.

A £1,000 deposit is required for the Pre-Master's Certificate: Study Skills course.

Teaching materials

Your tuition fees include most of your teaching materials, and gives you access to the university’s learning facilities including the libraries, computers and virtual learning environment.

Deposits and refunds

A non-refundable £1,000 deposit is required to secure your place on this course.

In the unlikely event that you decide to leave within the first four weeks of the course we will refund the tuition fees minus the £1,000 deposit. No refunds are available after the fourth week of the course. For more information see our terms and conditions.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • A UK Honours Degree Third-Class, Ordinary Degree (pass), or equivalent.

English language requirements

  • Native or near-native speaker of English, or at least IELTS 7.0 (with 6.5 in all skills) or equivalent.

Applicants are welcome from any academic discipline, as well as those in work and seeking continuing professional development.

Minimum Age

The normal minimum age for this course is 21. We will admit students under 21 on a case-by-case basis.


How to apply

Apply online directly to Oxford Brookes

For assistance with your application contact our admissions team on admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Terms and conditions of enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the conditions of acceptance. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.