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Pre-Master's Diploma - English Language and Study Skills

Pre-Master's Diploma

The Pre-Master's Diploma has been designed to fully prepare international students for your future master's course. It allows you to to specialise in a subject of your choice and to improve your study skills and use of academic English.

Click 'Progression and degree options' below for a list of master's degrees you can study afterwards.

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

September 2019 / January 2020

How to apply

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

Prepare for postgraduate study

The Pre-Master's Diploma has been designed to fully prepare you for your future master's course.

You will improve your study skills and use of academic English - the essential skills you will need for your master’s course. You will also have the opportunity to specialise in a subject of your choice through modules from the range of subjects offered at Oxford Brookes.

Your chosen subject specialism modules will improve your knowledge of the area you wish to study in the future, and allow you to gain experience of studying at a UK university. You can choose your modules from a 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 direct entry to 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 and academic language level before starting your master's course
  • you want to better understand the academic demands for studying 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 twice each year starting in September and January. If you choose to start this course in January you will continue your studies through the summer so you can progress directly to a master's course starting in September.

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.

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 of 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 means of 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.

Course content

The course consists of six compulsory language and study skills modules, together with two subject specialism modules in an area chosen by you.

Compulsory modules

  • Reading and Research Skills enables you to improve your skills in academic research, reading and analysis. You will develop and refine the skills required to locate appropriate reading sources through library catalogues, databases and the internet, and to assess the academic credibility, validity and usefulness of those sources. You will also learn to make informed decisions as to what to read and what not to read for the purposes of seminar and writing assignments. You will practise intensive text comprehension skills, note-taking and summarising, critical thinking, reasoning and self-reflection.
  • Academic Writing enables you to write a case study, argument essay and a report, to effectively summarise and evaluate secondary sources, and to apply your reading to a specific issue or question in an essay. You will learn to employ correct citation techniques, and the methods for producing a coherent argument in an essay and develop the microskills necessary for writing at this level: prewriting, planning, brainstorming, editing, text organisation and rewriting.
  • Seminar and Interview Skills enables you to develop and practise listening and speaking skills in the areas of: group presentations, voice and pronunciation, listening to lectures and news, and engage in critical discussions. This will help you to engage in seminar classes at UK universities.
  • Advanced Reading and Research Skills enables you to carry out research for reports, essays, seminars and other presentations effectively and appropriately. 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 learn to employ correct quotation, paraphrasing and citation techniques, and to write a bibliography following academic conventions. You will widen your library research skills and develop the necessary extensive and intensive reading skills as preparation for writing and seminar assignments at master’s level.
  • Extended Writing Project offers the opportunity to undertake a research project leading to an extended research paper in your academic field (in the format of a report or essay), and to a reflective essay on the process followed, as preparation for postgraduate study. 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 a varied pedagogical approach of classes, tutorials, lectures, workshops and online discussion forums.
  • Advanced Seminar Skills develops and practises advanced listening, seminar and presentation skills for academic purposes, and builds on skills acquired through the Basic Seminar Skills module. The module includes practice of listening to lectures with note-taking and summary writing activities. You will get varied speaking practice is given in the form of pair and group discussions, consensus activities and a formal debate. You will develop your presentation skills with a researched individual presentation in your own discipline.

Subject specialism modules

Subject modules

Your subject modules will 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
The Human Computer Interface

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
Basic Mathematical Methods I
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.

If you start your course in January, during the summer semester of your course you will take an independent study module instead of a subject module.

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

September 2021 start
See website for further details
January 2022 start
See website for further details

Course length

Full time Two semesters or one semester plus a summer teaching period

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

September 2019 / January 2020

The Pre-Master's Diploma is a recognised qualification. Most students who complete the course 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 Publishing Media

Biological Sciences

  • MSc Conservation Ecology
  • 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 (Finance)
  • 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 Computing


  • MA Education

Health and Social Care

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

  • MA Development and Emergency Practice
  • MSc Sustainable Building - Performance and Design

Social Sciences

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

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 degrees) on the Pre-Master's Diploma. We will help you to apply for your master's during the Diploma.

* Many master's courses at Oxford Brookes can be offered as a two-year programme - you will only need to make one application and can apply for one student visa for the whole two years. On satisfactory completion of the Pre-Master's Diploma, you transfer to your master's degree in the second year. This option is available for all Business courses, Computing and Digital Technology, International Studies and Health and Social Care Management.

The tuition fees for the pre-master's year are £11,900 (Sept 2019/Jan 2020). This fee is the same for international, EU and UK students.

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

A £1,000 deposit is required for the Pre-Master's Diploma 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

  • UK HND or equivalent including, for example, UK Diploma of Higher Education, Chinese 3-year Diploma, Ordinary degree, Honours degree below 2:2 classification.

English language requirements

  • IELTS 5.5 with 5.5 in all skills or equivalent

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

English language requirements for visas

This course is classed as a B2 level for visa purposes. To apply for a student visa you will need to meet the minimum B2 English language requirements.

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.