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


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Key facts

Start dates

September 2023 / January 2024 / May 2024



Course length

Full time: One semester


If you are a non-native speaker of English, and want a short course to prepare you for your future Master's course, this course will suit you. You will develop your study skills, academic language level and subject knowledge in your chosen area. You will understand the demands of British postgraduate higher education so feel confident to start your degree.

Native and near-native speakers of English who would like to study in the summer semester (May-August) also have the option of taking this course. The individual needs of all students, including their language proficiency, will be taken into account on the programme.

All students who study in the summer semester will develop an independent study supervised by a subject specialist as part of their preparation for their Master's, in addition to modules in academic writing, reading and seminar skills. This course can be studied either online or on-campus this summer. Please contact us if you would like to discuss this course and whether it is suitable for you.

girl studying in lecture

Start this course in January

This course has entry points in September, January and May. Your course is 12 weeks (or one semester) so if you start in September, you will study between September and December. If you start in January, you will study between January and April and if you start in May, you will study between May and August.

How to apply

Entry requirements

Academic entry requirements

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

Minimum age

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

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 (with 6.0 in reading and writing and 5.5 in all other skills) or equivalent.

If you are a native or near-native speaker of English, or have IELTS 7.0, you should take our Pre-Master's Certificate: Study Skills if you are starting in January. However, you are still welcome to apply for this course if you are starting during the Summer (please see introductory text above).

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

English 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.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

For assistance with your application contact our admissions team on

Apply now

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Deposits and refunds

A £3,000 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 £3,000 deposit. No refunds are available after the fourth week of the course. For more information see our terms and conditions.

The fees that EU/EEA students starting courses at UK universities after the UK has formally left the EU are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please see Brexit FAQs for the most up-to-date information.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

It's your responsibility to purchase core texts and cover print/binding costs where coursework submission is required. Please note that a lot of the coursework is now submitted online.

Learning and assessment

The Pre-Master's Certificate will 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 also have the opportunity to specialise in a subject of your choice through a module from the range of subjects offered at Oxford Brookes.

Your chosen subject module will improve your knowledge of the area you wish to study in the future, and allows you to gain experience of studying at a UK university.

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
male student presenting to class

Start this course in January

This course has entry points in September, January and May. Your course is 12 weeks (or one semester) so if you start in September, you will study between September and December. If you start in January, you will study between January and April and if you start in May, you will study between May and August.

Study modules

The course consists of three language and study skills modules, together with your chosen subject module. You can choose your module from a range of subjects that include business, tourism, hospitality and leisure, law, social sciences, arts, humanities, computing and technology.

Compulsory modules

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Reading and Research Skills

    This module 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

    This module 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

    This module develops and practises advanced listening, seminar and presentation skills for academic purposes. 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

Optional modules

Independent Study Module (students starting in June)

Students starting in June take an independent study module instead of the subject specialism module.

Built Environment Subject Specialism Module

If built environment is your area of interest, you can choose from:

  • 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

If this is your area of interest, you can choose from:

  • Accounting and Financial Information
  • Raising Individual Financial Awareness
  • Management Accounting
  • Accounting information systems
  • Corporate and business law
  • Corporate Finance
  • E-business
  • 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
  • Revenue management and pricing
  • Foundations of Marketing
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Managing Business Projects
  • Purchasing and Supply Chain Management
  • Context of International Tourism
  • Global Business Communications
  • Introduction to people management
  • Organisational behaviour and management

Computing Specialism Module

If Computing is your area of interest, you can choose from:

  • Foundations of computation
  • Web Technology
  • The Human Computer Interface

Humanities, Education and Publishing

If Humanities, education and publishing is your area of interest, you can choose from:

  • 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
  • Understanding Communication
  • Understanding Media

Science, Nutrition and Public Health

If Science, nutrition and public health is your area of interest, you can choose from:

  • Physiology for human movement
  • Physical activity and health
  • Scientific skills for health scientists
  • Psychology of food
  • Motivating health behaviour

Social Sciences, International Relations and Law Specialism Module

If Social sciences, international relations and law is your area of interest, you can choose from:

  • 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

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

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 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 between 5pm and 8pm. Most classes are 3 hours long including a 10 minute break.


Assessment methods used on this course

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.


The Pre-Master's Certificate is a recognised qualification. Most students who complete the course go on to study a Master's degree at Oxford Brookes or other universities. A Pre-Master’s Certificate enables you to progress to the subject areas listed below.

You must reach the level entry requirements of the Master’s programme. 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 Certificate. If you would like to check your eligibility for a Master’s course, contact the admissions team on or call + 44 (0) 1865 535000 for further information.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.