Pre-Master's Certificate - Study Skills


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Key facts

Start dates

January 2024



Course length

Full time: 1 semester - January-May

Part time: 2 semesters - January to August


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.

Start this course in January

You can only start this course in January. Your course is 12 weeks (or one semester) so you will study between January and April (or two semesters between January and August if you choose to study this course part time).

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

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.

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

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part time

International full time

2025 / 26
Home (UK) full time

Home (UK) part 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

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
students studying

Start this course in January

You can only start this course in January. Your course is 12 weeks (or one semester) so you will study between January and April (or two semesters between January and August if you choose to study this course part time).

Study modules

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.

Compulsory modules

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Reading and Research Skills

    This module 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

    This module 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 specialism modules: You will take 2 subject modules of your choice

Optional modules

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
    Basic Mathematical Methods I

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

Independent Study Module

Students studying part-time will take an independent study module instead of a subject specialism module in the summer semester.

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.

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


Assessment methods used on this course

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


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.

You can progress to one of the following Master's degrees after your pre-master's.

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: Study Skills. 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.