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


Key facts

Start dates

January 2022 / September 2022 / January 2023 / September 2023



Course length

Full time: Two semesters, September-May or January-August

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.


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.

group of students studying

How to apply

Entry requirements

Academic entry 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.

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 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 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 / EU full time

Home (UK) full time

International / EU full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time

International / EU full time

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time

International / EU full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

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 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, if any, are detailed below.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, 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 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 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
female student looking at other student

Study modules

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 for semester 1

Compulsory modules

Academic Writing

This module 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.

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.

Advanced Seminar and Interview Skills

This module develops and practises advanced listening, seminar and presentation skills for academic purposes, and builds on skills acquired through the Seminar and Interview 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.

Compulsory modules for semester 2

Compulsory modules

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.

Reading and Research Skills

This module 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.

Seminar and Interview Skills

This module 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.

Subject specialism modules

Optional modules

Independent study module (students starting in January)

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.

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

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 that 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 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 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 successfully complete the course with the 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.

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. If you would like to check your eligibility for a master’s course, contact the admissions team on or call +44 (0) 1865 483040 for further information.

* Some master's courses at Oxford Brookes can be offered as a two-year programme. On satisfactory completion of the Pre-Master's Diploma, you transfer to your master's degree in the second year.

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.