Study your Pre-master's online - the best pathway to a master's degree.

This special online pre-master's programme is designed for students who would like to gain the specialist skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their Master's.

It will prepare university graduates for study on specified courses at postgraduate masters or equivalent level at NCUK member institutions.

The Pre-Master's Programme is designed to accommodate degree graduates with varying levels of English language ability.

By successfully completing this programme, you will be guaranteed admission to an appropriate postgraduate programme offered by an NCUK member university.

Pre-Master's Programme course facts


Fully online

Start date 2020

1 June

Start Day




Max class size



8 weeks


Mon – Fri
Lessons between 9am and 2pm UK time

Minimum language level

IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

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About the Pre-Master's Programme

This programme will help you thrive in a postgraduate university environment and provide you with both the language and academic skills you need to succeed including:

  • The development of proficiency in the use of English for Academic Purposes (EAP)
  • The promotion of independent learning skills
  • The development of relevant study skills within a subject context

Study skills include: planning a research project; taking notes in lectures; seminars and tutorial discussion skills; group work.

Pre Master's Programme Quick Links

Student Outcomes

"I studied the NCUK Master’s Preparation qualification as it allowed me to practice how to write a dissertation and made it easy for me to adapt to an NCUK University."

Jooyeun Jeon, South Korea, MSc Management, University of Birmingham

Student Outcomes

"My NCUK experience gave me a huge advantage when starting my postgraduate study in the UK. I already know how to write a dissertation and about UK culture."

Chao Feng, China, The University Of Sheffield, MSc Management

Student Outcomes

"Studying on the NCUK Pre-Masters Preparation Programme, I learned the academic English and presentation skills that really helped me on my Masters degree."

Ruoying Wang, China, Leeds Beckett University, MSc Accounting

Student Outcomes

"Lecturers on the NCUK programme helped me through the academic writing process – I learned how to write and structure my essays. It was about much more than just improving my English."

Jiayu Li, China, LLM Commercial Law, The University of Bristol

Pre-Master's Programme Requirements

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In order to enter the PMP programme, students should normally have completed:

  • A Bachelors degree that is equivalent in academic level to a UK Bachelors degree
  • From a recognised university (i.e. the institution appears on government approval lists)
  • With a grade equivalent to a 2:1
  • In a language other than English
  • Language level : IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

To submit your application to NCUK, we will also need your:

  • Nationality
  • Academic qualifications, including when and where studied
  • English language qualification(s) (e.g. IELTS, Cambridge Assessment English)
  • Future progression plans, if known (in terms of subject and university)


Programme Components

Man remote learning on laptop
  • Online Orientation and Induction sessions to get to know your classmates and tutors as well as familiarise yourself with the programme
  • Up to 20 live online classroom hours* per week
  • Regular lectures to support and inform your study


  • Access to Course Moodle for flipped online learning and lesson prep
  • Access to an online library
  • Weekly one to one tutorials and coaching

You are expected to also study in your own time, both in preparation for the live classes and to complete set homework and assessments. The Total average study time per week is 40 hours minimum

Pre-Master's Programme Outcomes

Man studies for pre-masters programme online

On successful completion of the programme students will be able to:

  • Use English confidently in a Western academic environment and demonstrate a proficiency in English language to a standard equivalent to at least EAP grade C.
  • Learn effectively at Master's level study.
  • Make effective use of a range of generic and subject specific study skills, language skills and information and communications technologies as well as self-directed study.
  • Conduct project work in appropriate subject areas including the use of primary and secondary data, the analysis of evidence and the presentation of findings.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Western culture sufficient to aid rapid adjustment to living and studying in the West.

Programme Aims

Entrepreneur improves his skills online with a career course
  • To enhance your English language ability to a level sufficient to enable you to communicate and study effectively and confidently at postgraduate level at a Western university.
  • To develop your academic skills and an understanding of the underlying philosophies and related capabilities required for successful study at postgraduate level in Western higher education.
  • To relate your existing subject knowledge to that of Western graduates in similar discipline.
  • To cultivate a commitment to good practice in academic work and in particular an awareness of the serious adverse implications of plagiarism.
  • To provide you with the necessary personal and key skills to enable you to develop as independent, autonomous learner, including the demonstrated ability to be able to plan a significant individual research project.
  • To give you practical experience of different methods that may be used to assess your learning.
  • To introduce aspects of Western culture and enable an understanding of the policies, procedures and regulations affecting study in the West.
  • To develop learning skills and reflective learning through the various elements of the programme.

Programme Assessment

Woman with headphones prepares for pre-master's UK online

Each module will have an assessment schedule, which will be completed by the end of the appropriate term, and will include formative and summative assignments, and other assessment tasks. Assessments are designed to demonstrate learning across the individual modules of the programme, and to allow you to experience a wide range of the assessment methods used in Western postgraduate programmes.

Assessments will normally include:

  • Coursework
  • Essays, reports and other structured assignments
  • Oral examinations
  • Unseen written examinations

What is a Pre-Masters Programme?

On successful completion of the PMP, students are guaranteed a place on a postgraduate degree at an NCUK university partner in subject areas such as Art, Life Sciences, Engineering, Marketing, Business and Finance.

The BSC Pre-Master's Programme is offered by the Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK), a global provider of pathway programmes. This gives students access to NCUK's unique Placement Support Service which means students can make a single application and NCUK follow through the applications with each individual university on their behalf.

We are here to help

If you have any questions about applying for the Pre-Master's Programme then contact our expert team.