UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


International Pre-Master's

The UCL International Pre-Master’s is a preparation course for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL or elsewhere in the UK. The International Pre-Master’s is a stimulating and rigorous course which provides you with the levels of English language and academic skills required to succeed at graduate level.

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://youtu.be/ycHeq8J0_Fk


There are two course start dates available:

September 2020 (terms 1, 2 and 3)32 weeks
January 2021 (terms 2 and 3)20 weeks

Students starting the course in January will have a higher level of English upon entry and will join students already enrolled on the course.

Watch video to understand the difference between the 32- and 20-week courses.

Entry requirements

English Language requirements (IELTS)

ComponentSeptember startJanuary start*
Overall score5.56.0

*Applicants for the January start with one or two subscores of no less than 5.5 may be considered if they have 6.0 overall and a particularly strong academic record.

See alternative English language qualification requirements

Applications are not normally accepted from native speakers of English. Please contact us if you are a native speaker and would like us to consider an exception to this general rule.

Minimum academic requirements

Your academic transcript from your undergraduate degree must show a final score or GPA which UCL considers equivalent to at least a lower second-class (2:2) degree from a UK university. 

To find out if UCL considers your undergraduate score or GPA to be equivalent to at least a 2:2, please refer to your country's entry requirements on the UCL International Students website.

Alternatively, if you have a conditional offer of a place on a Master’s programme at UCL or an equivalent UK university, this will satisfy the academic requirements for a place on the International Pre-Master’s Course. Please refer to the Graduate Prospectus for exact entry requirements to graduate degree programmes.

Course benefits

UCL’s International Pre-Master’s will help you facilitate the smooth transition to a Master’s degree at a leading UK university by:

  • Developing your research skills, as well as your ability to critically analyse, question, argue and communicate, both generally and within your individual discipline.
  • Enhancing your independent learning skills and learner autonomy in preparation for the demands of studying an academic discipline at a UK university.
  • Developing your ability to reflect on the learning process and the process of producing academic work in preparation for the demands of studying in an academic discipline at a UK university.
  • Providing opportunities for extensive practice in the wide range of academic tasks that you will typically undertake on graduate degree programmes at a UK university.
  • Improving and expanding your academic English language skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing to the level required of Master’s students at a UK Higher Education institution.
  • Providing an English language qualification that is recognised by UCL.
  • Familiarising you with the system of higher education in the UK, its expectations and academic conventions both generally and within your individual discipline.

With an average of 14 students per class (maximum 16 students) and weekly one-to-one tutorials, you will receive personalised support and guidance, including assistance with your application for entry to Master’s programmes.

Course structure

You will study three compulsory modules which will introduce you to the English language, research methodologies and academic skills necessary to succeed on a Master’s degree at UCL or another leading UK university.

See a sample International Pre-Master's timetable


Module one: English for Academic Purposes

This module will develop your ability to communicate, build and share knowledge in academic contexts through reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Module two: Research, Argumentation and Criticality

This module examines research methods used at graduate level, whilst developing your critical, analytical and argumentative skills for study at that level and your improvement of language proficiency to support these.

Module three: Discipline-specific Research, Argumentation and Criticality

This module builds on the first two modules by further developing your research, argumentative and critical skills in a chosen discipline or one closely related to it. This involves looking at what knowledge is in that context and how that knowledge is constructed and communicated in your chosen, or a closely related, academic discipline. Options may include:

  • Architecture & Urban Design
  • Business & Management
  • Education
  • Finance, Accounting & Economics
  • Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Law
  • Life Sciences & Medical Sciences
  • Mathematics & Computer Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Public Policy
  • Science, Technology & Engineering

Your learning

The course typically provides 18 teaching contact hours per week (excludes breaks and is calculated using the UCL class 'hour' of 50 minutes). In addition, you will be expected to spend an average of 15 hours a week on independent study.

Teaching is by lectures, classes, seminars and workshops. In addition, you will be assigned a member of staff (a personal tutor) who you will meet with individually most weeks and who will provide constructive academic and personal development guidance and support.


You will be assessed by a combination of formal course assessments and examinations. You can view the specific assessment type for each module above.

Your teachers

You will be taught by a number of approachable and highly-qualified UCL academic staff with experience and expertise in preparing international students for graduate degree level study.

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JYJUiNxxtg


Fees and expenses

September 2020 (terms 1, 2 & 3)32 weeks£17,995
January 2021 (terms 2 & 3)20 weeks£13,600

Course fees include the costs of all course tuition (including some course books), access to the UCL IT network with Internet and e-mail facilities and borrowing and research rights at UCL libraries. Details of how to pay your fees can be found in the application process.

Field trips and excursions

During the course, you will be encouraged to go on trips and outings to places of interest in and around London for social and academic purposes. As far as possible, the cost of trips organised by CLIE is covered by the Centre, however, you will be responsible for travel costs for the visits. An Oyster card can help you save time and money when traveling around London.

Living expenses

In addition to paying your tuition fees, you will also need to consider how you are going to meet your living costs while you are studying. Funds will be required to cover the costs of your accommodation, food and travel, as well as other costs associated with your studies, such as books, and everyday life, such as clothes and entertainment.

All students should be aware that they will probably incur initial expenses, such as a deposit for accommodation and purchase of books. International students may also need to buy clothing suitable for the British climate.

More information can also be found on UCL International Student Support webpages.

Further information

Term dates

First TermMonday 21 September to Friday 11 December 2020
Second TermMonday 4 January to Friday 26 March 2021
Third TermMonday 19 April to Friday 11 June 2021

Application process - student looking at computer screen

How to apply

Find out how you can apply for the UCL International Pre-Master's course, including the documents you will need to submit, how to pay and important visa information.

Abdullah UCL International Pre-Master's student

Student views and testimonies

Our students come from a diverse range of backgrounds and education systems from around the world. Find out what IPM alumni thought about the course and how it helped them prepare for graduate level study.

UCL Portico, Main quad


UCL International Pre-Master’s students have gone on to study a wide range of Master's programmes at UCL and other leading UK universities.

Student on their laptop in their accommodation/room


A number of different types of accommodation are available to CLIE students, the majority of which is within 10–30 minutes’ walk of the main campus.