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.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) update - October 2020

Term One (January-March 2021) - online

We have monitored the situation in the UK and London and our top priority is the wellbeing and safety of our students and staff. We have therefore decided the first term (January – March) of the International Pre-Master’s (IPM) will be delivered entirely online - including lectures, study groups, classes, tutorials and assessments.

This means that for the first IPM term you will be fully able to carry out your studies remotely wherever you are in the world.

Should you wish to travel to London for the first IPM term, the UCL campus is open, including our libraries, Student Centre and learning spaces. The campus itself has been reconfigured in line with Government guidelines to ensure it is as safe as possible, with a wide range of safety measures in place.

Supporting your online learning

The IPM will equip you with the academic and English language skills required to succeed in your future studies. You will receive the same high-quality provision and support, with the same learning opportunities and outcomes.

In order to achieve this, we will support your online learning through:

  • Live interactive classes where you will be guided and challenged as you deepen your understanding and practice what you learn.
  • Peer study groups which bring you together with other students in a small, collaborative environment where you can discuss key concepts, ask questions, and work through activities set by your lecturers.
  • Weekly one-to-one tutorials with your personal tutor, who will help you get the most out of your studies, and provide guidance and support throughout the course
  • Engaging learning activities between classes so you can study at your own pace and in your own time zone.
  • Practical guidance and support with your university applications from a dedicated Education Advisor.
  • Training in the use of UCL online learning platforms, including Moodle, Zoom and Microsoft Teams, with ongoing technical support available during UK office hours.

We are committed to providing a world-class education and outstanding student experience. Preparations for the IPM have been guided by our own faculty – the UCL Institute of Education, ranked first for education in the world, so you can be confident that cutting-edge research will go into helping you fulfil your potential on the course.

Term Two (April - June 2021)

For the second IPM term (April - June), our intention is to offer face-to-face learning on campus, where circumstances allow, for any students who are in, or wish to travel to London. 

The second IPM term will also be offered entirely online for those who prefer not to travel to London. A further update about face-to-face learning for the second IPM term will be provided before the end of the first IPM term and will take into account the Covid situation and government regulations in place at that time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see our FAQ page for further information about teaching and learning arrangements, social activities and accommodation.

Technical requirements

Please note the following technical requirements:

  • access to a laptop or PC with internet connection;
  • a headset (recommended) or speakers and a microphone;
  • a webcam;
  • a modern browser, upgraded to the latest version (Chrome recommended);
  • a reliable internet connection. 

Training will be provided in the use of UCL online platforms during Student Orientation and ongoing technical support will be available during UK office hours.

Entry requirements

You need to show that you meet our English language requirements so that you can benefit fully from the course. You can do this by providing one of the following:

  • a certificate from an approved English language test (see below), taken within the last 2 years; or 
  • a completed university degree conducted in a country that UCL considers to be ‘majority English speaking’, completed within the last 2 years.

English Language requirements

ComponentIELTS Academic Version / IELTS indicator**TOEFL iBT / TOEFL iBT Home EditionTOEFL ITP Plus for China***Pearson PTECambridge English Scale
Speaking5.520Marked by CLIE51162
Overall score5.57254351162

**Suitable applicants submitting an IELTS indicator test result may be requested to undertake an additional writing task and interview.

***Suitable applicants submitting a TOEFL ITP Plus for China test result may be requested to undertake an additional writing task and will be requested to undertake an interview.

Minimum academic requirements

You can satisfy the academic entry requirement in one of the following ways:

  • a completed university degree with a result equivalent to a lower second-class (2:2). The university transcript must show the final overall mark or the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA); or
  • a conditional offer for a Master’s degree at 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.

Why study the IPM?

The UCL International Pre-Master’s helps facilitate the smooth transition to a Master’s degree at a leading UK university. You will benefit from:

  1. Highly-qualified UCL academic staff with experience and expertise in preparing international student for postgraduate study.
  2. Small class sizes and personalised feedback on your work- small class sizes of maximum 15 students and personalised feedback on coursework.
  3. Weekly one-to-one tutorials – you will be assigned an experienced  personal tutor to discuss your studies, coursework and research project .
  4. A range of study choices – we offer the opportunity for you to explore the academic tasks and English language in your own or a closely related discipline.
  5. Academic tasks – opportunities to practice of a wide range of academic tasks that you’ll typically undertake on graduate degree programmes, including writing longer essays, literature reviews, giving presentations and participating in seminars.
  6. UK academic culture - familiarising you with the system of higher education in the UK, including its expectations about independent learning and academic behaviour, both generally and within your individual discipline.
  7. More than IELTS – our course goes beyond IELTS to include research skills, critical thinking, reflection, reading full-length academic articles and seminar and presentation skills.
  8. Supporting your university application – our Education Advisor will help and advise you in your university applications, from writing a personal statement to narrowing down your choices.  
  9. Academic life after the IPM – students have gone on to study at a range of UK universities, including UCL, King’s and LSE.
  10. World-class facilities – as an IPM student, you have full access to all of UCL facilities, including libraries, the Student Centre and a range of services through UCL Student Support & Wellbeing.

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.


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

Teaching & Learning

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of live classes, seminars, personal tutorials, study groups, and guided tasks set by the lecturer. You will typically spend 24 hours per week during term time on these activities. In addition, you will be expected to do self-study.

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor, who will meet you individually and regularly throughout the course to offer you guidance and support.

Sample timetable

Please see our sample timetable to get an idea of your working week.


You will be assessed by a variety of methods, including coursework, essays, seminars, presentations, reflective writing and examinations.

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.

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The qualification

The UCL International Pre-Master’s qualification is recognised as satisfying UCL’s English language requirement.

If your ambition is to study at UCL, you are strongly advised to check if the results of your first degree meet the entry requirements of the degree you wish to apply for.

The results from the IPM can be used to meet UCL’s English language requirement. However, successful completion of the IPM does not guarantee you progression onto a Master’s course at UCL, as the results of your first degree will determine this

Fees and expenses

January 202120 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 IPM TermMonday 4 January to Friday 26 March 2021
Second IPM TermMonday 19 April to Friday 11 June 2021

*Source: QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020

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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.

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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.

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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.