• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2015
  • Duration:

    1 year full-time

  • Attendance:

    1 evening and 5 day sessions a week

    October to May

    Social and cultural activities (around 3 times a term)

  • Location:

    Central London

Programme overview

This is a bridging course between undergraduate and postgraduate study which aims to help you develop postgraduate study skills to enable you to successfully transition to a Master's degree in a UK university. You will also develop an appropriate level of understanding of the subject area you wish to study at postgraduate level, improve your language proficiency and competence through content-oriented learning and practice in real-life communication, become familiar with the UK higher education system, including teaching styles, new ways of learning, the importance of research, and assessment methods, and gain confidence in independent study - an essential part of Master's study in the UK.

    This course will also introduce you to British culture and equip you with professional communication skills for working in international contexts.

    The programme aims to achieve a good balance between challenge and support. In addition to structured learning, extra-curricular activities (i.e. social and cultual activities, workplace visits, employability workshops) are planned to facilitate your career planning, cultural learning and intercultural friendships.

    Why study this course at Birkbeck?

    • You will be taught by Birkbeck's world-class academics and have access to the University of London's wealth of study resources.
    • The programme offers an integrated approach to the development of specialist knowledge, postgraduate study skills and English language skills.
    • Language skills are enhanced through a combination of content-led language teaching, practical communication skills training, cultural learning and the guided learning experience of living and studying in the UK.
    • On successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded a Graduate Diploma, as well as a guaranteed place on the relevant Master's programme at Birkbeck.
    • Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.

    Course structure

    Currently the programme has 5 pathways: Business, Development Studies, Applied Linguistics, Philosophy or Politics.

    You take 3 compulsory modules - including either the non-native English speaker or native English speaker Academic English Skills for Postgraduate Study module - and 1 optional subject specialist module/project.

    Compulsory modules

    Option modules

    Sample timetable

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    Entry requirements

    Good first degree or equivalent qualification from a recognised university.

    International entry requirements

    If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6, with not less than 5.5 in each of the sub-tests.

    Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.


    Full-time home/EU students: £ 5400 pa
    Full-time overseas students: £ 11675 pa

    Payment and Fees Discounts

    Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

    Fees discounts: If you are a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

    Funding and Financial Support

    Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

    Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

    Careers and employability

    Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

    Teaching and assessment


    Teaching mainly consists of seminars, practical classes (for Academic English Skills modules) and tutorials.


    Modules vary in their assessment methods and formats. The compulsory modules use a combination of several assignments which aim to assess different skills. The specialism options use essays or research projects as the main methods of assessment.

    Our research

    Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

    Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

    Read about Birkbeck research that crosses disciplines and focuses on pressing questions within the social sciences and humanities.