Set yourself up for success in your PhD. If you want to make sure you have the best possible start to your PhD, then look no further. This online course will help you develop your English proficiency and teach you advanced academic literacy skills. You’ll also receive expert advice on how to write a research proposal that will help you stand out from other PhD candidates.

Why you should choose our Pre-PhD course

About you: You’re an international student who is on track to becoming an expert in your field, and you’re preparing to study a PhD in the UK. We know that it can be challenging to show that you’re the right candidate for a PhD position, so you’re looking for dedicated and individualised support to show off your knowledge and passion in your PhD application. You might also need help to write your research proposal as part of the application process.

Or you may have already been offered a PhD position – congratulations! But you still need to show that you meet the English language requirements for your course. So you want to improve your advanced English language skills to get your PhD off to the best start.

Depending on your English language level, you will either study for one or two terms. We’ll let you know which one will be best for you when you apply.

How it works

  • Gain independent research skills through one-to-one tutorials online with expert teachers.
  • Learn successful project management to enable you to succeed in your PhD.
  • Detailed and supportive feedback to give you tailored insights into your personal strengths and areas to improve.
  • Develop critical awareness as well as advanced academic literacy and skills.
  • Learn how to construct a bibliography to showcase your research and sources.

Course overview

15 Hours Study Per Week
This is a demanding course. Through the course of one term, you will be expected to study for approximately 15 hours per week (30 credit hours per block). The course replicates the independent learning experience of a Doctoral candidate and early career researcher.

Live Classroom
Part of this course will take place in real-time online Live Classrooms. You will need to commit to 3 hours of live tutorial lessons each week and up to 5 hours of live one-to-one tutorials over 10 weeks.

Directed Learning
Each week you are also expected to partake in directed learning covering:

  • 2 hours of online seminars and discussion forums
  • 5 hours of assigned project work and assessments
  • 5 hours of independent study

What does the course provide?

Skills and Knowledge to begin your research career

As a Pre-Doctoral candidate, you will develop the skills and knowledge to begin your research career. You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Understand the role of a Doctoral researcher
  • Learn about studying for a PhD in the UK
  • Grow as a researcher
  • Develop the writing, research and critical skills at the Doctoral level
  • Produce quality research that will kick start your application and PhD
  • Network with fellow academics
  • Produce a research plan that you could use in your PhD application

Be ready for your PhD

You’re already a dedicated academic and completing a PhD will further affirm your field of expertise and education, however, you’re not quite sure if you’re ready for the rigours of taking on doctoral research. We hear this a lot, and we have designed the course to equip you with the knowledge and skillsets required for PhD research. Studying this course you will:

Gain an understanding of how your Doctoral journey will differ from your previous qualifications, either Masters or even undergraduate.

Develop the necessary research and critical skillsets required before you start your PhD

Gain experience and develop the skills required to work with supervisors and administrators

Increase the likelihood of your continuation into Doctoral application and research

Grow your knowledge of the commitment required for your PhD and reduce your likelihood of problems or frustrations faced by PhD candidates that can lead to early drop out


One term: £5000
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Entry Requirements:

You’ll need to have an honours degree (first or 2:1) or equivalent in a subject related to your proposed area of research.

English Requirements:
IELTS 6.0 (with at least 6.0 in reading and writing)

Which online platform will I need?

You’ll need to download Zoom and Teams. You’ll also get access to our Virtual Learning Campus with additional learning resources.

What happens when I apply for the courses?

Your application will be sent to our admissions team who will check that you are eligible for the course. Following this, the team will let you know the outcome of your application. If your application is successful, you will receive an email with details on where to pay for your course online and how to enrol. Closer to your course start date, you’ll receive a welcome pack from us containing details of your course, class times, assessment criteria and clear technical instructions for how to join your class.

For a FREE ASSESEMNT Please send us your:
Academic Qualifications (all in English)
IELTS or other English Language test