Oxford Advanced Pre-sessional Course for Graduate Students

Course details

The Oxford Advanced Pre-sessional Course is a challenging and intensive 9-week programme aimed at preparing students (both native and non-native speakers of English) for postgraduate degree programmes in the UK. It combines courses in academic writing and research skills with courses in international relations, history and philosophy.

It aims to help you:

  • develop nuanced academic writing and oral communication skills
  • critically engage with complex written and spoken texts
  • identify and apply effective reading strategies to a variety of texts
  • deliver formal presentations with confidence and clarity
  • participate effectively in seminars
  • advance your development as an independent learner

Course Description

This advanced pre-sessional course aims to prepare you for the demands of graduate work at leading British universities. It comprises at least 15 hours of weekly classes and guided self-study and is suitable for graduate students from any discipline.

You will take the following two modules:

Academic Literacy Module

This module aims to help you practise and develop your academic writing and critical thinking skills to enable you to find and evaluate reliable sources of evidence, develop a questioning approach to your reading, evaluate differing viewpoints objectively and develop effective analysis and argument.

From day one we will teach you how to make optimal use of your time and resources, develop effective self-management skills and structure your own learning.

Courses include:

  • Academic literacy in practice
  • Planning, researching and writing a Master’s dissertation
  • Academic and Professional Presentation Skills
  • Weekly individual academic literacy tutorial

Additional optional classes for non-native speakers of English:

  • Advanced pronunciation practice
  • IELTS test practice

Academic Module

This module comprises introductory courses in philosophy, international relations and history and assumes no previous subject knowledge. Together, the courses aim to teach you how to analyse and critically assess arguments, how to gain confidence in expressing ideas in open debate and how to offer arguments for and against the main positions introduced. In particular, the courses in rhetoric and history of propaganda offer you valuable insight into the impact of persuasive language in spoken and written communication.

Courses include:

Open Lectures

You will be encouraged to attend a number of open lectures in areas of personal academic interest offered across the University.


  • Two essays of 2,000 words
  • Two individual presentations
  • One paired/group presentation


Please click here for a sample course timetable.

Course Dates

20 April – 19 June 2020

Course Fees


Your fees include:

  • All tuition
  • Academic and cultural orientation
  • All course books and study materials


We are happy to provide students with advice on finding suitable accommodation in Oxford. However, students should be aware that it is ultimately their own responsibility to secure accommodation.

How to apply

You should email us:

  • A copy of passport pages indicating citizenship
  • Copies of your University/College transcript(s)
  • IELTS (Academic) Test Results Certificate (if required, 6.5 score minimum)
  • Two passport-sized photos

The deadline for applications is 30 March 2020.

Please be aware that successful completion of the course would not automatically make you eligible for a full-time Master’s degree at Oxford. If you have any questions about the course content, structure or requirements then please contact us at ipfd@conted.ox.ac.uk