Pre-Sessional Preparation Programme for PhD

Become an expert in your field and reach a global audience

A PhD shows dedication, ambition and passion towards your subject – and studying in the UK allows you to develop your English whilst opening up exciting opportunities worldwide.

Key Facts

Age: 21+

Course length:

4 terms September
3.5 terms November
3 terms February

Start dates:




See term dates

English language entry requirements:
September     IELTS 4.0 in all bands
November      IELTS 5.0 in all bands
February          IELTS 5.5 in all bands

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are now able to accept a wider range of English tests

Academic entry requirements:
Undergraduate and postgraduate degree meeting the university's stipulated requirements


Visit our fees page for full details

Advance your career

There are many benefits to studying a PhD – and especially studying one in the UK. Our Pre-Sessional Preparation Programme for PhD is the first step to achieving your goals. Gaining a PhD ensures you’ll be an expert in what you choose to pursue. There is no higher level of education available, opening up a huge range of employment opportunities for you.

By studying your PhD in an English speaking country such as the UK, you are benefiting from gaining your degree from one of the oldest educational systems in the world. This also gives you the opportunity to perfect your level of English, specifically the vocabulary related to your chosen subject area. After graduating with a PhD from a UK university, not only will you be able to work in your home country or in the UK – but anywhere else in the world you choose.

Why study the Pre-Sessional Preparation Programme for PhD?

If you are looking to further your studies and career with a PhD, then the Pre-Sessional Preparation Programme for PhD can support you in your application to one of our partner universities.

By studying a PhD, you are showing a huge amount of dedication to, and understanding of, your subject. With us, you’ll benefit from:

  • Developing your English language level – including the academic language skills you’ll need on a PhD
  • An understanding of PhD study in the UK and the application process
  • Support and guidance in developing your written research proposals
  • Time to develop the key research skills to enhance your existing knowledge
  • Progression to a top UK university, including the University of Aberdeen, Royal Holloway, University of London and University of Strathclyde.
  • Core modules

    On the Pre-Sessional Preparation Programme for PhD, you’ll study the following core modules:

    • Introduction to PhD Study in the UK
    • Research Proposals
    • Research Writing Skills
    • Managing the Research Process
    • The Academic Community
    • Critical Reading and Applied Academic Writing Skills
    • Supervisor Personal Tutorial and the Application

Apply to study a PhD at your chosen university

After you successfully complete the programme by passing all assessments to the required standard, you’ll be able to submit your PhD application to one of the following partner universities:

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • University of Strathclyde

Please note that when you apply for the Pre-Sessional Preparation Programme for PhD, you will need to choose your preferred university and preferred research area for your doctoral degree. Successful completion of the programme is no guarantee of acceptance to PhD study to that university.

Join us on campus

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Find out about studying your programme on campus, what to expect from blended learning and tips for preparing to travel.

Start with us online

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If you are unable to join us on campus for the start of your programme, you can start online and join us in the UK at a later date, or study your whole programme online from home*.

Apply now

An international student uses a computer at Bellerbys College Brighton in the United Kingdom

Apply online to study at Bellerbys College, in one of our two vibrant locations: Brighton or London. Our online application form is a quick and easy way to begin your Bellerbys journey.