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Masters Preparation Programme

Prepares students for a postgraduate course at an English-speaking university.

Course type
Masters Preparation Programme
Age of student
Language level
Upper Intermediate (B2) - Proficient (C2)
Maximum class size
Entry requirements
Successful completion of a university degree and minimum language level
Lesson hours per week
Course dates
6 January, 13 April, 21 September 2020 / 4 January, 12 April 2021
Course Length
1 or 2 terms
From £6,120 per term
Bell Cambridge

Who is this course for?

  • Students who have graduated from university and wish to study a postgraduate course in the UK. 
  • Students who want to improve their academic English, study skills and IELTS or GMAT score.

Course outcomes

Upon completion of Bell’s Masters Preparation Programme, you will be able to:

  • Understand and effectively use academic language and subject-specific vocabulary
  • Follow a lecture at postgraduate level and write effective notes
  • Understand the format of academic seminars and use appropriate language
  • Critically evaluate academic texts and write informatively about them
  • Write well-organised, clear and persuasive essays
  • Conduct effective research using a variety of information sources and write clearly about the results
  • Gain a higher IELTS or GMAT score
  • Produce an impressive university application

Course dates


  • 6 January - 27 March
  • 13 April - 3 July
  • 21 September - 11 December


  • 4 January - 26 March
  • 12 April - 2 July

All start dates are the first day of the academic term. You should arrive in your chosen accommodation the day before.

Course description

Bell's Masters Preparation Programme is a one, two or three term course designed prepare you for every aspect of postgraduate study. It will improve your English, teach you the study skills for success on a Masters degree, and help you get the IELTS or GMAT score you need.

The course is comprised of four components:

  • Academic language development
  • Study skills
  • Exam preparation
  • Learning support.

Course components

Academic Language Development

This component will ensure you are fully prepared to succeed at postgraduate level and can confidently interact with British and international students. The main areas of focus are:

Academic writing

  • Describing processes and developments
  • Writing descriptions which define, classify, compare and contrast
  • Developing an argument supported by data and drawing conclusions
  • Planning, drafting, writing and proof-reading essays in an appropriate style
  • Summarising and referencing information sources
  • Understanding and answering written examination questions.

Academic reading

  • Reading effectively, using skimming and scanning techniques, to understand meaning and information
  • Understanding important points, supporting detail, following an argument and evaluating a text
  • Making notes, organising information and using abbreviations and symbols.

Academic listening

  • Listening effectively for specific information to summarise
  • Understanding meaning, a speaker’s attitude, importance markers and the use of emphasis, pause and intonation
  • Evaluating information to distinguish main ideas from supporting material and recognise opinions.

Study Skills

In this component you will practise the study skills you will need for postgraduate study at a UK or English-medium university. You will engage in ways of studying which may be very different to those you have experienced in your own country. However, you will quickly become familiar with these approaches and gain the confidence to use them naturally. You will focus on developing:

  • Research skills looking at conducting and reporting on your own research
  • Note-taking skills to identify main ideas and make effective notes
  • Seminar skills by preparing and delivering presentations and participating in discussions
  • Critical thinking to evaluate arguments and develop essential strategies for an academic career.

In addition you will experience a wide range of academic lectures from ‘How to Achieve Success’ to ‘The Political Role of the Monarchy in the UK' or even ‘Reading Egyptian Hieroglyphics’. You will also go on field trips such as visiting law courts and reviewing a court case, attending events at the Cambridge Science Festival, or joining talks at the Cambridge Philosophical Society.

Exam Preparation

In this component you will receive intensive exam preparation and will develop the language skills and exam techniques to achieve improved test scores in the IELTS or GMAT examinations, which you will sit at the end of the course. The exam fee is included in your course. An overall IELTS band score of 6.5 or higher is usually required for entry to postgraduate programmes at universities in the UK.

Learning Support

This section of the course helps you to develop the additional skills you need to succeed in postgraduate study at a UK university or an English-medium university in another country. It also gives you all the help and advice you need to prepare your university application.

  • Develop practical IT skills for university life
  • Get 1 to 1 guidance on producing successful university applications to respected universities in your subject area.

Measuring Success

Your assignments will be marked and you will receive detailed reports from your tutors at the end of each term. You will also take practice exams and an IELTS or GMAT exam.

University destinations

Students from Bell's Masters Preparation Programme have progressed to the following Russell Group universities:

  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Edinburgh
  • London School of Economics
  • Newcastle University
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Sheffield
  • University of Warwick
  • University of York

News and learning resources

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Intercultural understanding through language education remains at the heart of everything we do here at Bell. We take great pride in the multinational mix of our students – having welcomed students from over 122 countries last year.

Meet our University Foundation Pathways Class 2017-2018

We said an emotional goodbye to our University Foundation Programme (UFP) class 2017-2018 in June, but before they left we spoke to them about their time at Bell, and what the future holds.

Life on our Fast-track Business Foundation Course

Kebe from Mali and Francois from Belgium both studied our Business Fast-track course. Beginning in January the course runs for two terms, graduating at the same time as our other University Pathways students. We spoke to them both about life on the fast-track programme.

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Higher Education advice

Through our free and impartial higher education advisory service, our expert advisors will help you choose your course and university. You will be given individual support and guided through every stage of the application process.

Masters Preparation sample timetable

Masters Preparation sample timetable
Click on the timetable to view a larger version.

Course includes:

  • Course materials
  • IELTS exam entrance
  • Regular 1 to 1 tutorials
  • Access to the learning centre and a wide range of resources
  • Access to a dedicated university pathways study area
  • Weekly lectures on a range of topics
  • Free and impartial Higher Education Advisory Service
  • Free scanning, printing and photocopying
  • Free Wifi
  • A free weekly programme of social activities and trips
  • Comprehensive insurance
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Did you know?

An overall IELTS band score of 6.5 or higher is usually required for entry to postgraduate programmes at universities in the UK.