Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance Pre-Masters

About this pathway 

The Pre-Masters in Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance prepares you for a fantastic range of progression degrees at Durham University, upon completing the programme with the required grades. You will join the programme for two or three terms, depending on your academic qualifications and level of English language. 

Who is this programme for?

This programme is for international students looking to study a Masters degree in business, economics, accounting or finance at Durham University.

  • Improve your academic and English language skills needed for entry to your chosen Masters degree.
  • Shape a successful career in your specialist area and develop the analytical and practical skills employers value.
  • Gain a grounding in academic terminology, concepts and research methods needed for a Masters in business, economics or finance.
  • Develop your ability to think critically and take your knowledge, skills and career to the next level.
  • Immerse yourself in the UK education system ready to succeed at a world-class university. 

Key facts

  • Course facts
  • Start dates
  • Study plans
  • Admissions


  • Two or three terms


  • September and January (three-term pathway)
  • January (two-term pathway)

January 2022

Only for progression to Accounting, Economics or Marketing degrees.

Two terms
  • Term 1: 10/01/2022 to 18/03/2022
  • Term 2: 28/03/2022 to 03/06/2022
Three terms
  • Term 1: 10/01/2022 to 18/03/2022
  • Term 2: 28/03/2022 to 10/06/2022
  • Term 3: 13/06/2022 to 26/08/2022
IELTS Length Jun Aug Sep Dec Jan Apr Jun Aug Sep
5.0 4 terms       Start your degree
5.0 4 terms        
5.5 3 terms        
5.5 3 terms          
6.0 2 terms            

   Pre-Masters    English for Pre-Masters

Note: January intake only available for students aiming to progress to Accounting, Economics or Marketing degrees.

Admissions information

If you do not meet the entry requirements for the Pre-Masters you can study one additional term of English language preparation. Find out about the English for Pre-Masters programme.

What will you study?

Course structure

You will study core modules, which cover general skills, and designated modules that relate to your progression degree. This means your Pre-Masters programme will be tailored to the specific needs of your chosen degree.

Core modules

  • Academic English Skills

    The Academic English Skills course teaches students the specific academic language skills they need to develop for success at Durham University. The course focuses on the receptive (listening and reading) and productive (speaking and writing) skills through practice in semi and authentic task-based activities which build a strong foundation in preparation for each student's future studies. This critical module places particular emphasis on developing academic reading and research skills; research-based writing along with presentation and seminar speaking skills.

  • Advanced Academic Writing and Critical Reading

    In this module students concentrate on developing the critical skills specific to the reading and writing that will be required in their taught Masters degree programme. The course focuses on developing student criticality, fostering thorough scholarly skills and independent learning through the critical reading, analysis, evaluation and summary of authentic academic texts. 

  • Quantitative Skills for Business

    This one-term module covers some fundamental techniques in Statistics. The module is particularly important because of its huge applicability. The skills studied are used widely across many scientific, business, and social science fields. The module content includes; Sampling techniques, Data exploration, Correlation and regression, Probability distributions and Hypothesis testing.

  • Advanced Research Methods in Business

    This module looks to establish academic competency in research methods for use in a business research context. The main aim of this course is to introduce and develop skills relating to research methods. The module will be focussed on developing an understanding of the application, collection and limitation of a variety of techniques related to data and materials relevant to analysis within the area of business.

Designated modules 

Alongside core modules you will study designated modules that relate to your progression degree route. If you are following a Finance or Economics progression route, your elective modules will have a mathematics focus. When you complete your Pre-Masters programme and achieve the required level, you can begin your postgraduate degree at Durham University.

  • Modules by route

    Economics route

    • Economics
    • Mathematics for Economics

    Marketing route

    • Marketing
    • Management

    Accounting route

    • Accounting
    • Management

    Management route*

    • Management
    • Marketing

    Finance route*

    • Finance
    • Mathematics for Economics


    *only available as a three-term option

  • Module descriptions


    This module will provide all learners with a concise and contemporary overview of accounting, and give them the knowledge and skills to underpin further study in the field.


    The central aim of this module is to introduce to the students the broad concepts of organisational structure, leadership, culture, understanding teams and groups, recruitment and selection in organisations with a strong focus on the underlying theoretical underpinnings of the same. In addition to the organizational behavior side of things, this module would study operations management to help students identifying and making feasible use of operational resources within a global context (capacity, procurement and outsourcing decisions), exploring the content and process of operations strategy, managing the supply chain and developing effective supplier relationships, establishing and monitoring 'fit', 'sustainability' and 'risk’.


    The Economics module will provide students with a sound understanding of theories, models and concepts in economics and the relationship between microeconomics and macroeconomics. Students will be introduced to a variety of contemporary business scenarios. They will be supported in their exploration of the role and purpose of microeconomic and macroeconomic policy and its impact on the behaviour and performance of business activity and economic systems.


    To provide a grounding in the theory and empirical applications of investment and portfolio management, focusing on both the theoretical concepts and empirical applications.


    This module will provide all learners with a concise and contemporary overview of marketing, and give them the knowledge and skills to underpin further study in the field.

    Mathematics for Economics

    Though economics is technically a social science, students pursuing this field require a firm foundation in mathematics. This one-term module is not a study of economics, it is a review of the relevant mathematical skills required to aid the study of economics. The module content includes; Algebra and functions, Differentiation, Integration, Differential equations, Matrices and Lagrange's theorem.

Why study this programme?

Prepare for a world-renowned postgraduate accounting, business, economics or finance-related programme at Durham University Business School. 

  • Durham University Business School is ranked 10th in the UK and 43rd in Europe (Financial Times European Business School, 2019).
  • Top 50 for MSc Management (QS World University Rankings: Masters in Management Rankings 2020). 
  • Top 10 in the UK for MSc Management (Financial Times Masters in Management rankings, 2019).
  • 53rd for MSc in Finance (QS World University Rankings: Masters in Finance Rankings 2020). 
  • The Masters in Accounting is professionally accredited by ACCA. 

English language preparation 

Study our English for Pre-Masters course if you need additional support to reach the English language entry requirements for this programme.

Progression degrees

When you complete the Pre-Masters in Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance, and achieve the required grades, you can progress to one of the following postgraduate degrees at Durham University:

Durham University students on City Campus

Skills for success

Prepare for your future and develop the skills you need for success while you study at the International Study Centre.

Ines from Spain studying at Queen's Campus

My degree at Durham will help me achieve a career and be successful, because it is well known internationally. When I was living in America I heard great things about it.

Ines from Spain / USA
Studied International Foundation Year in Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance
Now studying BA (Hons) Business and Management 


Find out the tuition fees for your course.

Entry requirements

Find out the entry requirements for your course.

Places are limited on Finance and Management route to the top five students for each subject area. When you apply to the International Study Centre you will be required to select an alternative degree option as your second choice. If your degree aim is MSc Finance or MSc Islamic Finance, you can choose from either Economics, Marketing or Accounting. If your degree aim is MSc Management, you can choose from either Marketing or Accounting. To progress to a Finance or Management degree you will need to successfully complete the programme, achieve the required grades and be one of the five students with the highest grades. If you do not achieve a place on your first choice of degree course you will be able to progress to your second choice, at the discretion of the University, as long as you have achieved the required grades. Should there be more than five students achieving the highest grades, other factors will be taken into account, specifically consideration of the final Programme Assessment Board results in terms of academic achievement across core modules.

Places may be limited so you are advised to apply and confirm as soon as possible.