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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


Entry Points:

  • Three terms: September, November (Enhanced Induction) or January
  • Two terms: November (Enhanced Induction) or January

Please note: the November and January start is not available for students aiming to study any of the MSc Finance or MSc Management programmes. MDS Data Science is not available from the two term Pre-Masters programme.

Admissions information

If you do not meet the entry requirements for the Pre-Masters you can study one of our online English language preparation programmes. Find out about English language preparation.

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 aims to provide thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable international students to best achieve their academic potential at university. Our Academic English programme is validated by UK ENIC, the UK government agency responsible for providing information and expert opinion on qualifications and skills worldwide.

You will develop awareness and competency in a range of language-related academic skills, including the processes of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures. You will also develop the accuracy and range of written and spoken language required to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence in an academic context.

Alongside your classes, your studies will be supported by an online learning platform, providing you with a range of tasks and activities specifically designed to develop and extend your language and academic skills outside the classroom and to give you more control over your own learning.

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.

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.

*Not studied on some Data Science routes

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.

Data Science Route

  • Management
  • Mathematics for Economics

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


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 13th in the UK and 66th in Europe (Financial Times European Business School, 2022).
  • 55th for MSc Management (QS World University Rankings: Masters in Management Rankings 2023). 
  • Top 70 for MSc in Finance (QS World University Rankings: Masters in Finance Rankings 2023).
  • The Masters in Accounting is professionally accredited by ACCA.

Enhanced Induction

Join us in November 2023. Get a head start on your studies with our 3-week Enhanced Induction programme, designed to help you settle into your new home before starting your programme in January 2024 – all offered at no extra cost.

Learn more
Ines from Spain / USA

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 

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:

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

Degree Programme NameAwardOverall GradeEnglish Grade
No Results

Places are limited on Finance and Management route to the top five students for each subject area

For the Finance route this includes:

  • MSc Finance programme MSc Finance
  • MSc Finance (Accounting and Finance)
  • MSc Finance (Economics and Finance)
  • MSc Finance (Finance and Investment)
  • MSc Finance (Financial Technology and Banking).

For the Management route this includes:

  • MSc Human Resource Management
  • MSc Management
  • MSc Management (Entrepreneurship)
  • MSc Management (Finance)
  • MSc Management (International Business)
  • MSc Management (Supply Chain Logistics).

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, 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.


Our student enrolment advisors are here to help with your application and answer any questions you have about studying with us.