Business, Economics, Accounting and Finance Pre-Masters

About this pathway 

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

When you successfully complete the programme you can progress to a range of postgraduate degrees at Durham University.

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)

September 2020

Only for progression to Accounting, Economics or Marketing degrees.

Three terms

Term 1: 14/09/2020 to 04/12/2020
Term 2: 04/01/2021 to 19/03/2021
Term 3: 29/03/2021 to 02/07/2021

January 2021

Only for progression to Accounting, Economics or Marketing degrees.

Two terms

Term 1: 04/01/2021 to 19/03/2021
Term 2: 29/03/2021 to 04/06/2021

Three terms

Term 1: 04/01/2021 to 19/03/2021
Term 2: 29/03/2021 to 04/06/2021
Term 3: 07/06/2021 to 20/08/2021

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

    Academic English Skills supports students to develop their skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, with a particular focus on the language uses that will prove most useful throughout their studies at Durham University. This critical module runs throughout each term at the International Study Centre, and features particular emphasis on grammar and language skills for those requiring a boost in this area, whilst also allowing able students to stretch themselves in their written and spoken work.

  • Critical Reading and Applied Academic Writing Skills

    This module sees students concentrating on the specific writing that will be required in their taught Masters degree programme. Fostering thorough scholarly skills, additional work involves the critical reading of authentic and up to date academic articles. 

  • Quantitative Skills for Business

    The module covers common statistical techniques for business. The emphasis of the module is on practical application with extensive use of appropriate software.

  • 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.

  • Extended Research Project

    The main aim of this module is for students to develop the ability to undertake research and to write longer pieces of academic work displaying applied understanding of subject matter and an ability to critically analyse materials and concepts.

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 and Statistics for Economics

    Marketing route

    • Marketing
    • Business and Management

    Accounting route

    • Accounting

    and a choice of one of the following two modules:

    • Finance
    • Economics

    Management route

    • Business and Management

    and a choice of one of the following two modules:

    • Economics
    • Marketing

    Finance route

    • Finance
    • Mathematics and Statistics for Economics
  • 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.

    Business and Management

    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 and Statistics for Economics

    This module aims to provide students with a rigorous grounding in financial econometrics. It will encourage students to critically appraise work in this area and to facilitate students' analytical skills.

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.

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