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Research Degree Pre-sessional English Programme (PSE)

 If English is not your first language, you may need to join a PSE programme before starting your Research Degree at De Montfort University. This is a specialist programme to prepare international research degree students for research study in UK higher education. The Research Degree PSE can only be used in conjunction with a campus based PhD. It cannot be used with an International PhD (IPhD).

Learning outcomes & Course duration

The PSE programme is a campus based programme, it is 8-weeks of semi-intensive study in English for Academic Purposes (EAP), aimed at prospective students who need to provide evidence of English ability to begin a PhD at De Montfort University. 

The overall aims of the PSE Programme are for students to:

  • Develop ability in the four language skills of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking, to the level required for a PhD, equivalent to IELTS 6.5 overall and no less than 5.5 in each component.
  • Develop a vocabulary which is appropriate for various academic contexts, both spoken and written.
  • Develop a range of study skills necessary for PhD study.
  • Develop an awareness of UK Academic Culture, including key issues such as critical thinking, plagiarism and autonomy.

Entry Criteria

  • A UKVI IELTS (Academic) known as a Secure English Language Test (SELT) certificate at 6.0 or equivalent, with no component below 5.0 and shall have been taken not more than two years prior to entry.

Benefits of completing the PSE

  • Develop your ability to write in academic contexts.
  • Develop your speaking and listening skills.
  • Gain insight into the UK research degree lifecycle.
  • Improve your academic study skills.
  • Increase your English language skills, including improved vocabulary.


Programme Fees

The Research Degree PSE programme is £2,000 for academic year 2021/22. You must make full payment before the programme begins. You must also make a deposit payment of 50% of your Research Degree fees. This information will be outlined within your offer letter, payments need to be made by 14 December 2021.


Deadline & How to apply

To use your PSE in line with our 1 April 2022 intake, please note the deadline for applying is Friday 29 October 2021. Your application must be fully complete and entry criteria met by this date in order for you to join the PSE. Offers must be accepted by Tuesday 7 December 2021.

Applicants must make contact with a potential supervisor, prior to applying. This will establish a mutual interest in research and will help your application to be aligned with like-minded academics. Please mention the name(s) of any academic you have contacted on applying. Applications will not be considered unless this has been done.

For further information on applying to the Research Degree PSE programme, please email the PGR Admissions team: