Pre-Masters in Computing

Pre-Masters in Computing

Graduate Certificate or Diploma

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The Pre-masters has been designed specifically to support international students who wish to study a postgraduate computing degree at Northumbria University but do not meet the entry requirements. The programme is aimed at students who already hold a computing or non-computing undergraduate qualification and seeking to progress to a Masters level in computing.

By studying this programme, you will be equipped with the skills to develop your knowledge and understanding of essential computing concepts alongside those that enable you to become more of a critical thinker and writer. Your experience on the programme will expose you to a variety of activities that will develop transferable skills in presentations, teamwork, meeting deadlines and research to name but a few.

Depending on your entry level you will study either a one-semester or a two-semester programme.

Key facts

  • Prepare for postgraduate study and build your English language, subject knowledge and academic skills
  • Become knowledgeable about the cultural, ethical and sustainability contexts in which computing and information science operates
  • Critically apply knowledge of computing and project management to complex problems
  • Upon successful completion with a 50% pass rate, you will be ready to join one of our computing Masters programmes at the Newcastle campus


About this course

What will I study?

Depending on your entry level you will study either a one-semester or two-semester programme:

1 semester: This course aims to equip students with knowledge in computer and information science and develop their academic and computing vocabulary. This is our Graduate Certificate.

2 semester: Those who require additional English language preparation will study a semester of English in semester 1 – in advance of joining the Graduate Certificate. This combines language development in the context of postgraduate study. This is our Graduate Diploma.

How will I be taught and assessed?

To help you settle into academic study at the University, your module assessments have been spread over the duration of the programme to allow you to develop your assessment skills gradually.

  • Teaching on this programme is delivered through interactive lectures and seminars, totalling around 15-20 hours per week
  • You will also be expected to engage in an independent study involving directed and self-directed learning, around 36 hours per week
  • Assessment will include a mix of portfolios, coursework including essay writing, reading and writing skills examination
  • Formative assessment and feedback from your tutors will take place regularly through both semesters to enable you to reflect on your performance throughout the programme
  • Our assessment philosophy – Assessment for Learning – fosters your development by giving you responsibility for evaluating and improving your own performance.
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Upon successful completion of the Pre-Masters in Computing with 50%, you will be eligible to progress on to our suite of Northumbria University Computing conversion full-time postgraduate degrees. These programmes will offer you the opportunity to develop your knowledge of a specialist area in conjunction with the study of general computing subjects.

Scholarships, bursaries and payment plans are available for postgraduate study. Speak to one of our team to discuss your eligibility.

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Academic requirements

  • Minimum of a third-class pass or ordinary degree from a UK university, or equivalent

Depending on your chosen degree course, specific subject requirements may apply. Our team will be able to help confirm the details for you.

For other country-specific entry requirements, please check our Entry Requirements. Alternatively, please contact our team who will be able to help you.

English language requirements

There are two entry levels to the Pre-Masters in Computing, depending on your IELTS level:

  • 5.5 with no single element below 5.5, or equivalent, will study the 2-semester Graduate Diploma
  • 6.0 with no single element below 5.5, or equivalent, will study the 1-semester Graduate Certificate

Please note that if your qualifications are not in English, we might need certified translations in order to proceed with your application.

Age requirements

You must be over 21 years old.

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All modules are core and 20 credits unless otherwise stated.

2-semester students only

This module will help you develop core subject knowledge while developing your academic skills in speaking and listening. The aim is to help you access academic lectures, find appropriate methods to organise the academic content and respond critically to arguments put forward.

You will learn how to discuss ideas critically in seminar discussions and how to maximise your learning from interaction with others – a key skill at the postgraduate level. You will also learn how to prepare and give presentations.

On this module, you will learn to develop core knowledge of topics that will be covered in your postgraduate study while developing a range of academic skills in reading and writing to prepare you to access texts, develop coherent and suitable academic arguments and produce writing suitable for postgraduate level study.

The module will use authentic texts such as journal article papers and it will help you to develop strategies for reading and understanding arguments from complex language and ideas. You will learn how to use these texts to form part of an academic argument by producing suitable written responses.

In this module, you will work on developing your use of language focusing on both vocabulary and grammar and on your ability to reflect and build on this. You will develop an awareness of your vocabulary range and develop your use of language in both general and academic vocabulary from the Academic Word List (AWL).

The aim of the module is to better equip you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current language abilities and to better understand how you can develop your use of language.

1 semester. All students will study the following modules:

In this module, you will explore, develop and use a range of academic skills that will support you on this and other modules. This module will provide essential preparation for your postgraduate degree including academic research writing skills, referencing and research management skills.

By the end of this module, you will have obtained the skills of writing a research proposal and reflecting on your personal and professional development.

The skills of implementing and managing advanced IT projects are vital for any computer science student and graduate. This module will develop your knowledge and practical skills in implementing and managing IT projects. You will learn to apply tools and techniques to design and implement web-based systems and practical skills to build a front-end web-based solution. In addition to practical skills, you will also apply project management methodology to implement IT projects, such as the creation of a web-based system.

Your learning in this module will equip you to develop transferrable skills such as leadership, teamwork and critical thinking.

The module aims to provide you with a critical review of computer-based information systems and how their use creates value in organisational decision-making processes.

You will also learn computer-based information systems design, implementation techniques and methods and apply these to a given scenario. The module will help you develop skills in creating and managing databases using Structured Query Language and Relational Database Management System. The module will further provide opportunities to appreciate the role that ethics, sustainability, privacy and security play within the context of the use of computerised information systems in organisations.

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The course information displayed on this page is correct for the academic year 2023/24. We aim to run the course as advertised however, changes may be necessary due to updates to the curriculum (due to academic or industry developments), student demand or UK compliance reasons.

Tuition fee 2023/24

  • 1 semester (Graduate Certificate): £6,750
  • 2 semesters (Graduate Diploma): £10,000

Tuition fee 2024/25

  • 1 semester (Graduate Certificate): £6,750
  • 2 semesters (Graduate Diploma): £10,000

Please note that your tuition fees do not include the cost of course books that you may choose to purchase, stationery, printing and photocopying, accommodation, living expenses, travel or any other extracurricular activities. As a Northumbria University Pathway student, you will have full access to our online digital library with over 400,000 e-books and 50,000 electronic journals.

The modules you will study do not require you to purchase additional textbooks.

Scholarships and bursaries for international students

If you choose to progress on to one of our Masters programmes upon successful completion of your Pre-Masters, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships, bursaries, or payment plans. Please speak to one of our team for more information.


How to find out more

Enquire now to find out more information about this course, studying with us, the application process, and ask any other questions you have.

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How to apply

Our apply online links are currently unavailable, in the mean time please use our enquiry form above.

Information for disabled applicants

At Northumbria, we welcome applications from disabled students and are committed to ensuring an equal and accessible application journey. Your application will be considered on an equal basis to all other applications. Please contact us if you require any assistance. This website is continually optimised to adhere to accessibility best practice guidelines; tools to assist users with specific accessibility requirements have also been provided. More information is available in our accessibility statement.

If you are accepted you will receive one offer letter for the Pre-Masters followed by the appropriate degree programme. Once you have successfully completed the Pre-Masters programme and achieved the required grades, you can gain direct admission onto your chosen postgraduate degree at Northumbria.

We strongly recommend that you submit your application as early as possible to allow you to complete all of the preparations needed to study your programme. After receiving your offer it can take time to arrange your finances and apply for your visa (if required) and it is important that you arrive in a good time to enrol on your course. Please refer to the Dates and Fees page.

If you are unable to apply online, then you can download a PDF application form and email it to

Download application form

Supporting documents

For us to assess your application in a timely manner, it is important that you provide us with the following documents:

  • Fully completed application form
  • A personal email address must be included on the application form
  • Transcripts and/or certificates (including a certified translation if not in English)
  • Passport – a copy of personal details page
  • Proof of financial sponsorship if applicable
  • Reference
  • Confirmation of immigration history including copies of previous and current visas if applicable

You can check more information on how to apply here, including guidelines for the application forms.

Course information

Level of study:
Pre-Masters - NQF Level 6
International Fee:
£10,000 (2 semester)
£6,750 (1 semester)
Leads to:
Postgraduate degrees in Computing and Information Technology
Entry requirements:
Third class, pass or ordinary degree from a UK university, or equivalent
IELTS requirements:
From IELTS 5.5 with no single element below 5.5, or equivalent
Graduate Certificate or Diploma
Class hours per week:
Average class size:
Assessment methods:
Coursework and exams
Scholarship or bursaries:
Payment plan:
Not available
January, May, September
Next application deadline:

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