Taught course

International Foundation Programme for Postgraduate Study

Birkbeck, University of London · European Cultures and Languages

Entry requirements

Good first degree or equivalent qualification from a recognised university.

Months of entry


Course content

This pre-Master's course is a bridge between undergraduate and postgraduate study and will prepare you for studying a Master's degree at a UK university. Through tailor-made courses and training, you will develop an appropriate level of understanding in the subject area you wish to study at postgraduate level.

You will also practise postgraduate study skills, including project management, essay writing, research skills, critical analysis and presentation skills, and improve your language proficiency in English. You will develop professional communication skills for working in international contexts, enhance your intercultural competence and build your social and professional networks.

The programme aims to achieve a good balance between challenging and supporting you. In addition to structured learning, you have opportunities to take part in extra-curricular activities, such as professional networking events, workplace visits, and employability workshops to facilitate your career planning and intercultural learning.

This is an undergraduate-level qualification that will prepare you for postgraduate study. Graduate Certificates/Diplomas typically take one to two years to complete and are made up of two, three or four modules at final-year undergraduate degree level (worth 60, 90 or 120 credits).

  • You will be taught by Birkbeck's world-class academics, have access to the University of London's wealth of study resources, and study alongside highly motivated students from diverse backgrounds, ages, careers and cultures at a central London location.
  • The programme offers an integrated approach to the development of postgraduate study skills, English language skills and specialist knowledge.
  • Language skills are enhanced through a combination of content-led language teaching, practical communication skills training, cultural learning and the guided learning experience of living and studying in the UK.
  • On successful completion of the programme, you will be awarded a prestigious University of London Graduate Diploma and will be guaranteed progression onto one of over 20 Master's degrees at Birkbeck with a 10% discount on your tuition fees.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Modern Languages and Linguistics achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 73% of our research was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6, with not less than 5.5 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • GradDip
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Student Advice Service
+44(0) 20 3907 0700