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General Studies Pre-Masters

Awarded By
This course is subject to Validation
1 Academic Year
Start/End Date
See details on page
If you need further information, please contact the Program Leader: Dr. Muath Atmeh on: [email protected]

Why take this course?

The Pre-Master’s Pathway Programme General Studies is an academically demanding 1 Year full-time programme that provides non-native English speakers with a pathway to various postgraduate degrees. It is designed to provide the academic foundation, vital skills, and confidence to succeed in a Master's Degree.

A combination of English language training, research and ICT skills and a choice of academic subjects.  This programme is offered to meet the needs of international students seeking a strong transition to Master's Degrees in a wide range of disciplines.

The programme is taught by Dorset College academic staff and subject to successful completion, participants can progress to a range of Master's programmes in the Universities and Institutes of Technology in Ireland.

What will I study?

Programme Modules   

  • Orientation Module
  • Intensive Language Skills
  • Academic Writing
  • Professional Communication Skills
  • Research Methodology & Project
  • English for Academic Purposes (EAP) Language Exam
  • ICT and Presentation Skills
  • Research Methodology & Project
  • Mathematics & Statistics

Programme Modules

Orientation Module

This module aims to enable the learner to gain knowledge of the Pre-Masters structure and requirements and to develop their ability to identify their own learning requirements and thus pursue appropriate effective learning strategies.

Gain awareness of the conditions and obligations under which they hold a study visa for Ireland and be familiar with banking issues and the normal security requirement of European urban living.

To enable the learner to apply methods of improving concentration and relieving stress through physical exercise and relaxation and adopt a healthy lifestyle including an appropriate diet.

To understand and gain knowledge on the nature of assessment and identify and practice study skills required for successful completion of this programme through an understanding of past learning skills and experience.

Module Units

  • Programme Structure and Requirements
  • Assessment
  • Study Skills and facilities
  • Study Visa and documents
  • Health and well-being

Intensive Language Skills

This module aims to show the learner how to demonstrate knowledge of written vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and grammatical accuracy.   Support the learner in gaining the ability to produce accurate and appropriate grammatical forms in writing and enable the learner to produce appropriate academic structure, paragraphing, register and style in writing.

Module Units
B2 CEFR Grammar Pattern and Structure
Revision, practice, and application of B2-B2+ CEFR grammatical structures.
Broadening of general and academic vocabulary range (including usage, spelling, and pronunciation.

Revision and practice of pronunciation rules and skills.
Application of grammar and vocabulary.

Practice and revision of general language skills, with a focus on vocabulary, grammar, and comprehension.

The practice of sentence structures and styles, with an emphasis on tone, grammar, and coherence.

Academic Writing

The aim of this module is to enhance the learners’ skills and knowledge necessary to research and write an academic essay using the appropriate structure and Harvard referencing.

Essay/ Assignment Writing

  • The various types of academic essays, i.e. persuasive, response, reaction, compare/contrast, and research essays.
  • Techniques for planning essays and generating ideas.
  • Critical thinking and analysis skills.
  • Academic essay structure; developing a strong introduction and main body, making recommendations, concluding, and referencing.
  • Understanding of paragraph structure, purpose, and cohesion.
  • Conventions of academic register and style.
  • Paraphrasing and summarising.
  • Proofreading and editing skills.

Research and Referencing

  • Locating appropriate secondary sources for research purposes and to support written arguments.
  • Ethical use and citation of secondary information.
  • Understanding, use, and practice of Harvard Referencing System.
  • In-text citation and reference lists (bibliographies).
  • Understanding and avoiding plagiarism.

Professional Communication Skills

This module aims to enable the learner to gain the competence to contribute effectively to a range of interpersonal transactions, structured and unstructured, such as; conversations, discussions, debates, meetings, and interviews.

  • Gain the competence to participate in team evaluations including giving and receiving feedback, decision making, demonstrate problem-solving skills.
  • Gain negotiating skills and participate in conflict resolution techniques.
  • Enable the learner to prepare a professional CV and demonstrate interview skills and self-awareness.
  • Assist the learner to gain the knowledge and competence to deliver a professional presentation.

Module Units

  • Non-verbal Communication
  • Speaking and Communication
  • Team Working Skills
  • Written Communication
  • CV Preparation and Interviewing Skills

English for Academic Purposes

The aim of this module is to prepare learners' language proficiency, vocabulary, comprehension, and production of language to an appropriate Masters level.  Enhance their ability to communicate effectively and accurately in academic contexts.

At the end of this module learners will be able to:

  • Speak with fluency and confidence in an academic context to a B2- B2+ CEFR level.
  • Summarise reading material; orally in the form of an academic news presentation, written in the form of a critical book summary to a B2-B2+ CEFR level.
  • Write to a B2-B2+ CEFR degree of accuracy in a variety of genres such as; summaries, essays, and academic style correspondences.
  • Demonstrate a sufficient level and range of spoken English in an intensive examination setting.
  • Listen for accuracy and understanding in a variety of listening tests.

ICT and Presentation Skills

The aim of this module is to enable the learner to gain the skills, knowledge, and competence to prepare word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation documents and use and save them in appropriate formats.

On completion of this module, the learner should be able to:

  • Prepare word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation documents and save them in appropriate formats.
  • Insert data, charts, and images into and apply formatting to word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation documents in a way that recognises good practice and improves productivity.
  • Create, edit, style, and review word processing documents.
  • Use functions, formulas, and operators in spreadsheet applications.
  • Explain how environmental factors, audience demographics, and the presenter’s physical and vocal choices can improve presentation techniques.
  • Review documents and prepare them for print output.

Module Units

  • Word Processing – Document creation and Formatting
  • Word Processing  - Objects and Reviewing
  • Spreadsheet Functions
  • Formatting Spreadsheets
  • Presentations

Research Project

The aim of this module is to enable the learner to gain the capacity to research independently and to evaluate, select and apply appropriate research methodologies in the investigation of a contemporary area of relevance. To support the learner in evaluating relevant information and prepare a project proposal and literature review for a chosen topic.

On completion of this module, the learner should be able to:

  • Exhibit an effective capacity for independent research
  • Apply appropriate research methodologies in the investigation of a contemporary area of relevance.
  • Evaluate information relevant to the issue.
  • Prepare a project proposal and literature review for a chosen topic.
  • Carry out primary and secondary research
  • Prepare a research project.

Module Units

  • Essentials of Research
  • Research Approaches
  • Research Instruments, Measurements, and Scale
  • Research Project

Mathematics with applications in the Physical Sciences

This module is designed to meet the mathematical needs of learners who plan to progress to engineering education.    Mathematics is the language of engineering and it is essential to understand how mathematics works in order to understand the complex relationships present in modern engineering systems.

On completion of this module, the learner should be able to:

  • Manipulate and apply algebraic techniques in solving mathematical and physical models.
  • Plot and interpret Engineering Functions, Solve trigonometric equations and use sin and cos functions in modelling waveforms.
  • Calculate certain physical quantities: vectors and complex numbers.
  • Apply complex numbers in analysing alternating current circuits.
  • Use differentiation to find max and min. values of a function representing physical quantities in engineering.
  • Use integration to calculate the average value of a time-varying function and use definite integrals to calculate surface and volume.
  • Solve differential equations which are used to model dynamic system (e.g.: motion of an object, the flow of charged particle, heat transport).

Module Units

  • Review of algebraic techniques
  • Engineering Functions
  • Trigonometry
  • Vectors
  • Matrix Algebra
  • Complex Numbers
  • Differentiation
  • Application of differentiation
  • Integration and Applications
  • Ordinary Differential Equation

Hybrid Learning

Hybrid Learning combines face-to-face instruction with live online learning.    In the context of the coronavirus school re-openings, a hybrid model reduces the number of students in the building, by moving some of the course delivery online.

You will be in a bubble:
Hybrid Learning 2020

Dorset College continues to adhere to the government’s guidelines on protective measures required to be in place in order to combat the COVID-19.  These protective measures mean that our classes will now be delivered through a Hybrid model as outlined above.

Entry Requirements

Honours Bachelor degree or equivalent from a recognised International College or University

The minimum English Language Requirements is B1-B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or IELTS 5.5 overall (minimum 5.0 in each area) or equivalent (must be an internationally recognised exam)

Pre Master's Modules:
Learners on this programme complete modules and an elective module as outlined below.  All learners complete a Dorset College English for Academic Purposes English Language Exam.

If you need any further information please contact the program leader on   [email protected].

Minimum GPA of 3.5/5.0.

IELTS 5.0/5.5 or equivalent (must be an internationally recognised exam within the past 2 years).
IELTS 5.0 for a postgraduate 6.0 entry
IELTS 5.5 for a postgraduate 6.5 entry.

General Information
The final results should meet the requirements of the College/University that the student wants to progress to after the pre-masters.
For example, the Institute of Educations requires 60% and above.
University requirements depend on which country the degree was issued from.
The bachelor to a degree has to be four years and meet the NARIC requirements of the country where the degree was issued

The direct applicant/or an applicant via an agent must send the following documents:

  • Dorset College Application Form
  • Passport copy
  • Undergraduate transcripts & Certificate
  • IELTS Certificate or equivalent

Assessment & Awards

Assessment Method
A combination of module-appropriate assessment methods will facilitate the assessment of learning outcomes on the course.  These methods will include a combination of final written examinations and continuous processes such as assignments, collection of work, learner records, projects, and skills demonstrations.


Awarded by: QQI Quality and Qualifications Ireland

Progression Process
Upon successful completion of the International Pre Masters programme (and meeting the conditions of their postgraduate offer), the final results are sent to the relevant 3rd level College/University.

A Full Offer is requested for said 3rd levels and issued to the student.

Programme Objectives

The programme provides a range of modules designed to enhance the skills, knowledge and competencies of graduates to enable them to be competent and prepared for further studies at the Masters Level.

The main objectives of the programme are to:

  • Provide learners with the practical skills and knowledge needed to maximise their potential and to make a successful transition to higher education in an Irish/European context.
  • Investigate and evaluate research practice in an academic setting, recognise the importance of reflective enquiry, work collaboratively with others and understand the importance of research methodologies.
  • Enhance the academic English language skills essential for entry and success at Level 8 and improve the academic writing skills, including the Harvard referencing system.
  • Enhance the learner’s Information Technology skills and knowledge to aid their studies.
  • Explore the cultural and study skills for effective learning through the medium of English.
  • Demonstrate a level of academic formation and independent learning and study strategies suitable for progression to Master’s Degree programmes.
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