Pre-Masters in Engineering

About this route

The Engineering Pre-Masters programme provides the subject knowledge, language proficiency and study skills you need to progress to postgraduate degree study in a related field at the University of Surrey.

During the programme you will study a core unit of general subject skills and subject-specific units, which are carefully designed for your academic development.

If you need to improve your English language to reach the required level, you can take our English for Pre-Masters programme over one or two semesters before starting your Pre-Masters programme.


Academic English skills

The Academic English Skills module aims to give you the right knowledge in language and related academic skills, enabling you to achieve your academic potential at University.

These include:

  • Academic writing
  • Effective and extensive reading strategies
  • Effective participation in seminars
  • Delivering presentations
  • Listening to and recording information from lectures

You will also develop your vocabulary and accuracy in written and spoken English, giving you the ability to use language effectively and appropriately with clarity and confidence in an academic context.

Computing for Engineering

This module ensures that students can competently use MATrix LABoratory (MATLAB) to solve engineering problems, master numerical matrices and graphical representation. Using knowledge of MATLAB to solve engineering applications and knowledge of Neural Networks to solve engineering applications.

Students will also use matrices to solve complex engineering problems and develop algorithms to solve mathematical and practical engineering applications, including training and evaluating a Neural Network.

By the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate effective use of MATLAB for data analysis, visualisation and mathematical modelling and use MATLAB apps to create and train Neural Networks.

Research Skills for Masters (Engineering)

This module provides contextual knowledge of research methods and techniques in order to prepare students for study and research at Masters level. Students will also use Engineering knowledge and skills to carry out an investigative project.

As part of the module, students will develop specific skills, learning to justify a choice of research design and methodology within the field of engineering research. They will produce a literature review in their selected discipline, analyse scientific data and critically evaluate key concepts.

Student will learn to summarise the findings of an investigative project, using graphs and display charts, produce a scientific dissertation following standard referencing and present the results of the investigation to peers.

Maths for Engineering

This module provides an opportunity for students to develop both their mathematical reasoning and mathematical modelling skills through theory and working examples.

Students will learn to apply differential equations to a range of engineering applications, apply knowledge of mathematical functions to solve engineering problems and solve engineering problems using numerical methods. They will also be taught to apply techniques and theories to produce calculation-based solutions to complex problems and critically evaluate mathematical models of real world problems and natural phenomena.

At the end of the module, students should be able to translate real-world problems into appropriate mathematical models and effectively communicate solutions using suitable format.

Journal Club

This module provides an opportunity for experience of extended reading and writing to demonstrate an appropriate level of synthesis, through a literature review, speaking skills, presentation of journal articles or texts.

Students will learn to deploy acquired knowledge of principles of critical reading, apply relevant subject-specific academic conventions to academic writing, including use of data and diagrams and will be able to demonstrate competence in the process of self-critical drafting for postgraduate study, reflecting on and incorporating feedback.

Students will learn to apply independent learning techniques, critically evaluate sources and reflect on the process of leading a seminar and discussion, as well as develop critical literature review skills, utilising a variety of research sources.

Lab Skills for Engineering

This module prepares students to work safely in the laboratory, focussing on developing experimental skills and the awareness of instruments and apparatus. Students will learn to use error analysis to estimate the effect of experimental uncertainties on experimental results and apply effective use of laboratory log books in engineering.

Students will experience producing an effective scientific laboratory report, evaluating factors impacting design and safety in practical engineering and selecting appropriate apparatus.

They will learn to use software tools and techniques to accurately record and present data, demonstrate competency using a wide range of experimental techniques and equipment and carry out practical experiments, following health and safety regulations.

Entrepreneurship for Engineering

This module is designed to provide students with an introduction to enterprise in the key engineering based business contexts and to the processes involved in a business start-up within an engineering context. Students will gain an understanding of engineering’s role in industry and identify their own potential entrepreneurial capabilities, exploring engineering business start-ups, industry challenges and preparing a business plan.

The module will also focus on employability by offering students the opportunity to work in or lead a team, and develop self-management, business awareness, creativity, listening, written communication, prioritising, problem-solving, planning, influencing, negotiation, self-reflection, application of IT and numeracy and research skills. It will also develop students’ awareness and engagement with their own personal development as they reflect on the skills gained.

Study plans


IELTS requirement* Length Feb-May Jun-Aug Sept
6.0 1 semester     Progress to your Masters degree

  Pre-Masters Programme   Vacation


September intake

IELTS requirement* Length Sept-Jan Feb-May May-Aug Sept
5.5 2 semesters     Progress to your Masters degree

  Pre-Masters Programme   Vacation

January intake

IELTS requirement* Length Feb-May May-Aug Sept
5.5 2 semesters   Progress to your Masters degree

  Pre-Masters Programme

* For entry to the Pre-Masters Programme we now accept a wide range of IELTS equivalent qualifications as part of the English assessment for students joining from September 2019 onwards visit our entry requirements page for full details.

Progression degrees

This programme can lead to one of the postgraduate degrees in the table below. Grades and progression degrees are guidelines and subject to change.

Degree Programmes Award Overall Grade English Grade
Bridge Engineering MSc 60% 60% with min 50% in W, 40% all other skills
Civil Engineering MSc 60% 60% with min 50% in W, 40% all other skills
Computer Vision, Robotics and Machine Learning MSc 60% 60% with min 50% in W, 40% all other skills
Electronic Engineering MSc 60% 60% with min 50% in W, 40% all other skills
Structural Engineering MSc 60% 60% with min 50% in W, 40% all other skills

Key facts

Course length:
one or two semesters

Entry points:
January and September

Teaching time:
21 hours per week

Semester dates

Dates for two semesters:

September 2021

Semester 1: 27/09/2021 - 04/02/2022
Semester 2: 07/02/2022 - 03/06/2022

January 2022

Semester 1: 31/01/2022 - 20/05/2022
Semester 2: 23/05/2022 - 19/08/2022

Dates for one semester:

January 2022

Semester 1: 31/01/2022 – 20/05/2022

Age: students are normally 21 years of age or older on the first day of their academic programme at the International Study Centre.

Entry requirements: visit our entry requirements page for a list of academic, English language and country-specific entry requirements for all programmes.

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.