Pre-Masters in Health and Medical Sciences

About this route

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

During the Pre-Masters 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 prior to 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.

Biochemistry and Physiology (Elective module)

This module provides a broad introduction to key elements of Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Evolution, Ecology and the Environment. Students will learn to describe key concepts and terms, and evaluate how research methods and approaches could be used to investigate a range of biological problems.

By the end of the module, students should be able to carry out laboratory experiments following standard experimental protocols, be able to produce practical reports, following standard scientific methodology, interpret and analyse relevant research data and interpret graphical and mathematical models of biology.

Student will also learn to apply practical biology-life skills and good laboratory practices to the development of experimental protocols including appropriate statistical analyses, displaying the ability to be innovative and to conceptualise responsibly and collaboratively.

Psychology (Elective module)

This module gives an overview of theories, methods, and research findings in the area of social and personality development during childhood and adolescence from a socio-cultural perspective. It will also introduce students to some of the key questions which currently guide research and practice in environmental psychology and provide an insight into the research and theory development.

Students will be taught to demonstrate a systematic understanding of contemporary social psychological research on historical processes, compare and contrast theoretical perspectives in social and personality development, demonstrate coherent knowledge of environmental psychology theories, methods and research evidence. Also learning to critically evaluate relevant psychology research literature and analyse the quantity and quality of evidence in psychology.

Statistics for Health and Medical Sciences

Understanding statistics is embedded across all research in Health and Medical Sciences so it is integral that the students can use their knowledge and apply it to design and carry out research.

Students will learn to critically apply a range of mathematical and statistical methods and tools, analyse a range of statistical approaches and select the most appropriate within the context of research.

During the module students will formulate solutions to health and medical sciences problems using mathematical and statistical techniques, as well as learning to translate real-world problems into mathematical and statistical models and effectively communicate solutions.

Research Skills for Masters (Health and Medical Sciences)

This module is an opportunity for students to demonstrate the ability to frame appropriate questions and apply learnt techniques of enquiry in their chosen specialism. To use health and medical science knowledge and skills to carry out an investigative project, justify a choice of research design and research methodology, produce an evaluative literature review, analyse scientific data as part of their project and critically evaluate key concepts.

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

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.

The Future Scientist

This module explores modern scientific practice against a backdrop of change, enabling the student to explore a scientist’s role in society and their responsibility to and within the wider community.

Students will learn to critically evaluate experimental data and primary literature, analyse the role of the scientist in modern society and their responsibility to the wider community. They will learn to demonstrate the importance of sound scholarly conduct, recognising the pitfalls that could lead to scientific fraud.

Students will critically examine how health and safety issues and project and data management competencies could change the outcome of a life science project and critique the broader societal outcomes of life science research with reference to scholarly conduct, scientific fraud and research misuse. Students will also learn to communicate conclusions concisely to scientific and non-scientific audiences.

Entrepreneurship for Health and Medical Sciences

This module is designed to provide students with an introduction to enterprise in the Health and Medical science Industries and to the processes involved in a business start-up within the Health and Medical Science context. Students will gain an understanding of the nature and characteristics of businesses in the Health and Medical Science Industry and identify their own potential entrepreneurial capabilities, exploring HMS business start-ups 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 2019 intake

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

  Pre-Masters Programme   Vacation

February 2020 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 degree titles are guidelines and subject to change.

Degree Programmes Award Overall Grade English Grade
Developmental Psychology in Research and Practice MSc 60% 70% with 60% in all skills AES
Environmental Psychology MSc 60% 70% with 60% in all skills AES
Food Science MSc 60% 70% with min 60% in all skills
Human Nutrition MSc 60% 70% with 60% in all skills AES
Social Psychology MSc 60% 70% with 60% in all skills AES

Please note:

Students progressing onto Environment Psychology require degrees related in the fields of Architecture, Psychology or Environmental Engineering.

Students progressing onto Human Nutrition require degrees related in the fields of either Biology, Chemistry, Nutrition, Pharmacology, Nutrition and Veterinary

Key facts

Course length:
one or two semesters

Entry points:
February and September

Teaching time:
21 hours per week

Semester dates:

Dates for two semesters:

February 2021

Semester 1: 01/02/2021 - 21/05/2021
Semester 2: 24/05/2021 - 20/08/2021

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:

February 2021

Semester 1: 01/02/2021 – 21/05/2021

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.