PhD Pre-study

This page describes the Academic Language and Study Skills course for students enrolled on Bangor University’s ‘Combined English Language and PhD Programme of Study’.

The Programme

This preparatory course forms Part 1 (part 2 being the PhD programme itself) of Bangor University’s 4 year PhD programme. It is designed for international  applicants (whose first language is not English and who have not met the English language requirements for direct entry onto their chosen PhD programme), who have applied to Bangor University after selecting a suitable PhD topic from the university’s PhD menu Bangor University’s 2016/17 PhD Vacancies and have subsequently been given a conditional offer from the International Admissions office

Part 1 is comprised of Academic English language and Academic Study Skills tuition, regular meetings with the PhD supervisor(s), attendance at seminars and lectures and integration with other students within the Academic School. During Part 1, you will use your continually improving language and academic study skills to research and write a full PhD research proposal (or similar academic document) together with an appropriate literature review based on the PhD topic you have selected.  Progression from Part 1 to Part 2 (the actual PhD) will be conditional on having:

1. Completed a fully developed research proposal and literature review (or similar document) that satisfies the Academic School’s requirement for entry onto a research degree. *These documents will be assessed by the academic school.

2. Achieved the required English language level for entry onto a research degree. *All 4 language skills will be assessed using an internal university language test. 


Details of English language provision

Each 12 week period of study is divided into two cycles of 6 weeks, designed to prepare you for the demands of academic English you will experience as a PhD student.  Each week will deal with a different theme and provide you with instruction and practice in academic Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, together with sessions on important features of English grammar used in academic contexts . In addition to this you will meet regularly with  your academic supervisor and you can also expect to be asked to attend some lectures that may be of benefit to you within your school,

As a research-level student, you will be taught the skills to enable you to become an independent learner and will be expected to undertake increasing responsibility for your own learning as the course progresses, through various Directed Self-Study tasks. You will receive regular feedback on your progress and guidance on how to improve.

Length of Course

The length of your part 1 course will depend on 2 things: 1) your level of English on application, and 2) the department with which you will study for your PhD (some schools may require a set length of course regardless of your language level on application – we will advise you of this when you apply)


To take place in this programme you are required to have an IELTS score of at least 4.5 with no element below 4 (CEFR B1).

Start dates

There are 4 entry points for this course each academic year. The next available start dates are:

            None currently scheduled

How to Apply

1. Full details of how to apply are given in this document: Bangor University’s 2014 PhD Vacancies. Do NOT apply to ELCOS for this course.

2. Please begin your application well in advance of the above dates, to allow sufficient time for the admissions process.

3. To submit an application, go to


ELCOS reserves the right to cancel courses or change their dates and prices without notice.