PhD Preparation Course

PhD Preparation Course


Set yourself up for success in your PhD. If you want to make sure you have the best possible start to your PhD, then look no further. This online course will help you develop your English proficiency and teach you advanced academic literacy skills. You’ll also receive expert advice on how to write a research proposal that will help you stand out from other PhD candidates.
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Why you should choose our Pre-PhD course

About you: You’re an international student who is on track to becoming an expert in your field, and you’re preparing to study a PhD in the UK. We know that it can be challenging to show that you’re the right candidate for a PhD position, so you’re looking for dedicated and individualised support to show off your knowledge and passion in your PhD application. You might also need help to write your research proposal as part of the application process.

Or you may have already been offered a PhD position – congratulations! But you still need to show that you meet the English language requirements for your course. So you want to improve your advanced English language skills to get your PhD off to the best start.

Depending on your English language level, you can choose to do a pre-sessional English course before you study your PhD preparation course for one term. We’ll let you know which one will be best for you when you apply.

How it works
Gain independent research skills through one-to-one tutorials online with expert teachers.
Learn successful project management to enable you to succeed in your PhD.
Detailed and supportive feedback to give you tailored insights into your personal strengths and areas to improve.
Develop critical awareness as well as advanced academic literacy and skills.
Learn how to construct a bibliography to showcase your research and sources.
Student Satisfaction

Course Structure & Dates

Course overview

This is a demanding course. Through the course of one term, you will be expected to study for approximately 15 hours per week (30 credit hours per block). The course replicates the independent learning experience of a Doctoral candidate and early career researcher.

Part of this course will take place in real-time online Live Classrooms. You will need to commit to 3 hours of live tutorial lessons each week and up to 5 hours of live one-to-one tutorials over 10 weeks.

Each week you are also expected to partake in directed learning covering:

  • 2 hours of online seminars and discussion forums
  • 5 hours of assigned project work and assessments
  • 5 hours of independent study
What does the course provide?

As a Pre-Doctoral candidate, you will develop the skills and knowledge to begin your research career. You’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Understand the role of a Doctoral researcher
  • Learn about studying for a PhD in the UK
  • Grow as a researcher
  • Develop the writing, research and critical skills at the Doctoral level
  • Produce quality research that will kick start your application and PhD
  • Network with fellow academics
  • Produce a research plan that you could use in your PhD application

You’re already a dedicated academic and completing a PhD will further affirm your field of expertise and education, however, you’re not quite sure if you’re ready for the rigours of taking on doctoral research. We hear this a lot, and we have designed the course to equip you with the knowledge and skillsets required for PhD research. Studying this course you will:

  • Gain an understanding of how your Doctoral journey will differ from your previous qualifications, either Masters or even undergraduate.
  • Develop the necessary research and critical skillsets required before you start your PhD
  • Gain experience and develop the skills required to work with supervisors and administrators
  • Increase the likelihood of your continuation into Doctoral application and research
  • Grow your knowledge of the commitment required for your PhD and reduce your likelihood of problems or frustrations faced by PhD candidates that can lead to early drop out

One term: £6,500

Scholarships may be available

Start Date


End Date



One Term

Why OI Digital Institute?

We provide students with high-quality online education courses. We pride ourselves on offering flexible study options tailored to your needs and recognised by leading Higher Education institutions and professional bodies.

How we're different

Our mission is to create access to education and provide more opportunities for students to achieve their higher education goals worldwide. We believe that online learning can and should be more than reading pages of text and watching videos of a person who you’ve never met and probably never will. Real people, real teachers and genuine contact can make a good experience great. And we should know, as part of Oxford International, we’ve been helping international students achieve exceptional results for 30 years.

What our students say?

We create our courses with students in mind. We look at helping you to achieve results while also enjoying the experience of learning. As such, we regularly receive great feedback from our students, and we use this to find ways to always do more for you while you’re studying with us. Hear more about what our students have to say…

Entry requirements

To join the course, you’ll need to show you meet our academic and English entry requirements. If you don’t meet our English requirements, don’t worry! You can study one of our online Pre-Sessional English programmes before you start.

Minimum of a Master's and/or a good honours degree (first or 2:1) or equivalent in a subject relevant to proposed area of research.
One Term: IELTS 6.0 (with at least 6.0 in reading and writing).
Two Term: IELTS 5.5 (with at least 5.5 in reading and writing).​

Meet the team

Passionate, creative and caring, our team are dedicated to helping you learn without limits.

Students and professionals use OI Digital Institute

The level of teaching, experience and patience from the course providers was absolutely incredible. It was intense, there was a lot to learn in a short space of time, but it was structured to ensure it was taught and consumed at an attainable pace. It was extremely rewarding.
Dan Parkinson

We’re here to help

We are always here to help you through your student journey. Reach out to us via email, phone or use the live chat feature.


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Frequently asked questions

Your application will be sent to our admissions team who will check that you are eligible for the course. Following this, the team will let you know the outcome of your application. If your application is successful, you will receive an email with details on where to pay for your course online and how to enrol. Closer to your course start date, you’ll receive a welcome pack from us containing details of your course, class times, assessment criteria and clear technical instructions for how to join your class.

You’ll need to download Zoom and Teams. You’ll also get access to our Virtual Learning Campus with additional learning resources.

Still have a question?

If you can’t find answer to your question in FAQs, please feel free to Contact Us. We respond to most queries within 24 hours.