English and Study Skills Programme (ESSP)

WMU offers a specialist Maritime English and Study Skills Programme (ESSP). The ESSP is designed to enhance English language competencies and provide the skills necessary to follow a postgraduate programme successfully, whether this programme is at WMU or another institution. Around one fifth of the ESSP students are external students, who come to Malmö for this unique programme that prepares them for both study and professional life in the maritime and ocean fields.

The ESSP runs each year from June to September, and its curriculum is designed to cover the skills required for success in a postgraduate degree programme and for professional success. The core components are Academic Writing Skills, Speaking & Presentation Skills and Thematic Integrated Skills. The programme also includes academic lectures by WMU professors, and IT and library workshops.

The classes are small to facilitate group activities and allow a very high level of individual feedback to students from their teachers. The competencies that are developed include effective problem solving, solid research methods, critical reading and analysis, all skills that are needed in postgraduate study.

The English and Study Skills Programme (ESSP) is for anyone who needs to communicate more effectively in English in the maritime field. ESSP students are typically:

  • WMU students enrolled in the ESSP as a condition of entry into the MSc programme
  • WMU students who elect to take the ESSP in preparation for the MSc programme
  • Non-WMU students who wish to upgrade their professional and academic English communication skills in the maritime context.
The ESSP runs each year from mid-June to early September. The 12-week intensive programme incorporates the following core components:
  • Academic Writing
  • Thematic Integrated Skills
  • Speaking and Presentation Skills
The programme also includes maritime-focused academic lectures by WMU professors, and IT and library workshops. Students are expected to complete individual assignments as well as group work, homework and self-study.
All applicants to the University must submit an internationally recognized English language proficiency test. Acceptable tests include IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge examinations, and GCE O-levels in English language. Other tests are accepted by the Admissions Board only under exceptional circumstances; applicants should check with the Registry in such cases.
Applicants to the standard MSc programme have the opportunity, if necessary, to enroll in the pre-sessional English & Study Skills Programme (ESSP). Applicants to the accelerated programme are not eligible to attend ESSP since the accelerated programme has higher English skills requirements.


Apply Online (ESSP only) 

Candidates are assessed in accordance with the following general guidelines:

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

ESSP participation required
IBT: 61 to 79
PBT: 500 to 549  

no ESSP participation required
IBT: 80+
PBT: 550+
WMU’s TOEFL institution code is 9198.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

bands 5.0 and 5.5 ESSP participation required
band 6.0 or above no ESSP required
Please note: the academic, not the general training, version of the test is required

Cambridge Examinations

First Certificate (FCE) ESSP participation required
Proficiency (CPE) no ESSP required

Students who have a pass in a GCE O-level or the equivalent (WAEC, CXC etc) must enclose a copy of their examination results for evaluation by the Admissions Board.
Sometimes applicants’ test results meet the University’s general guidelines, but show weaknesses in a certain skills area. In such cases, the Admissions Board will evaluate the skill level based on guidelines shown above. Information on TOEFL may be obtained through US embassies/consulates or the US Information Service, and on the IELTS and Cambridge Examinations from the British Council or Australian or UK  embassies/consulates.
More information can be found by visiting these websites: