Studying

See below to find out about what studying the Diploma in English for Academic Purposes course involves as well as using the menu on the left to view the 'studying' pages.

Course Structure and Content

The full course is offered over 32 weeks, starting in September each year. There is also a January entry point.

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Term 1 (September - December)

Teachers of the morning integrated English classes will include the following in their focus: reading, academic vocabulary, grammar, academic writing, speaking and listening. The aim of these classes is to build your confidence in using English and to develop your academic language skills. All students are tested at the start of the term in order to create integrated English classes grouped at similar levels. 

Students attend a further teaching programme three afternoons each week. In Term 1, this includes weekly lectures by UCL Centre for Languages & International Education lecturers and eminent UCL academics from a range of disciplines. Students can also select an aspect of language for further study on Tuesday afternoons during Term 1 following reading week. Additional study tasks relating to the morning classes will be set for Reading Week. Individual questions relating to aspects of students’ language studies can be addressed to Term 1 tutors in weekly tutorials. On Thursday afternoons, students will attend classes focusing on their listening and note-taking ability, along with their seminar speaking skills ability and pronunciation.

Structured writing tasks during the term aim to build your confidence in your study skills and develop independent learning strategies. Progress is closely monitored through homework tasks and course tests, including a set of assessments in the final week before the Christmas/New Year break. Following the end of the term, teachers and tutors prepare a Progress Report for each student highlighting improvements made and recommending areas for further work; this forms the basis for establishing your individual self-study goals at the start of the following term.

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Term 2 (January - March)

Integrated English classes for Term 2 and Term 3 continue the focus on a range of skills as in Term 1, but also foster the development of independent research skills and academic writing skills for research essays. The aim of these classes is to further build and develop your confidence and language skills, with a strong focus on English for Academic Purposes.

The Thursday afternoon classes, with their focus on listening and note-taking and seminar speaking skills continue in Term 2, with the focus moving to presentation skills following reading week. The Tuesday afternoon programme in Term 2 offers skills classes to further develop students’ research skills in the first half of the term. Following reading week, these skills classes provide the opportunity for students to improve their academic English language ability in areas related to their future field of study. For these classes students are grouped according to their subject area, to make the language input, texts covered, vocabulary and discussions as relevant as possible to their future studies. The Tuesday afternoon skills classes also develop students’ ability to work both independently and in groups, essential skills on undergraduate and graduate programmes at University in the UK.

IELTS preparation classes are also offered in Term 2. These optional classes focus on the skills and strategies required for success in IELTS, and are offered following reading week for those students requiring an IELTS score.

Coursework in Term 2 includes the group preparation and presentation of an A2-sized poster, followed by questions, and an extended essay. There is a formal course assessment in Term 2 relating to academic speaking skills, which evaluates students’ seminar skills in small groups, assessing the work covered in Thursday afternoon classes. This assessment contributes 10% towards the final score (as shown on the formal Diploma certificate awarded at the end of Term 3).

Following Reading Week in Term 2, you will begin to undertake a research project in your academic field, leading to the production in Term 3 of a 2,000-word Research Essay. Research work is closely guided and supported by weekly individual tutorials.

Term 3 (April - June)

Morning integrated English classes and tutorials continue, as do the Tuesday afternoon subject skills classes and the Thursday listening and presentation skills classes. The aim of these classes is to consolidate the language skills you have acquired, further build your confidence in using these skills, and develop your critical evaluation skills. There is also input on exam skills during Term 3, along with continuing support for students in contact with UK universities about university applications from the Centre's own Education Adviser.

The remaining coursework is also completed: the final drafts of the 2000-word Research Essay begun in Term 2 (20%) and a formal 10-minute presentation on an aspect of the essay topic (10%). Towards the end of Term 3, the final preparation for the three course examinations is covered, which are held at the end of the term: in Unseen Essay Writing (20%), Listening and Note-taking Skills (20%) and Reading Skills (20%).

Results from the final Diploma assessments and examinations are released approximately two weeks after the end of Term, following verification from our External Examiner. The course certificates show a breakdown of individual scores from each component. Comments from the teachers and tutor are prepared in individual Student Profiles, which summarise your progress from January to June. Copies of these Student Profiles are often shown to Admissions Tutors in support of applications to courses at UCL and other institutions.


An example of the type of lectures offered to students can be found in the studying section of the website.

Page last modified on 22 nov 13 16:51 by Martin L White