UCL Centre for languages & international education (CLIE)


English Language Skills for Academic Purposes

Key Information

Module code
Taught during
Session 1
Module leader
James Sinclair-Knopp
None. Standard UCL Summer entry criteria apply.
Assessment method
1,500-2,000-word researched essay (30%), 10-minute presentation and 5-minute question and answer session (35%), final examination: reading and writing (35%)
Download syllabus (PDF)
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Module overview

This module aims to familiarise students from other learning cultures with the conventions of academic English and to give practice in their use. Skills in academic reading, writing, speaking and listening will be developed through exposure to a variety of academic texts and lectures, active participation in seminars and presentations, and a series of writing tasks.

For both writing and speaking, attention will be given to linguistic structures of relevance to academic study, as exemplified in model texts. At the same time, a focus on register and style will encourage students to differentiate successfully between the expectations of formal writing and speaking contexts, leading to the independent production of a fully referenced academic essay and individual presentation. In the course of the module, transferable skills in research, synthesis, communication and critical thinking will also be developed.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will:

  • Be better able to understand and use theories and conventions of written academic literacy
  • Be better able to use rhetorical and logical strategies to express ideas effectively in writing
  • Have developed their own voice and the ability to position themselves in texts
  • Have gained the ability to employ relevant strategies for distinct tasks, ranging from giving presentations to preparing coursework for undergraduate study.

Module prerequisites

This is a level one module (equivalent to first year undergraduate). No prior subject knowledge is required to study this module but students are expected to have a keen interest in the subject area.

Module hours

Classes (usually three or four hours per day) take place on the Bloomsbury campus from Monday to Friday any time between 9am and 6pm.


  • 1,500-2,000-word researched essay (30%)
  • 10-minute presentation & 5-minute Q&A (35%)
  • Final examination: reading and writing (35%)

Module leader

James Sinclair-Knopp is a senior EAP programme coordinator and the Assessment Co-ordinator at the Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE). He has taught English for Academic Purposes for over 20 years, both in the UK and overseas.

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