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Academic English

Find out more about the Academic English foundation module on the UPC. Learn about what you will study, teaching methods, assessments and recommended reading.

Key information 

Module Title: Academic English

UPC Pathway: All (compulsory module)

Module Leader: Martin Hall

Number of students on module in 2020/21 academic year: 168

Module description


The Academic English foundation module is a compulsory part of the UPC course. With this module, you’ll gain the academic English skills you need to study a degree programme at UK universities.

The Academic English foundation module provides linguistic support for your other three UPC modules. We’ll assess you with coursework during the year and final exams at the end of the course. Classes will focus on four key Academic English skills:

  • Writing
  • Reading and Vocabulary
  • Listening and Note-taking
  • Speaking

You will do an Academic English Preparatory Project which will provide you with the skills you need for the UPC. It will prepare you for your research projects in your other UPC modules. You’ll learn how to avoid plagiarism, develop your English and find your voice when presenting written and spoken research.

We’ll teach you reading and listening skills, and how to apply them at university. You’ll apply all of these skills to relevant academic contexts.

How we teach Academic English


We use engaging and practice-based teaching to help you develop the four essential skills.

Writing

You’ll learn how to write shorter, timed essays as well as longer written pieces in your specialist areas. You’ll find out how to take notes, summarise, draft and develop a proper structure when writing. We’ll teach you how to integrate academic research, data and sources into your work. You’ll develop the reviewing, editing and proofreading skills you need at university.

Reading

You’ll develop reading strategies for studying academic texts. Classes will focus on text analysis and organisation, as well as building vocabulary. You’ll learn to interpret data and separate fact from opinion.

Listening

You’ll develop skills in active listening and note taking during lectures. You’ll learn to identify key points and digressions in lectures. These note-taking skills will help you identify important points for future revision.

Speaking

You’ll focus on essential spoken English skills. These skills will allow you to participate effectively in your seminars. We’ll cover academic presentations and how to deliver them clearly with slide shows. You’ll find out how to run ‘Question and Answer’ sessions. You’ll learn how to use academic language and reflect on feedback.

Intended learning outcomes


By the end of the module, you should be able to:

  • effectively read and understand academic texts
  • note the key points in lectures
  • fully participate in and lead seminars
  • present your academic research as written projects and oral presentations
  • understand and follow the academic English conventions you’ll need at a UK university
  • meet the academic English written requirements of exams.

Overview of Summative Assessment


TermAssessmentWeighting
OneListening and Note-taking Test5%
 Take-home Reading Test5%
Two Preparatory Project10%
ThreeFinal Oral Presentation20%
 Final Written Exam20%
 FInal Reading Exam20%
 Final Listening and Note-taking Exam20%
  100% Total

Assessment weighting is for the current academic year. This could change for 2022/23 entry.

Recommended reading


You don’t have to do any specific reading before you join this module. However, you should engage with media relating to the degree you’re aiming for. This includes quality English newspapers, magazines, journals, online lectures, documentaries and podcasts.