Academic English: Speaking Skills

  • 2 hours per week
  • 8 weeks


This course will help improve your confidence and fluency when speaking English in an academic setting, for example, in seminars and public forums.

You'll practise expressing your ideas more clearly and learn how to manage and contribute effectively to discussions.

It's open to anyone with an academic interest or background whose main language is not English.

Each week you'll attend a two-hour class. Classes are limited to a maximum of 12 students.

Please note: this course does not aim to ‘get rid of your accent’ or enable you to speak like a native speaker.

This course is run by the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE).

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • increase your effectiveness in communicating in an academic or professional environment
  • give you practise in expressing your ideas more clearly on a variety of topics
  • help you learn how to manage participation in discussion through a variety of techniques and phrases

Who this course is for

This course is for non-native English speakers.

It's suitable for:

  • postgraduate students at UCL or another university
  • staff / researchers at UCL or another academic institution
  • lecturers or those who need to give academic presentations at conferences or at work

You should have an upper-intermediate to advanced level of English (IELTS 6 or above).

Course content

The course will cover (subject to course participants’ needs):

  • Presenting an opinion
  • Defending your point of view
  • Agreeing/disagreeing
  • Keeping hold of the topic and taking turns
  • Interrupting and dealing with interruptions
  • Making yourself heard
  • Making your point effectively
  • Participating in group discussions
  • Introducing and leading a group discussion (seminar)

Teaching and structure

Classes are two hours long and are held once a week, for eight weeks.

You'll take part in activities in pairs, small-groups and as a class, offering active participation through a variety of roles and topics.

You'll also need to prepare and introduce a topic for group discussion, accompanied by interesting discussion questions. The dates of the discussions will be set in agreement with other members of the class and the tutor.

While enrolled, you'll have access to online self-study resources and the extensive Self Access Centre (SAC) for further self-study support.


You can request a certificate of attendance if you attend at least 80% of classes.

Cost and concessions

The standard fee is £295.

The cost for UCL students is £240.

Dates and times

The course runs several times a year, beginning in October, January and May.

Updated information on which days and times the course will be running is available in the timetable on the UCL CLIE website.

How to enrol

To enrol you'll need to complete the online application form. You'll then need to pay (by card or cash) either in person or over the phone by calling the EAP team on 020 7679 8665.

You'll also need to attend an interview. These take place in the CLIE Reception area during the enrolment period. No appointment is needed.

You can only enrol during the set enrolment periods.

Rights and responsibilities

UCL Centre for Languages & International Education seeks to ensure that all students have a positive experience in respect of courses taken here, and fully adheres to the broader rights and responsibilities policies of UCL.

As part of our responsibility, we seek to ensure that courses follow a logical structure consistent with delivering the content and skills practise that we advertise, but with the freedom for teachers to respond (via needs analysis at the beginning of a course) to further, relevant areas of particular interest or shared concern to each student group.

If you have any questions during your course about the content or focus of your classes, please speak to your class tutor, or contact the Course Co-ordinator, Daphne Thomas, in Room 115, 26 Bedford Way. Email:

Course team

Our language teachers

You'll be taught by qualified and experienced English for Academic Purposes (EAP) staff.

Course information last modified: 02 May 2019, 14:17