Short courses


Critical Thinking and Academic Writing for Teachers (Online Course)

  • 9:30am to 1pm
  • 3.5 hours


This online course for secondary school teachers will help you equip your students with the academic thinking and writing skills they'll need to study at university.

It will provide an introduction to:

  • the challenges to developing critical thinking skills
  • the type of academic thinking and writing skills required for study in higher education (HE)
  • ideas for incorporating critical thinking into your teaching in a relevant and accessible way in the classroom

It's taught by UCL experts and is brought to you by the team that runs Englicious, a free online learning and teaching resource for English grammar. 

Course content

The course will cover:

  • avoiding plagiarism as a demonstration of critical thinking
  • critical thinking
  • building argumentation
  • deconstructing arguments
  • pseudoscience vs science
  • cognitive biases
  • logical fallacies
  • identifying the rhetorical use of language

Who this course is for

The course is for school teachers teaching at secondary level, with any level of experience.

It's ideal for teachers who:

  • feel uncertain about their knowledge of critical thinking skills required at university
  • wish to refresh their knowledge of the conventions of academic writing in HE
  • would like to explore new ways of teaching academic writing and critical thinking

    Structure, teaching and certification

    The course is an online interactive seminar run using Microsoft Teams. You'll receive an email with the invitation and instructions a week before the course starts

    You'll watch presentations, take part in group discussions, and complete short task-based activities and sentence analysis tasks. 

    A certificate of attendance will be issued on request for those who attend the whole course.

    Costs and concessions

    The full cost of this course is £49.

    A reduced rate is available for:

    • UCL alumni: £39
    • students and trainee teachers: £25

    You may be asked to provide proof of your status.

    Learning outcomes

    By the end of this course, you'll:

    • be able to identify the key critical thinking skills required in HE and how these translate into good writing
    • understand the rationale for academic conventions and the relevance of this in teaching academic thinking skills
    • feel confident in your knowledge of the key skills required of pupils at university
    • use this knowledge to develop new teaching ideas that encourage students’ application of these skills in the classroom.

    Course team

    Dr Karen Dwyer

    Dr Karen Dwyer

    Karen is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Centre for Languages and International Education and the Survey of English Usage, in the Department of English Language and Literature at UCL.

    She teaches MA English Linguistics in the Survey of English Usage and the development of academic skills. She has a particular interest in helping students develop critical thinking skills and is presently developing an online induction course to prepare students for the academic thinking skills required at university level.

    Course information last modified: 26 Oct 2021, 15:53