Access to Academic English for University Studies

Course Name:  Access to Academic English for University Studies

Day(s)/time of class: Tuesdays and Thursdays 18:30-20:30 (Irish time)

Course length: 6 weeks, 24 hours in class + self-study and assignments for teacher feedback

Course dates: Tuesday 04 July to Thursday 08 August 2024 - 6 weeks - Course cost – €300

Level(s): B2 - C2

*Returning students receive a loyalty discount.  Please email for details. 

+UCC staff and students should email to enquire about special offers. 

Course overview:

This course is aimed at students who would like an introduction to the type of academic English required at university.  The course consists of Academic English for Reading, Writing, Listening & Speaking to:

  1. reflect on what is meant by academic reading and writing
  2. adapt and develop your language for academic reading and writing
  3. build confidence and fluency in your academic speaking skills
  4. practice deconstructing lectures and use different strategies to enhance your academic listening skills
  5. practise your speaking in academic contexts such as group discussions using suggested useful phrases
Learning objectives:

By the end of this course, you will be beginning to:

  • adopt academic reading strategies including skimming, scanning, identifying macro and microstructure
  • develop the basics of academic style
  • use language to create cohesion and coherence to help your writing read more smoothly
  • adopt language techniques to avoid plagiarism specifically regarding paraphrasing
  • deconstruct lectures to aid comprehension such as identifying discourse markers and speakers' stance/attitude
  • ask questions to encourage active listening
  • developed appropriacy and flexibility to communicate in academic discussions
  • use appropriate language and strategies to contribute meaningfully to discussions such as developing a range of functional language (e.g phrases for negotiating meaning, sharing opinions)
  • develop pronunciation and articulation concerning the English Lingua Franca core
Weekly course plan: (may change slightly depending on class needs)

Week 1:


Academic Reading: skills of skimming and scanning


Academic Writing: developing an academic style

Week 2:


Academic Listening: different systems of note-taking and identifying discourse markers to aid comprehension


Academic Speaking: language to negotiate meaning during group academic discussions (e.g asking for clarification, asking for further information) & being an active listener

Week 3:


Academic Reading: identify and understand how academic text structures work to give you the tools to navigate your own discipline as each genre and discipline require different structures   


Academic Writing: language techniques to increase cohesion and coherence of academic paragraphs

Week 4:


Academic Listening: identify speaker's attitude/stance to help follow an argument


Academic Speaking: phrases to use in academic discussions e.g agreeing, disagreeing, interrupting

Week 5:


Academic Reading: synthesising ideas from texts and using synthesising grids


Academic Writing: language technique  to avoid plagiarism specifically regarding paraphrasing


Week 6:


Academic Listening: questions for active critical listening to lectures


Academic Speaking: using the language of hedging when giving opinions

Student Feedback/Assessment

Students will receive regular feedback from their teachers on their progress.  Due to the nature of this course, there will be no formal end-of-course assessment.  

Minimum class numbers:

A minimum number of 4 students will be required for this class to run.  If 4 students do not sign up, you will be offered to transfer to another course (depending on level), postpone to another term, or get a refund.

Online class connection requirements:

Microsoft Teams application - cameras on during class time.

A good internet connection and a quiet space where you are free to speak. (headphones/earphones optional)

Attendance/End of course certificate:

Attendance will be taken in every class. If you attend 80% of your lessons, you will receive an end-of-course certificate. Please advise the teacher if you know in advance that you will be absent.

How to Apply

Open for applications.  Part-time application form

Language Centre

Lárionad Teanga

Main Office, G36, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

External Accreditation