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Access to Academic English for University Studies

Access to Academic English for University Studies

Course Name:  Access to Academic English for University Studies

Day(s)/time of class: On Campus Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-8 pm (Irish time)

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

Course dates for 2023-24

Block 4: Tuesday 27 February to Thursday 04 April 2024

Block 5: Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 23 May 2024

Block 6: See our Summer School page

Level(s): B2 and higher

Course cost €300

*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 for studying or at university. 

The course consists of Academic English for Listening & Speaking (Tuesdays) and  Academic English for Reading and Writing (Thursdays) 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:

  • deconstruct lectures to aid comprehension such as identifying organisation, discourse markers / cues, and speaker’s stance/attitude.
  • ask questions to check understanding and encourage active listening.
  • developed appropriacy and flexibility to communicate in academic discussions.
  • use a range of appropriate functional language and strategies to contribute meaningfully to seminar discussions (e.g phrases for negotiating meaning, sharing opinions).
  • develop pronunciation, awareness of the features of fast speech, and articulation concerning the English Lingua Franca core.
  • adopt academic reading strategies including skimming, scanning, identifying macro and microstructure.
  • understand the typical structures and organisation of ideas in academic texts.
  • develop the basics of a written academic style.
  • use language to create cohesion and coherence at a paragraph and overall level.
  • have an awareness of the language and structures used in academic essays, reports, case studies, and literature reviews.
  • adopt language techniques to avoid plagiarism, specifically summarising and paraphrasing.

Weekly course plan: (may change slightly depending on class needs)

Week 1:


Academic Listening: identifying challenges & organisation of lectures

Academic Speaking: asking for clarification and further information

Academic Reading: identifying and understanding 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: 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)

Academic Reading: Reading Critically & Evaluating Sources

Academic Writing: Avoiding Plagiarism

Week 3:


Academic Listening: identifying discourse markers for emphasis, cause and effect, contrast and comparison

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

Academic Reading: identifying micro and macro structure

 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: giving effective presentations

Academic Reading: identifying stance and argument structure

Academic Writing: use of hedging language

Week 5:


Academic Listening: critical and active listening

Academic Speaking: collaborating and managing groupwork

Academic Reading: synthesising ideas from texts and using synthesising grids

 Academic Writing: referencing, citating, and synthesising sources


Week 6:


Final tasks: applying course content to your own discipline 


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