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Module BIC-1001:
English for UniversityLearning

Module Facts

Run by Marketing: Bangor International College

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Mrs Laura McKenzie

Overall aims and purpose

The main aims of the unit are, firstly, to give thorough training in the academic skills and communication patterns which will enable international students to best achieve their academic potential at the University. These academic skills can be divided into the following areas;

(i) Academic Writing (ii) Reading for HE study (iii) Listening in the HE environment (iv) Speaking and listening in seminars (v) University study skills

Central to the core aims of this unit is to develop the language level of the students; develop the structures, and patterns of language which represent the discourse they will participate in on their academic programmes. The successful student will be able to transfer the knowledge and skills to support their learning across the pathway. Students will develop confidence in dealing with academic subjects and the expectations of academic study skills to enhance their further learning.

The specific aims are:

To develop the four skills areas of the language in order to improve a student’s ability to communicate and participate in an academic environment taught using English language as the medium of instruction and communication. This includes the finer points of academic style, cohesion, clarification and definition.

To begin to develop and apply academic and study skills. This includes the ability to read academic texts, write, discuss and understand a wide range of topics.

Course content

Reading and Writing:

  • Consolidation of academic expectations and conduct, including plagiarism.
  • Reading texts of 1500 words (to include academic journals)
  • Able to understand author’s point of view
  • Capable of using new ideas to inform and expand own schema
  • Focus on vocabulary not only of topic or text but more importantly of words associated with academic word list

Critical reading skills

  • Fact, opinion, bias, writer’s purpose
  • Evaluating source material
  • Criteria for selecting appropriate source material
  • Evaluating text as possible source
  • Awareness of purpose and usefulness of note taking
  • Reasons and relevance to other subjects studied at BIC and to future studies -Notions of plagiarism and development of good study skills

Academic Writing

  • Ability to write essays ranging from 800 to 1500 words.
  • Knowledge of appropriate structure of opinion led, discursive and problem solution essay writing style
  • Language use development – sentence/paragraph, structure , discourse markers
  • Capable of structuring essay – components of different sections – introduction, body, conclusion
  • Capable of using new ideas and information gained from reading and listening activities
  • Ability to be concise/succinct in expressing main points of several texts
  • Able to express views/opinions related to the text
  • Ability to use notes (not texts) to write essays.
  • How titles dictate outline plans
    -Need to structure a coherent and cohesive essay
  • Knowledge of writing as process i.e. Brainstorm, plan, write, revise
  • Confidence to express or explain ideas of others in own voice
  • Use appropriate reference language to report on ideas of others

Listening and Speaking:

  • Take part in seminar discussions – up to 20 mins.
  • Students unprepared groups
  • Focus on appropriate language structures
  • Build confidence in ability to speak out, to agree/disagree
  • Express their views and knowledge on topics
  • Reach compromise

Listening to academic lectures

  • Variety of lengths and sources. Authentic/live – online video/podcasts
  • Able to distinguish relevant and irrelevant pieces of information
  • Able to write notes while listening
  • Able to extract main ideas and supporting points
  • Capable of using notes to discuss topic and share ideas
  • Awareness of underlying concepts of note taking
  • Select, link or show relation between points highlighted

Assessment Criteria


Threshold (D- to D+) (40-49%)

Student has developed language skills to a sufficient level to engage with reasonable confidence of coping with studies


Good (C- to B+) (50-69%)

Student has demonstrated a good level of language skills and is able to tackle assignments with confidence.


Excellent (A- to A*) (70-100%)

Student has demonstrated consistently strong language skills overall and is highly confident in tackling assignments.

Learning outcomes

  1. Write clear, detailed essays in a range of genres on a range of topics, including the relevant academic subjects on the programme

  2. Understand and take notes on the main ideas of academic lectures.

  3. Speak with a degree of fluency and spontaneity, expanding and supporting ideas with subsidiary points and relevant examples.

  4. Select appropriate reference sources from both the library and the internet and understand the main ideas, summarizing, commenting on and discussing points of view and main themes safely within the academic conventions of HE study and whilst avoiding plagiarism.

  5. Give evidence of adopting a wide range of academic and independent study skills.

  6. Use a sufficient range of language to express ideas without much hesitation and with a generally high degree of accuracy

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Term 2 - writing exam

Writing exam including the different stages of the essay writing process with an answer key and writing assessment criteria.

EXAM Term 1 - listening exams

2 lecture based listening exam(s) with answer keys

EXAM Term 1 - reading exams

2 academic reading exams with answer keys

ESSAY Term 3 - researched essay

Researched essay including preparatory components with writing assessment criteria.

ORAL Term 3 - seminar discussion

Group seminar discussion assessed individually using speaking assessment criteria.

GROUP PRESENTATION Term 2 - group presentation

Group presentation assessed individually using speaking assessment criteria.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Seminars – 150 hours -1 hour x 5 a week over a 10-week terms

Within the contact time, there is an emphasis on group work.

The unit will be delivered through seminar/workshops each week. In addition, students are expected to apply guidance on independent study skills on assignments and self-directed study, to include revision, expansion, organisation and self-testing on areas of language and skill covered on the programme.

The objective is for the student to consolidate all the areas of language and skills showing that they can maintain various levels of control and self-direction simultaneously.

Private study

Private Study – reading time, preparing and taking assessments


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Communication: summarise, synthesise and write about their own ideas and other people’s ideas
  • Developing good working relations with others through group work, debate and discussion
  • Sensitivity to cultural contexts when allocating roles and working with others
  • Demonstration of an ability to learn independently.


Reading list

Core textbook: De Chazal E & McCarter S (2012) Oxford EAP: A course in English for Academic Purposes (Upper Intermediate / B2) Oxford University Press: Oxford

Courses including this module