Academic Language and Literacy

Nobody is born speaking academic English. It is something you will need to learn, whether or not English is your first language. Our Academic Language and Literacy sessions help postgraduate taught students succeed in their studies.

Every course has its own academic culture and style of communication. We have worked with schools to create course-specific sessions, designed to help you meet expectations and communicate effectively.

What you will learn

Looking at feedback given to previous students, you will develop strategies to fulfil subject lecturers' expectations. You will also study academic language specific to your course.

Most sessions last around two hours. You will work in small groups, using active and practical learning methods. There will be opportunities to ask questions, discuss any issues and practise everything you learn.

Academic Language and Literacy sessions bear no credits and are not formally assessed.

Having not used academic language for more than ten years, it has been very useful and informative. I believe it will hugely benefit my assignment style, structure and approach to writing.

Nutrition, Physical Activity, Public Health, 2015

Which schools we work with

We collaborate with Schools and Faculties across the University. In 2021/22, the following will be offering Academic Language and Literacy sessions on various programmes within each School or Department:

  • School of Accounting and Finance
  • School of Arts
  • School of Biochemistry
  • School of Civil, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
  • School of Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Engineering Maths
  • School of Economics
  • School of Education
  • Centre for Functional Nanomaterials
  • School of Geographical Sciences
  • School of Humanities
  • Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Bristol Law School
  • School of Management
  • Bristol Medical School
  • School of Modern Languages
  • School for Policy Studies
  • School of Psychological Science
  • School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
  • Bristol Veterinary School


If you are eligible for an Academic Language and Literacy session, you will find registration details on Blackboard.

Please contact with any questions. 

I have found these sessions so useful. Because I’m a home student, lots of international students asked me why I was there - I really struggled with academic writing when I was an undergraduate. I’ve got straight As so far, and I think that is partly thanks to the CELFS sessions!

Amy, School of Education, 2018

Information for staff

Interested in working with us to create a bespoke course? Visit our information for staff Sharepoint page for details.

Edit this page