Information for Staff

Click here if you are a member of staff and are interested in working in partnership with us to create a bespoke discipline specific provision for your students.

Academic Language and Literacy (ALL)

‌What is Academic Language and Literacy?

Nobody is born speaking academic English. It is something that we all need to learn if we want to succeed in our studies whether English is our first language or not.   There are different expectations and depths of Academic Language and Literacy that are required at different levels of study, such as moving from undergraduate to postgraduate studies. 

There are also similarities and differences between the academic culture of your discipline and others.  Different disciplines have different expectations and methods of communicating which we need to learn. 

To be a successful participant in your academic community you need to be aware of these expectations in order to then meet them. 

What are the Academic Language and Literacy Sessions?

We have worked in collaboration with various Schools across the University to identify what you need to do and the language that you need to do it.

These sessions are made unique to your discipline by looking at your subject lecturers' expectations and feedback given to previous students.  Strategies and language to fulfil those expectations are then studied and practised in order to develop your proficiency in Academic Language and Literacy within your academic discipline.  You will work in small groups with plenty of opportunities to ask questions, discuss any issues that arise, and apply the concepts to your own writing.

Academic Languagage and Literacy (ALL):

  • is specific to your school and discipline;
  • has no credits;
  • has no assessment;
  • is done in small groups;
  • uses active and practical learning methods.

You need to develop your Academic Language and Literacy quickly if you want to demonstrate your full potential in a short Master's programme.  We know that you are busy, but if you make time for Academic Language and Literacy sessions, you will save time on your assignments and improve the standard of your work.  

A little extra attention in the right places can make all the difference!


If you have any questions regarding Academic Language & Literacy sessions, or would like some further information, please email: 

ALL sessions are for taught postgraduate students only.




Academic language... is nobody's mother tongue

Bourdieu et al, 1994

Sessions for postgraduates

In 2017-18 we will be running sessions in collaboration with most schools in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law in addition to some schools in the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences, and Arts. 

Please contact for more information.

We arrived with a feeling of fear and worry about our academic development but now I believe that we feel more confident.

Public Policy, 2015

I use the handouts during my assignments to review the key points from each session. Having not used 'academic language' for 10years +, it has been very useful and informative and I believe it will hugely benefit my assignment style, structure and approach to writing. Thank you!

Nutrition,Physical Activity, Public Health, 2015

These workshops have been extremely helpful for my essay writing skills. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed this learning experience and will use these skills I have developed for the rest of my academic years.

Law, 2016

Challenging what I thought I knew made me question my writing style and initially reduced confidence BUT overall the sessions have made me much more aware of what and how I write.

Nutrition,Physical Activity, Public Health, 2015

I found the sessions helpful to understand conventions/expectations. They helped focus me and gave me good opportunities to put it into practice. Good to have a small group as it allows discussion and personal feedback. I think I can apply this, particularly for my dissertation so thank you!

Graduate School of Education, 2016
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