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Unit information: Exploring British Academic Culture in 2015/16

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Unit name Exploring British Academic Culture
Unit code LANG00004
Credit points 30
Level of study QCA-3
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Lockett
Open unit status Not open

Essential Academic Writing and Essential Text Response or IELTS 5.5 overall (or equivalent)for January entry


Research and report writing

School/department Centre for Academic Language and Development
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit forms part of the International Pre-Master's Programme, which explores the way in which subject knowledge is communicated in English across a range of disciplines at and beyond Master’s level, equipping students for the increasingly inter-disciplinary world of the 21st century. Students will leave the programme fully equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are needed to succeed at this level at a top British university and the confidence to communicate your ideas with academics, peers or the public.

This unit aims to highlight: potentially unfamiliar teaching and learning methods used in UK Higher Education; typical grammar patterns of written academic English; the social and cultural background knowledge required for effective study in the UK; critical evaluation skills; individual learning needs.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module the student will be able to:take notes on the main points of a live lecture;read and make notes for an analytical discussion;

  • unpack the grammar of complex academic sentences; ask critical questions to analyse and evaluate given information; take an active part in a discussion on academic topics; lead a seminar; show an awareness of British culture, customs, and history; reflect on your learning.

Teaching Information

A lecture with follow up reading and language work; participation in an on-line discussion board in preparation for a weekly live seminar which will be lead by a different group of students each week. A tutorial for those leading the seminar.

Assessment Information


Preparation for and participation in weekly seminars –including leading one. (20%)

This involves 1) taking notes in the weekly lecture and preparing questions for clarification; 2) reading the relevant texts each week and posting your reactions - comments or questions - on Blackboard (min. 2 questions, 2 responses); 3) taking an active part in each seminar; and 4) leading 30 mins. of one seminar on your chosen topic.

Minimum of 5 weekly entries in a learning journal. (20%)


  • One unseen written exam with a choice of short answer questions based on the topics covered in the course – two paragraphs to write in 90 minutes. (20%)
  • One timed language task to reflect language areas covered on the course. (20%)
  • Seminar discussion. (20%)

Reading and References

Browne, K. (2007). An Introduction to Sociology Targeted materials are available on the Blackboard VLE: recorded lectures; tutorials and practice language exercises; on-line discussion board.