Academic English and Study Skills



In addition to your subject modules within your chosen pathway you will take a module in Academic English and Study Skills. These modules will be taught at the Foundation Academy Hub and English Language Centre in Priorsfield. 

You will either take:

  • IELTS 5.5 - Academic English and Study Skills
  • IELTS 6.5 - 7.5 - Advanced Academic English and Study Skills
  • IELTS 8.0 - Advanced Academic Skills

You will be learning in a supportive environment in small classes (maximum 15 students) that are focused on your individual needs. Classes are dynamic, with many opportunities for you to practice your language actively in groups.

Regular one-to-one tutorials provide you with feedback on your progress throughout the module and e-learning workshops allow you to work on specific aspects of language such as grammar or building your academic vocabulary. 

Most students will take either Academic English and Study Skills or Advanced Academic English and Study Skills. The modules will introduce you to academic English for undergraduate study and also to the development of specific language and skills related to your pathway. These could be writing summaries of scientific texts or producing lab reports for science programmes, or academic essays, critical thinking and debating for arts, law and social sciences programmes.

Please see more information about the Core modules below:   

Academic English and Study Skills: IELTS 5.5

This 40-credit module will equip you with the English required for academic study at undergraduate level. It will help you to acquire key academic vocabulary and to master key academic grammatical structures. The module will also help you to develop the necessary skills for reading academic texts and writing academic assignments. It will enable you to perform successfully across all modules of the Foundation Academy programme, as well as preparing you for study in your future undergraduate programme.

Advanced Academic English & Study Skills: IELTS 6.5 - 7.5

This 40-credit module will prepare you for the academic demands of your future undergraduate programme, where you will be expected to employ an efficient and effective learning style. It will enable you to deepen your understanding of how texts are constructed and it will also help you to develop your critical thinking skills. Through class discussions, debates and individual presentations, you will improve your fluency and command of the English language.

Advanced Academic Skills: IELTS 8.0

If you are a native or near-native English language speaker with an IELTS score of 8.0 overall or above (or equivalent) you take replace the Academic English and Study Skills modules with Advanced Academic Skills. This 20-credit module will enable you to extend your academic and communication skills intensively and to use your language flexibly for a wide range of academic purposes. In addition you will need to choose a further 20-credit module from those offered on your pathway.

This is subject to prior agreement, so please contact us if you think this applies to you.

Advanced Academic Skills  - IELTS 8.0

This 20-credit module will develop advanced academic skills for undergraduate study in a range of disciplines. The emphasis will be on advanced literacy incorporating critical thinking and analytical skills such as the development and evaluation of academic argument and the synthesis of various sources of information. Students will have the opportunity to develop excellent communication skills for higher level studies.

Please note: High quality Pressional English programmes are available for students who do not yet meet the English language entry requirements. A recent British Council accreditation review has rated the standard or English language teaching at the University of Birmingham as being outstanding, placing us as one of the best providers of English language teaching in the HE sector. You can find more information about Presessional English language tuition on our Entry Requirements page.



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View our video on Birmingham Foundation Academy (BFA): Teaching and Learning Experience, which talks about the Academic English and Study Skills