Academic English and Study Skills


In addition to your modules within your chosen academic pathway you will take two 20-credit modules in Academic English and Study Skills. These modules will be largely taught at the Foundation Academy Hub and English Language Centre in priorsfield.

Priorsfield is a beautiful historic manor house on the Edgbaston campus. This gives you a dedicated study, social and welfare centre within easy reach of your residence and all the amenities of the Edgbaston campus. 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. 

Please see more information about the Core modules below: 

Most students will take Academic English and Study Skills 1 in Term one and Academic English and Study Skills 2 in Term two. 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. If you study a Science-related field you will learn how to write summaries of scientific texts or produce lab reports, as well as giving poster presentations. If you study Social Science, Arts or Law related disciplines you will learn how to write academic essays, develop critical thinking skills and practise taking part in debates and discussions.

  • Academic English and Study Skills 1  This 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.
  • Academic English and Study Skills 2  This module will further develop your ability to cope in an academic environment. It will focus on the academic English used in specific areas of study such as Arts, Social Sciences, Engineering and Sciences. It will also prepare you for the specific academic writing demands of your future undergraduate programme.

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

Options for high-level English speakers 

If you are a high-level English language speaker, with an IELTS score of 6.5 overall or above (or equivalent) you can replace the Academic English and Study Skills 1 and 2 modules with Aspects of Britain and Advanced Academic Skills 1 and 2.

Both of these modules will enable you to improve your fluency and communication skills intensively and to use your language flexibly for a wide range of academic purposes. This is subject to prior agreement. Please contact us if you think this applies to you. 

Advanced Academic Skills 1 and 2 

These modules 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. They will help you to identify weaknesses in your current learning style and enable you to develop better study and research skills. They will also help you to develop your critical thinking skills. In doing this, you will also improve your fluency and command of the English language.




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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