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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 10 weeks

UK fee

£840 (2020/21)

International fee

£840 (2020/21)

Course level


Start date




Online course description

The Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes is a level 3, 20-credit course designed to help you develop the academic English skills required in order to study within higher education. It aims to build on your existing levels of reading, writing, speaking and listening to provide you with sufficient skills to engage confidently and assertively with undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Why should I take this English course?

This course will introduce you to the transferable English skills, knowledge and terminologies required to study at a higher education level while providing you with the opportunity to progress on to courses that require a higher level of English.

It bridges the gap for any students who do not currently hold a suitable level or traditional entry qualification in English to access higher education. It is also ideal for those who may already have a range of qualifications or experience but not previously studied at university level. This course provides you with an opportunity to learn Academic English at level 3 as required in university settings, while introducing academic study skills that will help you with future higher educational (HE) courses.

You may also be looking to refresh your English skills as part of your continuing professional development (CPD) or to enhance your career employability and writing skills.

Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework

Access to our undergraduate and postgraduate courses

If you wish to take the next step and study a University of Derby Online Learning undergraduate or postgraduate course, we will accept this Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS (International English Language Testing System) 6.0 which will improve your eligibility for a number of our courses, providing you have IELTS 4.5 and meet all additional entry criteria.

Although this course is not classed as a GCSE equivalent, completion of this course will demonstrate your ability to study at English GCSE level. We recognise that, upon successful completion of this course, you are able to meet the academic requirements needed to study at higher education level for many of our higher educational courses, providing you meet additional criteria.

Enhancing your personal development plan (PDP)

This course is an ideal way to update your personal development plan (PDP). This course gives you the opportunity to reflect on your progress through activities set in the academic skills module. The activities will help equip you with the required skills needed in the development of your digital literacy and communication skills and provide you with a foundation for future development in education and work-based skills.

Preparing you for IELTS

If you are an international student, this course will provide you with the opportunity to develop the appropriate academic English language competences needed at Level 3, giving you ideal preparation for undertaking IELTS 6.0 testing at a local centre in your country. Although this course will not provide you with an IELTS qualification, you will have an opportunity to underpin your knowledge to complete the IELTS test.

Gain further skills with the Foundation Certificate in Higher Education

If you are also interested in improving your general English, Maths and study skills for entry into higher education, you may look to take this course as part of the Foundation Certificate in Higher Education. The Foundation Certificate in Higher Education is an online 60-credit, level 3 foundation course designed to provide you with the English, Maths and study skills required in order to study at a higher education (HE) level.

You can study all of the 20-credit modules individually if you chose to but, if you do them individually, they cannot be classed together as the Foundation Certificate. Each 20-credit module can be completed as a stand-alone award and you will receive a Certificate of Credit upon completion of any one of the following courses:

What you will study

You’ll develop a broad range of practical skills in academic writing, written and spoken communication, interpersonal skills, critical analysis and problem-solving. This will support your preparation for further undergraduate or postgraduate study, helping you to:

By the end of the course, you will be able to communicate, in both written and spoken English, to a standard that is acceptable at higher education level.

We will advise you of your study plan when you are invited to enrol.

Stage 1Stage 1

Code: 3PE500

English for Academic Purposes

This module content aims to equip you with the necessary academic skills, required for future progression.

Module learning outcomes

You will develop your academic English skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking in a range of contexts in preparation for study in higher education.

It aims to build on existing levels of English and provides you with sufficient English skills to enable you to engage confidently with modules.

Successful completion of the module, will mean that you will be able to communicate (both orally and in writing) to a minimum standard of B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  1. Understand a variety of texts which include unknown vocabulary to consider the writer’s message
  2. Produce written English accurately and fluently showing awareness of academic writing style
  3. Engage in an academic conversation, orally present your own perspectives using virtual media

Module content

This module content aims to provide the opportunity for students to discuss topics of interest, structuring speech appropriately and paying attention to range and accuracy of vocabulary, and to pronunciation.

It will support your preparation for further undergraduate studies in order to: read effectively and efficiently through skimming, scanning, increasing speed, predicting content and reading with a purpose.

Identify language when reading: recognise discourse markers to follow a text; infer meaning and deal with unknown words; recognise cohesive devices such as connectors and pronouns.

Build academic vocabulary through reading and use this vocabulary in speaking and writing.

Plan and write effective paragraphs, focusing on clear topic sentences and supporting sentences and cohesion as well as range and accuracy of grammar and vocabulary, and accuracy of spelling and punctuation.

Plan and write a variety of essay types, focusing on structure and cohesion as well as range and accuracy of grammar and vocabulary, accuracy of spelling and punctuation.

Take effective and organised notes while listening, identifying key points and representing these through use of key words, symbols, abbreviations etc.

Recognise descriptions of data whether in numeric, table, graph or diagram form.

Prepare for a group seminar discussion, following others’ contributions in the discussion and participating in the discussion according to a number of functions.


  • Communication using a range of written and verbal formats
  • Self-awareness and reflection activities
  • Demonstrating analysis, problem solving and reasoning

Digital skills

  • Demonstrating accurate and appropriate referencing
  • Demonstrating the ability to create a personal environment incorporation elements of UDOL digital practices at appropriate level
  • Demonstrating the use of a range of sources appropriate to the discipline
  • Distinguish between functions and uses of common mobile communication devices, eg phone calls, texting, messaging to individuals or groups, using smart phone, iPad, etc
  • Distinguish between instances of public (eg social networking sites) and private (eg email) online communication
More information
20 Credits

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

Who will teach you

Joanne Vale sitting at table

Joanne Vale
Programme leader

Joanne Vale has been teaching for over 20 years. She began her teaching career as an ESOL tutor and Dyslexia Support Tutor. Since then, she has been teaching GCSE and Functional Skills English as well as Study Skills for over 200 students.

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Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 16.00 - 17.00

During this hour-long webinar, we’ll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner with the University of Derby Online Learning.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You will require:

English language qualification

International/European students will:

Normally, the entry qualification will need to be mapped to the UK equivalent course to ensure access to the appropriate programme level (with a view to progressing to undergraduate level and achieving 60 credits at level 3).

Non-standard entrants

If your qualifications do not match the standard criteria, it may be possible for you to access the course as a ‘non-standard’ entrant where there are equivalent/alternative qualifications. You will be required to submit evidence of work experience and have a discussion with the Academic Lead before being offered a place as a direct entrant to ensure that you have the necessary capacity for studying at level 3.

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £840 1 £840

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plan available

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Application deadlines

All of our online courses have set start dates throughout the year. We require time to review your application and get back to you with a response before your course starts. Take a look at information regarding applying for an online course to see full details of deadlines and term dates.


This programme will enable you to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the skills required to succeed in an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in higher education. You will develop a range of transferable skills through activities and module content that will also contribute to your continuing professional development.

Work-based skills

Through completing the module within this course, you will gain a range of technical skills and job-related skills that will assist in developing your study and career plans through the use of digital tools and activities. You’ll develop a broad range of transferable and practical skills that can be applied throughout your career, such as communication skills, interpersonal skills and study skills.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

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