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Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 10 weeks

UK fee

£815 (2019/20)

International fee

£815 (2019/20)

Course level


Start date




Online course description

This course will introduce you to the transferable English language skills, knowledge and terminologies required to study at a higher education level. These skills will allow you to participate successfully and engage fully within higher education, while providing you with the opportunity to progress onto courses that require a higher level of English.

The course 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 already have a range of qualifications or experience but may not have previously studied at university level. This course provides you with an opportunity to learn the skills taught at English GCSE/AS-level or equivalent, as well as introducing you to academic study skills that will help you with future higher educational courses.

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

26thout of 121 UK institutions**Guardian University Guide 2020
Goldstandard teaching**Teaching Excellence Framework

Access to our undergraduate and postgraduate courses

If you wish to take the next step and complete a University of Derby Online Learning undergraduate or postgraduate course, we will accept this Certificate of Credit in Technical English 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. The University of Derby Online Learning recognise upon successful completion of this course that 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.

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 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

Tailored to meet your individual needs, the Technical English Certificate of Credit will enable you to recognise, interpret and use appropriate written and spoken language terminologies within your work. The course content will seek to enhance and support your preparation for further undergraduate or postgraduate studies, allowing you to recognise and produce spoken and written language to function and write effectively when studying within a specific subject area.

This course will enable you to:

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to produce clear, coherent written texts with a high level of accuracy to GCSE and A-level standards that are required at university level. You will also be able to demonstrate the ability and skills needed for level 3 studies.

In addition to improving your academic knowledge, you’ll gain a range of technical skills which will help you in undergraduate and postgraduate studies, job related skills and your continuing professional development (CPD).

Stage 1Stage 1
Core modules
Technical English

Code: 3PE503

Technical English

This module will introduce you to Technical English skills in preparation for further undergraduate study.

It will provide the context in which you are able to:

  • Write clear, coherent written texts with a high level of accuracy to B1 and B2 standards according to Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
  • Recognise, interpret and use appropriate written and spoken language, both general and involving key disciplines' specific terminologies
  • Develop transferable skills designed to help with developing structural and expressive concepts accurately
  • Understand essay writing, report writing and how to interpret questions
  • Learn self-confidence and identify, gather and interpret data

Module learning outcomes

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

  1. Demonstrate ability and skills needed for level 3 studies
  2. Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of specific subject appropriate for progression to undergraduate programme

Module content

The module content will seek to enhance and support the preparation for further undergraduate studies.

You will recognise and produce spoken and written language to function effectively when studying appropriately within a specific subject area. This will help you develop confidence and competence for studying at undergraduate level.

Work on assignments, reports and specific technical writing skills will allow you to increase awareness of how to study and becoming more self-confident.

You will develop an awareness of specific terminology and vocabulary building, grammar and accuracy writing and listening skills.


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

Digital skills

Module contents include:

  • Demonstrating accurate and appropriate referencing
  • Demonstrating the ability to create a personal environment incorporating elements of our digital practices at appropriate level
  • Demonstrating the use of a range of sources appropriate to the discipline
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, April

Wednesday, 22 April 2020 14.30 - 15.30

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. The webinar includes a 20 minute presentation and an opportunity to take in a Q&A.

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 ensuring access to the appropriate programme level (with a view to progressing to undergraduate level and achieving 60 credits at level 3). When applying, it is essential that you submit the following:

Non-standard entrants 

If your qualifications do not match the standard criteria, it may be possible to access our 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

2019/20 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2019 and August 2020.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £815 1 £815

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 allow you to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the technical English skills required to succeed 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. This course will also give you the opportunity to improve your technical English skills such as in report and essay writing.

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

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