Academic Literacy

Key information

Year of study
4 or 5 weeks
Foundation College

Module overview

The Academic Literacy course runs for 4 or 5 weeks and aims to give students guidance in how to deal with the main writing and reading tasks that are required of them in an academic context. The course will be very practical and will maintain relevance by encouraging students to use material from their own academic studies as a basis for the classes. The course will be delivered online in term 1. There will be a mixture of asynchronous self-study (for 1-2 hours per week approximately) and one hour synchronous live sessions using Collaborate on BLE.

Areas covered



  • Types of essay
  • Analysis of essay titles
  • Planning an argument
  • Writing analytically
  • Thesis statement development
  • Supporting arguments and acknowledging sources
  • Text cohesion and signposting
  • Academic style and register


  • Identifying key themes and ideas
  • Following and analysing arguments
  • Selecting and prioritising information
  • Reading critically
  • Using bibliographies and extending your research

Scope and syllabus

Key literacy skills in academic writing will be identified; the aim of the Academic Literacy course is to review the key elements of academic writing (thesis statement, use of indirect and direct quotation, constructing introductions and conclusions) while engaging students with criticality and style in academic writing and reading (use of counter- argument, establishing a point of view, finding voice, differentiating arguments in a nuanced way). A number of texts will be explored for insights into analytical writing and distinguishing between reliable and less reliable forms of argument. This course is shorter than the Academic Essay Writing course and is aimed at those who already have some knowledge of academic essay writing or for those who are at a higher level with their language skills. In term 1, the course should take the form of about 2 hours asynchronous study and one hour of synchronous lesson participation per week, including forum discussion postings and small homework tasks.


Times of individual courses become available when the application form for each block is released.

Suggested reading

  • Brandt, C. (2009), Read, Research and Write . Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Greetham, B. (2013), How to Write Better Essays. Palgrave Study Skills, London: Macmillan.
  • Swales and Feak (2004), Academic Writing for Graduate Students. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.
  • Godfrey, J. (2013), How to Use your Reading in your Essays. Palgrave Study Skills, London:Macmillan.

Important notice:

The information on the website reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. The modules are indicative options of the content students can expect and are/have been previously taught as part of these programmes. However, this information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.