Module Details

IA939-6-SP-CO: Advanced Academic Communications Skills

Note: This module is inactive. Visit the Module Directory to view modules and variants offered during the current academic year.

Year: 2016/17
Department: International Academy
Essex credit: 15
ECTS credit: 7.5
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
Full Year Module Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students for a Single Term: No
Outside Option: No

Supervisor: Dr Nilufer Demirkan-Jones
Teaching Staff: Dr Nilufer Demirkan-Jones
Contact details: jpsumm

Module is taught during the following terms
Autumn Spring Summer

Module Description

Communicating well in an academic setting requires students to follow the basic rules that govern all good communication and for them to adhere to the particular norms of academic genres. This module provides students with the specialist language and academic skills needed to succeed in their graduate studies and enables students to develop the skills needed for advanced academic communication. The emphasis will be on both written and oral communication skills. Students will be assigned projects that require them to look for and extract relevant information from various sources. In the process of completing the projects assigned, students will put into practice various skills already developed, as well as skills in collating data through emails, integrating and presenting information, managing time and interacting in a group.

By the end of this module, students will be able to apply the skills to various oral and written activities such as creating and presenting a project proposal, and completing a written report. They will also have the skills to be able to reflect critically on communications they receive in academic contexts, and thus have the ability to communicate ideas effectively.

Module aims

This module will complement IA932-6-SP Advanced English for Academic Purposes and IA933-6-SU Extended English for Academic Purposes Project.

The aims of the module are:

- To teach productive, receptive and study skills which are appropriate and adequate for students' learning activities in their various disciplines
- To familiarise students with guidelines and principles that will help them create well-crafted academic communication
- To provide opportunities for the students to develop transferrable skills
- To give them the opportunity to practice their communication skills and to receive extensive feedback from their peers and tutors
- To provide an opportunity for students to learn about the norms for a range of activities that surround the academic enterprise, including, for example, the scholarly publication and the job search process
- To provide individualised attention to students through Moodle and during one-to-one tutorials
- To encourage students to engage in various communication exercises
- To provide opportunities for students to practise and improve their language accuracy and fluency across a range of academic skills
- To prepare students for their graduate studies so that they can maximise their learning opportunities

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module a student will demonstrate:

- Understanding and practice of writing cohesive academic essays and research reports
- Awareness of how to express ideas clearly and comprehensively
- Development of the critical thinking ability to enable them to actively contribute to academic discussion
- Awareness of how to handle new situations and interact with people appropriately in an academic context
- Awareness of the expectations of the British academic community
- Ability to draw upon a variety of source texts to formulate and strengthen an argument in writing as well as speaking, and to reference those sources appropriately
- Understanding of how various issues can influence academic and professional communication in oral and written genres
- Understanding and demonstration of acquired transferable skills, including learner autonomy and independent research skills


Introduction to genre analysis
Examining needs and expectations of students within the given academic setting
Computer-mediated communication: How to write / interpret e-mails
The Literature Review
Writing for a specific subject, for example: the Law / legal texts / Computer Science and Electronic Engineering
Business and Management
Scientific Reports
Research Proposals
Personal Statements
Business plans
Business communication
CVs, cover letters


The module will be assessed by means of a range of coursework, including project work and presentations, on-line discussion reports, reflective portfolios and an essay:

Assignment 1: Portfolio of work (Weighting 50%)
To be submitted in week 24

Portfolio will comprise of:

Email research project and report: students collect emails that they write and receive and use them to write an analytical report of 1,000 words, due before the final week of term. Weighting 30%

Seminar-leading task: 10 minutes given at the start of each lesson for students to introduce the theme. Time allocated at the end of each session for student-led discussion OR online discussion via Moodle with students graded on participation in discussions and 'leadership' of designated discussions. Weighting 20%

Assignment 2 - Essay of 2,000 words (Weighting: 50%)
To be submitted in week 30

Students will be required to produce an essay using a genre, covered in weeks 18-22, which is relevant to the area of future study.

Learning and Teaching Methods

The module will run over 10 weeks; there will be 40 contact hours throughout the term, i.e. 2 hours per week of classes, 1 hour per week of seminars and/or 1 hour per week of tutorials.

Students will be encouraged to participate during these interactive sessions: they will be expected to give short presentations on the tasks set, and submit written assignments for peer and tutor feedback during the term. Participation is very important because students will be giving each other feedback on their work, as well as doing short exercises in pairs or groups in some classes. They will also be encouraged to critically reflect and analyse their reports/tasks.

Students will have the opportunity to have individual tutorials throughout the term where they can ask for advice regarding their assignments, or raise any other issues. There is Internet access for research; access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials.


100 per cent Coursework Mark


  • Cottrell, S. (2008) The Study Skills Handbook Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, (3rd Ed.)
  • Griffiths, P; Brooks, J and De Witt, R (2007) Transferable Academic Skill Kit Garnet Education
  • Koester, A. (2004). The Language of Work. London: Routledge.
  • McCormack, J. and Slaght, J. (2012) English for Academic Study: Extended Writing & Research Skills Garnet Education
  • Pallant, A (2012) English for Academic Study: Writing Garnet Education
  • Powell, M. (2010) In company Upper Intermediate Macmillan Education, Second revised Edition
  • Powell, M. (2007) In company Intermediate Macmillan Education 2nd Edition
  • Redman, J. et al. (2012) What Do Graduates Do? HECSU
  • Ting-Toomey, S (1999) Communicating Across Cultures New York, NY: Guilford

Further information