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English for academic purposes online

You’ll find this module useful if you have International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores in the range of 5.0–5.5 and want to raise your scores for entry into university or want to improve your existing competence in academic English while studying. On passing the module, we’d expect your IELTS scores to be in the range of 6.5–7.0. Aimed at those studying (or planning to study) internationally or in the UK, this online module will improve your performance in English-taught university study. It will develop your academic reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, enabling you to study successfully.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

Browse qualifications in related subjects

Module

Module code
L185
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
30
Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.

OU SCQF FHEQ
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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What you will study

To succeed at university, you need to be able to read and think about a wide range of study material, make useful notes, and write assignments that answer the question. This module will help you to develop the skills and language to do this. You’ll explore how university study materials are organised and how academic language is used in them.

You’ll work with authentic materials from a range of Open University modules which cover areas of academic study such as: science, the arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and health studies. You’ll look at the similarities and differences in language across these areas. This will give you the chance to develop the particular language and skills you need for your own chosen areas of study.

The module is made up of 40 per cent reading, 40 percent writing, 10 per cent listening and 10 per cent speaking. Your interactions with the study materials, your tutor and other students on the module will take place online. You'll complete interactive activities, contribute to forums and participate in online tutorials in real time.

You will learn

At the end of the module, you’ll have developed your understanding and practice of:

  • using language for a range of academic purposes, including: description; comparison; explanation; evaluation; persuasion; problem solving; cause and effect; and argument
  • selecting information and ideas from different sources and using this to support an academic argument
  • reflecting on and critiquing academic texts
  • communicating more effectively in a global and academic environment
  • developing understanding of the conventions of good academic practice

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a tutor to help you with the study materials and to mark and comment on your work. You’ll be able to ask your tutor for advice and guidance and, if you’re new to The Open University, help you with study methods. An important element of the module is the feedback you receive from your tutor on the work you do as part of the module. Feedback provides the basis for your development as a student, and you will be able to contact your tutor by email or phone throughout the module.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

One of the TMAs will require you to use an audio recording tool to record your voice.

Future availability

English for academic purposes online (L185) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2019. A second edition of the module is planned for October 2020.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Course work includes:

    4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
    No examination
    No residential school

    Course satisfaction survey

    See the satisfaction survey results for this course.


    Entry requirements

    This is an OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to higher levels.

    There are no academic entrance requirements for this module but a certain level of English is recommended, though not compulsory.

    The Skills for OU study website provides further information and support on improving your English skills.

    Please note that:

    • If you live outside the UK and English is not your first language, the module starts at an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) level of approximately 5.0–5.5 (that is, a Common European Framework level of B1/B2, or equivalent), in each of the four English language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). You can find out more about the different levels at this website.
    • If you live in the UK and English is your first language, the module starts at a Skills for Life literacy level of approximately Level 1 or equivalent.
    • If you live in the UK and English is not your first language, the module starts at a Skills for Life ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) level of approximately Level 1 or equivalent.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Jun 2019 £1464.00

    Registration closes 13/09/18 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2028.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).


    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.


    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 20/08/2018.

    What's included

    A website with online materials and activities and a book containing resource texts.

    You will need

    A headset with a microphone and earphones to participate in the online tutorials and to complete an assessed component of this module.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying L185 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Overcoming barriers to study if you have a disability or health condition website.