Academic English

Our Academic English courses help international students, staff and academic visitors improve their academic written and spoken communication – building skills and increasing confidence. They are taught by specialists in Academic English and designed to meet the needs of students and staff at the University of Oxford. We also have courses for partners of University staff or students who are not members of the University in their own right.

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Pathway OU Students including Visiting and Recognised

All other OU members (staff, academics, researchers etc.)

Alumni, partners of staff and students, retired staff General Public
Term-time course £70 £80 £160 N/A
Week 9 Intensive £100 £150 £175 £200
English for Academic Visitors and Researchers £400 £400 £400 £400
Pre-Sessional English Course (6 weeks intensive) £3250 £3250 £3250 £3250
IELTS Intensive 4 week summer course £1850 £1850 £1850 £1850

 

The Language Exchange Network is a fun, free facility for students and staff at Oxford to share their native language skills in exchange for support with the language they wish to learn or improve.

Join the Language Exchange Network now to search for a language exchange partner.

The site is used and updated regularly, so be sure to check what’s new and add your own details.

Language Exchange Network - join here

The Language Centre offers tailored courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students from Oxford colleges, divisions and departments. For example:

  • Academic Writing for Blavatnik School of Goverment Students
  • Thesis and Dissertation Writing for Material Scientists
  • Academic Writing for the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health
  • Academic Writing for St Peter's College
  • Academic Communication for St Hugh's College

Would you like to offer your students in your department, faculty or college a language component as part of their Oxford experience? If so, a tailor-made course is a cost-effective way to offer quality language teaching to your students. Our academic English tutors will work with you to create a course, which can be held on your own premises for maximum convenience. Students will benefit from studying with their peers, and our tutors can provide material directly relevant to their course of study.

If your department, faculty or college has academic English language training needs, we would welcome you contacting us:

The Language Centre will invoice the sponsoring department, faculty or college for the cost of the course shortly before or at the start of the course. Students from the department/faculty/college attending the course do not pay a course fee to the Language Centre.

Support on offer for international students and staff

Academic English courses at the Language Centre are open to all non-native English speaking members of the University, with special courses also available for Academic Visitors and partners of University Members, and pre-sessional summer courses.

It should be noted that for Academic English courses, there is no priority form and no requirement for prior approval by departments, faculties or colleges, as these courses are an entitlement for international students whose first language is not English. If you would like to discuss your students’ English learning needs, please contact the courses administrator by emailing admin@lang.ox.ac.uk.

Important information about fees

The outcome of the 2009 consultation by the Education Committee on language learning in the University by non-specialists produced a clear view that priority should be given to language courses required for study and research and to courses in Academic English which would support international students for whom English is an additional  language. Since then, departments, faculties, colleges and institutions have met the charges for their matriculated students who require these courses.

The registration charge to departments, faculties and colleges is currently £60 per student per term per course. Once students have enrolled, colleges, departments, faculties and institutions will be sent a list of their students for verification and payment on a termly basis. Additionally, students will be charged a fee of £70 per term per course.

Pre-sessional summer English course for prospective students

The University Language Centre offers a 6 week Summer Pre-sessional English Course for incoming international students each summer. 

If you have prospective students who would benefit from intensive English practice before their course starts it is recommended that they enrol in our summer pre-sessional course. Many students on the course have already achieved their University langauage requirements. These courses are extremely popular, and visa processing times must be taken into account, so please ensure that your students apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. Please see the Summer Pre-Sessional Course page for more information on the course.

Please consider making the Pre-sessional English course part of incoming students’ conditional offer where appropriate, as it is likely to deliver stronger results for students than their working on just improving a numerical test score in their own country. This course will raise students' overall IELTs score by at least 0.5, and as such would be appropriate for students narrowly missing the University entrance requirements, i.e. with an IELTs score of 6.5 (standard) or 7.0 (higher). For students with jagged profiles on the different components of the test (speaking, writing, reading or listening) this course can also focus on a particular skill and raise this more than 0.5. The Language Centre would not, however, recommend accepting students who have scores of less than 6 in any individual component. Students who require an increase of a full point in IELTs could additionally be advised to take a specific IELTs course at the Language Centre prior to completing the Summer Pre-sessional English Course. For more detailed information and advice, please visit the Language Centre website: www.lang.ox.ac.uk/academic-english  or email  admin@lang.ox.ac.uk

What is the Academic English programme of courses?

The Academic English programme is for students and staff who need Academic English support to help them succeed in their work and study at Oxford. There are courses in Written Communication and Spoken Communication as well as several other courses for specific groups, such as English for international undergraduates, academic visitors, and partners of University staff.

What level do I need to enrol on an Academic English course?

We accept all matriculated Oxford students, that is, those who are taking a recognised course at the University. For term-time courses other learners such as academic vistors should ideally have reached the minimum Oxford University language requirement, the equivalent of C1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or IELTs 7.0, but we will accept students slightly below this. Courses specifically for Academic Visitors accept students with a range between B2 and C1 on the CEFR. Courses for partners of University staff accept students with a range between B1 and C1 on the CEFR. For the summer pre-sessional course please click here.

What if I'm placed on a waiting list?

We do sometimes get cancellations, and if a space in class becomes available we will email you to let you know. Alternatively you may be able to enrol on a class at a different time. We also offer intensive classes in 9th week, at the end of term.

Are the course fees subsidised?

In 2018-19 the Language Centre will receive a grant of just under 40% of its running costs from the University, which is the overall subsidy of the service. The Language Centre needs to raise the rest of its running costs from course fees (plus some premises rental income in the summer vacation). The course fees are set at four price points, in ascending price order, from the lowest prices for students, through staff, to related persons, and finally members of the general public. For term-time Academic English courses students’ college or department also make a significant contribution to the cost of the course so that we can limit the fees we charge to learners (see above).

Why have the course fees changed?

The prices are set at a level designed to meet the remainder of the running costs the Language Centre requires, after the grant received from the University of just under 40% of our running costs. Some of our previous course fees were at a very low level which was no longer sustainable in terms of meeting the costs of running the service. We have benchmarked our new fees against other providers in Oxford and other university language centres and believe they are not out of line.

Who is covered by the Related Persons fee category?

Related persons refers to alumni, retired staff and partners of Oxford university staff.

What is the fee for Visiting and Recognised Students?

The fee is student fee. We charge the same student fee for Matriculated, Visiting and Recognised students of Oxford University and its colleges.

How do I enrol on a programme organised specifically for my department/college?

Please contact your departmental or college course administrator.

Who will my tutor be?

Our tutors are specialists in Academic English.

What times are the classes?

Classes run from 09.00 to 19.00 Monday to Friday.

Where is the Language Centre?

We are at 12 Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6HT. Please see https://www.lang.ox.ac.uk/contact-or-visit-us for more information.

Can I eat and drink at the Language Centre?

We provide water fountains and cups, but please bring your own water bottle to be environmentally friendly. There is no other drinks or food available to purchase. You are welcome to consume your own food and drink in the seating in the open area on the ground floor, but we ask that only water in sealed containers is taken into the classrooms.

Do you have wifi?

Yes, we are in an Eduroam zone.

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