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The University of Southampton

HUMA6016 English for Masters Study (24 Weeks)

Module Overview

The overall objective is to prepare you for postgraduate study at the University of Southampton and increase your confidence as a user of academic English. You will develop your listening and speaking and reading and writing skills in English in an academic context. You will also work on developing interpersonal and intrapersonal skills useful for postgraduate study and gain a deeper understanding of the academic environment here, in the UK and at global level. You will also be able to apply skills covered on other modules (e.g. Critical and Contextual Thinking) to both your writing and speaking. The course is organised through a number of ‘themes’ related to postgraduate study, such as ‘Analysis’, ‘Discussion’ and ‘Research’ and within these there are integrated speaking and writing tasks. There is a specific focus on team work and group research projects which aims to train you in skills important both for postgraduate study and beyond. There is a focus on university life and study at the University of Southampton as the context for many of the projects and this should help you become fully familiarised with the academic environment in the UK before you begin your postgraduate programmes. 70% of the final assessment is based on a ‘portfolio’ of coursework submitted over both semesters. This means that you have several opportunities to increase your portfolio marks as you progress through the course. There is also a strong element of critical reflection and personal development integrated into the course. Throughout this course you are also encouraged to apply skills you are acquiring in the Critical and Contextual Thinking module.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • how academic texts are coherently constructed;
  • the relevant conventions followed in academic English (both written and spoken);
  • what is expected of a postgraduate student in Higher Education in the UK, especially in terms of your approach to studying and learning;
  • how to work effectively in a team;
  • how to reflect on your own performance and relate this to your personal development;
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • employ a range of general and academic English vocabulary appropriately;
  • apply a range of reading and listening strategies to a variety of academic text types;
  • take part effectively in discussions, seminars and tutorials in English;
  • prepare and deliver effective oral presentations using a variety of techniques;
  • understand the requirements of assignment tasks, prepare effective and appropriate written responses and reference according to academic conventions;
  • better understand your role as a postgraduate student in the academic community;
  • improve your interpersonal skills in English by working as a member of a team;
  • organise your study time effectively;
  • develop your ability to reflect critically on your academic progress.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • listen to, understand and take effective notes in lectures;
  • take part effectively in seminars and academic discussions, debates and tutorials;
  • deliver effective presentations in an academic context;
  • understand, summarise and critically evaluate academic reading texts;
  • plan and write effective academic essays and reports incorporating source material using appropriate referencing conventions and style;
  • critically reflect on your progress and develop as an autonomous learner.


The overall objective is to prepare you for postgraduate study at the University of Southampton. This module is structured around key concepts related to postgraduate study which serve as themes for the content of the course (e.g. Teamwork, Analysis, Discussion and Research). Each theme contains a variety of related reading, writing, listening and speaking tasks and activities, some individual projects and some that you will work on in groups. You will develop your language and study skills and increase your confidence as a user of academic English whilst at the same time becoming more familiar with various aspects of university life, both in the UK and in the wider, global context. This module will also encourage you to reflect critically on your own progress as you learn and work on your development as an autonomous learner.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods will include:- Seminar classes, lectures, workshops and tutorials. Learning activities will include:- Individual study (e.g. preparatory reading for a class, supplementary exercises on the VLE (virtual learning environment) Blackboard, group and pair work discussions and tasks, preparing presentations, group research projects and independent study (grammar/vocabulary exercises and short writing practice).

Preparation for scheduled sessions60
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Hewings, M. and McCarthy M (2012). Cambridge Academic English: An Integrated Skills Course for EAP – Student's book - Upper Intermediate. 

Hewings, M. and Thaine, C. (2012). Cambridge Academic English: An Integrated Skills Course for EAP – Student's book - Advanced. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1000 words) 15%
Exam  (120 minutes) 5%
Exam  (120 minutes) 10%
Group presentation 15%
Listening and note-taking task  (90 minutes) 5%
Listening and note-taking task  (90 minutes) 10%
Report  (1000 words) 15%
Seminar 15%
Writing  (500 words) 10%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay/report  (1000 words) 70%
Writing  (500 words) 30%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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