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Year Abroad Programme

Develop your English language skills and confidence to use appropriate language in an academic environment

Why choose this course?

  • Experience studying at a British university
  • Improve your scores on standardised tests of English proficiency such as IELTS, TOEFL or TOEIC
  • Enhance your intercultural communication skills.
Start Date: April each year

Duration: 9 months, April to December (equivalent to one full academic year)


Entry requirements:
English Language skills equivalent to at least IELTS 4.0 overall and with a minimum of 4.0 in each component. To confirm suitability of other English Language qualifications please contact our admissions team.

Applications and contact:

Tel: +44 (0)121 204 3171
Email: lss_april-year-abroad@aston.ac.uk

Our Year Abroad Programme offers nine months of academic English language studies for university undergraduates who have completed at least the first year of their degree. The students take 120 academic credits for their studies at Aston University which can count toward their degree at their home university.

The aim of the programme is to improve levels of English Language skills and the confidence to use English language skills and the confidence to use English in academic settings. Students have the opportunity to create a programme that reflects their own particular interests through elective modules that explore cultural aspects of life in the UK as well as developing vocational skills. After graduation, some students may choose to take up places in English-speaking universities around the world.

Induction Programme: April to May
Core modules totalling 10 credits

  » Induction Programme: April to May

This 10 credit module contributes to the overall purposes of the Developing Skills in Academic English (Kansai) programme, to support development of language skills and to encourage the use of such skills creatively and with increasing confidence, in ways that take risks linguistically.

Over the period of the programme, from April to December, students are expected to make periodic diary entries, recording those activities and experiences which they think to be of importance in their life at Aston and in an English-speaking world. Latterly, they are expected to use some part of these entries to write reflectively about those parts of their lives at Aston that were of most use in developing their language and other abilities. The diary entries can be in any form appropriate to the task; the reflective elements should follow the traditions of academic writing in the UK. The diary elements should comprise at least ten discrete, dated entries each of around 200 words; the reflective element should comprise some 1000 words, excluding quotations. 

Assessment is by means of a reflective diary (or blog) submitted at the end of the Programme, in December.

Pre-sessional Programme: May to September
Core modules totalling 50 credits
This module aims to develop both your linguistic knowledge and skills in order to raise your English language proficiency before starting an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study at Aston University. Emphasis is given to building on spoken and written accuracy, fluency and overall communicative ability within the context of a British university setting. In addition, the module helps to develop your knowledge of UK academic conventions, as well as your intercultural awareness. The classes have an integrated skills approach, with practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening, as well as some work on grammar and lexis.

Assessment: all to be completed at the end of a four week period
1-hour timed essay (30%)
15 minute group presentation (20%)
Coursework portfolio (50%)
This module is designed to further extend your linguistic understanding and skills in English language in preparation for an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study at Aston University. The classes have an integrated skills approach, with practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening, grammar and lexis. Students are required to complete practical tasks of an individual and group nature. As well as developing your knowledge of UK academic conventions, intercultural awareness and group working skills, a more intensive focus is put on applying the principles of independent learning, managing your own language learning more effectively and refining your basic research skills.

Assessment: all to be completed at the end of a four week period
1.5-hour class test of short answer questions (30%)
10 minute individual presentation (20%)
Individual reflective diary (50%)
This module offers an intensive development of all English language skills for academic purposes before starting an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study at Aston University. With practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening, grammar and lexis, classes are delivered with an integrated skills approach. An emphasis is given to developing your proficiency and knowledge of UK academic conventions for writing case study/laboratory/technical reports and using appropriate referencing systems effectively, as well as extending your understanding of the nature and features of short academic texts and lectures in English, including those related to your future academic discipline. In addition, this module helps you to develop your overall communicative ability and contribution to academic discussions, your group working skills and intercultural knowledge.

Assessment: all to be completed at the end of a four week period
2-hour timed case study/laboratory/technical report (30%)
15 minute paired speaking test (20%)
Coursework portfolio (50%)
This module aims to hone your linguistic competencies and skills in using English within an academic and professional context in order to meet the specific requirements of an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study at Aston. Classes have an integrated skills approach, with practice in reading, writing, speaking and listening, as well as work on grammar and lexis.

On completion of the module, you will have developed understanding in the nature and features of full-length academic written texts and lectures in English, including those related to your future academic discipline, and will be able to critically evaluate sources of information. You will have gained experience in producing cohesively and coherently written research proposals and research reports, and have built up your confidence in delivering effective individual presentations in English.

Assessment:
Individual research proposal of 600 words (week 3 of an 8 week period) (30%)
Individual research report of 2000 words (week 6 of an 8 week period) (50%)
10-minute individual research presentation (week 7 of an 8 week period) (20%)
Academic Term 1: October to December
Core modules totalling 30 credits:
The module will include an examination of cultural dimensions, verbal and non-verbal communication, barriers to intercultural communication, and intercultural competence when working in face to face and virtual teams of a multicultural nature. The module will also introduce international students to basic research concepts such as research design, primary and secondary research, quantitative and qualitative data, data analysis tools, and research ethics. This 10-credit module may be followed in either of the two Teaching Periods.

10-credit assessment: Individual research report in either Teaching Period. 1500 words (100%)

The module aims to prepare students for an IELTS test through work to develop English language skills as well as the strategies necessary to achieve the IELTS levels required for post-graduate work at an English-speaking university. Classes are designed to prepare students in all four skills – listening and speaking, reading and writing, as well as allowing time for considering important current events in the world as an aspect of producing appropriate IELTS essays. For more information on the speaking, listening, reading and writing skills requirements, please refer to the IELTS website: www.ielts.org  Most students follow this module for two Teaching Periods and gain 20 credits; 10 credits elements are available for ERASMUS and Exchange students in each Period.


10-credit assessment:
Two-hour reading and writing tests in each period (50%).
Individual speaking and listening tests in each period (50%).

Elective modules totalling 30 credits (3 modules):
The module aims to develop students’ understanding, fluency and communicative powers in English using ideas and language drawn from the business domain. Across the module, students will consider aspects of marketing, leadership, human resource management, operations and finance, using authentic texts and realistic case studies. Most students follow this module for two Teaching Periods and gain 20 credits; 10 credits elements are available for ERASMUS and Exchange students in each Period.   

10-credit assessment: Case-study task in Teaching Period 1 (100%).

The module is devised to help students understand a range of authentic materials in newspapers, journals and publicity materials that relate to the provision and experience of hospitality services. The module is coursebook based and includes the study of a range of academic and professional texts as they relate to the understanding and management of tourism services. The 10-credit module can be followed in Teaching Period 1 only.

10-credit assessment: Group academic presentation at the end of the Teaching Period - (100%)

The module requires the study of a number of contemporary English texts. Primary texts will consist of excerpts from contemporary literature chosen for what they reveal about British society as well as for their literary and cultural significance. The material will be organised thematically, sessions devoted to analysing work that provides insights into areas such as the British class system, immigration and multiculturalism, youth culture, education, British attitudes to sport, leisure and food, landscape and childhood. Most students follow this module for two Teaching Periods and gain 20 credits; 10 credits elements are available for ERASMUS and Exchange students in each Period.

10-credit assessment: 1000 word essay at end of Teaching Period 1 (100%).

The module deals with issues of current interest at the time when the module is delivered. Students will track these stories in newspapers and magazines. They will analyse the different presentations of single issues and seek to account for the differences through their study of the role, purpose and audience of the different types of printed media, including free and online newspapers. They will also analyse closely genres typically adopted in newspapers and magazines, and they will be given an opportunity to produce these genres themselves. Attention will be given to the concepts of objectivity and bias and how they are manifested. This 10—credit module is available in Teaching Period 1 only.

10-credit assessment: Working in groups, students will prepare a proposal for a 4-page newspaper and present their work in the form of a storyboard, which will include text and images. (100%)

The module covers a range of topics relating to the systems and institutions that shape life in Britain. Students explore how the people, history, geography, government, law, education, economy and other socio-political factors of Britain will influence the physical and psychological environment in which they will be living whilst studying in the United Kingdom. The module aims to develop students’ accuracy, fluency and overall communicative ability when using spoken and written English in a British university setting. In addition, the module helps students to develop their knowledge and understanding of UK systems and institutions. Most students follow this module for two Teaching Periods and gain 20 credits; 10 credits elements are available for ERASMUS and Exchange students in each Period. Most students follow this module for two Teaching Periods and gain 20 credits; 10 credits elements are available for ERASMUS and Exchange students in each Period. 
  

10-credit assessment:   1000 word essay at the end of Teaching Period 1 (100%).

In addition, suitably qualified undergraduate students may follow language modules from the University Wide Language Programme for an additional fee.

Modules are delivered by CELCA's team of qualified, experienced and dedicated staff. We use a variety of innovative and engaging teaching methods, which include lectures. seminars, tutorials and interactive workshops as well as private and small-group work. Students also have opportunities to meet other students informally, play games, make occasional visits and celebrate significant festivals.

Click here for a list of useful online resources that can help to develop your English language skills.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out through course work, assignments, formal oral presentations and written examinations and feedback is provided continuously throughout the programme. Students may choose to take optional proficiency tests, such as IELTS exam, for an additional fee at the Aston university IELTS Test Centre

Students who have earned 120 credits in total from both core and elective modules will be awarded the Certificate of Higher Education in Developing Skills in Academic English from Aston University which is a qualification recognised by universities across the UK. In addition, some undergraduate students may earn one academic year's worth of credits that are recognised by their home university. 

Student Profile

Student Profile

Norifumi Ichiyanagi

Kansai Year Abroad Programme, Japan

One of the key advantages for me is the variety of module options available. The course structure is very clear and expectations are high. This has given me the chance to expose myself to new learning experiences. I also found the focus on business in the first term very useful.

 
Pre-arrival Guide

Prepare for Success

Prepare for Success

The Prepare for Success website is aimed at international students with an IELTS level 5.0 or above.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research