UK Year Abroad (UKYA)

IYA Banner

Improve your language skill and confidence to use English in academic settings."

Entry requirements

UKVI approved IELTS test with English Language skills of at least IELTS 4.0 overall and with a minimum of 4.0 in each component. 

Develop your English language skills and confidence to use appropriate language in an academic environment.
You will study at one of the UK's leading universities on our friendly, green campus situated in Britain's second city.
Enhance your intercultural communication skills.
Improve your scores on standardised tests of English proficiency such as IELTS.
Learn from highly qualified staff with broad teaching experience.
Start Date: April each year

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

Entry requirements:
UKVI approved IELTS test with English Language skills of at least IELTS 4.0 overall and with a minimum of 4.0 in each component. 

Applications and contact:

Tel: +44 (0)121 204 5235
Email: CELCA_programmes@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 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.

For more information about the modules in each stage of the programme, click the module titles below.

Induction Programme: April to May
Core module, 10 credits

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.

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 programmes 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. 
This module offers an intensive development of all English language skills for academic purposes before starting academic programmes 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.
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.

Academic Term 1: September to January
Optional modules totalling 60 credits, such as:

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. 
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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. 
In addition, students who score an average of 60% on the Presessional Modules may be able to substitute up to 30 credits from a selection of first year undergraduate modules from the School of Languages and Social Sciences, subject to approval.

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 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. 

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.