April Year Abroad

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

Location: Aston University

Course type

Course format

No placements


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

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course information and outline

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.

Course outline

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 academic skills. After graduation, some students may choose to take up places in English-speaking universities around the world.

Subject guide and modules

Pre-sessional Programme: April to September Core modules totalling 60 credits:

English Language Development

This module aims to develop your linguistic knowledge and skills in order to raise your general academic English language ability in preparation for an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study. Emphasis is also put on the awareness of UK academic conventions as well as on applying the principles of independent learning and managing your own language learning effectively.

Using English in Specific Academic Contexts

This module offers an intensive development of all English language skills for subject-specific academic purposes before starting an undergraduate or postgraduate programme of study. An emphasis will be given to developing your knowledge of UK academic conventions, building up confidence in delivering presentations and contributing to academic discussions as well as producing research proposals and research projects.

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

IELTS Preparation

The module aims to prepare students for Academic IELTS tests and applications for academic programmes in the English-speaking world with confidence. It will also assist them in satisfying the language criteria necessary for obtaining a UK visa.

Life and Academic Study in Britain

The module aims to prepare students for academic work in an English-speaking university. It draws content from various aspects of British culture, history and tradition. Students will study all four language skills, in particular writing and presenting in academic context so as to successfully complete their programme and be ready for post-graduate study in Britain or a university where English is a language of instruction.

Communication Skills for Business

The module aims to enable students to consolidate and improve their skills in written and oral communication in relation to various business topics closely related to those studied at Business Schools and employed in business-related environments. The skills engendered by the module will also enhance students' preparation for effective participation in a professional placement or other work-like situations including communication with non-academic audiences. Finally, students will be able to use transferable academic skills in other general academic contexts and their future research.

British Society through Film and Television

The module aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of British society through the application of critical analysis techniques to British cinema and television. Throughout the module, there will be a focus on improving oral and written expression.

Advanced Grammar and Vocabulary

The aims of the module are to enable students to enhance their understanding of English grammar and expand their vocabulary through independent and group work in order to achieve level CEFR Grade C1/Cambridge English Advanced (CEA) grade.

Alternative optional modules

Students who perform well in the core modules may be able to substitute up to 30 credits of the optional modules for undergraduate modules offered by the College of Business and Social Sciences. An indicative list of these undergraduate modules is below:

  • Introduction to the European Union
  • Social Issues
  • Identities and Inequalities I
  • Global Society
  • Welfare States & Welfare Change
  • Introduction to Organisational Behaviour
  • Introduction to Marketing Management
  • Literary Genres in English
  • English Language Across Time and Space
  • Introduction to Linguistics

Learning, teaching and assessment

A team of well-qualified and experienced staff delivers CELCA's modules. We use a variety of innovative and engaging teaching methods, including lectures. seminars, tutorials and interactive workshops along with private and small-group work. Students also have opportunities to meet other students informally, play games, make occasional visits and celebrate significant festivals.

View 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 who have earned 120 credits in total from both core and elective modules will be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education in Developing Skills in Academic English from Aston University, which is a qualification recognised by universities across the UK. Undergraduate students from partner universities may be able to transfer academic credits earned at Aston University to their home university.

Applications and contact

Tel: +44 (0)121 204 5235

Email: CELCA