Sussex Centre for Language Studies

English language electives for undergraduate degrees

The elective scheme is part of Sussex's interdisciplinary approach to teaching, and allows you an element of choice in customising your degree.

Most single-honours subjects across the arts, sciences and social sciences are offering electives, exceptions being where professional-body requirements do not provide sufficient space within the curriculum (e.g. law, accountancy, engineering ...). Under the electives system, you can spend 25 per cent of your study time each year studying a subject different to your major discipline. The electives below are offered as free-standing modules.

English in Academic Contexts

The module is designed to enable you to further improve your language, and to provide further practice and development in your academic skills. In the language component, you will extend your range of vocabulary and grammar structures. In the academic skills component, you will work on tasks to develop your written and oral communication skills within the context of your own discipline.

Please note this is not the LAAP (Language Accuracy and Academic Practice) course for referred students.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, successful students will be able to:

  • communicate effectively and independently in an academic context both orally and in writing;
  • make use of appropriate learning resources to help improve independent learning strategies;
  • identify and make appropriate use of register and the conventions of politeness as expressed through language, and better focus on accuracy in grammar and lexis in terms of proof reading and monitoring own language;
  • produce written texts of various types, develop an argument, describe or recount events and observe the conventions of the genre within which they are writing.

Teaching and Learning

Students on this course will be taught in weekly seminars. The course is a language development module with some focus on academic content. Formative feedback on academic speaking and writing is an integral part of the course. In order to receive the benefit of formative feedback on writing, students should meet the interim deadlines set by the tutor. Students will also be expected to read outside class time and undertake independent language study and practice outside of class time in order to progress in their communication and academic skills. Students' work will involve formative assessment with feedback on the accuracy and appropriacy of the English used and their awareness of the conventions requirements of different types of academic communication.

Communication in the Workplace

This module offers training in all the communication skills required to undertake academic business and professional studies and to participate or interact in business and other working environments. It will focus on the extended reading and writing skills required in essays, reports, assignments, and general business and professional communication. It will also offer training in the listening and speaking skills required to understand and contribute to seminars, tutorials and lectures on business and professional subjects and to prepare students for oral communication in business and professional practice, at an intermediate or post-intermediate level of English language competence.

This module is offered at intermediate level in the autumn term only, and at post-intermediate level in the spring term only.

Module learning outcomes

  • deal effectively with the reading and writing requirements of business and professional academic courses, including engaging in critical reading of relevant secondary sources, and developing well-structured and coherent written arguments at an advanced level of linguistic competence (Common European Framework of Reference, Level C1).
  • interpret and analyse extended texts (spoken or written) typically found in business and professional environments or courses.
  • create business and professional texts containing genre-specific language, at an advanced level of linguistic competence (CEFR Level C1), and showing awareness of cultural features.
  • present, discuss and summarise and discuss business-related information and issues in academic settings and professional speech events, at an advanced level of linguistic competence (CEFR Level C1).