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Unit information: English Language and Academic Skills for Aspiring Clinicians in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name English Language and Academic Skills for Aspiring Clinicians
Unit code LANG00030
Credit points 20
Level of study QCA-3
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Ms. Katherine High
Open unit status Not open

IELTS 7.0 overall and attainment of academic requirements for entry into the programme.


Enrolment on, and engagement with, the following units:

  • Foundations of Chemistry; 40 credit points; CHEM00001
  • Foundations in Biomedical Sciences; 20 credit points; MVSF00001
  • Personal and Professional Development (International Foundation); 20 credit points; ORDS????? - NEW
School/department Centre for Academic Language and Development
Faculty Faculty of Arts


English language and academic skills for aspiring clinicians is a 20 credit unit within the International Foundation Programme for Medicine and Dentistry. It aims to complement the Personal and Professional Development unit within the programme.

Through an explicit focus on the changes in communication brought about by genre and mode switching, the unit’s overall aims are to develop the following:

  • Academic literacies: concerned with students’ socialisation into the institution, discipline and subject-based discourses and genres
  • Textual competence: concerned with students’ ability to master the linguistic code and to use textual, contextual and pragmatic knowledge to interpret and construct texts
  • Social and cultural competence: concerned with the ability to identify, interpret, shift between, and exploit repertoires of professional workplace genres and modes in order to participate effectively in the activities of a specific professional community

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Awareness of the impact of the audience and purpose on choices of content, organisation and language
  2. Ability to compare and contrast features (linguistic and structural) of different genres (both written and spoken)
  3. Ability to switch genre
  4. An awareness of spoken and written language and discourse competence sufficient for effective communication in a University environment

Teaching details

Students on this unit will attend 4 hours of study per week. There will be 2 lessons of two academic hours per week. Learning is facilitated in group classroom sessions (12-18). Individual and group-based work is integrated as appropriate. Close reference is made to the Personal and Professional Development (International Foundation) unit, and student experiences therein, including self-reflection. In addition to a range of textbooks and authentic texts, use will be made of appropriate e-learning technologies for self-study and self-assessment as well as work in class.

Assessment Details

Formative assessments will include:

Weekly submitted written assignments with feedback, and regular feedback on oral communication skills.

Summative assessments will include:

1. Comparative analysis essay of 2 pieces of work (ILO 1, 2, 4)

Word Count: 1,500

Weighting: 50%

This will draw on work done in the Personal and Professional Development unit.

2. Re-purposing (genre-switching) of 1 piece of work (ILO1, 3, 4)

Word Count: 1000

Weighting: 50%

This will draw on work done in the Personal and Professional Development unit.

Reading and References

• Authentic materials taken from the PPD unit
• Caplan, N. (2012) Grammar choices of graduate and professional writers. Michigan: University of Michigan
• Bailey, S. (2011). Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students. Abingdon: Routledge.
• Millican P, Heritage J. Studying Science, second edition: A guide to undergraduate success. 2nd ed. Lantern publishing. ISBN: 9781907904509