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Academic English Program

Students have been developing their academic English and preparing for further studies at Australian universities and colleges by taking UEC’s Academic English Program for over 30 years! That’s thousands of students, tens of thousands of research essays written and countless lives changed and study dreams achieved!

CRICOS Course Code: 095850E

start date

every 5 weeks

course length

10 to 40 weeks

course hours

22.5 hrs/week



start date

every 5 weeks

course length

10 to 40 weeks

course hours

22.5 hrs/week



What is this course about?

Students from around the world want to enroll with universities and colleges in English speaking countries, including Australia. To enroll, they first need to demonstrate their English language level is high enough for their course. For many, taking an exam like IELTS to do that just doesn’t work. For many, exams make them feel anxious and they don’t perform well. What’s worse is that exams like IELTS don’t prepare students for real study in English.

The Universal English College Academic English Program gives students an intensive program of study of the English knowledge and skills needed for study in Australia or another English-speaking country. The course also helps students develop the ‘academic literacies’ needed – note taking, research, writing reference lists and annotated bibliographies, participating in tutorials and lectures, and much more.

Students who successfully complete the Academic English Program won’t just have massively improved the English and academic skills though. More than 50 Australian institutions – universities and colleges – recognise Universal English College qualifications for direct entry to their courses. That means graduates won’t need to take IELTS to get entry into those courses.

What will you do each day?

Every day you’ll speak English with your classmates in pairs and small groups as well as with the whole class. You’ll do so many practice activities that give you a structured purpose to communicate. You’ll read and listen to a variety of articles and discussions, answer challenging comprehension style questions, discuss with classmates, and analyse the vocab and grammar so you can use it yourself.

Your teacher will help you learn a lot about grammar and massive amount of vocabulary and make sure you use it all. They’ll also help you improve your fluency and accuracy.

You will spend more time working on written English in Cambridge than in General English. You’ll learn how to construct a range of different text types, from letters and emails, to reports and articles.

You’ll work hard, but you’ll also laugh, learn, make friends, and build your confidence and skills. Once you’ve completed Cambridge, you’ll be so much more confident using your English in just about any situation.

Entry requirements


or equivalent or completion of the UEC General English Pre-Intermediate level


or equivalent or completion of the UEC General English Intermediate level


or equivalent or completion of the UEC General English Upper Intermediate level

student age

over 18 years

CRICOS Provider Code: 00053J

CRICOS Course Code: 095850E

What you will do each week?

Every week you will do different activities, study different topics and learn different things, but you will study at the same times. The table below shows a typical week.

Lesson and breakMonTueWedThursFri
Lesson 1Speaking in groups

Full class feedback

Sociological problems – civil rights and racial discrimination


Sociological problems


Peer feedback
Debate techniques

Debates about the best management styles
Classrooms Around the World

Feedback and error correction

Common Sociological Problems

Review of debate language and techniques
Lesson 2Listening and Note-taking

University lecture on Social Issues

Note-taking strategies
Listening and Note-taking
Phrasal verbs & idioms Game-based learning activity

Ted Talk on Solutions of Social Issues

Note-taking strategies
Reading Comprehension

Autocratic vs Democratic Management

Topic: “Future of Learning and Teaching”

Inferencing and context clues

Peer work
Topic: Future of Learning and Teaching

Argumentative essay writing

Referencing and citation
Lesson 3Writing
Essay writing

Summarising and paraphrasing

Group writing
Autonomous Learning

Tutorial discussions
Autonomous Learning

Note-taking and synthesizing
Autonomous Learning

(Independent Study Time)
Listening + speaking:
Topic: Applications of New Teaching Methodologies

Group discussions
Consultation15-minute 1-2-1 support sessions for personalised learning and assessment support15-minute 1-2-1 support sessions for personalised learning and assessment support15-minute 1-2-1 support sessions for personalised learning and assessment support

How you will benefit from this course

  • Develop your skills in researching and writing annotated bibliographies and essays in your field of study
  • Become skilled at delivering formal academic presentations in your area of expertise
  • Greatly improve your listening and reading for academic contexts relevant to your future studies
  • Develop crucial academic skills, including critical thinking, research, and tutorial participation.
  • Become confident at academic research as part of essay writing, presentation delivery, and lecture/tutorial preparation.
  • Improve your communication skills, intercultural awareness, and readiness to participate study groups
  • Become a skilled autonomous learner and confident using online learning platforms typical of the best Australian universities and colleges.

When you can study?

  • You can start the UEC Academic English Program at the start of each five-week module. Just choose the start that suits your future study plans.
  • Lessons are held five days a week, in the morning on Monday to Friday. There are no weekend or evening lessons.
  • You can enroll in Academic English Program for a minimum of 10 weeks and a maximum of 40 weeks. If you know the English language level required for your destination course, talk to us and we can help you with how long you should study to have the best chance of getting the score you need.

Who can take this course?

You must be at least 18 years old at the start of a course at UEC

To join the UEC Academic English Program, your English must be at least Intermediate level – the equivalent of an IELTS 4.5 test score. This means it is for students who can speak with some fluency and can manage academic topics. You will need to either complete the UEC placement test or provide evidence of another test that shows you are at this level.

How is the course delivered?

Like all the courses at UEC, the Academic English Program is all delivered via live lessons with up to 18 students and 1 teacher in a classroom at the UEC campus in the centre of Sydney. The lessons are very interactive – you will talk and learn with your classmates and the teacher in every lesson.

All classes are delivered face-to-face at the UEC Campus.

What learning materials are used in this course?

The UEC Academic English Program has a core book that is the basis of the learning activities. You will get a copy of the book to use and keep. When you change level, you’ll get a new book for that level too.

It will change from week to week and day to day, but normally about 80% of your lessons will be based on the book. Your teachers will also use other materials from other teaching resources and from the real world and sometimes they’ll design materials specifically to suit the needs of the lessons.

What you’ll need for this course?

You will need pens and pencils and note books to take notes in class every day.

All your lessons will utilise online resources so you should have your own laptop or tablet to access these resources. You can take the Academic English Program without your own laptop or tablet, but you will find a laptop or tablet makes it much easier and more effective to learn, especially as part of the program is based on online learning modules and you will use the online learning platform to submit some of your assessments.


The assessment system of the Academic English Program is extensive. As part of the course, you will do writing assessments, including a researched essay on your future field of study, a presentation assessment, a tutorial participation assessment, and reading and listening assessments.

Teachers also monitor students’ progress in Academic English Program course by observing them during lesson activities every day.

Prior learning

As the Academic English Program is for students who are at an intermediate level or higher, all students must have already done some study to join the course. UEC uses an online test to assess students’ English level before they can book an Academic English Program. If you have already done another test that shows you are at the right level you are welcome to send though those details and the Registrar will review this.


All students who study at UEC will get a certificate to show what course they studied and for how long and what level of English they achieved at the end of their studies.

Further study pathways

Students who successfully complete the Academic English Program can join the UEC Cambridge Exam Preparation course or the IELTS Preparation course. The level achieved by each student in Academic English Program will determine the level of Cambridge Exam Preparation they can enter.

UEC has been helping its graduates find and start courses at colleges and universities in Australia for more than 30 years. We have partnerships with more than 50 institutions that recognise UEC’s Academic English Program graduates and accepts them into courses with a UEC Academic English Program certificate instead of requiring the student to take an IELTS exam depending on the final Academic English Program grades achieved. For example, getting a Distinction in the 2nd level of Academic English Program will get you entry into many TAFE certificate and diploma courses; getting a Distinction in the 3rd level of Academic English Program will get you entry into many bachelor degree programs at universities.