Credit points


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Academic English 2 or equivalent

Unit rationale, description and aim

Students need to feel confident that they understand what it is to be part of the academic community at university and understand that competency in study skills is an important requirement for academic success. However, it is also important that students are provided with strategies to help them should they fail. Students need to have realistic expectations of the challenges of studying in a university environment and need to be provided with opportunities and strategies to help them think critically and move forward when encountering difficulties.

This unit is designed to further develop the tertiary literacy skills that are required for undergraduate study. There will be an emphasis on understanding solutions to commonly experienced problems in undergraduate study. The unit will also help students to understand and apply appropriate research and referencing conventions in their work and to ensure that they have the linguistic capabilities necessary for undergraduate study.

The aim of this unit is to build on the knowledge and skills attained in Academic English 2 and to further develop understanding and accuracy in academic English expression. It also aims to facilitate students understanding and expectations of academic study in undergraduate programs. It aims to develop students' understanding of potential issues that might arise, and develop their understanding and awareness of support networks that are available to assist them.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Demonstrate an appropriate level of English language proficiency, across a range of skills and tasks, to commence undergraduate studies. (GA9).

LO2 - Differentiate between a variety of academic genres and apply appropriate language and conventions for communicating within them. (GA9). 

LO3 - Demonstrate understanding of research strategies and referencing conventions and be able to apply them to specific tasks. (GA8, GA 9). 

LO4 - Apply independent study skills in order to solve problems and facilitate personal development and learning. (GA6, GA9 GA10). 

LO5 - Work cohesively in a group utilising effective organizational and collaborative skills. (GA7, GA9)). 

Graduate attributes

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • Case study analysis 
  • How to work effectively as part of a group 
  • How to give an academic presentation 
  • Understanding university support services for students 
  • Effective research skills 
  • Integration and synthesis of sources into written work 
  • Review and development of essay writing techniques. 
  • Review and further development of grammatical range accuracy 
  • Improved use of appropriate lexis in an academic context.  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: Workshops on Campus. 12 hours per week.  

Duration: 10-week Term  

This unit consists of 120 teaching hours across 10 weeks of study. Where possible the classroom will be flipped, with students receiving information through various formats including online lectures, readings and homework research projects that will be explored and developed within subsequent workshops. Students will be expected to collaborate with their peers on project- based learning both inside and outside of the classroom.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment tasks build on skills developed in Academic English 2. The assessment tasks are designed to encourage students to engage not only with the content of the unit curriculum, but also with the university as an institution.  

The case study analysis allows students to critically analyse, research and present on a key issue and to be exposed to a range of issues and solutions through peer presentations.  

The research task builds on the guided essay from Academic English 2. In this assignment students will be provided with support but will be encouraged to practice independent research skills.  

The final examination will incorporate elements of the tertiary literacy skills taught throughout the course, while also ensuring that students’ real-time language skills are at an appropriate level to commence their undergraduate course.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Case Study Analysis and Presentation 

Students investigate solutions to, and support systems for, common problems faced by students in first year university study. Investigations could include analysis of ACU web pages, ACU social media, LEO and interviews with staff and students. Students will present their findings as a problem-solution oral presentation. 


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10, 

Research Task  

Students will be guided through a research essay on a topic related to undergraduate study. Students will be expected to demonstrate planning and drafting as well as effective research and referencing, and correct essay structure, style and language. 



LO 1, LO3, LO4 

GA6, GA8, GA9, GA10 


The exam is designed for students to demonstrate their level of academic language proficiency and understanding of the academic strategies and research and referencing skills covered during the term.  


LO1, LO2 ,LO3 

GA8, GA9 

Representative texts and references

ACU Study Guide – accessed through LEO.  

Grix, J., & Watkins, G. (2010). Information skills: Finding and using the right resources. London, UK: Palgrace Macmillan 

Hopkins, D., & Reid, T. (2018). The academic communication skills handbook. London, UK: Sage Study Skills 

Thomson, E., & Droga, L. (2012). Effective academic writing: An essay-writing workbook for school and university. Putney; NSW: Phoenix Education. 

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