Academic Literacy: An Introduction (Online)


Studying at undergraduate level is an exciting and rewarding experience, but if you are new to higher education, or have not studied for some time, you may find it useful to brush up your reading, note-making and essay-writing skills, and to revisit the basic rules of punctuation and grammar. The course will teach you to:

  • improve your time management and organisational skills;
  • think critically about following instructions and assignment criteria;
  • identify and evaluate reliable sources;
  • use different reading techniques appropriately;
  • make notes effectively;
  • present a logical argument in an academic essay, taking account of your reader(s) and purpose(s);
  • plan and produce accurately referenced assignments.

This interactive course has been designed to provide you with the foundations of academic literacy, regardless of your discipline. Common issues in studying, academic writing and referencing are addressed, and you are provided with the opportunity to practise academic literacy skills through a range of activities.

This course does not teach English as a second language.

If English is not your first language then you will need one of the following qualifications: TOEFL 600, Computer Based TOEFL 250, Internet Based TOEFL 100, Cambridge CPE (grade C or above), or IELTS 7. Alternatively, you will need to explain why you believe your fluency in English is sufficient.

For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

Programme details

The course consists of ten units:

  • Essential Course Information
  • Research, reading and note-making
  • Referencing
  • How to approach your assignments
  • Structuring your essay
  • Presenting an argument
  • Academic register, objectivity and intelligibility
  • Refining essays
  • Reflective learning
  • Reviewing your work

The course is non-subject specific and draws on material from many subject disciplines. Each unit will require up to ten hours of study time. The duration of the course is ten weeks.


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online. If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to register and pay the £10 fee.

See more information on CATS point

Coursework is an integral part of all online courses and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Assignments are not graded but are marked either pass or fail.

All students who successfully complete this course, whether registered for credit or not, are eligible for a Certificate of Completion. Completion consists of submitting the final course assignment. Certificates will be available, online, for those who qualify after the course finishes.


Description Costs
Course Fee £324.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Mrs Billie Tweedy

Billie has taught in health care and education fields for the past seventeen years, for Abingdon & Witney College, Oxford Brookes and the University of Oxford. She has been teaching the online study skills course since 2010. 

Assessment methods

You will be set three pieces of work for the course. The first two, each of 500 words is are due part-way through your course. They do not count towards your final outcome but preparing for it, and the feedback you are given, will help you prepare for your assessed piece of work of 1,500 words due at the end of the course. The assessed work is marked pass or fail.

English Language Requirements

We do not insist that applicants hold an English language certification, but warn that they may be at a disadvantage if their language skills are not of a comparable level to those qualifications listed on our website. If you are confident in your proficiency, please feel free to enrol. For more information regarding English language requirements please follow this link:


Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

FHEQ level 4, 10 weeks, approx 10 hours per week, therefore a total of about 100 study hours.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.