Social Sciences

Academic English Preparatory Course (online)

September 2024

About this course

This online preparatory summer course helps you improve the Academic English skills you will need in the Bachelor Social-Economic Sciences and the Master Political Science. The course is a combination of online lessons and self-study activities focusing on useful strategies, tips and tricks and practice.

The course is a combination of 4 Academic English modules:​​

Academic Vocabulary

What makes a text sound academic is not only subject-specific vocabulary, but also general academic vocabulary, which is different from general vocabulary. Building up a large academic English lexicon takes some time. This session will give you some tips to expand your academic vocabulary faster.

The topics include:

  • formal versus informal language (e.g. get versus acquire)
  • synonyms (e.g. however and nevertheless)
  • prepositions (e.g. insight into, typical of)
  • typical collocations (e.g. a classic example of)

Academic Reading

This session will help you develop reading strategies to find and understand the information you need, which will accelerate the reading process.

The topics include:

  • Reading strategies to find
    • general info
    • specific info
  • Aspects that will help you understand text details:
    • linking phrases
    • difficult vocabulary
    • complex sentences
  • Tips on remembering relevant info from the text

Academic Listening

Listening is an important skill for university students as a lot of essential information is passed on through lectures and videos. In this session you’ll get tips on how to focus on the most important info, interpret the info correctly and use the lecture content for papers and exams.

The topics include:

  • Scanning for specific information
  • Skimming to get the gist
  • Deducing the meaning of unfamiliar words
  • Taking notes

Academic Writing

In this session you’ll learn the most important dos and don’ts of academic writing in English. You’ll be able to improve your papers using the course materials and extra online resources (dictionaries, lists of synonyms and phrases, practice websites, etc.).

The topics include:

  • Text and paragraph structure
  • The dos and don’ts of academic writing (e.g. use of passive versus active voice)
  • Using standard phrases (e.g. This paper explores the validity of …)
  • Using linking phrases

Register for this course

More information coming soon!

Online platform Get Started

The online platform Get Started offers free online self-study packs 'Academic English', 'English Grammar & Vocabulary' and 'Mathematics' with self-tests, study materials and exercises with feedback to prepare for the English-language Bachelor of Social-Economic Sciences. 

These packs will help you:

  • get a clear picture of the prior knowledge you are expected to have
  • ​test your prior knowledge
  • gain more prior knowledge
  • make a well-considered study choice


Faculty of Social Sciences