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Our writing courses for PhD students are designed to give you the support you may need at different stages of your research

Term dates 2018-19

Autumn term
Monday 22 Oct-Friday 14 Dec
Spring term
Monday 21 Jan-Friday 15 Mar
Summer term
Monday 29 Apr-Friday 21 Jun
Vacation term
Monday 8 Jul-Friday 30 Aug

Registration

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The following courses are available to students completing their PhD in full at Imperial College London. If you are a visiting PhD student, please go to our academic staff webpage.

Preparation for Academic Writing, Academic Writing 1 and Academic Writing 2 are early-stage courses which provide the foundations needed for clear, accurate and appropriate communication and the language functions needed to write the ESA report.

Academic Writing 1&2 (condensed) is a faster-track, slightly higher level course for students who feel they still need to develop their academic language and skills in the period prior to the ESA.

Students with a higher level of proficiency can join Advanced Academic Writing and Writing a Research Paper to hone their language and skills for the thesis and for publication.

All writing courses are offered in the autumn, spring and summer terms, and some during the vacation period.

We recommend students register for only 1 writing course per term to enable as many students as possible to be given a place on a course.

1ST YEAR PHD COURSES

For students scoring level 1 or level 2 on EA1:

Preparation for Academic Writing (for 1st-year PhD students)

This 8-week course (2 hours a week) is designed for first-year PhD students scoring level 1 on EA1 or those that have low writing scores, and reviews and consolidates the basic and important grammar and sentence structures needed for science communication. This course precedes Academic Writing 1 and Academic Writing 2. Students on this course are also strongly recommended to attend the Communicating Science Successfully sessions.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE COURSE TIMETABLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER

Academic Writing 1 (for 1st-year PhD students)

This 8-week course (2 hours a week) is for first-year PhD students scoring level 2 on EA1. The course focuses on some of the main features of formal scientific writing at PhD level, including academic style, vocabulary, and text organisation. Writing tasks include work on paragraph organisation, writing definitions and structuring introductions. Students on this course are also strongly recommended to attend the Communicating Science Successfully sessions.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE COURSE TIMETABLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER

Academic Writing 2 (for 1st-year PhD students)

This is the follow-on course for first-year PhD students who have completed Academic Writing 1. The course develops and improves the range and accuracy of the students’ writing by focusing on key aspects of scientific writing. These include setting out research aims and background, describing and evaluating procedures, referring to the literature, as well as the key functions needed to write the ESA report.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE COURSE TIMETABLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER

For students scoring level 3 on EA1:

Academic Writing 1&2, Condensed (for 1st-year PhD students)

This 8-week course (2 hours a week) is a fast-track course only offered to first-year PhD students scoring level 3 on EA1, and should be taken within the first nine months of the PhD – i.e. before the ESA. Although they are not reassessed at the ESA point, most students within this percentage range would benefit from continued language study after the ESA.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE COURSE TIMETABLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER

For students scoring level 4 on EA1 or exempted students:

Advanced Academic Writing

This course is suitable for those who have a high level of proficiency, have met the Imperial College London PhD Academic English Requirement and are currently (or who will soon be) engaged in writing. The course focuses on clear and unambiguous written communication of science at research level. The aim is to further improve accuracy and write according to the style and language conventions of science research writing. This course is also good preparation for the Writing a Research Paper course.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE COURSE TIMETABLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER

Writing a Research Paper

This is a high-level course focusing on writing a research paper for publication. It is therefore suitable for those who have a high level of proficiency, have met the Imperial College London PhD Academic English Requirement and are writing (or about to write) a research paper for publication. Language and structural patterns are collected from the Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion and Conclusion sections of relevant research papers to create effective writing models. Students usually take this course after completing the Advanced Academic Writing course.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE COURSE TIMETABLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER

2ND AND 3RD YEAR PHD COURSES

For students scoring level 1 or 2 on EA2:

Improving Academic Writing

This course focuses on consolidating the information in the previous writing courses and boosting the student’s progress.  The goal is to give students the tools to identify and correct for themselves repeated errors and issues in their own work. Course materials and tasks include language input for redrafting sections of the ESA report, the student’s current writing and generic tasks. The course also involves round-table supported writing to enable students to take charge of their own writing development.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE COURSE TIMETABLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER

For students scoring level 4 on EA1, exempted students or those scoring level 3 or 4 on EA2

Advanced Academic Writing

This course is suitable for those who have a high level of proficiency, have met the Imperial College London PhD Academic English Requirement and are currently (or who will soon be) engaged in writing. The course focuses on clear and unambiguous written communication of science at research level. The aim is to further improve accuracy and write according to the style and language conventions of science research writing. This course is also good preparation for the Writing a Research Paper course.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE COURSE TIMETABLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER

Writing a Research Paper

This is a high-level course focusing on writing a research paper for publication. It is therefore suitable for those who have a high level of proficiency, have met the Imperial College London PhD Academic English Requirement and are writing (or about to write) a research paper for publication. Language and structural patterns are collected from the Abstract, Introduction, Method, Results, Discussion and Conclusion sections of relevant research papers to create effective writing models. Students usually take this course after completing the Advanced Academic Writing course.

TAKE A LOOK AT THE COURSE TIMETABLE AND FIND OUT HOW TO REGISTER

For 3rd-year PhD students at the writing-up stage:

Global Postgraduate Retreat: Thesis Writing

These newly introduced writing retreats, jointly run by the Graduate School and the Centre for Academic English, provide a focused opportunity for attendees to make major advances in writing their thesis in a supportive environment that will enhance subsequent productivity. Over the two days, participants have the opportunity to complete a significant piece of writing, gain new perspectives on their attitude and approach to writing, and review their writing habits in order to become more effective writers.

During the retreat, there is plenty of time set aside for writing. Participants can also attend a range of short talks on specific writing issues and areas such as maintaining motivation. Graduate School and Centre for Academic English tutors  are available for one-to-one support throughout the retreat. These meetings are focused on generating solutions to writing problems, assisting in developing drafts, and providing feedback on writing-in-progress.

The retreats are open to doctoral research students who are aiming to submit within a year of the retreat date.  If you would like to join a retreat, please register through the Graduate School here.