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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Literature, Languages and Cultures

Undergraduate Course: English for Science, Technology and Medicine (ESTM) (LLLG07141)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits0 ECTS Credits0
SummaryEnglish for Science, Technology and Medicine (ESTM) is a six-week full-time course for international students aiming to develop their academic language and literacy in preparation for entry to postgraduate STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine) degree programmes at the university of Edinburgh, usually within the College of Science and Engineering or the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.
Course description 1) Academic Description

Key aims of ESTM are to develop and improve students' confidence along with their academic language and literacy skills to a sufficient level required to participate successfully in their future postgraduate STEMM programmes. It aims to raise awareness of what they should expect on their future programmes and provides opportunities to carry out in a supported environment academic tasks typically required across a range of master's programmes in STEMM subjects.

2) Outline Content

Following from the work in block one's English for General Academic Purposes (EGAP), students focus on more discipline-specific tasks and prepare for assessments that will permit you to enter your PG programmes.

Writing: guided work on Specialist Written Assignment; sessions on Annotated Bibliography and Discipline Specific Writing focused on some genres common in STEMM subjects.

Reading: engagement with and critical evaluation of specialist, discipline specific written sources, texts

Speaking: a range of opportunities to practise seminar and presentation skills involving research output in various formats.

Listening: academic lectures on STEMM-related topics delivered by University of Edinburgh subject specialists.

Much of the above will involve preparation & practice for the end-of-summer pre-sessional assessments in all four skills.

Introduction to living and studying in Edinburgh from speakers including Course Directors, Edinburgh University lecturers and students; exploring Edinburgh locations.

3) Student Learning Experience

ESTM provides extensive opportunities for working with peers, ELE teachers, University of Edinburgh students and academics. The course is a mix of lectures, self-study and classroom-based learning with intensive small group and whole class activities. Each student participates in small group and 1:1 tutorials with their class tutor to discuss their progress. Students receive written and spoken formative feedback from both tutors and peers; they also have ample opportunities for developing transferable skills and autonomous learning strategies.

In addition to the English for Academic Purposes elements of the course, there will also be lectures which provide information and advice on studying at Edinburgh, continuing to improve English, and an overview of services offered by the Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA).

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Please contact the School directly for a breakdown of Learning and Teaching Activities
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Reading-into-Writing

1400-word piece of source-based academic writing; choice of questions appropriate to students' disciplines. Students demonstrate their ability to combine reading and critically evaluating academic texts in their disciplines (ILO 1), with writing clearly and appropriately in genres common in their discipline, synthesizing and critically evaluating content from sources to create their argument (ILO 2). Reading and Writing aspects of this integrated task will be assessed through discrete and equally weighted elements of the criteria, and separate scores for each skill will be reported.

Formative feedback loops including both reading and writing tasks are built into the writing process. Formative stages include a draft plan and a sample paragraph, and a reading task in which students use a CRAAP analysis (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose) of source texts to evaluate potential sources for the assignment. Individual and group tutorials are scheduled for discussion of formative feedback.


A time-limited online test based on a recorded lecture in which students demonstrate their ability to understand and respond critically to academic lectures (ILO 3). The lecture recording is released online for a limited time, together with an editable test paper which students submit by a given deadline.


Through delivery of a short (7-8 minute) individual live oral presentation to their class group, and responding to audience questions / participating in a follow-up Question-and-Answer session, students demonstrate their ability to use clear and appropriate English to deliver an effective presentation in their disciplinary field and participate effectively in academic discussion (ILO 4).

Students need to meet their degree programme English Language requirements in all four components and overall in order to progress.
Feedback Informal feedback is given on language - spoken and written - in every class.

Spoken and written feedback from tutor and peers on formative speaking and writing tasks.

Progress is discussed in regular tutorials (small group tutorials and 1:1 tutorials).

Students also receive general feed-forward comments on their performance on the summative assessment of Reading-into- Writing.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Read academic texts in their discipline, making critical use of genre knowledge and strategies appropriate to their purpose
  2. Write clearly and appropriately in genres common in STEMM disciplines, synthesizing and critically evaluating content from sources to create their argument
  3. Understand and respond critically to academic lectures in STEMM disciplines
  4. Use clear and appropriate English to respond critically and contribute meaningfully to group discussions and deliver academic presentations in their disciplinary field
  5. Reflect on and make autonomous decisions regarding their learning.
Reading List
All the materials used for delivery of the course are provided electronically, and there is no need for students to buy any books. We will also give you advice on useful online resources. However, you may find the following publications helpful as additional resources for your studies:

Bottomley, J., 2015. Academic Writing for International Students of Science. Routledge.

Glasman-Deal, H., 2010. Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English. Imperial College Press.

Mariotta, M., 2018. Mastering
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Enquiry and lifelong learning; aspiration and personal development; outlook and engagement; research and enquiry; personal and intellectual autonomy; personal effectiveness; communication
Course organiserMr Kenneth Anderson
Tel: (0131 6)50 9424
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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