Are you looking for help to improve your English language skills for writing assignments and taking part in seminars and lectures?

If the answer is 'Yes', this page explains what In-Sessional English (ISE) is and how it can help you.

To find out more about ISE, read the full article or watch this video.

To quickly review the modules on offer with ISE, scroll down to Table 1 and Table 2, below.

To book your place on an ISE module, click here.

To ask a question, email ise@port.ac.uk

 

What is "ISE"?
 

In Teaching Block 1 and again in Teaching Block 2 (or ‘in session’), the university offers a range of short, modules which show you how to develop your use of English for academic language and communication.

ISE Modules are aimed at students who have English as an additional, second, or foreign language.

Students who have English as their first language are welcome to join, but you may be advised to seek a course through academic skills (ASK) or a learning development tutor in their school or department (if you unsure which is best for you, please contact ise@port.ac.uk).

ISE modules:

  • focus on a particular form of academic language and communication (e.g. report-writing, reading critically, giving a presentation)
  • offer  10 (or 20) hours of instruction over  5 (or 10) weeks
  • can be taken by students from any faculty, school, or department on undergraduate, postgraduate, or exchange programs
  • are free of charge  to University of Portsmouth students

When you join an ISE module, you commit to one 2-hour seminar per week. (You may also be asked or advised to complete some additional tasks outside of the seminar as part of the module).

Students may only sign up for one ISE module at a time. However, there are up to four opportunities to take an ISE module each academic year (one or two in each Teaching Block).

For the academic year 2021-2022, some ISE modules will be offered online only, but others will take place on campus.

ISE modules are optional - therefore, they do not carry any credits. However, any module that you complete will be added to your student record.

To book your place on an ISE module, click here.

 

What are the registration and teaching dates for ISE?

 

Teaching Block 1

Teaching Block 2

TB1A

TB1B

TB2A

TB2B

Registration Period

(when you can book a place)

12 Sep 2021 - 8 Oct 2021

24 Oct 2021 - 15 Nov 2021

4 Jan 2022 - 31 Jan 2022

20 Feb 2022 - 14 Mar 2022

Teaching Period for 5-WEEK MODULES*

18 Oct 2021 - 26 Nov 2021

29 Nov 2021 - 21 Jan 2022

14 Feb 2022 - 25 Mar 2022

28 Mar 2022 - 13 May 2022

Teaching Period for 10-WEEK MODULES*

(Postgraduate students only)

18 Oct 2022 - 21 Jan 2022

14 Feb 2022 - 13 May 2022

*There are no classes during consolidation weeks or vacation weeks.

What ISE modules are on offer and which ISE module can I take?

There are 13 ISE modules to choose from.

Seven modules mostly focus on aspects of written language and communication (i.e. reading and/or writing for academic assignments) - see Table 1, below.

Another six modules mostly focus on aspects of spoken language and communication (i.e. speaking and listening) or a mix of both spoken and written language and communication - see Table 2, below.

The ISE Modules are described in the tables below.

If you have any questions about the modules, you can email ise@port.ac.uk.

To book your place on an ISE module, click here.

Table 1: ISE Modules with a focus on written language and communication
 

Module title

Short description

Module code

Developing an academic style: Introductory*

Available in: TB1A & TB2A.

Also Available online

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: suitable for students in all disciplines

  • Aim: To identify and use essential vocabulary, phrases, and sentence structures that are suitable for academic writing.

Intended for students with an IELTS writing score of up to 6.0.

M32100

Developing an academic style: Advanced*

Available in: TB1B & TB2B.

Also Available online

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: suitable for students in all disciplines

  • Aim: To develop a more advanced uses of vocabulary, phrases, and sentence structures that are suitable for academic writing.

Intended for students with an IELTS writing score of 6.0 and higher

M32099

Developing critical reading skills*

Available in: TB2A.

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: suitable for students in all disciplines

  • Aim: To develop strategies and skills for a deeper, more critical understanding of reading for assessments.

M32102

Developing effective paragraphs for communicating your ideas clearly*

Available in: TB1B & TB2B.

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: suitable for students in all disciplines

  • Aim: To recognise that effective paragraphs are essential for clear and effective academic writing.

M32103

Improving your academic English for dissertation and final report writing

Available in: TB1A, TB1B, TB2A & TB2B.

Also Available online.

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: For students in social sciences and business

  • Aim: To introduce undergraduate students to the structure and language needed for effective academic research reports.

For undergraduate and exchange students only

M32109

Language for scientific report writing*

Available in: TB1A, TB2A & TB2B.

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: For students in science, technology and engineering

  • Aim: To introduce students of science, technology, and engineering of the structure and language needed for effective academic written assessments.

M32110

Writing a postgraduate dissertation*

Available in: TB1 & TB2 (10 week module).

Also Available online

  • Duration: 20 hours over 10 weeks

  • Discipline: most suitable for students in arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and law

  • Aim: To develop the language and skills postgraduate students need for organising and writing effective dissertations.

For postgraduate students only

M32127

*Please note that students on the following programmes are recommended to take academic language and communication modules designed for their degree courses / departments:

  • MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL
  • MA Business Communication for International Leadership
  • MSc engineering degrees in the School of Energy and Electronic Engineering (SENE), and the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering (SMDE)
  • PGCE Trainees (Upper Secondary and Further Education)

Ask your department for more information about these modules or email ise@port.ac.uk.

Table 2: ISE Modules with a focus on spoken and/or written language and communication
 

Module title

Short description

Module code

Communicating ideas visually and verbally

Available in: TB1A & TB2A.

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: most suitable for students in arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and law

  • Aim: To develop language and skills for describing visuals (e.g. photos, food packaging, fashion design) in speech and writing.

M32098

Developing an ear for English: Understanding pronunciation

Available in: TB1B.

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: suitable for students in all disciplines

  • Aim: To identify features of fast and fluent English speech to improve understanding

M32101

Developing language for presentation, seminar and group work*

Available in: TB1A, TB1B & TB2B. Also available online

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: For students in arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and law

  • Aim: To develop effective spoken communication in a range of academic settings

M32104

Developing scientific language for presentation, seminar and group work*

Available in: TB1A, TB1B & TB2B.

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: For students in science, technology and engineering

  • Aim: To develop effective spoken communication in a range of academic settings

M32105

From taking notes to writing assignments*

Available in: TB1A & TB2A.

Also Available online

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: most suitable for students in arts, humanities, social sciences, business, and law

  • Aim: To develop skills and strategies for taking, organising, storing, and using notes effectively

M32108

Using Business vocabulary

Available in: TB1A & TB1B.

  • Duration: 10 hours over 5 weeks

  • Discipline: For students in business, economics, finance and accounting

  • Aim: To develop and expand knowledge of vocabulary for communicating in the workplace and academic business writing

M32112

*Please note that students on the following programmes are recommended to take academic language and communication modules designed for their degree courses / departments:

  • MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL
  • MA Business Communication for International Leadership
  • MSc engineering degrees in the School of Energy and Electronic Engineering (SENE), and the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering (SMDE)
  • PGCE Trainees (Upper Secondary and Further Education)

Ask your department for more information about these modules or email ise@port.ac.uk.

 

How do I join an ISE module?

To book your place on an ISE module, click here.

Note that you may not always be able to get your first choice of module. If that happens, we will try to offer you your second choice (if that is available) or find an alternative for you.

If you have any questions about the modules, you can email ise@port.ac.uk.