Academic Literacy & University Culture Programme

Join a 4 week full-time introduction to life as a student at the University of Sheffield in August 2024, purposefully designed to familiarise you with academic methodology and British university culture, providing a head-start before you begin your degree programme in September 2024.

A photograph of several students walking on the concourse outside the University of Sheffield Students Union building with the words Academic Literacy and University Culture programme written over it

Course Overview

  • Who: Anyone preparing to study a degree at The University of Sheffield
  • Cost: £1836 (£459 per week) in 2023-24 - includes all tuition and course material
  • Level: CEFR B2 to C1
  • Hours: 15 hrs + 20 minute tutorial per week
  • Time: August 19 to September 13 2024
  • Minimum age: Adult learning environment. Minimum age 18 years (some exceptions considered).
  • Maximum class size: 16 students
  • Social programme: A combination of in-person and some online activities are available
  • Apply: Apply Now

Our unique 4 week Academic Literacy and University Culture programme is designed to give incoming University of Sheffield students the best possible start to life in the city and will equip you with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to succeed on your degree course.

Feedback from previous students and teaching staff indicates that many students who arrive in induction week shortly before the start of their degree programme struggle to adapt to British university culture and academic conventions quickly. Conversely, our experience has shown that students who arrive further in advance really benefit from familiarising themselves with life in Sheffield, allowing them to flourish throughout their time at the university. 

We’ve created this programme to help you gain a comprehensive understanding of Sheffield facilities and resources, so you can fully realise what the city and university has to offer. In addition to familiarising you with the city, our tutors will assist you with developing key study skills such as independent learning, critical thinking, and research capabilities which will aid you throughout your academic journey.

Course Content

This is a varied programme which concentrates on familiarisation with and understanding of academic life. By joining the programme you will:

  • Become aware of academic conventions at the University of Sheffield
  • Learn and practise how to communicate effectively in seminars and while delivering academic presentations
  • Understand how to read academic texts extensively and purposefully
  • Learn about the style of writing used in your academic department
  • Use material that is specific to your academic department
  • Be taught how to understand assignment briefs and assessment criteria
  • Receive formative feedback that will help you in your future studies
  • Have personalised tutorials with your tutor to discuss your progress
  • Meet academics from your academic department and faculty
  • Discover more about the wide range of English language support available to you throughout your academic studies
  • Give your career at University of Sheffield the best possible start

Assessment and Progression

During the programme you'll take a number of assessments designed to emulate the assessment methods used on degree programmes in your academic department. Assessments on the Academic Literacy and University Culture programme in Summer 2024 will be in the following format:

Writing Task - You will undertake a literature search and find sources that to group together to answer the assessment question. The written task will help you develop your research and critical writing skills. It is similar to carrying out a literature review which is something you will be expected to carry out during your academic course.

Seminar Task - A group seminar of 25 to 30 minutes based on a lecture. You will watch a lecture, take notes and then use these notes in an assessed group discussion.

Presentation Task - You will work together with another student to write and present a 5 to 7 minute presentation after researching an academic in your department or faculty.

Our tutors will provide you with feedback on each assessment and offer advice on areas of strength and weakness so you can perform at your best when assessed throughout your academic course.

Progression to University

After completing the Academic Literacy & University Culture programme you will be able to progress directly onto your degree course at the University. If you attend this programme using a separate Student Visa we will be able to provide you with advice on extending your visa between completing the Academic Literacy & University Culture programme and beginning your academic course.

Course Dates and Example Timetable

This is a full-time programme taking place between Monday August 19 and Friday September 13 2024. The programme includes 15 hours of taught lessons, plus an individual 20 minute tutorial on one afternoon each week.

Example Timetable - Summer 2024

Please note these are example times and may be subject to change before or during the course.

All times are UK local time (BST)


09:15 - 10:45 - Lesson 1

11:15 - 12:45 - Lesson 2 


09:15 - 10:45 - Lesson 1

11:15 - 12:45 - Lesson 2


09:15 - 10:45 - Lesson 1

11:15 - 12:45 - Lesson 2


09:15 - 10:45 - Lesson 1

11:15 - 12:45 - Lesson 2


09:15 - 10:45 - Lesson 1

11:15 - 12:45 - Lesson 2


You will have a personal tutor assigned to you who you will meet regularly to discuss your work and progress on the course. These tutorials will typically take place on one afternoon each week at a time between 2:00 - 3.00pm.

Guided Independent Study

There will typically be 60 minutes per day of required guided independent study, including readings, lectures, language practice activities, writing tasks and preparation for speaking tasks.

Tuition Fees, Payment and Accommodation

Tuition Fees

The standard tuition fee for our Academic Literacy and University Culture programme in Summer 2024 is £1836 (£459 per week).

This fee includes:

  • All tuition and course materials
  • Course assessments
  • Regular 1 to 1 tutorials with your personal tutor
  • Individual feedback
  • Lectures by University of Sheffield academic staff
  • Access to online course materials and virtual learning environments
  • ELTC Student Exclusive Social Programme
  • Access to 24 hour Library and Computing facilities at The University of Sheffield
  • A UCard which you can use to access University facilities and discounts in some shops and on public transport
  • Membership to the No.1 Students' Union in the UK for six years running

How to pay

Paying your tuition fees is a crucial part of your registration at University.

For information on how to pay your tuition fee correctly, as well as the things you need to look out for, visit:

Information about your ELTC tuition fee

How to pay your tuition fees and important information 

We can also accept payments from sponsors:

Tuition Fees - Sponsored students


The programme tuition fee does not include accommodation or transportation costs. To discover the range of accommodation options and travel information we have for students joining our Summer programmes, please read our accommodation and travel information webpage.

Entry Requirements and Visa Information

Entry Requirements

This programme is for students who hold a conditional or unconditional offer to study a degree course beginning in September or October 2024 at The University of Sheffield which you have already met the English language requirements for in full. Further information about the programme entry requirements can be viewed on our Term 4 Entry Requirements webpage:

Term 4 (Summer 2024) Entry Requirements

Visa Information

If you hold an unconditional offer for your degree course then you can attend both the Academic Literacy and University Culture programme and your degree course on a single Student Visa obtained with a combined CAS. If you meet the eligibility requirements for a combined CAS then there are additional English language tests that we can accept. The following tests can be if you will be joining this programme using a combined CAS:

Accepted English Language Tests for combined CAS
  • Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) taken in the UK - SELT
  • Pearson Test of English Academic UKVI (PTE Academic) - SELT
  • LanguageCert International ESOL - SELT
  • IELTS (Academic)
  • IELTS Indicator (taken after July 2020)
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator or C1 Expert (online version)
  • Pearson PTE (non UKVI version)
  • Cambridge English C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency
  • TOEFL iBT and Special Home Edition
  • NCUK English Language Test

If you do not meet the requirements for a combined CAS, or have missed the deadline to request one, you must supply one of the 4 UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests shown below to join this programme.

If your academic course offer is still conditional but you have met the English language requirements in full (or miss the deadline for applying for a combined CAS) you can attend this programme using a Student Visa, which you can then extend in the UK after completing the Academic Literacy and University Culture programme, prior to beginning your academic course at the University of Sheffield. In order to do this you must provide a UKVI approved Secure English Language Test (SELT) at CEFR Level B1 or higher. The current list of SELTs we can accept is as follows:

Accepted Secure English Language Tests (SELTs) for non-combined CAS
  • IELTS for UKVI
  • Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) taken in the UK
  • Pearson Test of English Academic UKVI (PTE Academic) 
  • LanguageCert International ESOL SELT


To apply for our Academic Literacy and University Culture programme you need to submit your application through our online form. Before submitting your application please read and take note of the following information:


The final deadline for applying to the programme is Monday 22 July 2024 at 11:59pm (BST), 1 month before the course start date.

We recommend applying at least 6 weeks before the start of the course so you can complete the application process and obtain a visa if you need one.

Entry Requirements

Please check that you meet the entry requirements for this programme. See the 'Entry Requirements' section above for more information.

Supporting documents

You can find further information about how to complete an application to the Academic Literacy and University Culture programme on our how to apply webpage:

4 Week Academic Literacy and University Culture Programme (Summer 2024) - Apply NowPlease read our Terms and Conditions before submitting your application.

Information for Under 18s

Our courses are designed for adults. Applicants who are under 18 are subject to a number of restrictions and administrative procedures. 

The standard minimum age for our courses is 18 years. However, we will consider applications from applicants who are under 18 in some circumstances, and subject to satisfactory guardianship arrangements being in place. Please contact us for more information.

For further information on under 18s at the university please visit our "Students under the age of 18" webpage".

For more information on how we hold and process your personal data, please see the University's Privacy Notice for prospective, current and former students.

A global reputation

Sheffield is a research university with a global reputation for excellence. We're a member of the Russell Group: one of the 24 leading UK universities for research and teaching.