This module will familiarise you with principles and practice of current approaches and methods in teaching English for Academic Purposes. You will look at the development of EAP within the wider field of English for Specific Purposes. Needs analysis is a vital component of the course: understanding the range of needs that students have in studying at Higher Education and the key components that may be required in a particular context.

The key principles in EAP course design will be looked at as well as cross-cultural and intercultural issues in EAP. As part of this course you will examine the requirements of the most commonly accepted examinations for entry to tertiary level education and create tools for formative and summative progress assessment.

This module carries 30 credits.


" The NILE EAP course was delivered in a clear-cut and straightforward way, was directly related to practical applications in my work, and was rich with relevant insight from scholars in the field. No fluff, just effective learning and extensive interaction with brilliant classmates and tutors. "

Participant - 2020

Is this course for you?

Location: Online
Experience: Degree. language teaching experience
Language Level: B2/C1 or higher
Course dates:
15 January - 20 March 2024
8 April - 12 June 2024
16 September - 20 November 2024
Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma or MA awarded by University of Chichester
Course Length: 8 weeks (+ 1 week break)
Course fees: £1210
Minimum age: 18
Max class size: 18
Tutor-led and highly interactive
Live and asynchronous eLearning platforms
Specialist ELT eLibrary
Accredited by AQUEDUTO

Course content

The construction and use of needs analysis tools suitable to a particular context
The theoretical basis of current approaches and methods in teaching English for Academic Purposes, including cross-cultural and intercultural issues
The theoretical principles of discourse and genre analysis
How to apply these principles for the purposes of EAP materials and course design
How to carry out principled evaluations of a range of EAP materials
How to apply principles to the design of EAP courses and materials for a variety of purposes and contexts
EAP course design, including syllabus design, staffing, timetabling and resourcing
The balance between language and content in EAP
Review of EAP corpora
Key issues in assessment in EAP contexts and the design of appropriate assessment instruments

Assessment (written after completion of the course and supervised at distance by tutors): A portfolio (50%) containing TWO of the following three options

  1. An evaluation of an EAP coursebook for use with an identified target group.
  2. A detailed discourse/genre analysis, of an EAP text for use with a specified group of learners.
  3. EAP materials design for three hours of class time for a specified group of learners, plus a critical evaluation of their use in practice.

A main assignment (3,000 words) (50%): the principled design of an EAP course (maximum 4 weeks) for a specified target group.

" The materials selected were useful. There was a good mix of theory and practice. There is an extensive suggested reading list, but excerpts were provided. "

Participants - 2019

" It was very helpful to gain some perspective from others operating within different teaching contexts and cultures. "

Participant - 2019

Further Information

Online courses are broken down into individual units and activities, forming a clear structure. Tasks will be interactive, involving voice chat, forums and community walls, and they will utilize a range of multimedia including images, audio files and videos. Participants need a computer, a headset (with microphone) and an Internet connection. You can do much of the course on a tablet or mobile device, but will need a computer for certain activities.

All participants have access to NILE’s extensive ELT e-library and the NILE digital Tasks are interactive, involving live online sessions, forums and community walls, and utilise a range of multimedia including images, audio files and videos.

All NILE’s courses involve a significant element of English language improvement and/or development of language awareness.

MA Module Leader: Tom Sarney

Tom Sarney NILE

Tom Sarney has over 25 years working in education. He has worked in a variety of different countries and contexts as a teacher, trainer, teacher educator, materials and course designer, academic manager, and trainer of trainers.

Tom has a passion for learning and education, especially within the areas of tertiary EMI provision and in designing and implementing innovative approaches to teacher development. Tom is also an advocate of evidence-based teaching, and how evidence-based practice can be used to improve teacher efficacy and student learning.

Available dates:

Course dates Location Course length
16 September - 20 November 2024 Online 8 weeks