General studies

Teaching language


Type of course


Recommended year of study


Total number of ECTS

5 cr

Competency aims

The aim of the course is to develop aspects of English usage that can facilitate both academic study and professional duties.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is expected to be better able to communicate with fellow professionals on matters of common interest and to demonstrate competence in writing skills, especially regarding formal writing style for academic purposes, as well as in different professional contexts.

In the written language the student is expected to
- better understand more difficult professional literature through an enhanced command of special terminology and by using reading skills such as determining meaning from context, recognising links within a text, retrieving information, and making inferences
- write cohesive text which fulfils the requirements of academic writing and apply the principles citing sources.
- write a lab report
- be better able to produce clear prose for professional purposes ranging from describing the configuration of a piece of equipment or the stages of a technical process to writing a letter of application and related CV.
- prepare material using PowerPoint to support an oral presentation

In the spoken language the student is expected to be better able to
- use English in social situations and to transfer information in one-to-one situations - deliver a presentation to a wider audience
- listen to an English discourse in order to more effectively identify the general ideas expressed or to extract specific information.

Course contents

Effective communication.
A review of grammatical structures that are important in technical English such as language forms required for process and technical description, etc., dimensions and specifications. The study of selected literature in order to illustrate the use of such language forms in context as well as to enrich vocabulary and generate discussion. Introduction to business English, including reading a company publication such as an annual report, profiling a company and the documentation related to job applications.
Professional presentations.
Writing lab reports

Prerequisites and co-requisites

Entrance test in English

Previous course names


Additional information

Please enroll for the course in Itslearning.

Attendance to all classes is compulsory. Graded assignments are subject to deadlines and must be completed BEFORE the course closing date in ASTA (i.e. the end of the course).

Recommended or required reading

Study Writing - a course in writing skills for academic purposes. Hamp-Lyons & Heasley (Cambridge 2006 ISBN 0-521-53496-8)
Academic Writing for Graduate Students – Essential Tasks and Skills -A Course for Nonnative Speakers of English – John M. Swales & Christine B. Feak (The University of Michigan Press)
The Good Grammar Guide – Richard Palmer (Routledge Study Guides – Routledge)
The Meriam-Webster Concise Handbook for Writers (Merriam-Webster)
Handbook of Technical Writing – Alred, Brusaw, Oliu (St. Martins Press)
Effective Business Communications – Murphy, Hidebrandt & Thomas (McGraw-Hill)
Guide to Managerial Communication - Effective Business Writing and Speaking – Mary Munter (Prentice Hall)
Mastering Communication – Nicky Stanton (Macmillan Master Series)
Collins Cobuild English Dictionary (HarperCollins)

*1. Arcada’s “Thesis Guide” (downloadable pdf file from the Arcada Library web page:
http://www.arcada.fi/en/library/degree-thesis External link)
*2. Harvard Referencing ‘Quote, unquote’ pdf download link:
http://skillsforlearning.leedsmet.ac.uk/Quote_Unquote.pdf External link
3. Michael Harvey’s “The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing”:
http://nutsandbolts.washcoll.edu/ External link

Study activities

  • Lectures - 60 hours
  • Individual- and group instruction - 20 hours
  • Small-group work - 20 hours
  • Project- and production work/artistic activities - 13 hours
  • Individual studies - 20 hours
  • Internet-based studies - 0 hours


  • Total workload of the course: 133 hours
  • Of which autonomous studies: 133 hours
  • Of which scheduled studies: 0 hours

Mode of Delivery

Participation in tuition

Assessment methods

  • Demonstrations and proficiency exams
  • Essays, reports, productions and portfolio

Assessment requirements

Course assessment is based on an overall grade for participation, the completion of coursework, and graded assignments.
Graded written assignments
Graded oral assignment


Kimberley Nigel


Kimberley Nigel

Group size

No limit

Assignments valid until

Until date 2013-06-15

Assessment methods

  • Date will be announced later - Demonstrations and presentations
  • 2012-06-05 - Reports and productions

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