About the centre

Since 1989, the centre has been helping people develop their academic language and literacy skills.

'Academic language... is nobody's mother tongue.' – Bourdieu et al., 1994

We run courses and programmes for people at all levels and from a wide variety of backgrounds. Whether or not English is their first language, we help people learn to communicate more effectively, both within and between disciplines.

Our International Foundation Programme and pre-sessional courses offer international students the best possible preparation for a higher level of education, providing a tailored transition to undergraduate or postgraduate study. To enable more people to access a University education, we offer a range of widening participation courses.

Valued by staff, students and peers

We are actively engaged in the Teaching English for Academic Purposes community – researching, publishing, and sharing our expertise through academic development courses for teachers. We also run development courses for University staff.

We are a member of UPA (University Pathway Alliance) and are accredited by BALEAP, the global forum for English for Academic Purposes professionals. Their most recent pre-sessional accreditation report, conducted in 2021, concluded that: 'The Centre has a powerful strategic vision and is highly valued within the institution both as a pipeline into subject programmes and for the academic development opportunities that are offered to all students in the University.’

The centre’s contribution is also evident in the feedback of our students. In our 2022 survey of pre-sessional students, more than 90 per cent rated their overall experience as very good or excellent.

Inclusive and accessible

As a centre, we actively champion equality, diversity and inclusion. We work with students and staff to challenge accepted norms and ensure everyone's voice is heard.

Our purpose-built facilities are located in the heart of Bristol. Visit our contacts page for information on how to find us.

Our vision:

to be a cutting-edge centre that works with all individuals to develop their communication in academic contexts.

  • Developing and sharing expertise​
  • Transforming individuals​
  • Communicating across boundaries​
  • Informing research and research-informed​

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We want our staff and students to help set our agenda. Centre staff should contact us through Sharepoint. Students should complete this online form.

Through our joint efforts, students' marks have shown consistent improvement. When my students find something particularly challenging, I communicate this back to the centre’s staff and they incorporate it into the course. The improvement in students' marks and their feedback is testimony to the value of the course.

Nicola Rooney, Lecturer at Bristol Veterinary School
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