The impact of non-credit English and academic writing

The English Bonus? Assessing the impact of non-credit English and academic writing

Team Members :  Sophia Woodman, Cathy Benson, Ellen Boeren, Jill Northcott


Background: International student numbers in the UK have been rising rapidly, and Edinburgh is no exception to this trend. The largest group of such students for whom English is not a first language comes from China. This research project aims to examine the impact on the academic performance of international PGT students from China of participation in non-credit bearing English for Academic Purposes (EAP) support courses at the University of Edinburgh.

Aims: Based on quantitative and qualitative data from UoE schools with high concentrations of Chinese PGT students, the project aims to understand the effects of such support courses on students’ marks, as well as their subjective experience of what such courses contribute to their study experience. Despite indications that language is central to how such students experience their masters study at Edinburgh and in the UK more generally, no comparable large-scale study has been conducted to date. The project draws on the wide-ranging expertise on international students and Chinese students in particular of the four researchers involved, who are from ELTC, Education and SPS, and bring a complimentary set of competences and experience to the project. The project aims at generating policy-relevant advice to UoE units, the UK HE sector and advocacy organizations supporting international students. Based on the experience of the researchers, this may point to making training in the kind of skills that allow international students to be successful in their masters study more central in the curricula of their programmes at the UoE.

Final project report

Download the final project report (PDF)