The Edinburgh School of English Octorial Programme

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25 hours per week



Courses commence each Monday with arrival to the homestay (if applicable) on the Sunday. Departure from homestay is on the Saturday following the end of the course.

The course includes 15 hours of language skills lessons and 10 hours of communication skills workshops per week,  as well as the option to choose from a selection of optional electives to study for one hour per week during your course.


Language skills lessons:

Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric 

These lessons build the core skills of grammar and sentence structure and the art of constructing an argument. Inspired by the trivium of a classical Liberal Arts education, these are the foundation stones of language knowledge.


Comprehension, Vocabulary and Précis

These lessons use a wide variety of authentic materials such as literary texts, news articles, research reports and current affairs audio and video to build new vocabulary and develop listening comprehension skills and speaking skills. There is an emphasis on intonation and pronunciation. The art of editing and summarising is practised in the précis exercises. 


Composition and Text Analysis

These lessons focus on developing the student’s skills and flair for written English. Students work on practice exercises in a range of styles and registers including creative writing, short stories, improvisation, essay writing, reports on researched topics, reviews, commentaries and literary criticism. Reading comprehension and understanding of the written word is developed in the text analysis sessions.


Communication skills workshops:

Spoken Performance Workshop 

Students are set tasks which challenge them to develop their speaking and active expression in the language. There is also a focus on non- verbal communication such as body language.

Team Project 

Each week, students work in small teams to produce and deliver a project at the end of the week. Students also develop problem solving, collaboration, organisation and planning skills. Digital connections with sister schools allow students to collaborate with other teams from outside the school, to create real-life examples of authentic digital connections. 

Mentored Dissertation 

The Mentored Dissertation is a piece of work which is personal to the learner’s study objectives and which is completed over the duration of the course. It is tailored to the level of the student and can include: a piece of research, a video project, a collection of essays, a piece of creative writing, a personal statement and CV, written texts for a personal portfolio, exam practice texts and exam essay writing under timed conditions. At the beginning of each week, the Dissertation Tutor sets individual goals with each student and works with the student during the week to support them in the achievement of these weekly targets.


Included in the course:

  • Course lessons
  • Use of course materials
  • Use of school facilities, including tea and coffee
  • End of course certificate