Academic Discourse & Skills - International Master's Pathway

University College Cork

Academic Discourse & Skills - International Master's Pathway

We have built an academic programme around the International Master's Pathway so that you will work towards a Level 8 Major Award: the Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills. The 60-credit Higher Diploma consists of Language Centre core modules in academic discourse and skills (worth 40 credits), and final-year undergraduate modules (worth 20 credits) from your chosen master's programme.

Successful completion of the pathway will enable you to convert to a full offer by raising your undergraduate level by one class (3:1 to 2:2 or 2:2 to 2:1) and/or language level by the equivalent to one band of IELTS (IELTS 5.5 to 6.5 or 6.0 to 7.0) for example.

Course Practicalities
In addition to the modules being taken or audited, you will also have the opportunity to engage with various UCC campus activities including workshops or talks from services such as the UCC Library, the UCC Skills Centre and the UCC Students' Union.

The Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills - IMP at UCC will provide you with thorough preparation for your chosen master's programme, and will help you to understand the specific cultures and contexts of the academic community at our University.

All our Pathway students will produce an independent research project, an interdisciplinary mini-research group project based on the UCC postgraduate community, and will also participate in weekly academic reading and discussion circles. There is a high degree of individualisation, guidance and support in the programme, and you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of academic activities across the university.

Why Choose This Course
If you are eligible and are accepted for this pathway you will be guaranteed a place on your chosen master's course if you meet the progression requirements and successfully complete the IMP.

This is an innovative new programme which will immerse you in UCC's life and culture. We offer a high level of student support and individualisation of learning.

This programme will build on your skills, knowledge and experience; it also gives you the opportunity to become accustomed to your department and the university in advance of starting your master's programme at UCC.

Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills - IMP

This is more than just a standard pathway: you can also work towards a major award from UCC, the level 8 Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills. On successful completion of this programme, you will gain the Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse & Skills even if you do not progress to a master's.

Course Content & Structure
This is a new and innovative programme with special research projects and academic activities that support your connections across the campus to help you feel a sense of belonging to the UCC community.

We offer a high degree of individualisation for you as you prepare for the transition to master's study.

You will improve your academic skills and language skills at the same time as pursuing your academic programme.

You will gain the academic language and skills you need for success and build on your disciplinary knowledge.

You will start your master's feeling fully prepared, having been at UCC working in your chosen discipline for a full academic year.

Subjects taught

Master's Pathway Track

Select the Track for your chosen programme to find out more about its IMP entry requirements, progression requirements, and the undergraduate final year modules on offer.

Programme Track

College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Studies

Arts Management & Creative Producing MA Track
Asian Studies MA Track
Criminology MA Track
English: Modernities: Literature, Theory & Culture from the Romantics to the Present MA Track
English: Texts and Contexts - Medieval to Renaissance MA Track
Medieval History: Culture, Text, Image MA Track
Philosophy MA Track
Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages MA Track
Translation Studies MA Track

College of Science, Engineering and Food Science

Geology - Applied Environmental Geoscience MSc Track

College of Business and Law

Business Economics MSc Track
Law (Environmental & Natural Resources Law) LLM Track

College of Medicine and Health

Nursing (Non-EU) MSc Track
Occupational Health (Online) MSc Track
Public Health MPH Track

All IMP students will take modules worth 60 credits including 40 credits of Language Centre core modules and 20 credits of undergraduate (UG) programme modules.

Language Centre Modules (40 credits)

LC5001 Independent Research Project I (15 credits)
LC5002 Research Methods: Interdisciplinary Project (10 credits)
LC5003 Critical Disciplinary Approaches (5 credits)
LC5004 Independent Research Project II (10 credits)
Undergraduate Modules (20 credits)

See the Track for your chosen programme above to find out more about the undergraduate modules on offer.

Entry requirements

Requirements depend upon your chosen master's degree. See Master's Pathway Track above and choose your Track for degree-specific requirements. In general, the following minimum requirements apply:

Academic Qualification Minimum Requirements

Undergraduate equivalent to 3.1 - if progressing onto a programme that requires 2.2

Undergraduate equivalent to 2.2 - if progressing onto a programme that requires 2.1

Language Proficiency Minimum Entry Requirements

For programmes that require an overall 6.5 for entry: 5.5 IELTS (CEFR B2) overall with a minimum of 5.5 (CEFR B2) in any skill if progressing onto a programme that requires a 6.5 overall.

For programmes that require an overall 7.0 for entry: 6.0 IELTS (CEFR B2+) overall with a minimum of 6.0 (CEFR B2+).

Recognition of Prior Learning
The accepted types of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) will be dependent on the chosen master's degree programme on a case-by-case basis.

Application dates

The closing date for non-EU applications is 30 June 2023

How Do I Apply
Applications for the Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills - International Master's Pathway (IMP) are not open yet (unless you have already applied for a Master's programme.) If you are interested in the International Master's Pathway please Register your Interest and we will be in touch.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme as follows:

You will be asked to enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

You will be asked, in addition to your previously declared qualifications, to outline any additional academic courses, self-learning, and professional training relevant to this programme.

You will be asked to describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

You will be asked to detail your computing/technical/IT skills.


9 Months (1 Academic Year) full-time.

Contact Time

We envisage a maximum of 20 hours of contact time per week. In addition, you will attend individual tutorials for up to 20 minutes every two weeks. Your learning schedule should allow for 8-10 hours per week of independent research and learning.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider