Academic Discourse & Skills - International Master's Pathway

University College Cork

Academic Discourse & Skills - International Master's Pathway

Course Outline
The Higher Diploma in Academic Discourse and Skills - International Master’s Pathway (IMP) is aimed at the pre-masters student seeking to meet the required academic qualification and/or the English language level for automatic progression to their chosen destination programme. The list of the 'linked programmes' called Tracks is continuously reviewed and expanding.

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 Track.

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.

Master’s Pathway Track
On this pathway, you will follow a 'Track' to your chosen Master's programme. See our Language Centre Tracks page for our postgraduate portfolio of participating programmes. 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. If your programme is not one of the approved Track programmes, keep an eye on our Language Centre IMP page for updates.

International Master’s Pathway Portfolio
We are continuously expanding our IMP portfolio so check the Language Centre page to keep in touch with programme updates.

In addition to the modules being taken, 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.

Subjects taught

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 to find out more about the undergraduate modules on offer.

Entry requirements

Requirements depend upon your chosen master's degree. See the Master’s Pathway Track page 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.


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.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: September 2024

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Higher Diploma (Level 8 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider