Advanced Academic Writing - Thesis-Based | Academy of Knowledge

Advanced Academic Writing

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The Advanced Academic Writing Course (6 to 12 months) provides the opportunity for you to apply yourself in attaining higher levels of skill in accurate and correct writing in the specific context of your dissertation or thesis. It is based on practical hands-on development, relying on the close interaction between you and your lecturer.

The assignments build on those in the ‘Advanced Business English’ course or ‘Advanced Legal English’ (depending on the route that you followed), and, if you have already completed the ‘Advanced Writing Skills’ short course, the academic course will build further on the higher level that you have attained through that endeavour as well.


There are four assignments (contributing 15% each to the final course mark), three of which relate directly to the thesis. With each assignment, improved quality is expected.

Assignments 1, 3 and 4 involve the same process in respect of different chapters of the thesis:

  1. Your lecturer selects two to three pages of complex writing from one of your draft chapters (or to different professional documents).
  2. You then make changes to the best of your ability, carefully criticising (and correcting) your own writing.
  3. Your lecturer then makes corrections and changes (as applicable) in addition to your corrections. He or she also makes a few brief provisional comments on your criticisms.
  4. You then explain the reasons for any further changes.
  5. Your lecturer finally provides comprehensive oral feedback (in person, via Skype or Blackboard).

Assignment 2 involves correcting/editing a prescribed extract (provided by your lecturer).

Students who have completed the Advanced Writing Skills course are not required to complete this assignment. In the case of such students, the three personal assignments contribute 20% each to the final course mark (with the exam contributing 40%).

Final practical examination

The final practical examination requires the submission of your final draft for evaluation. At this stage, the highest quality is expected. Parts of the document that you submit will be randomly selected for examination. Your mark will be based on accuracy and correctness, as well as tone and style.

For the purpose of this final examination of the thesis or dissertation, the draft must contain a signed declaration that you have received no further editorial assistance to date.

Note that your lecturer will not, of course, edit your dissertation for you. You must do this extensively yourself before submitting the draft for the purpose of the Advanced English examination.

Should the quality of the draft not meet the required standard for master’s or doctoral level (as the case may be), your lecturer will award the appropriate mark and recommend that the document be edited by a professional prior to submission of the final dissertation or thesis for examination for the purpose of your master’s or doctoral degree.

Final examination results

The final examination result contributes 40% to the final course mark. Success will earn a certificate affirming that you have successfully completed the MDL course in ‘Advanced Academic Writing’ through Cranefield College.

All short courses are completed individually through technology-enhanced distance learning. You do not need to attend any classes. You have access to your lecture videos and other material on a weekly basis, and all your assignments are submitted online.

The 2017 fee is R 14, 500.00. Persons based outside South Africa are charged the equivalent of the fee amount in GBP (pounds sterling) at current exchange rates. Payment of fees must be effected before access to the course. In special cases, an arrangement can be made for payment in two to three instalments.

Short courses are available internationally. A new cycle of short courses starts every quarter (i.e. January, April, July, and October). Please see the top right of the current page for the next start date of this short course. Although it is best to register as soon as possible before the start date, you may still join the course up to one week following the start date. If you miss that latest intake date (i.e. one week after the start date), you will be able to join the next cycle in the following quarter.

  • This course is available to all master’s or doctoral students (at any higher education institution) who have already successfully completed the ‘Advanced Business English’ or ‘Advanced Legal English’ short course.
  • For MComPM and PhD students at Cranefield College, the course is offered as a further advanced elective (with some exceptions, where it may be compulsory).

The distance learning approach requires a student only to have basic Internet and email access.