Advanced Academic Writing

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.


Technology-Enhanced Distance Learning

Starting Date:

Every Month except December and January

Topic Lectures:

Online lectures of each topic

Course Duration:

6 - 12 Weeks on a part-time (online) basis


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  • Course Content

    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.

  • Technology-Enhanced Distance Learning

    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.

  • Course Fee

    The fee is R 14, 500.00, which includes your online study material. Persons based outside South Africa can pay in US Dollars, Euros or GB Pounds. Payment of fees must be effected before access to the course.

  • Language Requirements


  • Course Availability

    Short courses are available internationally. A new cycle of short courses starts every first Monday of each month from February to November.

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What past students say about our courses

The MCom programme at Cranefield has fundamentally changed my outlook and made my service delivery and strategic focus more nuanced. The modules are the best strategic and business learning I have undertaken, vastly overtaking my previous studies both within and outside South Africa. I highly recommend Cranefield for every senior government official.

Neil Lewis

Senior Manager: Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services SETA

I have definitely benefitted from my experience with Cranefield. When I completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Project Management, I was a Project Manager at a bank. The course matter delivered by Prof Steyn and his colleagues equipped me with the knowledge and confidence to move across industries and I am now privileged to be the Operations Director of an organization which is leader in transport infrastructure.

Chris Papas

Operations Manager