Product or service

Academic English for PhD candidates

Are you a PhD candidate who has not yet met the English-language requirement for admission to the PhD programme? Or do you simply want to improve your academic English skills? Academic English for PhD candidates is for you!

This two-part course is designed to improve your English to the required level for PhD admission.

This course will be offered in collaboration with Wageningen Graduate Schools (WGS).

Course description

Academic English for PhD candidates is an intensive 12-week course that improves your academic English (reading, speaking, listening and writing), prepares you for the RATEr (when required, this is an English proficiency test) and teaches you the fundamentals of scientific writing.

Target group

  • Prospective and current PhD candidates who have not yet met the English entry requirement for their PhD programme.
  • PhD candidates with a high B1/low B2 level of English who want an intensive course to improve their English-language skills so they can study and work more easily at Wageningen University.

Course objectives

  • Improve / Refine your academic reading, writing, listening and speaking skills
  • Improve your written grammar
  • Develop your academic vocabulary to participate more easily in lectures and lab meetings
  • Improve the clarity of your accent
  • Learn how to put your ideas on paper
  • Learn to write structured paragraphs
  • Prepare for the RATEr
  • Develop general all round communication skills

Course Programme

Part 1, Academic English and pronunciation (week 1 - 8):

  • 24 sessions
  • Academic English: 4 hours per week (2 2-hour sessions)
  • 1 hour per week pronunciation
  • 40 contact hours, 64 self-study hours

Part 2 (week 7 - 12):

  • 6 sessions Academic Writing
  • 12 contact hours, 36 self-study hours

When you must still fulfil the English requirements to be admitted to the PhD Programme, you can take the RATEr at the end of the course. If you pass the RATEr, you have met the entry requirement for proficiency in English. More abour RATEr >>


Schedule PhD-courses

Course materials

Course materials will be distributed during the first session of each part of the course.


Participants must attend 90% of the course sessions and submit all assignments on time to receive a certificate. Course participants who do not meet the attendance requirement will not receive a certificate and will not be admitted to the course-specific RATEr exam.

Course fee

  • Academic English for PhD candidates, excluding RATEr + mock exam
Reduced fee €755
University fee €1.030
Erxternal fee €1.030
  • Academic English for PhD candidates, including RATEr + mock exam:
Reduced fee €985
University fee €1.260
External fee €1.260

*Fee includes study and training material.

Reduced fee:

  • PhD candidates of Wageningen University with an approved Training and Supervision Plan (TSP) who are registered at one of the WU graduate schools (EPS, PE&RC, VLAG, WASS, WIAS, WIMEK).
  • Postdocs of Wageningen University who are registered at one of the WU graduate schools.
  • PhDs of the national graduate school SENSE with an approved Training and Supervision Plan (TSP).

University fee:

  • All other PhD candidates / Wageningen University postdocs and staff.

External fee:

  • All other participants.

Entrance requirement

To be admitted to this course, you need to score at least 55 on the Oxford Online Placement Test or have attained an equivalent score on another international test:

  • At least 4.0 on the IELTS exam
  • At least grade Merit on the PET Exam
  • At least grade C on the FCE exam (Cambridge)
  • At least 41 on the TOEFL exam (internet-based)

Cancellation condition

You may cancel free of charge up to four weeks before the start of the course. After this date you will be charged the University fee. Unless:

  • You can find someone to replace you in the course and supply the course coordinator with the name and contact information of your replacement. In this case you will only be charged a € 50,- cancellation fee.
  • You (PhDs and postdocs of Wageningen University) have a valid reason to cancel (illness or death in the family 1st or 2nd degree). In this case you will be charged the reduced fee and your supervisor/PI must send a mail indicating the reason for cancellation.