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English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)


Improve your English

The University of Canberra has been offering English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) since 1969 and is one of the longest established English centres in Australia.

Many of our alumni from these courses have reached senior positions in business, diplomacy, politics and education, and are using their English in high-level international forums.

Find out which English Language course is right for you

This course is designed to expand your social and work opportunities.  

General English (GE)

GE1 (Elementary), GE2 (Pre-Intermediate) and GE3 (Intermediate)

Our General English courses will help you develop the four core skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The General English courses range from Elementary to Intermediate levels and the courses focus on:

  • Building fluency and accuracy in spoken English
  • Developing a strong foundation of grammar and vocabulary
  • Improving your writing skills and accuracy
  • Developing skills and confidence to use English outside the classroom.

You will learn with experienced and qualified teachers in small classes. We will track your progress with regular testing.

We run General English courses at three levels starting from an IELTS 3.0. If you don’t have a recognised test to determine your level we can run a PVT test to make sure you are in the right class for your level.


Academic English (AE)

Our Academic English courses will help you develop your English skills for further study in Australia. Academic English can be very different to the English you use every day. Even if you speak English well in conversation, it might be difficult to understand the new words and structures used in university or another academic setting. Our curriculum will ensure you are completely prepared for university study in Australia.

In these courses, you will develop skills in academic proficiency and literacy in English. You will find it easier to understand and participate in your college or university course. If you complete the Academic English course successfully, you will be able to use English in a variety of academic contexts and take responsibility for your progress with little support from teachers.

You will learn skills across a number of areas including:

  • Reading and listening
    • note-taking strategies for lectures and tutorials
    • analysis of reading text structures
    • techniques for speed reading, skimming and scanning
  • Speaking and writing
    • planning, drafting and editing reports and essays 
    • effective communication in tutorials 
    • pronunciation and voice training for presentations and seminars
    • active participation in group projects
    • bibliographic and in-text referencing 
  • Critical thinking
    • analysis of tertiary assessment tasks 
    • research skills
    • learner independence
    • intercultural communication
  • Skills for Higher Education in Australia
    • group work and presentation skills
    • expectations of Australian lecturers and tutors
    • time management skills
    • using technology in learning and production 
    • how to avoid plagiarism.


Bring your own device (BYOD)

With increased use of educational tools throughout the Academic English courses, students are required to bring their own device (e.g. laptops, tablets) to classes. A USB headset with microphone is useful, but not a requirement, and the device must be fully charged before classes.


AE 1 – Is the first Academic English level. Entry into AE1 is an IELTS 4.5 (or equivalent) or successful completion of GE3.

Successful completion of AE1 allows students to progress to AE2.


AE 2 – Entry into AE2 is an IELTS 5.0 (or equivalent) or successful completion of AE1.

Successful completion of AE2 qualifies students for direct entry into the UC International Foundation program, UC College diploma coursesNo further IELTS test is required


AE3 – Entry into AE3 is an IELTS 5.5 (or equivalent) or successful completion of AE2.

Successful completion of AE3 qualifies students for direct entry into a University of Canberra undergraduate course with standard entry requirements. No further IELTS testing is required.


AE4 – Entry into AE4 is an IELTS 6.0 (or equivalent) or successful completion of AE3.

Successful completion of AE4 qualifies students for direct entry to a University of Canberra Master’s degree with standard entry requirements, and to degrees with higher than standard entry requirements to a maximum of IELTS 7.0 or equivalent. No further IELTS testing is required.