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Specially Funded English Courses

Our mission

In line with CAES’s mission to support English enhancement needs of university staff, undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes, Specially-funded English Courses (SFEC) offers workplace and academic English workshops to meet students’ diverse learning needs.

Our lessons are conducted as plenaries, lectures, or small group tutorials using tailored-made materials designed to cater to targeted learners’ workplace or discipline-specific interests. We also welcome opportunities to collaborate with local and overseas institutions on intensive English programme.


Academic English Courses for Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate  Students

The courses are designed based on faculties’ requests for academic English support to meet the language needs of the undergraduate and taught postgraduate students. The courses aim to improve learners’ skills in academic English literacy, dissertation writing, use of specialized terminology, and professional presentations.

Courses are currently offered to students in these departments: Business, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Medicine and Social Sciences. The following discipline-specific academic English courses with tailor-made instruction and support were offered in the current academic year:


School of Business:

  • Presentation Skills for Master Programmes in Business School

 Faculty of Dentistry: 

  • Medical/Dental Terminology Workshop
  • Dissertation Writing for Master of Dental Surgery and Master of Science – An Induction Course

Faculty of Education: 

  • Academic Writing Course for BSc in Applied Child Development
  • Academic Literacy Skills Course for BSc in Information Management
  • Thesis Writing Workshop for Doctor of Education
  • Academic Writing Workshop for MA(TESOL)
    • Advanced Academic Literacy Workshop I: Planning and writing an academic essay
    • Advanced Academic Literacy Workshop II: Presenting stance and arguments in critical writing
    • Advanced Academic Literacy Workshop III: Writing a literature review

Faculty of Engineering: 

  • Dissertation Writing for MSc Computer Science
  • Presentation Skills for MSc Computer Science
  • Dissertation Writing for MSc Mechanical Engineering
  • Presentation Skills for MSc Mechanical Engineering
  • Dissertation Writing for MSc in Engineering (Innovative Design and Technology)
  • Presentation Skills for MSc in Engineering (Innovative Design and Technology)

Faculty of Medicine: 

  • Dissertation Writing for Medical Sciences – An Induction Course

Faculty of Social Sciences: 

  • Academic Writing Workshop for MSocSc in Behavioral Health and MSocSc in Expressive Arts Therapy


Workplace English for HKU Non-academic Staff

Since 2008, CAES has collaborated with HKU Human Resources Office to offer English training in specialized contexts for identified groups’ language and communication needs. These courses cover various aspects of English workplace communication:

  • Creative Writing for Business and Marketing
  • Grammar Essentials at Work
  • Navigating Intercultural Communication
  • Professional English Basics (Level 1)
  • Professional English Basics (Level 2)
  • Workplace Meetings
  • Workplace Speaking (Level 1)
  • Workplace Speaking (Level 2)
  • Workplace Writing
  • English Communication Skills for HKU Graduate Management Trainees


We have also collaborated with university administrative divisions and non-academic units to provide English training for specialized contexts and targeted staff’s communication needs; for example, English for Information Technology Services staff; Workplace English for Library Staff, and Written Communication Skills for Human Resources.

Teacher Training Programmes

CAES offers training programmes (commissioned by the Education Bureau, HKSAR) to in-service English teachers at primary and secondary school levels to provide them with up-to-date knowledge about teaching English as a second language. Programmes are tailor-made to enhance teachers’ teaching skills and subject knowledge through hands-on activities, teacher demonstrations and discussions. In line with the curricula by the Education Bureau, our programmes target various aspects of language teaching, including but not limited to academic English, self-directed learning, vocabulary strategies, Language across the Curriculum, English speaking and writing skills and creative use of English.


How are we doing?

SFEC curricula and lessons are extremely well-received by staff, faculties and students, with positive feedback on course delivery, materials relevance, student engagement, and teaching quality. Below presents some qualitative comments from course participants:


“This course helps me understand the key points of writing a dissertation”

(Academic Writing Workshop for Master of Education)

“Course materials are tailored and relevant to our needs. We learn to analyse the language of research articles for our literature review”

(Dissertation Writing Workshop for MSc Computer Science)

“Could not have asked for a more professional teacher – he was patient, fun and so helpful”

(Workplace English course for HKU staff)

“Learn more knowledge about how to present, many aspects of how to make a good present that I haven’t heard before the class, really helpful for me.”

(Presentation Skills for MSc Computer Science)

“Concepts are explained clearly and the PowerPoint is nice. Interactive and address useful contents. Nice examples with exercises. Especially I like the session on emails, the phrase for different stakeholders.“

(English Communication Skills for HKU Management Trainee)

“It is the first time I enjoyed the language class. Our teacher is an excellent teacher who share in an attractive way.“

(Professional English Basics Level I)


How can we collaborate?

We welcome enquiries on current and new English courses from local and overseas institutions.

For information or collaboration opportunities on workplace and academic English, please contact the Specially-funded English Course Coordinator, Dr. Natalie Fong (; 3917 2033).

For professional staff courses, please contact Ms. Melanie Zee (; 3917 1078).

For Teacher Training Programmes, please contact Dr. Matthew Yeung (;  3917 7329).