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English Language Courses

Swinburne's English language courses
can help improve your English for personal development or prepare you for direct entry
to Swinburne University of Technology.

Levels range from elementary to advanced. New courses start every five weeks and range in duration from 5–50 weeks.

We have over 400 students from 40
different countries, which means you can develop your English and make friends
with students from all over the world.

Swinburne College is a member of English Australia
University English Centres Australia
Swinburne College is accredited by NEAS Australia

Course Outlines

Binh Tran

"ELICOS classes have an open, friendly and multicultural environment, which assists students to study more effectively and make more friends."

Binh Tran, Vietnam

General English, Levels 1–3
(Elementary – Intermediate)

Contact hours: 25 per week (including 5 hours e-learning)

General English will help improve your everyday English. It covers listening, reading, writing and speaking, and will increase your confidence using English.

Classes include:

  • Listening and oral communication skills
  • Grammar and vocabulary development
  • Pronunciation and oral fluency
  • Supervised independent learning
  • Excursions and social activities.

English for Academic Purposes, Levels 3–5
(Intermediate – Advanced)

Contact hours: 25 per week (including 5 hours e-learning)

English for Academic Purposes prepares you for direct entry to Swinburne University of Technology. It focuses on the language, critical thinking and academic literacy skills required for your main course. You will develop your skills in:

  • Assignment, report and essay writing
  • Academic reading and note-making
  • Communication and interaction in the academic environment
  • Oral presentations and seminar discussions
  • Academic vocabulary development
  • Research and library techniques.

At the advanced levels, classes are separated into streams according to their discipline. This allows students to focus on the specific language skills required in their main course – whether it’s business, design, engineering or information technology (IT).

Intensive English

Contact hours: 25 per week (including 5 hours e-learning)

If you have already achieved the English language entry requirements for your main course at Swinburne, we recommend that you undertake a five-week intensive program to refresh your skills and prepare for academic study.

It focuses on the language skills you’ll need for your course and includes an orientation to study and social interaction in Australia.

IELTS Exam Preparation

Contact hours: 25 per week (including 5 hours e-learning)

IELTS Exam Preparation prepares you for – and can improve your chance of success in – the IELTS exam. It covers listening, reading, writing and speaking. It will help you:

  • Understand the IELTS exam format
  • Improve your speaking accuracy and fluency
  • Analyse and construct effective writing tasks
  • Develop strategies for the listening and reading tests
  • Receive extensive feedback from experienced IELTS teachers.


Note: These courses are delivered by Swinburne University of Technology (CRICOS provider code: 00111D)

Course Structure

Swinburne College offers English language courses from elementary to advanced. Courses range in duration from 5–50 weeks. The length of your course will depend on your current level of English and whether you want to continue with further study at Swinburne.

ELICOS structure

English placement test

You may need to complete an English placement test as part of your application to study at Swinburne. You can sit this test free-of-charge every Tuesday morning at our Hawthorn campus or online at any Swinburne representative office.
The test is divided into two sections. Part 1 tests your listening, grammar and reading. Part 2 tests your writing skills. Based on your results, we will recommend a start date and how many weeks you should complete.

All students undertake an English Placement Test when they arrive at Swinburne College. This will enable us to assess your English language skills and place you in the appropriate level.


Approximate commencement levels

Approximate entry level
Advanced IELTS 5.5–6.0, or equivalent
Upper-intermediate IELTS 5.0–5.5, or equivalent
Intermediate IELTS 4.5–5.0, or equivalent
Pre-intermediate and Elementary IELTS 4.5 (and below), or equivalent

Direct entry to Swinburne

Students who successfully complete English for Academic Purposes at the required level can progress to their main course. Entry is subject to achieving the required results and all other conditions.

English language level
Progress to
Required results
English for Academic Purposes Level 4
Foundation Studies,

UniLink Diploma, TAFE
65% overall
(all skills 65% or above)

70% Overall
All skills 65% or above
English for Academic Purposes Level 5 Undergraduate & Postgraduate study IELTS 6.5 EQUIVALENT
70% overall
(all skills 65% or above)
Undergraduate & Postgraduate study IELTS 7.0 EQUIVALENT
75% overall
(all skills 70% or above)

Language requirements for some courses vary. Please check the requirements for your main course.

E-learning and the Independent Learning Centre

Independent Learning Centre (ILC)

Independent learning and research skills are an important part of university study. As part of your English language course, you will spend five hours each week developing your independent e-learning skills.

You can complete the e-learning component of your course on Blackboard – the College’s online learning management system – from home or anywhere with a reliable internet connection.

You can also use the Independent Learning Centre (ILC), which has many resources to help develop your e-learning and research skills.

Location and opening hours

The Independent Learning Centre (ILC) is located in room TD 140 at the Hawthorn campus. It is open from Monday to Friday, 8.30am–5.30pm during ELICOS course times.

A second ILC is sometimes available for special classes and workshops and private tutorials. Opening hours depend on the number of students enrolled and vary from course to course.

Modern facilities and resources

The Independent Learning Centre (ILC) has:

  • Modern, up-to-date computers for independent learning and internet research.
  • Software programs and a variety of print resources to help develop your pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.
  • Worksheets and activities to help you prepare for IELTS examinations.
  • Graded readers, English dictionaries, grammar and other reference books
  • Weekly workshops to help you organise your work and develop your academic skills.

We also have daily newspapers and an extensive selection of magazine journals to broaden your knowledge of current affairs and help you prepare for assignments.

Additional support

We offer workshops, special classes and private tutorials with an experienced Independent Learning Centre (ILC) teacher.

For days and times, please see the sign-up register/sheet in the ILC.

Independant Learning Centre (ILC)

Dates and Fees

You will also need to pay a $200 enrolment fee. All fees are subject to review and may be adjusted.








Monday 6 January Tuesday 7 January Friday 10 February Foundation Studies, UniLink Diploma, TAFE, Undergraduate, Postgraduate
Thursday 13 February Monday 17 February Friday 21 March  
Thursday 20 March Monday 24 March Friday 2 May  
Thursday 1 May Monday 5 May Friday 6 June Foundation Studies, UniLink Diploma

Thursday 12 June Monday 16 June Friday 18 July TAFE, Undergraduate, Postgraduate

Thursday 17 July Monday 21 July Friday 22 August  
Thursday 28 August Monday 1 September Friday 3 October Foundation Studies, UniLink Diploma
Thursday 9 October Monday 13 October Friday 14 November  
Thursday 13 November Monday 17 November Friday 19 December  


Dates - ELICOS

Enrolment date



05‐January‐2015 05‐January‐2015 06-February-2015
12-February-2015 16-February-2015 20-March-2015
19-March-2015 23-March-2015 01-May-2015  
30-April-2015 04-May-2015 05-June-2015
11-June-2015 15-June-2015 17-July-2015
23-July-2015 27-July-2015 28-August-2015
27-August-2015 31-August-2015 02-October-2015
08-October-2015 12-October-2015 13-November-2015
12-November-2015 16-November-2015 18-December-2015

How to Apply

English language courses are offered at a variety of levels so that students can enter the course best suited to their needs to reach the English language level required.

If you wish to undertake further studies at Swinburne after your English language course, follow the steps on How to Apply for a Swinburne TAFE, undergraduate or postgraduate coursework program.

On the application form, you will be asked 'Do you intend to undertake English language studies at Swinburne?' - tick the 'Yes' box and complete the section below, indicating when you wish to start and how many weeks of ELICOS training you wish to undertake.

If you just wish to improve your English, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1 - Choose your course
  • Step 2 - Download and complete the Application Form
  • Step 3 - Send your application
  • Step 4 - Accept your offer



Complete the form below and we'll respond to your enquiry within two business days.

If you would like to speak to a course adviser please call 1800 897 973 (within Australia) +61 3 8676 7002 (outside Australia) operating hours 9am - 5.30pm AEST.

By completing this form, you are agreeing to receive further communications from Swinburne in respect of potential courses of study, news events and activities.

Free English test