English Department Courses

Year 1 English Programme (mandatory)

  • Fall semester only
  • For Year 1 students
  • 4 SSER credits / 6 ECTS credits
  • Graded according to the 200-point scale
  • Instructors: Benjamin Breggin, John Whitmore

All incoming students must complete this mandatory English programme, which consists of the following components:

- English in an Academic Context (100 points)

- Online Articles (50 points)

- Academic Writing (50 points)

Each component must be passed. That is, students must receive at least 50 points in EAC, at least 25 points in Online Articles and at least 25 points in Academic Writing. English in an Academic Context sharpens such academic skills as paraphrasing and proofreading while elaborating on trickier aspects of English grammar, such as reported speech and relative clauses. Online Articles focuses on the aspect of English grammar that causes the most difficulty for advanced English-speakers from the Baltic region: correct usage of a/an and the. Academic Writing introduces students to the concept of the thesis essay, in so doing further improving their English-language writing skills, preparing them for their bachelor’s theses and providing them with a stylistic methodology much appreciated in the Anglo-American business and academic worlds. While English in an Academic Context and Online Articles are graded through final exams, Academic Writing is graded through a final thesis essay.

Advanced Grammar (elective)
Spring semester only

For Year 1 students

1-2 SSER credits / 1.5-3 ECTS credits


Instructor: Benjamin Breggin

Advanced Grammar is divided into two parts with separate content, each worth 1 SSER credit. A typical lesson of Advanced Grammar starts out quite basic and quickly progresses to increasingly complex aspects of the same topic. Those who are already quite confident speakers and writers of English will have the opportunity to review some surprisingly tricky cases each week. Those who feel less confident will have opportunities to practice and improve both the fundamentals and the fine points of English. Topics include verb tenses, passive voice, phrasal verbs and prepositions. Classes are supplemented with short take-home assignments each week. Both parts of the course are graded through final exams.

Online Business Correspondence (elective)
Spring semester only

For students of all study years

1 SSER credit / 1.5 ECTS credits


Instructor: Benjamin Breggin

This internet course explores business correspondence through role-playing. In managing a fictional entrepreneurial business, participants practice writing letters pertaining to enquiries, sales and complaints. Vocabulary, expressions and grammatical issues often encountered in different types of letters will be addressed. Participants will also work on refining their written style in English, making it more subtle, polite and convincing. The course includes practice quizzes, interactive exercises and one or two letter-writing assignments per week. Half of the grade is based on these letter-writing assignments, the other half on a final exam, which is taken in person.

Contract Drafting (elective)
Fall and spring semesters

For Year 2 and Year 3 students

1 SSER credit / 1.5 ECTS credits


Instructor: Christopher Goddard

This course provides practical training on the key concepts and principles of drafting contracts using legal English. It is designed to help participants develop essential English language drafting skills. Instruction focuses on terminology and expressions commonly found in contracts, structure of specific commercial agreements, and drafting and interpretive guidelines for effective contract clauses. This course is designed to be a "skills workshop" in which practical drafting exercises will be used. Participants will have the opportunity to draft and analyze various types of agreements and contract clauses. Particular emphasis will be placed on the language and structure of contracts, writing skills, terminology and usage, and drafting guidelines and interpretive issues. The final grade is based on several written assignments.

Information for Exchange Students
Though exchange students are, in principle, welcome to take English courses at SSE Riga, they should consider their study schedules very carefully before planning to do so. Exchange students following the Year 1 study schedule only may enrol in SSE Riga’s Year 1 English Programme in the fall semester and in the electives Advanced Grammar and Online Business Writing in the spring semester. Exchange students following the Year 2 and Year 3 schedules only may enrol in the spring-semester elective Online Business Writing and in Contract Drafting, which is usually offered in both the fall and spring semesters. Any exchange students taking business and economics courses on the Year 1 schedule as well as on the Year 2 and Year 3 schedules may find it difficult to attend English courses at all and should consult Dr. Benjamin Breggin, the English Language Programme Coordinator, before planning to enrol.