Course Collocations

Course Collocations – a list of the most common expressions and phrases in English using the word course.

one-week course / two-year course: meaning the length of a course.  Note that we don’t say a two-years course.   In these expressions, week & years act as adjectives (not nouns) and therefore the plural form cannot be used.


  • Sandy knew her goals: she intended to take a two-year course at a catering college.
  • The two-week language course has become so popular that the school has a waiting list.
  • Many language centres suggest that you take a four-day, one-week, or two-week course.

mini-group course: a course with few students, normally 4 to 6 students in the course.

  • Examples:  I’ve booked a mini-group course in Business English.

crash course: meaning a very fast course to be taken in a hurry generally to acquire a skill or learning in order to take a test or start a new job.


  •   He’s taking an EFL crash course because he starts university next month.
  • After a week’s crash course in teaching English to foreign students, she went out to Cracow, Poland’s second largest city, to work in a school.

refresher course: meaning a course for continuing professional development to keep up-to-date with advances in professional fields.


  • The UKCC has now made it mandatory for all nurses to attend a five-day refresher course every three years to maintain their registration.
  • Individuals will have to attend at least one refresher course each year to keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry.

introductory course: a course which is intended to introduce students to a new subject or skill.

  • There is an introductory intensive skills course which begins on Monday at the North West College of Technology.
  • She is teaching an introductory course in English language at the local high school.

induction course: a training course for employees to learn either how to do their work in a new role or within a new department or company

undergraduate course: a university course which leads to an undergraduate degree (i.e. the first degree level at university)

postgraduate course: generally a course provided by a university which requires applicants to already have completed a first or undergraduate degree.

course tutor: meaning a private teacher or teacher of small groups


  • Once she had identified her goals, together with her BTEC Course Tutor at her College, she chose options on the National Diploma.
  • The students’ work must be recorded via a Learning Diary and confirmed by the signature of employer and/or course tutor.

in due course: meaning in time or in the future.

Example sentence:

  • The meeting will start in due course.

collision course: meaning set to collide or to crash

Example sentences:

  • In the distance a huge truck was advancing towards them on collision course, its headlights blazing.
  • Virgin Atlantic’s new slogan has put it on collision course with big international airlines.

par for the course: meaning something that has become normal or is not unusual


  • The software can now handle images over 16Mb in size, which is about par for the course.
  • We’re concerned that you may be inflicted with some physical injury.  Yeah, well par for the course, par for the course
  • Long hours and tough working conditions are often par for the course in catering.

golf course: meaning a place (or the greens) where people play golf

par (number) course: golfing term which refers to the number of strokes which a player needs to complete the golf course


  • Christy O’Connor played a match over the 7,083 par 72 course
  • He has turned 40 acres of rolling farm land into a snug 4,800-yard, par 66 course that high-handicap players especially, will enjoy.

course of antibiotics: medicine which is given to cure bacterial infection.  It’s called a course because patients are normally prescribed a 5-day or one-week course at a time.


  • I’m going to give you a course of antibiotics, you’ve got quite a nasty ear infection there.
  • We took Ben to the vet and he was given a course of antibiotics, which seemed to do the trick.

pervert the course of justice: to cause an obstruction to justice by lying, tampering with or destroying evidence.   It’s a criminal offence in most countries.


  • He has pleaded not guilty to 10 offences involving blackmail, attempting to pervert the course of justice, wounding with intent and assault.
  • Two detectives are standing trial charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

steer course: control the way or the route.  This expression is derived from sailing and is still used for steering boats in the water.


  • In the real world of politics, they are often obliged to steer a course between incompatible interests
  • It is well known in Shetland that the best of the fishing skippers of old had the ability to sense the correct course to steer in fog or darkness.

erratic course: meaning an inconsistent course


  • They followed an erratic course from the forest to the newly made road.
  • Ramsay steered an erratic course between advocating the possible use of violence if other measures would not achieve the same results.

All examples sentences are corpus-based and extracted from the BNC.

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