The most valuable asset this course has given me is confidence. This confidence has enabled me to move to a different country on my own and secure a job I love.


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4 years

UCAS code:



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A foundation year helps you develop the study skills and self-confidence needed for higher education when you don’t reach the entry requirements for your subject.

Studying this course, you’ll develop an in-depth understanding of the English language. You’ll learn about the importance of language in communication at personal, public, group and cross-cultural levels.

Our work placement module allows you to develop your communication skills in a professional setting. By the end of the course you’ll feel ready to move into one of the many jobs where a strong command of the English language is highly valued.

Why study English Language with Foundation Year?

The English language is the dominant language of international communication and with increasing globalisation, it is important to have a refined understanding of the nature and structure of English and how we communicate with each other.

Our course offers you the tools to understand the many complex and fascinating ways that human beings use language to communicate. It focuses not only on the theory but the applications of language as a means of communication.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

You do not need to have significant prior knowledge of Arts and Humanities related subjects but should be motivated to study the subject.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

The foundation year is designed to help you develop self-confidence, knowledge and skills in a highly supportive environment, so you are prepared to study at degree level. You'll learn about arts and humanities and will begin to understand research methods and skills that are needed to progress through the degree. 

You will study a range of modules focusing either on the English language or the interface between language and communication. You will develop both your ability to understand language and communication, as well as the ability to investigate these areas. In each year, you will study a range of compulsory modules that cover the key concepts and ideas in language and communication. As you progress into the second and third years, you will have the opportunity to study optional modules that focus either on professional applications of language and communication, or on areas with a more traditional academic focus.

The programme is divided into two parts; the first part is the more structured first year, and the second includes your second and third years, where you have few essential core modules but are generally more free to ‘mix-and-match’. Options offered in the second and third years may include how to teach English as a foreign language, business communication as well as options on language and gender, digital communication, or intercultural communication.

You can make your own choices or follow one of the suggested pathways. Each pathway is designed to suit different potential career paths.

Work Experience

You will gain work experience by doing the English Language in the Workplace module. Previous students have done range of placements in business and education. For example, one student did her placement in a hotel and was given the job to develop its online promotion and marketing.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions, you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class and you'll also access our virtual learning environment (Blackboard) for guidance and materials related to independent study.

The English Language in the Workplace module allows you to find and carry out a 120 hour work placement related to language and communication.

With the second year extended essay and the third year individual study, you can research a topic that interests, and you'll be supported by a dedicated tutor.


Your actual contact hours depend on the modules you select but your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours per week.

For each 20-credit module, your study time is about 10 hours a week.

The team consists of highly qualified academics who have a range of expertise and experience. Our staff are research-active and they have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. 

Our team members hold doctoral, teaching and professional qualifications.The majority of staff hold Higher Education Academy professional teaching qualifications and/or membership of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules with the guidance of more experienced academic team members. However, our permanent course team deliver the vast majority of teaching.

You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

You'll be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops and will typically have between 9 and 12 contact hours per week, as well as the opportunity to meet with module tutors and personal academic tutors for tailored advice outside scheduled seminar time.

Seminars in smaller groups will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures.

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

We are committed to supporting our student community in acquiring the knowledge, skills and confidence opening up opportunities for a wide number of careers areas of teaching, media, business, and other communication related professions.

Alexandra PolyzouEnglish Language Programme Director

How you’ll be assessed

The majority of modules offer more than one type of assessment being either a mixture of coursework and examination, or just coursework. With coursework, there is a range of assessments that includes more than the traditional essay and assignment. For many assessments, students collect authentic samples of language and communication for analysis and interpretation. Portfolios including the use of PebblePad are a means of assessment in those modules concerned with the practical application of language and communication. Presentations occur in some modules. Finally, examinations are not just restricted to the traditional essay question, but are concerned with the analysis of examples of language and communication as well as problem solving of case studies using English language and communication theory, knowledge and skills.

70% Coursework
30% Written exams

Your future career

The BA English Language provides a range of study and subsequent career options. You can ‘mix-and-match’ their option modules to reflect your interests, or you can select one of three pathways broadly corresponding to three of the main areas covered in the degree: the English Language Teaching Pathway, the Communication Pathway and the Applied Linguistics Pathway. All three pathways provide a sound basis for the study of English Language.

The English Language Teaching Pathway offers theoretical instruction and practical training for the teaching of English as a foreign language, including the internationally recognised CELTA teaching qualification. The Communication pathway provides background in communication studies, including intercultural and professional communication.

These provide valuable transferable skills for any profession in today’s global employment market, but render you particularly suitable trained for any post involving communication with stakeholders and requiring a high degree of intercultural expertise and sensitivity (for example in business, policing or civil service). The third pathway, Applied Linguistics, is also concerned with issues of culture, identity and society, but is more linguistically oriented. Students who have followed this pathway have a firmer grounding for pursuing careers including producing language (in writing, speaking or multiple modes), such as journalism, public relations, copy writing and publishing, in both traditional and new media. Providing these pathways enables you to choose more easily combinations of modules that suit not only your interests but also your aspirations for future careers, and make the focus of your degrees and training more visible to employers.

This course provides vital practical and theoretical skills which have allowed me to teach English abroad and work for Essex Police.

Rianne GayCrime Bureau Investigator, Essex Police


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £7,050 £9,910
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fees of £9,250 / £13,000 relate to 2020/21 only. Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

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4 years

UCAS code:



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