BA single honours  English Language with Foundation Year 2020/21

Year of entry

A number of our degrees are also offered with an additional foundation year (Year 0). Whether you are a school-leaver or someone considering returning to study but don’t have the entry requirements for your chosen subject, a foundation year course may be just what you’re looking for.

A foundation year is the first year of a four year programme which:

  • provides an introduction not only to study at University but also to your chosen subject
  • offers you a highly supportive environment where you can develop the self-confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding for further study.

Following the Foundation Year you will go on to explore areas including:

  • how language works
  • how people communicate
  • how people use, learn and teach English
  • how people from different cultures communicate successfully

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

The aim of the English Language degree is to allow you to develop an in-depth understanding of the English language and its role in the world, as well as an in-depth understanding of its role in communication at interpersonal, public, group and intercultural levels.

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. With its practical focus, you can study how language is used in the worlds of work, education and the media. 

Top reasons to choose this course

  • Focus on how language skills can be applied to the real world
  • The opportunity to do a work placement, carrying out a project in a work setting related to English Language 
  • You can study teaching English as a foreign language.
  • Unlike some other University courses, we focus on the relationship between English language and communication. Our teaching staff are experts in language, communication and the interface between the two

"The most valuable asset the programme has given me is confidence. I am now confident in my ability to effectively communicate in a variety of different social and cultural contexts, and am even (relatively!) unfazed by public speaking. This confidence has enabled me to move to a different country on my own and secure a job I love."

Hannah Fairhead Graduated 2016 now in-house copywriter for a North American parking and transportation company

You can study French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish as part of, or alongside, your course.

more info

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. Options offered in the second and third years have included how to teach English as a foreign language, international business communication as well as options on language and gender, digital communication, or the history of the English language.

"Having joined the course as a mature student and now returned to the world of full time employment, there are so many elements that have helped me to progress in my career. This is a relevant and exciting course, which adds considerable value to your personal and professional development - I'm now considering a masters."

Mark Hassan Ali, Graduated 2015 Talent Acquisition Manager at YouGov

Work experience

You can 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.

Research seminars

The School of Language and Applied Linguistics have an annual programme of research seminars which English Language students can attend.

Foundation Year Zero

As a student on a Faculty of Arts and Humanities Foundation Year course you will undertake 4 core modules introducing you to study in the arts and humanities and university level skills. 

Core Modules

Semester One

  • Life and Study 

A module introducing you to Life and Study at university, equipping you with the personal management skills you need to make the most of your time here. 

  • Understanding Arts and Humanities 

A module introducing research methods and key skills, such as academic writing, referencing, presentations and critical reading. 

Semester Two

  • Being Human

A module introducing modernity and how it is identified and researched. You will choose your own individual example of modernism, whether it be an object, a work of art, an idea or a piece of literature. 

  • School Core Module 

A module designed to equip you with the skills relating to your chosen subject area, providing you with a seamless transition to level 4/year one.   

Complementary Modules 

In addition you will be offered two complementary modules, one to be studied in each semester. For this subject you will study:

Semester One

  • Foundation English Literature 

You will study literature written in English in its historical, cultural and critical contexts. You will be introduced to a variety of perspectives, including social justice, definitions of gender and the exchange of knowledge and power.


  • Introduction to Global Humanities 

You will study the materials and concepts that inform the meaning of being human from global south diaspora perspectives. You will explore key concepts such as identity, freedom, justice, culture, belonging and migration.

Semester Two

  • Foundation English Language and Communication 

You will study the ways in which written and spoken communication operate in different settings and with different effects. 

Core modules

Year 1

Language in use: global & local perspectives (20 credits)

The module is divided into two main strands. In strand one the module aims to enable you to study effectively at higher education level through the development of appropriate learning and study skills. You will develop their understanding of typical modes of study, assessment and support that they will encounter on the English Language programme with a view to becoming confident and autonomous learners. This is combined with input which explores global issues related to language, such as Language Variety and Language Change with a view towards challenging cultural bias and stereotyping. In strand two, the focus is placed more emphatically on the linguistic systems of grammar, lexis and phonology by exploring work and areas of research in which linguistic systems are put to regular, practical use. It also aims to give you a sense of the wide range of activities underpinned by expertise in grammatical, lexical and phonological analysis..

Exploring Language (20 credits)

The aims of the module are to develop an understanding of how the resources of grammar, lexis and phonology are used to communicate in different kinds of written and spoken texts with specific reference to the example of English. It also aims to develop skills for a linguistic analysis of texts and to provide an introduction to phonemic transcription, as a basis for the range of subsequent modules in the English Language programme

Exploring Communication (20 credits)

The aims of this module are to provide you with an understanding of the key factors in interpersonal communication, public and group communication, both verbal and non-verbal, and for you to apply this understanding in exploring how communication functions between individuals and groups in a variety of contexts.

The Roots and Routes of English (20 credits – compulsory for Single Honours only)

This module celebrates the linguistic and cultural diversity of English, encouraging you to explore and to value ‘non-standard’ as well as standard varieties, informed by historical and global awareness of language change, from the shared origins of the Indo-European family of languages to the range of ‘Englishes’ evident internationally today, with a look at possible developments in the future. You will develop a knowledge of the systems of language needed to analyse developments in Old English, Middle English, and Early and contemporary Modern English. Along the way, the module takes in the language and dialects of Anglo-Saxon and Viking migrants, who settled in Britain over a thousand years ago (thus helping prepare students who opt to continue to the Level 2 module ‘Old English’), the contributions of the Normans, and developments associated with religion, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and colonialism. Throughout, reference is made to the local environment, particularly Canterbury’s significance in relation to St Augustine and his impact early in the Old English period, and in our exploration of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.

Sociolinguistics (20 credits - compulsory for Single Honours only)

This module aims to give you insight into the ways in which language and society interact, in what is termed the study of Sociolinguistics. This area of study concerns itself with variation, be it geographical variation related, say, to accent and dialect, or to variation related to age, social class or to gender, or historical variation related to language change, revival or death. This module will therefore study the phenomena of variation in language as related to society, looking at the factors which lie behind variation and the ways in which variation occurs. It also looks at ways in which linguistics variation of various kinds can be studied, and aims to enhance students’ ability to investigate language variation for themselves.

Contemporary Language Studies: (20 credits - French, Spanish, German, Italian or Mandarin Chinese – compulsory for Single Honours only)

This is an introductory module to studying a foreign language. Its purpose is to make you think about how language works and is learnt. Furthermore, the module will increase your competence in a modern language for use in work situations and to set the acquisition of language skills in the context of the countries in which this language is commonly used. You can continue learning the language throughout the degree.

Year 2

Research Methods in Language and Communication (20 credits - compulsory for Single Honours – option for Combined Honours)

The aim of this module is threefold: firstly, to provide you with an understanding of research methods used in study of language and communication; secondly, for you to apply this knowledge in carrying out a small-scale investigation of language and communication; and thirdly, to prepare you for doing the level 6 Individual Study.

It is a prerequisite for the level 6 Individual Study.

English Language and Communication in the Workplace (20 credits - compulsory for Single Honours – option for Combined Honours)

The aim of this module is to provide you with the skills, abilities and knowledge to prepare for employment within professions that require knowledge and skills in the English language and communication more broadly; to gain knowledge and skills of the workplace; and to enable you to apply English language and communication theory and practice in an authentic workplace environment. This will extend your academic and professional understanding as well as providing you with an invaluable means to gain future employment.

Year 3

Individual Study (40 credits - - compulsory for Single Honours – option for Combined Honours)

The aims of this module are to enable you, under guidance of a tutor, to undertake an extended piece of focussed investigation, and to build on work done in previous years by undertaking an in-depth study of one aspect of those subjects or to enable exploration of a new area, provided that sufficient skills have been acquired and that the project is deemed viable. It also aims to provide opportunity for you to develop your research and analytical skills and combine disciplined and sustained academic study with developed personal interest.

Prerequisite for this module: Research Methods in Language and Communication

Likely optional modules

Year 2

Discourse Analysis (20 credits)

The module aims to raise your awareness of discursive features and strategies as interacting with both situational and social context, and it considers the mutual influence between social beliefs and texts. The module also aims to develop your awareness of structural, vocabulary and phonological resources in English and their effect on meaning and communication through discourse, and your ability to identify and critique structural and vocabulary features in texts as they impact on meaning and affect successful communication.

Language Acquisition (20 credits)

The processes involved in the acquisition of language can tell us much about the nature of language itself as a system of human communication. We all acquired our mother-tongue as children with apparent effortlessness, yet how this remarkable achievement happens remains a subject of scholarly fascination and controversy. In addition, many of us go on to learn more than one other additional language at school or later in life, but with much greater individual variation in both effort and success. This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the processes involved in learning a first language, as a child, and any subsequent language in later life. It explores the main theories put forward to explain the phenomena, with reference to the internal and external factors involved.

Intercultural Communication 1 (20 credits)

The aims of this module are to provide you with an understanding of how cultural identity influences how individuals express themselves, both verbally and non-verbally, and of what it means to be ‘interculturally communicatively competent’, in other words, to be skilled at communicating with people from and in a variety of cultural contexts.

Intercultural Global Experience (20 credits)

The Intercultural Global Experience fieldtrip module aims at helping you by complementing and extending the learning in the programme’s core and option modules on language and communication in an intercultural context. With a view to the option of a year abroad, or international mobility in general, it also exists to prepare you for the experience of undertaking a more extended sojourn, whether in the context of study or work, specifically in negotiating the intercultural challenges of doing so.

The Fundamentals of English Language Teaching (20 credits)

The module aims to provide an understanding of the key principles underlying the good practice of communicative English language teaching to adults. It provides an understanding of core concepts of English grammar, lexis and phonology in relation to TEFL, and also offers an insight into the teaching of the four language skills – listening, reading, writing and speaking. Finally, it provides an introduction to the practical classroom teaching skills required by teachers of English to speakers of other languages.

In doing the above, it also aims to prepare you to study for a ‘CELTA’ (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults) as part of their final year studies. This qualification is validated by Cambridge ESOL, part of the examinations board of the University of Cambridge, and is internationally recognised.

Business Communication (20 credits)

This module aims to place your developing knowledge of communication in English into a specific and tangible working domain – that of businesses and organisations. The ability to assess the kinds of communication that are required in companies and businesses will be focussed upon, analysed and investigated. The module will cover communication which is both internal and external communication to organisations.

The modules is orientated towards developing you as a whole person in a flexible way giving you practical skills and knowledge which will enhance your employment prospects and assist you is reaching your career aspirations even where these are not firmly established at this stage.

Old English Language and Literature (20 credits)

This module will introduce you to the study of Old English literature and language. You will learn the language skills necessary to translate and analyse poetry and prose written in Old English, and develop an understanding of the literary, cultural, and historical contexts in which this language and its literature were produced. A range of texts will be translated and studied in Old English, including religious and literary texts (in prose and poetry) from the Anglo-Saxon era, alongside other works which are now important historical sources for understanding the period.

Investigating Digital Communication (20 credits)

Digital communication has become a major means of communication in personal, educational and professional spheres of life. Therefore, a good level of awareness and competence (digital literacy) in digital communication is becoming pre-requisite for successful communicators in today’s world. The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of digital communication. This module will consider how a range of technologies are used for communicative purposes in daily life and provide an overview of current linguistic and social practices.

Extended Essay (20 credits)

The main aim of this module is to develop your independent critical reading and academic essay writing skills so that you can undertake a substantial literature-based piece of written work on a subject related to one of the other Level 5 modules. It also aims to provide an opportunity to develop your knowledge in a specific area of developing personally interest through in-depth exploration into their chosen area, under the guidance of  a tutor.

As a result of the above, you will be better prepared to write the literature review section of your final year Individual Studies.

Contemporary Language Studies (French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese) (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to build on the language competence acquired at level 4 and expand knowledge and practical skills in the use of that language in an international work context; to contextualise the learning of the language through a study of relevant aspects of the economic, topical and global issues in the countries where the language is spoken.

Prerequisite for this module: Contemporary Language Studies module Level 4 or equivalent

Year 3

Individual Study: 20 credit version (20 credits – option for Combined Honours only)

The aims of this module are to enable you, under guidance of a tutor, to undertake a piece of focussed investigation, and to build on work done in previous years by undertaking further study of one aspect of those subjects or to enable exploration of a new area, provided that sufficient skills have been acquired and that the project is deemed viable. It also aims to provide opportunity to develop your research and analytical skills and combine disciplined and sustained academic study with developed personal interest.

Intercultural Communication 2 (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to explore how intercultural communication functions in practice; that is to say, how communication succeeds and fails between people from differing cultural and language backgrounds. The aim is thus to understand theories and approaches that explain communication success and failure, and have a critical understanding of how this manifests itself in various social settings.

Intercultural Professional Communication (20 credits)

The aim of this module is to explore how intercultural communication functions in a variety of professional contexts, and how this understanding can be applied in intercultural awareness training in order to avoid/resolve conflict and improve intercultural communication. In meeting these aims, the module is designed to provide you with an enhanced sense of your own intercultural competences, and an informed understanding of how intercultural miscommunication occurs, and the place of intercultural awareness training in avoiding this.

Intercultural Global Experience (20 credits)

The Intercultural Global Experience fieldtrip module aims at helping you by complementing and extending the learning in the programme’s core and option modules on language and communication in an intercultural context. With a view to the option of a year abroad, or international mobility in general, it also exists to prepare you for the experience of undertaking a more extended sojourn, whether in the context of study or work, specifically in negotiating the intercultural challenges of doing so.

Language and Gender (20 credits)

The module aims to familiarise you with the study of language and its interaction with social context specifically in relation to gender identity and its intersections with other identities in a variety of contexts. As such, it aims to raise critical awareness of analysing both linguistic performance and representation as both reflecting and constructing gender identity, developing the principles of social justice as well as global citizenship.

CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) (40 credits)

The module enables you to:

1. acquire essential subject knowledge and familiarity with the principles of effective English language teaching;

2. acquire a range of practical skills for teaching English to adult learners;

3. demonstrate their ability to apply their learning in a real teaching context

By completing the module successfully you can begin working in a variety of ESOL teaching contexts around the world as this Cambridge University qualification is very widely recognised.

Pre-requisites for this module: Fundamentals of English Language Teaching

You will also need to pass an interview and pre-interview task carried out by the module staff in order to be accepted on the module.

Analysing Media Discourse (20 credits)

The module aims to familiarise you with the analysis of and reflection on media texts, focussing on both traditional/mass and new/online media. Media play a ubiquitous role in contemporary life and display a wide range of language and semiosis in use. The module aims to build on and deepen your already established understanding of how discourse and communication works by providing additional insights into the role of choice of medium and related social contexts. It further aims to render you critical media users and effective communicators.

Contemporary Language Studies (20 credits) (French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese)

The aims of the module are to equip you with a level of fluency and accuracy in the foreign language enabling you to function comfortably in both social and work situations and to remove any language barrier within those situations; to make you conversant with the general and work cultures of countries where the language is used.Prerequisite for this module: Contemporary Language Studies module Level 5 or equivalent

The analytical and communication abilities that an English Language degree provides are called ‘transferable skills’ and are considered desirable in almost any occupation.

Because of its flexibility, this degree lets you choose from many different employment sectors and occupations. Teaching and journalism are common career destinations; working in communication training is another. A large number of graduates choose to work in a creative field, like advertising, PR or marketing. There are also many opportunities for further study and academic work.

"The programme was my first insight into the field of Linguistics. It set me up for further education within applied linguistics. With the great choice of modules on offer I was able to see all of the fascinating ways in which language can be used and studied. The staff were always available to help with any questions and with a such a strong dynamic with student’s, work was never left misunderstood. I would highly recommend the course to anyone with an interest in how language and communication shape our everyday lives. With the help of the amazing staff the programme will allow you to excel and succeed in a variety of exciting and interesting fields in later life."

Theodore Day, Graduated 2016 Currently studying MA in Language & Cultural Diversity at King’s College London

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

With the second year extended essay and the third year individual study, you can research a topic that interests you with the full support of a dedicated tutor.

Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select but typically involve four hours tuition per week for a taught module.

"This course provides vital practical and theoretical skills which have allowed me to teach English abroad and work for Essex Police. The variety of research, culture, and language studies are cleverly structured throughout the 3 years with excellent support and knowledge from the staff."

Rianne Gay, Graduated 2016 Crime Bureau Investigator, Essex Police

Independent learning

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

Our Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard) provides crucial guidance and materials for independent study.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before or after a class.

For the individual study in the third year, you will undertake independent research. You will work under the supervision of a member of the programme team. You will meet with your supervisor regularly for tutorials.

Overall workload

Your overall workload typically consists of 12 contact hours. For each 20-credit module, your study time is about 10 hours a week.

Academic input

The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience.

Team members hold PhDs and/or MAs as well as teaching qualifications. They are research-active. They have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You should note members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate PhD students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules with the guidance of more experienced academic team members. Experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

All programmes are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2020.

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 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.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by coursework is as follows:

Year 1

70% coursework 30% written exams

Year 2

60% coursework 30% written exams 10% practical exams

Year 3

75% coursework 25% written exams


You will receive feedback on all formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

We operate a policy of a three-week turnaround for normal coursework feedback.


Tuition Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised. Course webpages will be updated with Tuition Fee information once these have been agreed.

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any Library Fees and Fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS

Need some help?

For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Email: courses@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • Q313 English Language with Foundation Year

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 4 years full-time


  • September 2020

Entry requirements

  • Candidates should have studied at level 3 and have attained 48 UCAS Tariff points, although those without formal qualifications will be considered.

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



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Last edited: 21/03/2019 10:13:00