Speech and Language Therapy with Foundation Year - BSc (Hons) *

Full Time (4 years)
September 2018
£9,250 per year for UK/EU Full Time 2018 entry (view all fees)

This course is now full for 2018/19. You can apply for 2019/20 via UCAS from September 2018.

If you'd still like to apply for September 2018, take a look at some of our other available courses.

If you want a client-centered, evidence-based education in the field of speech and language therapy, our four-year BSc programme with a foundation year is the right choice for you.

Our course, which is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) uses a variety of innovative activities and placements. On graduation you will be ready to apply to the HCPC for registration as a speech and language therapist.

Tailor your Health and Life Sciences Degree

When you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you will be able to progress onto a range of Undergraduate courses at the Birmingham City School of Health Sciences and School of Nursing and Midwifery. These include:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in Health and Life Sciences, your first year will be spent learning a wide range of broad subject areas which then open up opportunities for you to specialise further in your next year –  which would be the first year of a full degree programme. 

You will study very broad subjects in your foundation year, which is designed to prepare you for a range of courses and not just one particular BSc degree. 

So although you are studying a BSc in a specific course – BSc Social Work – the foundation year sets you up for a number of other possible degrees starting the following year. It may be that you don’t end up doing a degree in precisely the same subject as your foundation year.

This flexibility is one of the great things about the foundation year category - Health and Life Sciences, allowing you to find out more about your interests and talents before focusing on a three year degree. The foundation year also helps us at BCU to make sure we help to match you to the degree that fits you best.

Please note: entry requirements for degree course

Upon completion of your Foundation Year, if your chosen course is regulated by a professional body such as the National College for Teaching and Leadership, you will be required to successfully complete the University’s selection process for the specific programme which will include an interview in order to proceed onto year one of the full degree programme. Entry onto year one of the degree programme will also be subject to a satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health Assessment. 

What's covered in the course?

Speech and language therapists support people of all ages who have communication and/or swallowing difficulties. Delivered at the West Midlands’ only training site for speech and language therapists - and the largest provider of qualified staff to the NHS and social care professions - this course is designed to prepare you to achieve excellence and professional autonomy in clinical practice.

You will learn through a variety of formats, including workshops, interactive lectures, and simulation sessions, which are run in state-of-the-art facilities on our Edgbaston campus. You will also benefit from the Virtual Case Creator (VCC), which enables us to simulate clinical scenarios in a virtual environment.

Throughout the course, you will develop your understanding of research and evidence-based practice, so that you will be able to contribute to the future development of the speech and language therapy profession.

You will undertake two major clinical placements, during which you will be immersed in all aspects of clinical practice. Towards the end of your clinical placement in your third year, you are likely to be managing your own caseload of clients, and you will have the option to participate in a number of extracurricular activities, including an opportunity for international exchange. Our graduates work as speech and language therapists in a wide range of settings in the NHS, but also in schools, for charities and in private practice.

BSc (Hons) Speech and Laguage Therapy

Why Choose Us?

  • Long-established course – nearly 40 years of experience in training speech and language therapists
  • Facilities include an SLT resource / study room and (from 2017) on-site clinic
  • Students work with speech and language therapy service users from the first week of the course, in simulation events and other sessions
  • A part time route is available for students who are unable to make the time commitment of the full time programme.

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Book your place

This course is not open to International students

Where our students go

Our students have gone on to work with organisations such as:

  • Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Talk Therapy

And in jobs such as:

  • Speech and Language Therapist

Subject to approval

This course is in the final stages of approval to ensure it meets the very highest standards of quality, creativity and applied learning.

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of 5 GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (formerly Grade C), at the point of enrolment. These must include mathematics and English language (or equivalent).

If you do not already have the required GCSEs, (or their equivalent) for entry onto this course, and are not registered to take them, visit Equivalency Testing for further information.

88 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2018/19
GCE A Level/ AS Level 88 UCAS tariff points = CCD.Must include either Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, Geography or Maths.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 60 credits overall in a health or science related pathway, also including GCSE English Language and Maths equivalence if not hold separately.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DD in Health Studies or Early Years, or Science subjects.
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMM in Health Studies or Early Years, or Science subjects.
International Baccalaureate Diploma 30 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 88 UCAS tariff points from 5 Highers, must include either Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, Geography or Maths.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 88 UCAS tariff points, must include either Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science, Psychology or Sociology.
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Worried about results?

Worried about your results?
Explore your options with Clearing

If you're worried about your exam results, changed your mind about your course choices or haven't applied yet - Clearing is a great time to explore your options. We explain what Clearing is and how it works.

Advice about Clearing 2018

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
BSc (Hons) Sep 2018 FT 4 years £9,250 per year Applications Closed

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

This course is now full for 2018/19. You can apply for 2019/20 via UCAS from September 2018.

If you'd still like to apply for September 2018, take a look at some of our other available courses in Clearing.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Year One

Academic Skills for Success
Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
Negotiated Study
Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
Introduction to Human Biology
Health and Well-being in Society

Year Two

Foundations of Professional Practice (double module)
40 credits

This module starts your development towards meeting the HCPC Standards of Proficiency through providing you with the foundational skills needed to safely operate as a student professional within the context of current and future speech and language therapy services.

Foundations in Phonetics and Linguistics
20 credits

This module will introduce you to key areas in phonetics and linguistics, including speech articulation, phonological theory, sociolinguistics, and syntactic analysis. You will also devote considerable time to building your phonetic  transcription skills in small group workshops.

Applied Anatomy & Physiology
20 credits

This module will introduce you to profession-specific knowledge of the main structures and functions of the body systems and the relationships between these in human communication and swallowing so that you can understand the implications of this for the work of the speech and language therapist.

Psychology and the Development of Language
20 credits

This module introduces you to psychological theory and aims to provide insight into the development of language and communication through the lifespan with focus on early years, adolescence and the ageing population. The module also highlights the relevance that psychological theory has to the development of language and communication and how this is applied to SLT.

Year Three

Appraising Communication and Swallowing Needs
20 credits

This module builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in year 1 within the Communication and Swallowing Needs strand. We will   introduce you to the principles of appraisal in speech and language therapy across a range of paediatric and adult client groups. The module will help you develop your clinical decision-making skills.

The Intermediate Professional
20 credits

The focus in this module is on developing professionalism as a values system. You will explore traits, attributes, behaviours and acts, alongside the development of effective interactions and relationships will be explored. You will have the opportunity to support your development through practical, interactive tasks and reflective work.

Appraisal in Professional Clinical Practice
20 credits

This module covers the first block clinical placement of the programme (8 weeks). You will observe and appraise clients with a variety of communication and swallowing needs within different settings, drawing upon the knowledge and skills acquired in the level 5 modules ‘The Intermediate Professional’ and ‘Appraising Communication and Swallowing Needs’.

Research and Evidence-Based Practice
20 credits

In this module you will learn how to develop research questions, conduct and write a literature review, and propose appropriate methodologies and data analysis methods.  You will take data analysis workshops to gain hands on experience in dealing with real data. You will also learn about principles of ethics in research.

Analysis of Communication and Swallowing
20 credits

In this module you will extend your theoretical knowledge of communication and swallowing, and gain additional practical skills in the analysis of communication and swallowing data. We will introduce you to a number of theoretical frameworks, such as Conversation Analysis, and instrumental methods, including the acoustic analysis of speech.

Principles of Client- Centred Management of Communication and Swallowing Needs
20 credits

In this module you will learn the principles of client-centred management and gain the essential skills necessary for planning management for clients with communication and swallowing needs. You will cover a spectrum of client groups such as people with aphasia, motor speech disorders, dysphagia and children with speech disorders/delay.

Year Four

Management of Communication and Swallowing Needs (double module)
40 credits

In this module you will complete your learning about the clinical management of people with communication and swallowing needs. You will work on cases with different levels of severity and complexity, including cases, where a person may have more than one area of impairment or need. You will also develop skills in working effectively in partnership with others.

Application of Research and Evidence- Based Practice (double module)
40 credits

This module caps the research and evidence-based practice strand of the course. You will construct a research proposal, in which you formulate an SLT practice-related research question, critically evaluate the relevant academic literature, and design a study to address the research question that is both methodologically sound and ethically appropriate.

The Entry-Level Professional
20 credits

In this module, you will consider the knowledge and skills necessary to support your development into a practice-ready final year student. You will study in more detail the key threads for professional development, under the topics of: reflection; interaction; communication and meta-communication; resilience; confidence and professional values.

Management in Professional Clinical Practice
20 credits

This module covers the second block clinical placement of the programme (12 weeks). It provides you with opportunities to apply your knowledge, skills and professionalism in the management of a range of clients. Towards the end of this module, there are study days to support  you with the writing of your CV and to prepare you for job interviews.

You have the flexibility to transfer to any standard undergraduate programme from the School of Health Sciences or the School of Nursing and Midwifery upon successfully completing your Foundation Year including:

  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Health Studies (Public Health)
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Ultrasound
  • BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Child
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work

Course structure

In your first year you'll learn the basics in the areas of anatomy, psychology, linguistics and phonetics.

The year acts as a strong introduction to the most common issues around both communication and swallowing difficulties.

In year two, you'll begin to apply theory to practice and you'll learn about assessing client's speech, language, communication and swallowing needs. You will also have your first clinical placement in your second year.

In your third year, you'll learn about managing your client's speech, language, communication and swallowing needs, and you put your learning into practice on your final 15-week clinical placement.

We offer a part-time route which gives you the opportunity to still train as a speech and language therapist if you feel that you cannot commit to a full time degree. The part-time course takes six years to complete and you'll attend university for two days per week. You'll also have the chance to swap to the full-time route if you decide you want to finish in less than six years.

Overseas opportunities 

During year 3 of the course up to 20 students have the opportunity to undertake a week of joint learning with SLT students from other EU countries, under the ‘IP light’ programme. The IP light event is usually hosted by a partner institution in continental Europe.

Trips and visits

During the third year students participate in off-site visits to clinical teams, for example to the cleft palate team at Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BCH).

Examples of classroom activities 

In order to ensure that you can get the most out of clinical placements, we offer a range of simulation methodologies which enables you to practise in a safe ‘forgiving’ environment with no risk of harm to service users. We are currently the only SLT programme to offer extensive simulation opportunities and expertise.

Further study

Once employed as a speech and language therapist you have the option to apply to study on the MSc Advanced Practice Programme.

Enhancing Employability Skills

Once you graduate  from our course you will be eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to work as a speech and language therapist. You'll have a range of career opportunities available to work as a speech and language therapist in hospitals, community health centres, mainstream and special schools, care homes, nursing and residential homes, young offenders' institutions, prisons and clients' own homes.

You'll also have the option to work in independent practice once you have gained some experience, and to work abroad.

In applying for your first job you’ll be able to draw on the experiences from your block clinical placements, during which students are immersed in all aspects of clinical practice. You will have completed a personal development portfolio, and as a participant in Professional Practice Day you will have shared in the ideas and experiences of employers and alumni.


The programme includes two block clinical placements, during which you are immersed in all aspects of clinical practice. The first block placement is in year two and takes 8 weeks to complete (16 weeks in year 3 for part time students); the second block placement consists of 12 weeks in year 3 (24 weeks in year 6 for part time students). Towards the end of the second block placement students are expected to be able to manage their own small caseloads. You will work with various different client groups during your placements (both adults and children), and work in different settings, e.g., community clinics, hospitals, schools.

During your first year you will undertake a number of placement-related activities, and you will work with speech and language therapy service users from your first week on the course.

More about our placement opportunities...


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.


We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge learning facilities.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Resource Room

This is a dedicated resources room for speech and language therapy students. It houses a vast range of up to date assessment and therapy materials that students will develop their knowledge and skills of during their programme of study in readiness for clinical practice. A two way mirror in the room allows for simulation activities for students to practice their clinical skills. This is a place where SLT students can study individually or in small groups to prepare for practice related activities.

Skills Practice and Care Enhancement facility

The SPACE (Skills Practice And Care Enhancement) learning facility lets you further practice the skills taught in class, at your own pace and convenience.

It is fully stocked with the specialist items and equipment needed for procedures such as taking blood pressure, giving an injection, abdominal examination of a pregnant woman and caring for ill babies in an incubator.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Lesley Ann Docherty

Senior Lecturer

Lesley Ann qualified in 2001 from UCE and worked at Selly Oak Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital until joining the University in 2014. She worked in the Stroke Unit and supported patients in the Burns Unit and ITU. Lesley Ann currently holds an honorary contract at a local NHS hospital.

Elaine Duddy

Senior Lecturer

Elaine is a senior lecturer on the BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy degree. Her area of specialisation is cleft palate.

Juliette Gaunt

Associate Professor

Qualified Speech and Language Therapist with professional registration and HCPC licence. Clinical specialism paediatric dysphagia and professional practice.

Specialist interest in preparation for practice and wider professionalism teaching in healthcare.

Passion for working with High Achieving Students and developing the BCU scheme with supports these students in levels 5 and 6.

Claire Hartley

Claire Hartley

Senior Lecturer

Claire Hartley is a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) and Senior Lecturer (in acquired communication difficulties) at Birmingham City University. She is also the Programme Director for the Return to Practice in SLT Programme. Her interests include aphasia, motor speech disorders, simulated practice in SLT, and working with service users. She is a Better Conversations Champion, Lee Silverman voice treatment (LSVT) Certified clinician and Chairs the Central Neuro Rehab CEN. She also supervises the department's placements with the Stroke Association.

Dr Thomas Hopkins


Having completed a BSc in Psychology at Nottingham Trent University in 2006, Tom moved to Sheffield to study a part-time MSc in Psychological Research Methods at Sheffield Hallam University.

After gaining a distinction he was accepted onto a PhD scholarship at the University of Sheffield in the department of Human Communication Sciences in 2010. His research involved studying the language literacy and communication abilities of young offenders using a mixed methods approach.

Dr Wouter Jansen

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Linguistics and Admissions Tutor

Wouter lectures on the BSc Speech and Language Therapy degree, and also acts as Admissions Tutor for this course. He teaches (clinical) linguistics, phonetics, and research methods and currently leads two modules: SPR5018 Appraising Communication and Swallowing Needs, and SPR6015, the final year research and evidence-based practice module for SLT students. Wouter's academic background is in linguistics, especially phonetics and phonology.

Wouter has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Groningen (cum laude, 1997; equivalent to an MA in the pre-2002 Dutch HE system). He has a PhD in Linguistics, also from the University of Groningen (completed in 2004; supervisors: Dicky Gilbers and John Nerbonne). Wouter was a Lecturer in Linguistics at University College Dublin in 2003-2004, and taught a module on advanced phonological theory at University College London in 2004-2005. In 2005-2006 he was a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics in the department of Clinical Language Sciences at Leeds Metropolitan University. Wouter joined Birmingham City University as Senior Lecturer in Clinical Linguistics in 2006.