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

  • UCAS Code: B62F
  • Level: Foundation
  • Starting: September 2020
  • Study mode: Full Time (1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree)
  • Location: City South

The Foundation Year option gives you extra time and support to help you build your knowledge, skills and confidence before starting a full degree. It is designed to prepare you for a range of health courses, not one particular BSc degree, so you will study a broad range of subjects to prepare you to continue on to successful BSc level study. You'll develop a range of practical and analytical skills that will prepare you for a challenging and rewarding career in healthcare.

 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 HCPC, 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. 

Tailor your Health Sciences Degree

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

  • BSc (Hons) Diagnostic Radiography
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy
  • BSc (Hons) Speech & Language Therapy

Why choose a foundation year course?

By studying a foundation year in Health 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 Speech and Language Therapy – 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 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.

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.
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.

88 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Typical Offers
UK Qualification Requirements 2020/21
GCE A Level/ AS Level 88 UCAS tariff points = CCD. Excludes General Studies and Critical Thinking
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 held separately.
BTEC Diploma (12-units) DD in Health Studies, Health and Social Care, Applied Medical Science, Early Years, or other Science or Education related subjects.
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units) MMM in Health Studies, Health and Social Care, Applied Medical Science, Early Years, or other Science or Education related subjects.
International Baccalaureate Diploma 24 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 88 UCAS tariff points from 4 Highers, must include either Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Sociology, Geography or Maths.
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 88 UCAS tariff points in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers, must include either Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Applied Science, Psychology or Sociology.
WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma in Medical Science Achieve a minimum of 88 tariff points which must be combined with other acceptable Level 3 qualifications.
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.

  • UK/EU students
  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2020

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year foundation followed by 3 year degree
  • £9,250 per year
  • Apply via UCAS

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.

Guidance for UK/EU students


UK and EU students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

Applying through UCAS
 Register with UCAS
 Login to UCAS
 Complete your details
 Select your course
 Write a personal statement
 Get a reference
 Pay your application fee
 Send UCAS your application

Our advice for applying to a health care course

Applying for a course and preparing for an interview can be a daunting process, so we have created a series of films to help you through the process, including what to put in your personal statement.

More guidance

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

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.

Foundation Year

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Academic Skills for Success
20 credits

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University. Through a range of class-based group and individual activities, discussions, debates, personal reflection and wider reading and research, you will have opportunities to consider academic conventions, which include: effective use of literature; sourcing and reviewing information; various forms of academic writing; developing reflective capacity. You will also receive guidance on study skills and strategies, which will enhance previously acquired skills.

These professional skills are transferable and will be valuable not only in the immediate context but throughout your continued education and employment. By engaging with this module, we have set out clearly what we expect of you at foundation and undergraduate level, and will equip you with the confidence, competence and capacity to utilise resources to be able to meet expectations in this environment.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own learning and the way in which you have applied your knowledge, skill and understanding to any academic context in which you have engaged to date. Communicating effectively through a variety of academic conventions is a key skill for any student and this will be a feature of this module.

Download the full module specification

Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity
20 credits

This module is designed to help you gain awareness and understanding of current challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity and how this impacts upon the Health, Education and Social Sciences sector, preparing you for your future education and journey into practice.

Introducing the Equality Act 2010 as the overarching legislation that focuses on Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity, the module is based on themes that are covered by this Act.  The nine protected characteristics, upon which a person can be discriminated, as laid down in the Equality Act, will be discussed throughout and you will be introduced to case studies relevant to your chosen pathways.

The module will give you the opportunity to discuss debate and reflect upon how challenges around Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity may present themselves. Using problem and inquiry based learning you will have the opportunity to explore and discuss ways of working which can help to minimise discrimination in your own practice.  The module will be made up of lead lectures, taught sessions, group work and individual study.

An essential element of this module will be your ability to analyse and reflect on your own experiences and perceptions, whilst gaining an awareness and appreciating the differences of others. 

Download the full module specification

Interpersonal Skills and Professional Behaviours
20 credits

This module will focus on enabling you to gain a deeper understanding of the interpersonal skills and behaviours required to work in your chosen area. Through a range of class based and student focused activities you will explore the different concepts of effective interpersonal and professional behaviours essential to your own personal development and progression. By engaging in this module you will  reflect on your own and others  values, beliefs and behaviours identifying how this can impact on the way in which you will  be viewed by others. You will also address the importance of effective communication and how this can lead you to have a more professional approach in your chose area of work.

Download the full module specification

Negotiated Studies
20 credits

This module is designed to support you in your transition to studying in a Higher Education environment at Birmingham City University, allowing you the opportunity to negotiate learning of a bespoke subject. Under the guidance of tutors, you will be able to direct your learning and identify relevant learning opportunities that you feel enable you to learning more about a specific field of study.

The subject area within this module is student-led, with guidance and facilitation from designated academic and practice support. You will identify an area of study that you would like to review and evaluate, and which relates to your foundation year pathway and indicate programme.

A significant proportion of the module is based around negotiation with academic facilitators to identify extended areas of study and opportunities that are possible to enhance your towards completion of the study.

The module is not reliant on traditional taught subject sessions, although you will be expected to attend classes where you will work in peer learning groups exploring and developing your negotiated study. This approach to studying is closely allied to learning within the workplace.

Download the full module specification

Introduction to Human Biology
20 credits

An appreciation of the principles of Human Biology plays a central role in the understanding of the workings of the human body. This module is organised into three distinct phases from fundamental principles, to physiological processes, and then disruption of the interplay of such systems in human disorders. This understanding provides a solid foundation for the subsequent study in a range of disciplines from healthcare, allied healthcare, and other disciplines requiring an understanding of human biology. The topics covered will also be underpinned by practical activities. Pre- and post-session activities will help to develop your key transferable skills such as being able to reflect and ask probing questions as well as being able to think independently.  Development of these skills will ensure a growth in maturity and boost your confidence which will lead to unlocking your learning potential.

Download the full module specification

Health and Well-being in Society
20 credits

Students embarking on health related studies and careers need to have a knowledge and understanding of the factors that contribute to creating good health. Evidence shows that the majority of these factors lie outside of the healthcare and clinical remit and so it is important that students are aware of the wider social, economic, environmental and political drivers of states of health of the population, group or client group they may encounter.

As health services are reoriented towards prevention of ill-health and health improvement, all health science students need to consider the ways in which they may work in future, to both understand the social determinants of health and the principles and practice of health promotion in order to improve health, prevent ill-health and reduce health inequalities.

Download the full module specification

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Foundations of Professional Practice
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.

Download the full module specification

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

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

Communication and Swallowing Impairments and their Impact
20 credits

In order to deliver effective care for clients communication and swallowing needs you will require a sound knowledge of their impairments and needs. This module will introduce you to the profession-specific knowledge and skills base that you will need before moving on to appraise and manage clients with communication and swallowing needs.

Download the full module specification

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

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’.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).

Management of Communication and Swallowing Needs
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.

Download the full module specification

Application of Research and Evidence-Based Practice
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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

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.

Download the full module specification

You have the flexibility to transfer to a 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) Food and Nutrition
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Adult
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Learning Disability
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - Mental Health
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Radiotherapy

Course structure for  BSc (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy

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.

Mark Hetherington staff profile

Mark Hetherington

Course Leader HELS Foundation Year / Professional Navigator / Senior Lecturer

Mark Hetherington is the Course Leader for the HELS Foundation Year. His educational background is in Media and Communications and Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. Mark has specialised in the areas of designing curriculum to support the student learning process; assessment design and feedback; supporting students through mentorship and supervision, and reflective practice, which has aided in developing the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Science’s Foundation Year.

Read Mark's full profile