What my English Foundation Year was really like

I know its a bit nerve wracking when starting university and you have a million questions running through your head if you’re going to be in studying a foundation year I GOT YOU! Just a small disclaimer, these are the units that I studied on my course, I can’t guarantee that the course won’t have any changes in future years but hopefully this post should give you a bit of an idea about what to expect.

With my Foundation year course in English, I had 4 units, ‘Approaches to English’, ‘Modern Britain’, ‘Introduction to language, culture and linguistics’ and ‘Academic practice’. My foundation year was taught over 3 days a week. To help anyone thinking of doing BA (Hons) English with a foundation year I will be breaking down how each unit set for us, how it was graded and what the units consisted of.

For ‘Approaches to English’ I had one lecture a week, discussing the topics we needed to learn for the coursework which we submitted in the first term. After the Christmas holidays we learnt the topics for the summer exams which consisted of 6 books and two films and you answer two questions in the exam at the end of the year. I would say if you enjoy reading then you would enjoy this unit but if you don’t then I would suggest planning your reading workload out so it’s a lot easier for you.

‘Modern Britain’ is about the history of Britain, for the first semester there was a lot of reading which I was surprised by (it is needed to help with the coursework). I found the reading very helpful. The tutors also provided us with a booklet on what to expect, complete with practice questions which was really beneficial! After we submitted our coursework, the lectures and seminars focused on the exam questions, so we knew what to expect SO if your nervous of learning history don’t be, the tutors support you a lot!

For ‘Introduction to language, culture and linguistics’ , for the first semester we focused on the coursework that was related to social media. You could choose who to focus on and analyse their Instagram posts. In the second semester we focused on preparing for the exam, which was focused on advertising, in the seminars we were provided with examples which helped to make it a lot more straightforward.

‘Academic Practice’ was the only unit which didn’t have exams and was all assessed by coursework. This unit is very helpful as you learnt how to reference and there’s an opportunity to visit the library, learning the basics of what is expected from university coursework. I found it very helpful especially learning how to reference since I only did exams in college I did not know how to do it at all, so learning it for my first year will not be as stressful. For the coursework it was fairly straightforward, quizzes and 2 assignments that were due at the end of first semester.

Overall, I really felt supported in my foundation year, the tutors were very helpful and provided us with the information needed, they always said we could email when we needed which was reassuring. So, if you are worried what a foundation year in English will be like, please don’t worry. I really enjoyed it and I am sure you would too!

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