BSc (Hons) Human Communication Science (Top-up) - University of Portsmouth
A Gold rating in teaching excellence Read more
BSc (Hons)

Human Communication Science (Top-up)

UCAS codeC852

Full Time (Top up)1yr

Study the science of our communication and language

Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course focuses on understanding and evaluating contemporary ideas regarding human communication and its disorders, from biological, psychological and social perspectives.

If you hold a diploma or foundation degree and wish to upgrade your qualifications, this top-up degree is an ideal route to a career in an area of communication science.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Benefit from the expertise of guest speakers who are at the forefront of research or have significant professional experience in the field of communication science
  • Undergo simulated competency tasks before putting your learning into action in the real world
  • Gain skills and knowledge relevant to a range of careers in the field

What opportunities might it lead to?

On completing this course, you will be able to demonstrate a range of transferrable skills, including report writing, the ability to communicate and argue complex ideas orally and the ability evaluate data and the ideas of others objectively. Primarily this course is a route to professions related to speech and language therapy; however you will have a wide range of other potential career opportunities with the skills you gain from this course.

Here are some routes you can pursue:

  • speech and language therapy
  • teaching
  • psychology
  • marketing
  • public relations
  • graduate training programmes


May Hunter, BSc (Hons) Human Communication Science (Top up) Graduate

I chose to study at Portsmouth because the degree gave me a good foundation to move forward with my future career path of becoming a Speech and Language Therapist.

May Hunter, BSc (Hons) Human Communication Science (Top up) Graduate


Health Sciences and Social Work

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The clinical and real-life learning approach that will equip you for your chosen career
  • Our simulated environments that mean you’ll gain and practise the skills you’ll need before entering the workplace 
  • Approachable lecturers, many of whom are teacher practitioners

Browse all courses in Health Sciences and Social Work

Back to top

Structure & Teaching

You will approach the science of human communication from a range of perspectives including anatomy and physiology, cognitive, psychological and social sciences as well as delve into the evolution of communication and language. By the end of the course you will have the advanced skills to carry out your own investigations and will have competed a dissertation in an area of human communication that particularly interests you.

Core units in this year include:

  • Contemporary Ideas in Human Communication Science: This unit examines current research and debates in the study of human communication and its disorders, including evolution of the human brain and use of communication, contemporary theories of language acquisition and sociolinguistics.
  • Applied Linguistics: You will focus on developing advanced knowledge and skills in the recording and analysis of speech and language.
  • Investigation and Enquiry: This unit is concerned with developing applied research skills within the field of human communication. It focuses on developing advanced, professional, and reflective practice skills in critically considering approaches to the collection and presentation of information.
  • Biology of the Mind: Focuses on the relationship between the brain’s physiology and cognitive behaviour, most notably communication. The unit also covers degenerative neurological diseases and therapies designed to treat the symptoms of them.
  • Dissertation: This is the opportunity to conduct a piece of undergraduate research in an area of particular interest to you. You can draw upon the knowledge and skills of the available research active academic staff on the course team.

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Teaching and Assessment

We have integrated, stimulating and diverse teaching strategies which aim to develop transferrable academic skills through lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and online learning. There will also be an emphasis on scholarly and research skills as you investigate a range of perspectives on human communication.

How are you assessed?

Coursework is varied and aims to demonstrate your achievement of learning outcomes, including knowledge transfer and evidence based inquiry. Here’s how you will be assessed:

  • oral and poster presentations
  • group project work
  • written reports
  • a thesis

Tutor's view


Kevin Borrett
Course Leader

The skills and knowledge acquired on this course apply across a variety of fields in health, social care and education in both public sector, private sector and charitable employment. It gives a flavour of the opportunities available in order for you to decide the further education or career path you wish to follow once qualified.

Back to top

Facilities & Features

Centre for Simulation in Health and Care

Our aim is to enhance your learning and experiences through the use of innovative technologies. You’ll practise profession-specific skills in a safe and supportive environment, as well as experience the types of clinical and informal healthcare situations that you’ll encounter in the workplace. The Centre is used to simulate real-life scenarios – a great way to prepare you for the real thing.

Guest Speakers

You will be taught by experts at the forefront of research and who are fully informed on developments within the areas of human and speech and language sciences. The course is also enriched by visiting speakers with applied and theoretical expertise in the field meaning that you will benefit from a stimulating programme of organised guest lectures.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

Back to top

Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

This course is particularly relevant if you have an interest in eventually qualifying as a speech and language therapist or as a professional in a related field, such as teaching and psychology. However, with the transferable skills this course embeds, you could also consider numerous other related employment opportunities including human resources, marketing, media and public relations.

Career planning

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Back to top

Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
University House
Winston Churchill Avenue
Portsmouth PO1 2UP

T: +44 (0)23 9284 8484