What is a Foundation Year?

Foundation Years are an alternative route to access studying a full degree, involving an initial year of study that, following successful completion, will enable you to progress onto the first year of one of our eligible undergraduate degrees.

We currently offer Foundation Years in six subjects areas - Business & Management; Science; Technology; Engineering; Media & Communication and; Creative Industries. The Foundation Year options are not course specific but instead provide a grounding of knowledge in these areas, building your understanding, confidence and skills for further study. 

A Foundation Year is not the same as a Foundation Degree. Successfully completing a Foundation Year gives you access onto a degree course, whereas a Foundation Degree is a standalone qualification equivalent to two years of a three or four-year degree.

Who is a Foundation Year for?

A Foundation Year could be right for you if:

  • You are a UK, Republic of Ireland or Channel Islands student
  • You don’t have the right qualifications for a full degree in your chosen subject
  • You have the qualifications but don’t feel ready for degree-level study yet
  • You are returning to study and feel you need some help to get up to speed with the demands of learning before starting an undergraduate degree.

Explore our Foundation Year core units:

What are the entry requirements?

48-72 UCAS tariff points including a minimum of 1 A-level or equivalent. There are no set GCSE requirements, with the exception of the Engineering Foundation Year and the Technology Foundation Year, which require GCSE Grade 4 (or Grade C) in Mathematics and English. The Foundation Year will cover these skills in preparation for degree study. You must successfully complete and pass the Foundation Year elements in order to be eligible to start the full degree. 

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 5.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component, or equivalent

Please note that for our professional qualification courses such as nursing, midwifery, operating department practice and occupational therapy, you are required to demonstrate insight into the field of study through relevant experience, as well as meet higher IELTS requirements where English is not your first language. You will also need to pass an Occupational Health (OH) check and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to progress onto the degree course. Full details can be found on the course pages accessed below.

How do I apply for a Foundation Year?

You apply for one of our Foundation Years the same way you would apply for an undergraduate degree, by submitting your application through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admission Service). UCAS will process your UK university application and will send your application to us to consider your academic and personal profile before making you an offer.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible once you’ve decided that a Foundation Year is right for you. There are a range of useful videos about how best to complete your application on the UCAS site. We’ve also got some great tips on applying for university on our undergraduate blog and have put together some advice on writing your personal statement

Our Foundation Years have their own unique UCAS codes, make sure you choose the correct code as well as the right institution codes when you fill in your application. Our institution code is B50.  

Why choose a Foundation Year?

  • Adapt to life at university and a different way of learning as you transition to degree-level study
  • Gain a strong foundation of knowledge and experience in science or business and management, so that on successful completion of the Foundation Year you're ready to start a full degree.

We offer Foundation Years on the following courses: