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Foundation Years Explained

Foundation years are an extra year of study at the start of the course that allows students who don’t have the required entry requirements to study a degree.

How do they work?

Foundation years (Year 0) are an opportunity for students who can’t enter Year 1 of the course to study for one year before moving onto Year 1 of the course. Foundation years give students the opportunity to learn more about the subject and develop the necessary skills for the course. Teaching follows the traditional university style with lectures, seminars, and practicals. Assessment is also the same as the other degree years with exams and essays.

Who are they for?

  • People who studied different subjects at A-Level to the course entry requirements
  • People who did not get the required grades for the course
  • People whose qualifications aren’t accepted for the course e.g. a BTEC

What are the entry requirements?

Entry requirements vary from university to university, check each university’s required points tarrif. Requirements do tend to be lower than the traditional three year degree, but most ask for Level 3 (A-Level) qualifications. Universities will also consider students with relevant work experience.

What do you do at the end of the foundation year?

At the end of the year, so long as you’ve passed your exams, you will progress onto Year 1 of the university degree.

Does Student Finance cover a foundation year?

Foundation year students can get a tuition fee loan and the maintenance loan to cover their foundation year from Student Finance. Some universities, like the University of Manchester, offer an additional bursary to help you with your living costs, or like the University of York, offer a bursary fee waiver.

Where do you live during the foundation year?

During foundation years you can live in halls or off campus like all of the other students. Your foundation year doesn’t make a difference to that.

Where can I do a foundation year?

An increasing number of universities are offering foundation years. Look at our University Search Tool to find a university that offers a foundation course in your area of study.

Foundation years tend to be studied at the university you wish to do your full degree at. You apply for a course through UCAS which has a foundation year such as ‘Business & Marketing with Foundation Year’.


By Clarissa Ducie

Posted in UCAS & Application on Aug 10, 2019 by

UK University Search