What is a foundation year?

If you don’t get the grades you’re hoping for on results day or don’t meet the requirements for one of our courses, then you may be offered the same degree with a foundation year. We have the answers to all your questions about foundation years and why it’s a good idea to do one.

Two students writing on notepads in study booth

What is a foundation year?

Foundation years are a great option if you have the talent, ambition and potential to thrive at university but don't meet the entry requirements for a particular degree course. Foundation years are an additional year of study before you start an undergraduate course that give you access to a degree course.

Why would I do a foundation year?

  • You don’t meet the required grades for the course you applied for but know you have the potential to succeed at university.
  • You studied different subjects in college or sixth form to the course entry requirements.
  • You would like extra time and support to help you build your knowledge, skills and confidence before starting a full degree.
  • You want the flexibility of a year’s study on a more general course to find out what you enjoy.

What are the benefits of a foundation year?

  • Address gaps in your learning: a foundation year offers a unique opportunity to address any knowledge gaps, refresh your understanding of core subjects, and hone in on your essential skills that will pave the way for success in higher education. 
  • Prepare for university life: from learning effective study strategies to navigating campus resources and forming new friendships, a foundation year can equip you with the tools needed to thrive in your academic journey.
  • Demonstrate discipline to employers: in a competitive job market, employers value candidates who demonstrate resilience and determination. Choosing to pursue a foundation year showcases your commitment to overcoming obstacles and investing in your education.
  • Explore different academic pathways: If you are uncertain about which course to choose, a foundation year can give you the chance to explore different subjects and pathways before committing to a specific area of study. By experimenting with a variety of topics and discovering where your passions lie, you can make informed decisions about your academic and career goals.

Which subjects are available?

You can study a range of subjects during your foundation year. Some of the courses available include:

  • Accounting and Finance with foundation year
  • Business management with foundation year
  • Biomedical Sciences with foundation year
  • Cyber Security with foundation year
  • Psychology with foundation year

Browse our foundation year courses available in Clearing.

What happens after the foundation year?

As long as you pass all your exams and meet the requirements for the undergraduate course you want to study, you can progress onto the first year of the course.

Do other students find a foundation year helpful?

“I was really relieved to be on the foundation year. Even though it was extra time I hadn’t planned for, it was good to be doing something productive and to be learning new things. It was great to go over the basics of engineering and mathematics to prepare for the degree.” – Elliot Hambleton, Mechanical Engineering with foundation year

“The foundation year was great for me. It had a broad, scientific focus but it also allowed me to prepare for the course. I got to speak to staff and think about the types of opportunities and placements I wanted to take part in, before jumping straight in.” – Nicholas Harfield, Learning Disability Nursing with foundation year

What is a foundation degree?

You may have heard of a foundation degree, which is different to a foundation year. Foundation degrees are delivered at colleges, in conjunction with universities. They aim to develop a student’s technical skills to progress into the workplace or university study if they wish to progress. They’re ideal for someone who doesn’t want to commit to a full three-year degree, as they only last two years but can still give you the qualifications for certain jobs. Following the foundation degree, you can progress to an undergraduate degree if you wish.

You can find out more about foundation degrees at prospects.ac.uk.

What should you do next?

Find your course

We have a wide range of courses still available in Clearing, browse our courses and find the right course for you.

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