Foundation Years

Foundation years are a great option if you have the talent, ambition and potential to thrive at Birmingham City University but don't meet the entry requirements for a particular degree course.

A foundation year is for you if...

  • You want the flexibility of a year’s study on a more general course to find out the best degree choice for you.
  • You have changed your mind about your career since you chose your A-levels or BTECs and need to improve your skills in a different subject area.
  • You would like extra time and support to help you build your knowledge, skills and confidence before starting a full degree. 
  • You don’t quite meet our entry requirements but know you have the potential to succeed at university.

Canaan BA Art and Design, third year.
So the foundation year was one opportunity to not only to not only expand my art practice but also to expand my ambition as well.

So a foundation year is essentially one year and dedicated to expanding your understanding of what of what a creative practice is so you work in in sculpture and photography and life drawing and painting and all of these different forms of creativity to continue to expand and build on your practice. This is really helpful in terms of preparing you for the next year's studies so for example in in my case going into Art and Design which is very interdisciplinary so lots of different disciplines and parts of creative practice and Foundation year was a great opportunity to allow me to explore working in that way in this really interdisciplinary way in a much more safe and exploratory context.

When applying for my Foundation year I did so through ucas with the help of my sixth form, the application was essentially writing a a supporting statement as to why I wanted to join the university and after I submitted my application I was given the opportunity to go to a taster day at the University to experience the different workshops and and Facilities here and also to meet some of the lecturers as well I also had the opportunity to meet the art design lecturer who I would later be taught by in my um first year of Art and Design.

So the process was quite straightforward but it was nice having the the combination of the of the written submission and going there as well though I chose to do my Foundation year because it was ultimately an opportunity to experiment build and play with my practice it was also an extra year to do that and to work with my art especially given that I hadn't done an a level in art and design in sixth form so having that opportunity to to build on and expand on what my understanding of art is was really helpful especially going into my in the next year in Art and Design. I definitely felt part of the BCU Community because it was very much an opportunity to do extracurricular things beyond just my course as well so for example going to society events such as those organized by the African Caribbean society and the West Indians Society those allowed me to meet people who I otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet so essentially having an opportunity to work hard but also to enjoy myself as well I lived in student accommodation which was really um it was a really good good opportunity to to meet and mix in with people who I just wouldn't necessarily have met um if I hadn't lived a student of accommodation it was great to go to the different parties events and to experience different things that I just wouldn't have thought that I could do so I would definitely recommend it as an opportunity to immerse yourself into the university experience from a different perspective.

One of the main things that I really enjoy from the foundation year was the opportunity to go and see different places on the course with my course mates so for example going to to New York to see museums such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art which were really transformative experiences for me I would advise for whoever is thinking of how to push their work further to think about what you're feeding your mind with because it definitely comes out in your work.

What it's like to study a foundation year

Canaan chose to study a foundation degree in Art to develop his artistic knowledge and practice before jumping into an undergraduate degree.

How to apply

Ready to start your application but not sure how? We've put together some useful advice to help you through the application process.

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I am BCU

We have a confident, proud and diverse community of students at BCU, who are striving to achieve their career goals and transform their lives.

Thansu Jesudas

Thansu has always excelled in sports and didn’t want her grades to hold her back from a sporting career. After completing a foundation year, she’s now taking every opportunity available to her, including volunteering at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Read Thansu's story

Canaan Brown

Canaan has always been passionate about art and design, but it wasn't until he was inspired by other Black artists that he decided to pursue it at degree level. After studying a foundation year, he is now exceeding expectations as a finalist for the Black Heritage Undergraduate of the Year award.

Read Canaan's story

Carmen Tulloch

Growing up, Carmen had never given university a thought but after having two children, she realised being a stay-at-home mum wasn't for her. She applied for a foundation year at BCU to reach her goal of studying Working with Children, Young People and Families.

Read Carmen's story

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