What is a foundation year in university?

Published:
January 26, 2023
Last updated:
April 23, 2024
Two people holding a remote control airplane.

A foundation year is an extra year at the beginning of a university course. It helps prepare those who aren't quite ready to study for a full degree. Typically, a foundation year leads straight on to degree study with the same university.

How do they work?

Students who are unable to enrol in Year 1 of the course might study for a year before continuing with the course in Year 1 during the foundation years (Year 0). Students get the chance to study more about the subject and hone the abilities required for the programme during the foundation years. University-style lectures, seminars, and practicals are used for instruction. Exams and essays are used in combination for evaluation, much as in the previous degree years.

A group of people throwing caps in the air in front of a building.

Who are they for?

For people who did not meet the course admission standards at A-Level in their chosen subject, people who did not receive the necessary marks for the course, and/or people whose credentials, such as a BTEC, are not recognised for the course.

What are the entry requirements?

Every institution and field of study have different requirements and prerequisites, therefore it is best to check beforehand in order to fulfil criteria before applying to the preferred studies.. The majority of requirements call for Level 3 (A-Level) certificates, albeit they do tend to be less stringent than the conventional three-year degree. Students with suitable job experience will also be taken into account by universities.

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

Students that perform well on their tests, they will move on to Year 1 of the university degree.

A group of people in a lecture hall.

Does Student Finance cover a foundation year?

Students in the foundation year may apply for a tuition loan and a maintenance loan from Student Finance to help pay for their foundation year. Some colleges, like the University of Manchester, provide an extra scholarship to assist you with living expenses, while other colleges, like the University of York, forgo the bursary application fee.

Where do you live during the foundation year?

Like all other students, you can live in residence halls or off campus throughout your foundation years. Your foundational year has no bearing on that.

Are you planning to start your foundation year soon? Here you can find some tips to make the most out of it!

Packing for University: the essentials!

Get 10% off with

Hybr is Student Bean’s exclusive accommodation partner! This is the first rental discount ever on Student Beans. Created just for you because we know renting sucks.

Get new property updates to your inbox

We'll use your university email to contact you about relevant homes and news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.