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Undergraduate courses

Foundation years

Prepare for your degree with an extra year of study

Discover our Foundation year courses here, or apply now to start your course in 2024.

Apply now

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Foundation years are available for the majority of our courses and you can apply with lower grades.

Our foundation years are a great option if you want to get into higher education but you are not ready for a full undergraduate degree yet.

Foundation years are designed for students who need extra learning before they begin a degree. This might be because:

  • You do not yet have the entry requirements for the degree you want to do
  • You have been out of education for a while
  • You need a route into higher education which offers more support

As well as helping you get ready for your full degree, a foundation year will introduce you to academic writing, university life and your chosen subject.

The content of a foundation year usually provides a comprehensive overview of a diverse subject area, such as humanities or business. This will prepare you for the more specific study that you will do on a full degree course, and help you to choose your specialism. You will leave the foundation year with new ideas, new friends and the confidence to start your degree.

If you apply for a full undergraduate degree but you do not quite get the grades required, we will usually offer you a place on a foundation year instead.

You will choose a specific course when you apply, but you have the option to move onto one of the other degree courses related to the foundation year if you change your mind.


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Education, Children and Counselling Foundation Year

Consider how issues of equality, diversity and wellbeing impact on people's lives. Learn about the influence of policy and politics on professional practice. Explore how life for people in York has changed over time, learning about innovations in...

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Law and Social Sciences with Foundation Year

Investigate theories, ideas and issues relating to law and society from many different perspectives. The topics we cover on this foundation year are relevant to Criminology, Sociology, Law and Policing. The broad and varied understanding you will...

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Liberal Arts Foundation Year

Study diverse subjects from across humanities, social sciences, language and linguistics on this Liberal Arts Foundation Year. This course will give you both the skills you need to succeed in your degree and an opportunity to go beyond your chosen...

Student using psychology laboratory equipment

Psychology Foundation Year

If you are fascinated by Psychology but do not yet meet the entry requirements of our degree courses, this foundation year is your opportunity to gain the essential knowledge and skills you need before starting an undergraduate degree in this...

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Sport Foundation Year

Take the first step in preparing for an exciting career in sport with a foundation year. This 1 year course will help you refine your academic and professional skills and gain essential knowledge across all of the key areas of sport science and...

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York Business School Foundation Year

Completing a Foundation Year will get you ready for university level study and give you the knowledge and experience to excel in your chosen course. This is your chance to build confidence and skills as you prepare for your degree...

Entry requirements

Minimum entry requirements for a foundation year are usually:

  • 48 UCAS points
  • 1 GCSE in English Language at grade 4/C (or equivalent). 

Applying for a foundation year

You will apply for a specific course 'with foundation year'. If you decide that you prefer another of the subjects covered on the foundation year we can usually offer some flexibility in transferring to a different BA or BSc course.

Funding your course

You will be able to fund your course in the same way as if you were going straight onto a BA or BSc (Hons). Because you apply for the full degree 'with foundation year' when you make your application, the student loans company will view it as one 4 year course and you will be entitled to full funding for all 4 years. The only time this may not apply is if you have already studied a higher education degree somewhere else.

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