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Undergraduate Course

Education, Children and Counselling Foundation Year

Take the first step in a career that makes a difference. Change lives through teaching, supporting young people and families, or counselling.

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 counselling and education.

  • Available in Clearing

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time, then a 3 year full time or 6 year part time degree
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum entry requirements

48 UCAS Tariff points

1 GCSE at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Tuition fees

UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

International 2024 entry £14,000 per year full time

Made by You & Us

Course overview

A foundation year is an ideal option if you do not yet meet the entry requirements for your chosen degree, you have been out of education for a while, or you do not feel ready to start studying at degree level. You will study alongside other students who will go onto different degree courses within Education, Children and Counselling. We make sure that the content is relevant to all of the available degree routes, but you will also benefit from learning more broadly outside of your chosen specialism. We focus on key concepts that are central to all of these courses, and which will give you valuable background knowledge when you move onto the next level of your study.

You will have the opportunity to build your professional experience by carrying out work experience in a setting suited to your career aspirations. Completing an extended independent project relevant to your course will help you feel more prepared for the increasingly independent study that will be required through your degree.

Studying on this foundation year will help you to refine the academic skills needed for your degree. It is also an opportunity to build your confidence, settle into higher education, and be sure about the direction you will take your study next. You may find that your focus changes and you choose to progress onto a different route. The foundation year gives you the flexibility and broad understanding to be confident in your next steps.

Education, Childhood and Counselling degrees available with Foundation Year

This course gives you an alternative route to undergraduate study. Upon successful completion of this course you will progress onto one of our undergraduate degree courses. To progress onto a Primary Education degree you will need to meet further requirements. Further details are listed under entry requirements.

Education, SEN and Mental Health Foundation Year BA (Hons)

UCAS Code: X301

Early Years Education and Care (with Graduate Practitioner Competencies) with Foundation Year BA (Hons)

UCAS Code: 2M9L

Children, Young People and Society with Foundation Year BA (Hons)

UCAS Code: L542

Counselling and Mental Health with Foundation Year BA (Hons)

UCAS Code: BX92

Primary Education 3-7 Years with Foundation Year BA (Hons)

UCAS Code: X311

Primary Education 5-11 Years with Foundation Year BA (Hons)

UCAS Code: X321

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. You will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will help you to prepare for the transition to higher education. We will introduce you to the basic principles of academic writing, reading and research, which you will use throughout your degree. Through this you will build your confidence as an independent learner, which is essential to university level study.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Explore some of the most significant education and health policies, along with the impact they have on those working with children and young people today. On this module you will analyse and evaluate the impact of these policies on both children and the practitioners who work with them.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module uses key aspects of York's history to explore how experiences of, and attitudes to, education, childhood, family and mental health have changed over time. The module will provide an introduction to the city of York and the University’s place within it. You will consider cultural and social change, discussing:

  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Leisure
  • Family and community support
  • Education

We will also consider how life for the people of York has changed, and consider the influence of Joseph Rowntree.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Becoming a reflective practitioner, able to evaluate and improve your work, is a key part of any further study. This module will support you in developing early professional skills and attributes in a setting aligned to your future development. You will carry out your work experience in a setting which aligns with your future development plans.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will learn about concepts of inclusivity and holism, exploring how they inform practices in education, counselling and related fields. You will make links between theory and practice, to complement your work experience module. Throughout the module we will consider themes of equality, diversity, inclusivity and wellbeing, making links between theory and practice.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will work independently (but with supervision and support) on a more in depth project related to the degree course you will progress onto the following year. This is a chance to research a topic you are interested in, relating to your chosen course and your future career plans. You will also reflect upon and refine the skills you have developed through your foundation year. This module will help you to transition seamlessly into your next level of study.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Throughout the course you will experience a range of different learning activities, including:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Individual tutorials

For your Placement module, you will carry out between 20 and 60 hours of work experience, supported by a smaller number of taught sessions. An academic tutor will support you throughout your foundation year.

Outside of taught sessions, you will need to independently engage in further reading. This independent study includes preparation for taught sessions, either individually or in groups, following materials and activities that are provided on Moodle. You will also spend time completing coursework and preparing for your assessments.

You will have access to resources that extend beyond textbooks and journal articles to include voices that are marginalised in the traditional academic literature.


Assessment types vary across modules, and may include:

  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Creative artefacts
  • Portfolios

There are no exams on this course.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    48 UCAS Tariff points

    1 GCSE at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

Please also see the specific requirements for Primary Education listed below.

International students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Progression onto degree course

Passing this foundation year guarantees your progression onto:

  • Education, SEN and Mental Health BA (Hons)
  • Children, Young People and Society BA (Hons)
  • Early Years Education and Care (with Graduate Practitioner Competencies) BA (Hons)
  • Counselling and Mental Health BA (Hons)

If you are applying for:

  • Primary Education 3-7 Years BA (Hons)
  • Primary Education 5-11 Years BA (Hons)

You will need to meet the following criteria by the end of your foundation year to progress on to the full degree course:

  • A satisfactory medical report and a satisfactory Enhanced DBS check
  • 5 GCSEs at grade C/4/Level 4 or above (or equivalent) including English, Mathematics and Science. We do not accept IELTs in lieu of the GCSE in English.
  • Successful interview with the Primary Education team

If you do not meet these criteria, you will have the option to transfer onto one of the other BA (Hons) courses listed above instead.

Fees and funding

To study a Foundation Year with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK, or internationally (outside the UK). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years. 

UK 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry onto this Foundation Year course is:

  • £9,250 for your Foundation Year
  • Then £9,250 per year of your undergraduate degree

This price applies to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for the full duration of your course, including the Foundation Year and then your undergraduate degree. 

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Tuition fees

    UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2024 entry £14,000 per year full time

International 2024 entry

As an international student, the fee you pay for your foundation year will depend on the degree course you progress onto afterwards. £14,000 is the maximum amount you could pay. The international fee listed on your specific degree course is the fee you will pay for all 4 years.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email

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