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Undergraduate course

Law and Social Sciences Foundation Year

Explore the biggest issues facing society today. Gain the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in your Law, Policing or Social Sciences degree.

Student in seminar

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 gain on this course will be a great asset as you move forward into your degree course.

  • Subject to final approval

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time, then a part time or full time undergraduate degree
  • Start date – September 2021
  • School – York Business School

Minimum Entry Requirements

    48 UCAS Tariff points

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

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

Discover why York St John is The One

Course overview

This Foundation Year will introduce you to the study of Law and Social Sciences at a higher level. It is a great opportunity to spend an extra year studying with us to make sure you are fully prepared to take on the challenge of Higher Education. You will study alongside students who intend to progress onto various different courses within these areas. This means you will have the chance to go beyond your chosen subject and explore the issues we discuss from a wider range of angles. The full list of degree courses which you can study with this foundation year are listed below.



We will prepare you for degree level study by helping you develop essential academic skills. As well as learning about key aspects of Law and Social Sciences, you will learn to:

  • Organise, plan and manage research projects
  • Write in an academic style
  • Present evidence and argument
  • Engage in critical debate.

These skills are valuable not only in your degree, but in your career after university.

This is the course for you if are excited about getting into Higher Education but do not want to dive straight into an undergraduate degree. This might be because you have been out of education for a while, you do not yet have the entry requirements for the course you want to do, or you just do not feel ready yet.

Law and Social Sciences degrees available with Foundation Year

Law LLB (Hons)

UCAS Code: M101

Criminology BA (Hons)

UCAS Code: L6L2

Criminology with Police Studies BA (Hons)

UCAS Code: L3N3

Course structure

How you will study

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

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

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to the study of society by exploring the institutions and concepts that have shaped the world we live in. You will have the opportunity to engage with theories, approaches and ideas which will be fundamental to whichever degree course you intend to progress onto. The concepts we will introduce you to include:

  • Capitalism and globalization
  • Law and the state
  • Nationalism
  • Racism
  • Class and power
  • Technology and post-industrial society
  • Identity.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will help you to prepare for studying at degree level by allowing you to develop your academic skills. Through this module you will become familiar with academic conventions, as well as processes involved in devising, researching and writing your own projects. We will consider different approaches to research and explore various theories of knowledge. The skills we will help you to refine include:

  • Referencing
  • Effective reading
  • Academic writing
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Research skills.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will introduce you to the processes behind the initial stages of criminal trials from legal and social sciences perspectives. Through this you will become familiar with key social science principles and develop important skills to take forward into your degree. This includes reading legal documents, evaluating sources and practical problem solving. You will learn about some of the underlying structural issues which lie behind social, cultural, political and legal problems.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

Through this module you will gain in in depth understanding of courts and sentencing. Alongside an exploration of the criminal justice system you will learn about essential social science principles, such as:

  • The rule of law and due process
  • Ethics
  • Professional conduct
  • Victim and offender dynamics.

You will further build on the skills you developed in the first semester, including assessing evidence and forming persuasive arguments. You will discover the wider contexts surrounding court process by analysing them from a range of social sciences perspectives.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will use the skills you developed in Semester 1, using relevant theories and concepts to investigate some of the social, cultural, political and legal issues facing us today. You will also consider media representations of issues such as youth crime, unemployment and social policy. We challenge you to think critically about how these are presented and how this relates to academic research. This module will be based in current research from experts in both Law and Social Sciences, keeping the content as up to date as possible.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module is your chance to investigate in detail an area of Criminology, Law, Policing or Sociology which you are particularly interested in. You will work with a supervisor who will support you in deciding on your topic, developing your ideas and conducting the research. You will also consider the ethical issues which need to be considered in your chosen area of research, and reflect on your personal position. This will help to prepare you for the more in depth research projects which will be an essential part of your degree.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

Your teaching will be made up of lectures, which include the whole year group together and smaller workshops and seminars. Your learning will be supported by your Personal Academic Tutor, who will hold regular meetings with you to make sure you are on track to succeed.

We expect you to engage in independent study outside of your contact hours. This includes reading preparatory materials and completing activities on Moodle (our online learning environment).

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


The assessments we use on this Foundation Year are designed to develop your skills. They are also intended to reflect the tasks and problems you will encounter when working in jobs related to these subjects. These may include:

  • Examinations
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Portfolios
  • Letters
  • Oral presentations
  • Research projects.

Within each module you will be given an opportunity to practice for your assessment, and receive feedback on practice work. This ensures that you are fully prepared and confident when it comes to the final assessments.


Progression onto degree course

Passing all of the modules on this Foundation Year guarantees your progression onto either the Law LLB (Hons) or one of our BA (Hons) degrees in Social Sciences. A full list of these can be found below. Your grades from this year will not be carried forward and will not count towards your final degree results.

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    48 UCAS Tariff points

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

The minimum entry requirements for this course are:

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

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

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

Fees and Funding

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

UK and EU 2020 entry

The tuition fee for 2020 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/EU, 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 and EU 2021 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2021 entry £12,750 per year full time

International (non-EU) 2020 entry

For full time study the tuition fee for 2020 entry to this course is:

  • £12,750 for your foundation year
  • £12,750 per year of your undergraduate degree.

This price applies to all students living outside the UK/EU.

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. 

All undergraduates receive financial support through the York St John Aspire card. Find out more about the Aspire scheme and how it can be used to help you purchase equipment you need for your course. 

Aspire Card

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