Foundation Year Entry: Explained

Wondering whether a foundation year could be the best way into university for you? Our handy guide is here to help you get your head around how it works, who it's for and more.


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Wondering whether a foundation year could be the best way into university for you? Our handy guide is here to help you get your head around how it works, who it's for and more.

If it’s been a while since you studied – or you didn’t quite make the grades the first time around - a foundation year can be a great gateway to a university education.

Helping you refine your study skills and build up your bank of valuable, transferrable skills, foundation year entry is suitable for many people. Here, we take a look at who might choose this route into education, how it works and more.

How does foundation year entry work?

A foundation year is essentially just 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. However, it is usually possible to transfer to a different uni once you have completed your foundation year. To do this, you would need to re-apply to your new university of choice via UCAS.
What’s the difference between a foundation degree and a foundation year?

It’s important to note that a foundation degree is a different thing entirely to a foundation year.
While a foundation year prepares you to go on and study a full degree, and foundation degree is a qualification in itself, and is equivalent to the first two years of a three-year degree course.

Here at Arden University, we offer several degrees with foundation year entry and you can opt for Distance or Blended Learning.

Who is a foundation year for?

For many, a foundation year bridges the gap between further and higher education. If you resonate with any of these examples, a foundation year might be the ideal solution for you:

  • You’re lacking the confidence to enrol on a university degree and would like to acquire study skills and some entry-level knowledge on your chosen subject.
  • You didn’t manage to meet the entry requirements for your degree course, but are still committed to pursuing that path and enrolling on that degree.
  • You haven’t been in education for a while and feel you might need a refresher before taking on a full university degree.
  • You’re unsure whether university is for you, so would like a taster of uni life before committing to a full degree.

What impact will a foundation year have on my career?

A foundation year equips you with a wide range of transferrable skills, such as communication, teamwork and organisation, and these are exactly the types of skills employers look for, alongside qualifications.
Completing a foundation year also prepares you for university study, enhancing your chances of success in your degree. Graduates leave university with many professional paths open to them in their chosen fields, and also have an increased earning potential.

What are the entry requirements for foundation year entry?

To apply to start a degree at foundation level with Arden, you should submit a personal statement (or attend an interview) which demonstrates your motivation to study your chosen course, and any relevant work experience or qualifications, with references. If your previous study wasn’t taught in English, you’d also require IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with a score of no less than 5.5 in any one element.

Applications are assessed on an individual basis, and an admissions advisor will contact you to let you know whether your application has been successful.

How much does a foundation year cost?

To see how much you will pay for your foundation year entry course when you study online, check out the fees and funding section on your programme page.

What foundation year courses does Arden offer?

We offer several different degrees with foundation year entry, in exciting subjects such as law, criminology and computing. Plus, with Arden University's more flexible approaches of Distance or Blended Learning, you'll be able to fit your existing commitments around your study. If you opt for Blended Learning, here's an example of how your timetable could look:

Arden University example Blended Learning timetable

What makes Arden's foundation year entry courses different?

At Arden University, we truly care about our students' success and when you enrol on a foundation year programme, we'll be there to support you every step of the way. 

With student support, the chance to attend study skills workshops (or access a study skills area online if you're a Distance Learner) and an academic skills module that will help you feel ready to tackle a full, three-year degree, we ensure that you have everything you need to feel comfortable and confident on your academic journey.