Skip to main content

Foundation Courses for UK Students

Durham University’s Foundation Programme has been delivering high quality academic preparation for undergraduate study at Durham University since 1992. It provides entry to a wide range of degree subjects for learners from under-represented groups in higher education, who need a year 0 course in order to be prepared for undergraduate studies.

Foundation Programme courses are fully integrated elements of Durham University degree programmes and students are full members of the university. This means they become members of a college and enjoy full access to the extensive extracurricular opportunities within the university right from day one.

Students who successfully reach the progression standard by the end of the foundation year automatically gain entry to year one of their registered degree course without the need for a further UCAS application.

The majority of our students are from non-traditional university backgrounds. Many are from the Northeast of England, though all regions of the UK are usually represented. Foundation Programme staff are experts at teaching foundation level courses and are engaged in a wide range of scholarship activities, adding to the body of knowledge within their respective discipline areas and in the field of learning and teaching.

What is a foundation year? 

There are many types of foundation year. At Durham, the foundation year is a 'year 0' element of an undergraduate degree programme that is designed for students from under-represented groups in higher education, who have the potential to achieve the standard for admission to Durham, but who, as a result of educational disadvantage or disruption, do not have the level of attainment or access to qualifications required for entry to a Durham University course.

All Foundation Programmes are delivered by a dedicated team of academic tutors from Durham’s Centre for Academic Development (DCAD). Each year the Programmes provide places for around 100 students and supports them to progress to Level 1 study in over 37 academic subjects from every academic department in the University. Foundation students matriculate fully into the university, including becoming a member of one of the 16 colleges open to undergraduate students.


Which degree programmes are available with a foundation year? 

Many degree programmes are available 'with foundation'. Discover if the subject you wish to study has a foundation year by searching the University’s course database. This will enable you to see if your chosen degree subject is available with a foundation year. You can also use the University’s course database to find out more about the course content, the entry requirements, and other relevant information about our courses. The list of programmes with Foundation is available below.

BA Accounting and Finance with Foundation

BA Accounting and Management with Foundation

BSc Anthropology with Foundation

BA Anthropology with Foundation

BSc Archaeology with Foundation

BA Archaeology with Foundation

BSc Biological Sciences with Foundation

BA Business and Management with Foundation

BA Chinese Studies (with Year Abroad) with Foundation

BA Classics with Foundation

BA Combined Honours in Social Sciences with Foundation

BSc Computer Science with Foundation

BA Criminology with Foundation

BA Economics with Foundation

BA Education Studies with Foundation

BA English with Foundation

BSc Finance with Foundation

BSc General Engineering with Foundation (from 2023 entry)

BA Geography with Foundation

BSc Geography with Foundation

BSc Geology with Foundation

BSc Health and Human Sciences with Foundation

BA History with Foundation

BA Japanese Studies (with Year Abroad) with Foundation

LLB Law with Foundation

BA Liberal Arts with Foundation

BA Marketing and Management with Foundation

BA Music with Foundation

BA Philosophy with Foundation

BA Politics with Foundation

BA Primary Education with Foundation

BSc Psychological and Behavioural Science with Foundation

BSc Psychology with Foundation

BA Sociology with Foundation

BA Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity with Foundation

BA Theology and Religion Foundation


What is studied in foundation year? 

Each of the available degree programmes has a defined foundation year. Students study modules that add up to 120 'credits', learning both core general academic skills and subject-specific content that will enable them to enter and thrive in year one of their degree subjects. You can find more about foundation programme modules here.


What is the cost of the foundation year? 

The fees for a foundation year are the same as years one to three of undergraduate study. Details of the fees and any funding you may be entitled to can be found here. 

If you think the foundation year may be for you and if you think you may be eligible, please see our how to apply page.