School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

Foundation year courses

Foundation degree students

Enter with BCC at A level


The Foundation programme is designed to equip you with the skills you need for degree-level study.

Who is it for?

  • UK and EU students whose school-leaving qualifications do not meet the admissions requirements for direct entry to our undergraduate programmes.
  • mature students holding non-standard qualifications
  • students facing education barriers.

What do you study?

All Foundation Year students study the same six modules:

  • Critical Thinking and Reflective Learning
  • Language and Culture
  • Media and Visual Culture
  • Narrative and Creativity
  • Important Thinkers through History
  • The Project

Full course details are in the prospectus

Progression to degree programme

Upon successful completion of your Foundation Year, you will automatically progress to your chosen undergraduate degree.

Successful completion means you:

  • pass all modules according to the standard University UG Regulations at the first attempt, and
  • obtain a minimum credit-weighted average of 50%

Russell Fisher Foundation 2016-17

Having been out of education for pretty much 10 years the Foundation year gave me a bit of a refresher and eased me in to life at the University without putting too much pressure on me.

It gave me the tools I needed for an undergraduate course. 

Russell Fisher, Foundation entry 2016-17




Detailed entry criteria

All applications are considered in relation to i) academic and ii) widening participation criteria as outlined below.

A levels: BCC. Must also include GCSE English language level 4 (grade C) or above. We do not consider graduate students or International applicants for this programme.

Some of the BA language programmes may require specific language qualifications. Please contact us for more details.

Arts and humanities foundation students, typically, will fulfil a number of the following criteria:

  • Being a first generation entrant to Higher Education;
  • Family, cultural or financial reasons for needing to study in the East Midlands;
  • Attending a school or college without a strong tradition of progression to Higher Education;
  • Attending a school or college with a low average A level score;
  • Living in a deprived home location;
  • Being (or having been) a refugee;
  • Being (or having been) in local authority care (looked after);
  • Other disadvantaging circumstances/extenuating circumstances (reviewed on an individual basis).

Data relevant to the criteria above are requested and generated as part of the UCAS application process. Where appropriate, you may also choose to reflect on your experiences in relation to these criteria in your personal statement or request that they are mentioned in your supporting reference.

Alternative qualifications

BTEC National Diploma : applicants will be considered on an individual basis. Minimum five GCSEs, combination of grades B and C including B English language.

Scottish Advanced Highers: Minimum of five grade 2s at Standard level including English language. Minimum of five grades BBBCC at Higher level.

Mature students

We welcome enquiries from mature students who have non-standard qualifications and/or have been away from education for a while. Please contact us directly in the first instance

English language requirements

Standard English language requirements in Arts are IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element); TOEFL iBT 100 (no less than 20 in speaking and 19 in each other element).  

I always had the worry that I might not get the A level results I needed - so this was a great option for me.

Aimee Hudson-Brown, Foundation entry 2016/17






What next

Register your interest

Register your interest in a foundation year degree by requesting a prospectus, stating that you are interested in foundation level study and choosing one or two arts and humanities subjects.

Request a prospectus/make an enquiry

Fees and finance

Visit us

Apply through UCAS

Download course overview PDF

The following courses are available through UCAS.

Courses and UCAS codes
 T70F  American and Canadian Literature, History and Culture (International Study with Foundation Year)
 V11F  Ancient History (with Foundation Year)
 V40F  Archaeology (with Foundation Year)
 V35F   History of Art (with Foundation Year)
 Q82F  Classical Civilisation (with Foundation Year)
 Q39F  English Language and Literature (with Foundation Year)
 W63F  Film and Television Studies (with Foundation Year)
 R12F  French Studies (with Foundation Year)
 R22F  German (with Foundation Year)
 R41F  Hispanic Studies (with Foundation Year)
 V10F  History (with Foundation Year)
 P90F  International Media and Communications Studies (with Foundation Year)
 R90F  Modern Languages (with Foundation Year)
 T90F  Modern Language Studies (with Foundation Year)
 74QF  Modern Languages with Translation (with Foundation Year)
W30F Music (with Foundation Year)
 V50F  Philosophy (with Foundation Year)
 86VF  Religion, Philosophy and Ethics (with Foundation)
R70F  Russian Studies (with Foundation)
 V61F  Theology and Religious Studies (with Foundation Year)

Your Nottingham

You will spend your first year in a cohort of students and your home school will be the School of Humanities.

Upon successful completion of your foundation year, you will automatically progress to your chosen undergraduate degree; your new school or department will be one of:

American and Canadian Studies

Classics and Archaeology

Cultural, Media and Visual Studies

Cultures, Languages and Area Studies




Modern Languages and Cultures



Theology and Religious

Contact us

Course and admissions 

Course director:
Peter Watts

University of Nottingham links

International student foundation programme

All UK/EU foundation courses

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Recommended pre-course reading

The following books provide a good way in to a range of topics you might cover on our Faculty of Arts Foundation Year.

Bates, Catherine, and Abi MatthewmanStudying Arts and Humanities. Palgrave Study Skills.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. 
This is a guide to university life for students intending to study a course in the Arts and Humanities. It includes lots of general information and some specific details about being an Arts and Humanities student.

Cottrell, StellaThe Study Skills Handbook. Palgrave Study Skills.  Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 
This book covers some important skills that are essential for successful university study.

Nussbaum, Martha CravenNot for Profit : Why Democracy Needs the Humanities. The Public Square Book Series. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010. 
This is an important book about the Humanities (= Arts and Humanities) that features prominently in our module ‘Critical Thinking and Reflective Learning’.

Peter Watts

We’ve not just seen improvements in academic ability – in essay writing and in doing the course work – but also in presenting in front of the groups and being able to discuss things.

This will stand our Foundation students in good stead  - both in the University but also in jobs afterwards.

Dr Peter Watts, Foundation programme course leader





School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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