School of Cultures, Languages and Area Studies

Foundation year courses

Enter with BCC at
A level

The foundation programme is designed for:

  • UK students whose school-leaving qualifications do not meet the admissions requirements for direct entry to our undergraduate programmes
  • mature students holding non-standard qualifications.
Foundation programme

Is the foundation route for you?

The foundation year will equip you with the skills you need for a further three years of degree-level study (four years for language degrees*, with year three spent abroad). 

Evidence shows that students starting their university study at foundation level achieve the same levels of undergraduate degree as their fellow direct-route students.



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


Entry criteria

A levels: BCC. Minimum of five GCSEs (combination of B and C grades including C in English language). 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).

Your UCAS personal statement and supporting references should reflect your experiences in relation to the above criteria.  

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.

Amy Hudson-Brown, Foundation entry 2016/17




Progression to the relevant Qualifying Stage will be guaranteed for those students who meet the following requirements:

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

Students who meet the standard University regulations to complete the Foundation Year stage [basically, an average of 40% or more]* but who do not obtain the guaranteed progression criteria outlined above, will be considered as near-miss-candidates by destination course School and Department Admissions Tutors.

The progression status of near-miss-candidates will be determined at the Foundation Programme Progression Board Meeting which takes place no more than 5-days after the Foundation Programme Examination Board Meeting. Near-miss-candidates may be allowed to progress to their nominated destination degree programme or may be offered a place on an alternative programme within the Faculty of Arts.

Near-miss-candidates who are not promoted to progression by destination Admissions Tutors but meet the standard University Pass regulations will be eligible for the award of Foundation Certificate (FCert).

*see the University Regulations for stage completion


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)
 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)

NB. all students participate in the same Foundation Year and upon successful completion will progress to their chosen undergraduate degree or may be permitted to change to a different degree from the above options.

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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’.

Teaching Excellence Framework Gold logo

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Nottingham delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK. 

More about the TEF Gold award

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

Culture, Film and Media

Cultures, Languages and Area Studies



History of Art


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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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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