School of Health Sciences

Studying a health sciences foundation year

Without studying science A levels at school or college, Alice didn't think she'd ever be able to study healthcare at university. 

Alice started studying for an arts degree but quickly realised it wasn't a good fit for her. She was thrilled when she found out about our foundation course - and how it could help her change direction.

Now Alice is on the path to becoming a midwife.

"I thought I’d chosen the wrong path for my life, but this foundation course meant that I could take a step back"

Close up profile photo of Alice, sat in a cafe on campus

Why did you decide to study a foundation health sciences course?

It’s always been my dream to become a midwife. However, I took A level subjects which I loved doing but meant I wasn’t able to progress onto the midwifery degree immediately.

Doing the foundation course meant I was able to study other subjects I love at A level and then study the content needed for my chosen career - in a university setting, helping me to settle into university learning for my degree.

What were you nervous about before your course started?

I think I was most nervous about meeting new people and not knowing anything necessary for my course, as I hadn’t studied science since GCSE. Some people on my course already had A levels in science, but we all study together. The lecturers are really good at covering everything necessary to bring me up to speed, and revise it for others who know it already. It was all done in a way so I didn’t feel that I was rushed to catch up.

Making friends was also something I was nervous about, especially during the Covid restrictions. But we've been put in learning groups for most of our classes. So I have that group, who I speak to nearly every day in lectures, to go to if I need help or just to get to know them.

How are you finding remote learning?

Remote learning is quite difficult. But with practice you’re able to find a routine that works - to give you time to study effectively and fit in other responsibilities, as well as taking time to look after yourself and your mental health.

It’s nice that the commute to uni is short, since it’s all online! The lecturers really try to bring you into the lecture and contribute, as well as being there when you need help or a chat. You can send an email for a quick video chat with your personal tutor when you need one.

What has been the biggest help for you while studying at university during the pandemic?

I think my personal tutor Zoe, has been the biggest help. With technology troubles before the course even started, she was really able to help me out. Now she’s always available if I need a chat or help and checks in when needed. Which is really nice and makes me feel supported.

I think also my learning group has been really great as we’re all in similar positions and can help each other with struggles at work or technology and just remind each other that there’s someone there to chat to.

What advice would you give to people thinking about studying a foundation year?

I would say to people to really go for it with the foundation course.

Before I found it, I thought I’d never be able to become a midwife and that made me feel sad. I thought I’d chosen the wrong path for my life but this foundation course meant that I could take a step back, now I’m older and have a had a bit of time to think about where I’m heading.

The course was there to give me hope that I could do this year and then progress, as well as giving me a taste of university life and what that would mean as a student midwife.


Thank you Alice for sharing your experience!

Health Sciences with a Foundation Year

More information about Foundation courses at Nottingham

School of Health Sciences

B236, Medical School
Queen's Medical Centre
Nottingham, NG7 2HA

telephone: +44 (0)115 95 15559