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Course overview

The foundation year is for talented UK students who do not meet the usual criteria for our degrees (see Personal Circumstances below). It is an opportunity for you to develop key skills before progressing to the three-year BA Music. These skills include communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and digital ability.

Our dedicated foundation tutors will support you throughout the year and help you develop as a learner. This ensures you have the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence before you start your chosen degree. Teaching sessions vary, including lectures, seminars, interactive digital media workshops and trips. You will also meet tutors from your chosen degree. 

You will be a full member of the University of Nottingham, with all the experiences and opportunities this offers.

More information

For more information on our teaching, research and what it's like to study with us see the Foundation Arts webpages.

Why choose this course?

Apply with confidence

We will consider you for direct entry if you exceed the Foundation Year grades.

Automatic progression

No need to reapply upon successful completion of your Foundation Year. 

Over 20 ensembles

There is a wide range of performance opportunities to play and sing at all levels across the university.


Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level BCC
Required subjects

A level music 

ABRSM Graded Theory Grade 5 or Trinity of Rockshool Theory grade 6 may be accepted in place of A level music.

IB score 26

English language requirements

You will need to meet one of the following:

  • GCSE English language at level 4 (grade C)
  • IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

Personal circumstances

This course is part of the University’s commitment to widening participation. As well as meeting the academic entry requirements (BCC), you must have attended a state school/college and meet at least one of the following personal background criteria:

  1. you live in an area where people are less likely to go to university – check your postcode
  2. you are the first generation in your family to enter higher education
  3. you will be over 21 years old when you begin your course
  4. you have spent more than three months in local authority care (for this criterion you do not need to have attended a state school)
  5. you have refugee status from the Home Office
  6. you need to study in the East Midlands (for example for family, cultural or financial reasons)
  7. you provide long term care of a sick or disabled family member

Where relevant you should include reference to 5, 6 and 7 in your personal statement, or provide this information via artssupport@nottingham.ac.uk when you submit your UCAS application.

We also take into consideration if:

  • you attend a school or college which has on average, performed below the national average for 16 to 18 academic achievement over the last three years. The Government is not currently publishing data based on tests, assessments or exams and we expect to update this criterion for 2022 entry before UCAS applications open in September 2021.

Alternative courses for EU/International students

This is course is not available EU/international students. Instead, you may consider the Business, Law and Social Sciences Foundation Certificate. This is offered through the University of Nottingham International College in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops
  • Practical classes

How you will be assessed

Your six foundation year modules are assessed using a wide variety of methods. Each module has two or three assessment points. For example, our Critical Thinking and Reflective Learning module is assessed by an essay (50% of the module mark) and a reflective learning portfolio (50% of the module mark). These modules will prepare you for undergraduate assessment and allow you to develop a broad range of skills.

Assessment methods

  • Essay
  • Examinations
  • Group coursework
  • Poster presentation
  • Presentation
  • Portfolio (written/digital)
  • Reflective review

Contact time and study hours

Teaching

You’ll have at least 12 hours of timetabled contact a week through lectures, seminars and workshops. Your tutors will also be available outside these times to discuss issues and develop your understanding. 

One-to-one tutorials

You will have five general progress tutorials as well as individual module-focused tutorials.  

Study abroad

Once you have progressed to your destination degree, you will be able to participate in the University of Nottingham Study Abroad programme.

Placements

Work experience gives you the skills and experience that will allow you to stand out to potential employers and is a crucial part of becoming 'workplace-ready'.

You also have access to a wide range of work experience and volunteering schemes through the:

Impact of the coronavirus on work placements, field trips and volunteering

We work with a range of organisations to provide work placements, field trips and volunteer opportunities. As you'll appreciate they are all disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

We expect opportunities to run as usual from the academic year 2021/22 but this cannot be guaranteed. We will do our best to arrange suitable activities as previous students always tell us how much they appreciate these opportunities.

Our Careers and Employment Service have arranged "virtual placements" with some employers and provide other advice on work experience during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why choose a Foundation Year degree?

Find out what some of our Foundation Year students think about their course.

Modules

You will take 120 credits of modules split as follows: 

  • Compulsory core modules (120 credits) – all students follow the same programme. 

 

Important Thinkers through History

In every field of the arts and humanities there are significant people who have contributed to the intellectual and cultural development of humanity. In this module you’ll consider a selection of these ‘important thinkers’, drawn from different disciplines across the Faculty of Arts, across a broad sweep of history and representing a variety of cultural and geographical contexts.

Critical Thinking and Reflective Learning

This module will introduce you to key skills and practices for university work and help you make the transition from school, college or work to undergraduate study. Critical thinking and reflective learning are skills that are essential for thriving on your chosen degree course but they’re also important for developing thoughtful, responsible citizens who contribute effectively to society.

Language and Culture

Language and culture are both fundamental aspects of any arts and humanities degree. In this module you’ll develop an analytical and critical approach to English as well as an understanding of the potential challenges and benefits involved in studying other languages and cultures.

Media, Communications and Society

This module will analyse the relationship between media, communication and society. The module will allow you to explore how communication occurs and engage with different kinds of reading and texts. You will also assess the positive and negative impacts of communication through a wide range of media.

Narrative and Creativity

This module will introduce you to academic theories about narrative and creativity. You’ll also encounter various forms of narrative and ‘storytelling’ to help you consider the role of narrative and creativity in different contexts. This will include exploring the role of creativity and story in society generally, reflecting on your own ‘stories’, and developing your own creativity in a variety of ways.

The Project / Language Centre modules

Extended projects or dissertations are a key feature of many university courses, especially in the final year. This module will help you develop the skills required to design, research and produce a major piece of work for assessment, using media (written and/or other) appropriate to your chosen topic.

If you apply to go on to a modern language degree you may study in our Language Centre in place of taking ‘The Project’ module.

Exception: If you are joining the BA Russian Studies and enter the Foundation Year with A Level Russian, you will take The Project module, and follow the post A Level pathway on the degree. 

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Monday 17 May 2021.

Fees and funding

UK students

£9,250
Per year

International students

Not applicable*
Per year
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2022/23 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Additional costs

There are no extra compulsory fees to be paid as part of your course beyond your standard tuition fees. Essential course materials are supplied and recommended reading is available from our libraries. For additional costs for years one to three of your degree, please see the BA Music page.

Scholarships and bursaries

There is a wide range of funding available to support you while studying at university. This includes:

  • Government loans and grants
  • University of Nottingham scholarships and bursaries

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £1,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

Careers

Evidence shows that students commencing their university study at foundation level achieve the same levels of undergraduate degree as their fellow direct-route students, which in turn leads to the same wide range of career options.

In addition to your study we recommend that you participate in at least some of our cv-enhancing programmes which include:

You will also be able to take advantage of the wide range of services offered by our dedicated Faculty of Arts careers team within the Careers and Employability Service.

More information about subject-related careers opportunities from our Careers and Employability Services.

Average starting salary and career progression

79.4% of undergraduates from the Faculty of Arts secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary was £23,106.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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" The Foundation Year improved my essay-writing skills immensely. On arrival to university, having to write essays seemed quite daunting but the Critical Thinking and Reflective Learning module was key for my development. "
Franklyn Ogosi, BA Theology and Religious Studies (with Foundation Year) Graduate

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18

Important information

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.