Foundation courses

A foundation year can develop your skills and make it easier to get started at university. It is an extra year of study at the start of your course that leads in to a full degree programme. It’s a great option if:

  • You don’t have the grades for a full degree course
  • You have non-traditional qualifications or experience
  • You’re starting university after some time away from education
  • You’re looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Ellie Perrett

"As someone that's only studied heavy academic subjects before, it's quite refreshing to undertake assignments with challenges I have not encountered before. It also gives us a chance to discover what we might enjoy more or be more skilled in."

Ellie Perrett

Find the right foundation course for you

Foundation courses for UK/EU students

Arts and Social Sciences

Entry requirements: CCC at A-level or equivalent. Our foundation year courses will require specific GCSE subjects, please check the course pages for details.

Engineering and Physical Sciences

Entry requirements: CCC at A-level, including Mathematics and either Physics or Chemistry, or equivalent. Our foundation year courses will require specific GCSE subjects, please check the course pages for details.

Health and Medical Sciences

Entry requirements: CCC at A-level. Our foundation year courses will require specific GCSE subjects, please check the course pages for details.

Life as a foundation year student

During a foundation year you’ll learn about your chosen subject, develop your study skills and get used to university life. On successful completion of your foundation year, you’ll be ready to progress to the first year of your degree course.

As a foundation year student, you’ll be a full student of the University and part of our community. You’ll have access to all our campus facilities and support.

Students in a classroom

Entry requirements

To apply for a foundation year course you normally need to have at least CCC at A-level, achieved in the last two years. Our foundation year courses will also require specific GCSE grades. Please check on the relevant course page for full details of our entry requirements.

We welcome applications from people who don’t have A-levels or who completed their A-levels more than two years ago. We make decisions on applications like these on a case-by-case basis.

Fees and funding

Our courses that include a foundation year cost the same each year as our other undergraduate degree courses. 

For 2018-19 entry, foundation year students who meet set widening participation criteria may be eligible for the Full Surrey Award. Students meeting all eligibility criteria, and who have a household income of £25,000 or less and who are resident in POLAR quintiles 1 and 2, will receive an award to the value of £3,000, available in all years of study (excluding Professional Training Year and re-sit years). The University will identify eligible students, so there is no application form for this scheme.

Find out more about fees and funding.

Fees for international students on undergraduate courses with an integrated foundation year

The course fee for the foundation year (Level 3) will match the lowest Level 4 overseas fee rate from across the substantive courses for that year of entry. Students subsequently progressing into Level 4 will be liable for the same fee as overseas students joining at Level 4 for the same course in that year. Annual fees after Level 4 will increase by four per cent for each subsequent year of study, rounded up to the nearest £100, subject to any overriding applicable legislative requirements.

International students

If you’re an international student from outside the EU, you can apply for our international foundation year course. It’s similar to our other foundation year courses, but also includes English language training and is especially designed to help you settle in to studying in the UK.

How to apply

Many of our courses have the option of studying with a foundation year.

To apply for a course with a foundation year, simply search on UCAS for your chosen degree course and look for the option of your course ‘with Foundation Year’.

Contact us

Please email Erivan White ( for the Arts and Social Sciences courses and Dr Richard Harrison ( for the Engineering and Physical Sciences courses.