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. 

The general learning environment of the foundation year was a great experience… had I started in the first year of a degree, I can imagine university would have been a much more daunting and challenging experience. Psychology with Foundation Year BSc (Hons) student
Students in common room

What is a foundation year?

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.

Who are they for?

Foundation courses are 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.



Foundation year students agreed that the foundation year supported their transition to university* 


Foundation year students said they were ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ with their studies at university* 


Foundation year students agreed or strongly agreed that the foundation year helped them develop confidence to progress successfully to Year 1 of their degree* 

*Taken from end-of-year survey of 2021/22 foundation year students 

Foundation year courses

International students: If you’re an international student, we also have an 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.

I’m incredibly proud to have started at Surrey with a foundation year. Through my first year on the degree, I’ve found it has given me a strong leg up in both my understanding of business context and academic skills. The extra bit of ‘processing time’ to transition into university has proven to be invaluable, and I honestly don’t think that my grades would be as consistent as they are now without it. International Event Management with Foundation Year BSc (Hons) student
Female student browsing books in the University of Surrey library

Application information

Fees and funding

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