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
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
- Accounting and Finance BSc (Hons)
- Business Economics BSc (Hons)
- Business Management BSc (Hons)
- Business Management (Entrepreneurship) BSc (Hons)
- Business Management (Human Resource Management) BSc (Hons)
- Business Management (Marketing) BSc (Hons)
- Economics BSc (Hons)
- Economics and Finance BSc (Hons)
- International Business Management BSc (Hons)
- International Event Management BSc (Hons)
- International Hospitality Management BSc (Hons)
- International Hospitality and Tourism Management BSc (Hons)
- International Tourism Management BSc (Hons)
- Aerospace Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Automotive Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Biomedical Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Chemical and Petroleum Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Chemical Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Civil Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Computer and Internet Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Electronic Engineering BEng (Hons)
- Electronic Engineering with Computer Systems BEng (Hons)
- Electronic Engineering with Nanotechnology BEng (Hons)
- Electronic Engineering with Space Systems BEng (Hons)
- Mechanical Engineering BEng
- Physics BSc (Hons)
- Physics with Astronomy BSc (Hons)
- Physics with Nuclear Astrophysics BSc (Hons)
- Physics with Quantum Technologies BSc (Hons).
On successful completion of either Cert HE, you are able to apply for GSA BA courses, but there is no automatic progression from a Cert HE to GSA’s BA courses.
International Foundation Year programme at the University of Surrey International Study Centre is designed to help you to improve your English language and academic skills for an undergraduate course. Upon successful completion, you can progress to a degree-level course at the University of Surrey.
You can choose one of the following routes:
- Business, Economics, Law and Social Sciences International Foundation Year
- Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences International Foundation Year
- Life Sciences International Foundation Year
Find out how to apply for one of these programmes or apply directly by using the online application form on the University of Surrey International Study Centre website.
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
To apply for a foundation year course you normally need to have at least CCC (or CCD for Nursing courses) at A-level, achieved in the last two years. 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.
Additional subject A-level requirements for specific foundation years subjects:
- Engineering and physical sciences: including Mathematics C and either Physics or Chemistry, or equivalent.
- Mathematics: including mathematics C.
- Chemistry: including Chemistry, or equivalent.
- Biosciences: including Science or Mathematics, or equivalent.
Our foundation year courses require specific GCSE subjects, please check the course pages for details.
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’.
You can also apply through Clearing in August once you have your results. Please note, if the course is already full then it will not be placed in Clearing.
Fees and funding
Our courses that include a foundation year cost the same each year as our other undergraduate degree courses.
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.
Find out more about fees and funding.
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 less than £20,000 or less and who are resident in POLAR4 quintiles 1, 2 and 3 will receive an award to the value of £2,500, available in all years of study (excluding Professional Training placement 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.
- Biosciences: Dr Sam Hopkins (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Business, hospitality, tourism management and economics: Erivan White (email@example.com)
- Chemistry: Dr Nathaniel Bingham (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Engineering and physical sciences: Dr Alison Taylor (email@example.com)
- Mathematics: Dr Alison Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Nursing: Claire Tarrant (email@example.com)
- Social sciences: Mark Shanahan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Psychology: Dr Sarah Hack (email@example.com)