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

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:

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
Female student browsing books in the University of Surrey library

Application information

Fees and funding

Contact us

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