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Foundation Courses for UK Students 

Durham University’s Foundation Programme has been delivering high quality academic preparation for undergraduate study at Durham University since 1992. It provides entry to a wide range of degree subjects for learners from under-represented groups in higher education, who need a year 0 course in order to be prepared for undergraduate studies.

Foundation Programme courses are fully integrated elements of Durham University degree programmes and students are full members of the university. This means they become members of a college and enjoy full access to the extensive extracurricular opportunities within the university right from day one.

Students who successfully reach the progression standard by the end of the foundation year automatically gain entry to year one of their registered degree course without the need for a further UCAS application.

The majority of our students are from non-traditional university backgrounds. Many are from the Northeast of England, though all regions of the UK are usually represented. Foundation Programme staff are experts at teaching foundation level courses and are engaged in a wide range of scholarship activities, adding to the body of knowledge within their respective discipline areas and in the field of learning and teaching.

What is a foundation year? 

There are many types of foundation year. At Durham, the foundation year is a 'year 0' element of an undergraduate degree programme that is designed for students from under-represented groups in higher education, who have the potential to achieve the standard for admission to Durham, but who, as a result of educational disadvantage or disruption, do not have the level of attainment or access to qualifications required for entry to a Durham University course.

All Foundation Programmes are delivered by a dedicated team of academic tutors from Durham’s Centre for Academic Development (DCAD). Each year the Programmes provide places for around 100 students and supports them to progress to Level 1 study in over 37 academic subjects from every academic department in the University. Foundation students matriculate fully into the university, including becoming a member of one of the 16 colleges open to undergraduate students.


Which degree programmes are available with a foundation year? 

Many degree programmes are available 'with foundation'. Discover if the subject you wish to study has a foundation year by searching the University’s course database. This will enable you to see if your chosen degree subject is available with a foundation year. You can also use the University’s course database to find out more about the course content, the entry requirements, and other relevant information about our courses. The list of programmes with Foundation is also available below.


What is studied in foundation year? 

Each of the available degree programmes has a defined foundation year. Students study modules that add up to 120 'credits', learning both core general academic skills and subject-specific content that will enable them to enter and thrive in year one of their degree subjects. You can find more about foundation programme modules here. 


What is the cost of the foundation year? 

The fees for a foundation year are the same as years one to three of undergraduate study. Details of the fees and any funding you may be entitled to can be found here. 

If you think the foundation year may be for you and if you think you may be eligible, please see our how to apply page. 


List of Programmes 

NN4H Accounting and Finance with Foundation BA

N209 Accounting and Management with Foundation BA

L603 Anthropology with Foundation BSc  

L608 Anthropology with Foundation BA  

F403 Archaeology with Foundation BSc  

V400 Archaeology with Foundation BA  

C104 Biological Sciences with Foundation BSc

NN21 Business and Management with Foundation BA  

T103 Chinese Studies (with Year Abroad) with Foundation BA  

Q805 Classics with Foundation BA  

LV00 Combined Honours in Social Sciences with Foundation BA  

G402 Computer Science with Foundation BSc  

L372 Criminology with Foundation BA

L101 Economics with Foundation BA

X301 Education Studies with Foundation BA  

Q301 English with Foundation BA  

N308 Finance with Foundation BSc    

H104 General Engineering with Foundation BSc (from 2023 entry)

L700 Geography with Foundation BA

F801 Geography with Foundation BSc  

F602 Geology with Foundation BSc

L691 Health and Human Sciences with Foundation BSc

V102 History with Foundation BA

T203 Japanese Studies (with Year Abroad) with Foundation BA  

M102 Law with Foundation LLB  

LA00 Liberal Arts with Foundation BA

N512 Marketing and Management with Foundation BA  

W301 Music with Foundation BA  

V501 Philosophy with Foundation

L201 Politics with Foundation BA  

X120 Primary Education with Foundation BA

C811 Psychological and Behavioural Science with Foundation BSc

C819 Psychology with Foundation BSc  

L301 Sociology with Foundation BA

C604 Sport, Exercise and Physical Activity with Foundation BA  

V616 Theology and Religion Foundation BA  

Get in Touch

Enquiries about Foundation Programmes should be sent via the email below.

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