If you would like to study arts, humanities, performance, visual arts or communications at university, but don’t currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree, then this extended degree is for you.
The foundation year provides a supportive environment where you can make the transition to university study and gain the academic knowledge and study skills you'll need to succeed.
You'll develop your understanding of key academic and conceptual approaches used in the arts and humanities and focus on building your critical thinking skills. Study is interdisciplinary, enquiring and creative, focusing on engaging with the world around us and investigating our relationship to history, society and culture.
On successful completion of the foundation year, and subject to meeting the requirements for progression, you’ll continue to year one of your chosen degree course. Recent students went on to study for degrees in broadcast journalism, classical civilisation, English, history, cultural and media studies, philosophy and music.
The foundation year is taught by the Lifelong Learning Centre and caters for a wide range of students whether you’re a school leaver continuing your education or a mature learner returning to study.
Lifelong Learning Centre support
The Lifelong Learning Centre provides a supportive environment to help you make the transition to degree-level study. We’ll work with you during your foundation year to provide guidance and help to identify the degree pathway most appropriate for you.
The foundation year provides a carefully structured introduction to current thinking in the arts and humanities, encompassing an introduction to current thinking and key methodological approaches. Each core module has a topic or theme exploring current academic thinking and the basis for your development of academic skills. You can also focus on a particular subject by selecting a discovery module from the subject area you wish to progress to.Modules include opportunities to visit cultural institutions such as archives, museums and galleries, to meet professionals in the field and reflect on how you can build your skills as a researcher in the arts and humanities.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
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Broadening your academic horizons
At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
There is a strong emphasis during the foundation year on helping you to achieve to your full potential. Teaching is imaginative and supportive to make sure that you are intellectually stretched and helped through any sticking points in your learning. Group sizes are small enough for you to engage actively and be well supported by your peers.
Methods of assessment during the foundation year reflect those that you will find later in your degree in order to ensure that you are well prepared for continuing study. Assessment is a key way of enabling students to learn by doing and feedback from tutors supports this process.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
GCSE: English and maths grade C/4 or above.
Select an option from the list above to view alternative qualifications.
Access to HE Diploma
60 credits overall including at least 45 credits at level 3 of which 25 must be at Merit or above.
Merit, Merit, Pass
P1, P2, P3
24 overall (12 higher)
Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)
Please contact the Lifelong Learning Foundation Year Admissions Team
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
Please contact the Lifelong Learning Foundation Year Admissions Team.
Please contact the Lifelong Learning Foundation Year Admissions Team.
Additional entry criteriaAs well as the academic requirements above, you must live permanently in the UK and meet at least one of the following:
- Your permanent address is in a neighbourhood with low progression to higher education.
- You attended a school which achieved less than the national average of 5 grade 9-4 passes at GCSE or attainment 8 score at GCSE
- You grew up in public care.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
If you don’t have the required level 3 qualifications, you can complete our Alternative Entry Scheme. If you don’t have the required GCSEs, you will also be asked to take tests in English and maths. Contact the Lifelong Learning Centre for more information.
How to apply
Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
Please mention on your personal statement the subject area you want to progress to.
If your application is shortlisted you’ll be invited to a selection day and/or interview to assess your commitment and potential.
UK/EU: To be confirmed
International: To be confirmed
For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250.
For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2019, the fee for 2019/20 will be £9,250.
The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.
The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students starting in the 2019/20 academic year will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.
There are no upfront fees to pay. All eligible students are able to borrow the entire cost of tuition fees making study free at the point of entry, with good repayment terms. You are eligible if you are studying for 30+ credits per year on a programme which is at a higher level than any qualification already held. Previous study in Higher Education may affect your eligibility.
Additional cost information
There may be a small cost for travel expenses associated with field trips which are part of module study.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Depending on your circumstances, non-repayable financial support including a fee discount is available from the Leeds Financial Support scheme.
On successful completion of the foundation year you could progress onto a range of degree courses in the arts, humanities, performance, visual arts or communications. For more information about specific career opportunities please check the degree course you wish to progress to.
A qualification from the University of Leeds counts: our graduates are highly valued by employers. When you complete your degree programme you will also become part of a network of highly employable graduates. A degree in an arts, humanities and cultures subject allows you to enhance your critical thinking and develop a global and cultural awareness relevant to a range of careers.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.