Lifelong Learning Centre

Interdisciplinary Studies with Preparation for Higher Education BA

2017 start

Key facts

Various - refer to course description

Full entry requirements

UK/EU fees: See fees section below
International fees: Not applicable  

This course is available to UK residents only

Contact us

LLC Interdisciplinary Studies (PHE) Admissions

0113 343 3212


This is an extended degree programme for mature students looking to return to study and wanting to progress to a range of degrees (both full and part-time) in the social sciences, arts and healthcare. The course is 1 year part-time plus 3 years full-time or 5/6 years part-time, depending on your progression choice.

Preparation for Higher Education (PHE) is the foundation year which 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 will be taught by friendly and supportive staff with experience in working with adult learners.

On successful completion of the foundation year, and subject to meeting the specified requirements for progression, you’ll continue to year one of your chosen degree courses. Recent cohorts went on to study for full-time degrees in English, law, radiography, nursing, midwifery, psychology, sociology, dental hygiene and therapy and professional studies and to part-time degrees in child and family studies, business management and learning and teaching.

Lifelong Learning Centre support

We know that many mature and part-time students face unique challenges including balancing academic study with family and employment commitments. For that reason, the Lifelong Learning Centre provides specialised guidance, advice and support to mature and part-time students, from pre-application right through to graduation and beyond.

Is this course for me?

BA Interdisciplinary Studies with Preparation for Higher Education is a four-year extended degree, designed for applicants who don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree and who can benefit from a programme that begins with a foundation year which provides intensive, well-structured support. The programme is part of the University’s commitment to widening participation and this is reflected in the non-academic entry criteria.

Designed with mature students in mind, the foundation year runs on two evenings a week and one to two Saturdays a month, so you can study whilst juggling your other commitments.

During the foundation year you’ll develop and reflect on your academic study skills and study either a data handling or applied information literacy module. In addition, depending on the degree course you wish to progress to, you will study a module focusing on sociology, human biology or child development and learning.

Once you’ve successfully completed your foundation year and met your progression goals you’ll progress directly onto your chosen degree programme. The Lifelong Leaning Centre team remains on hand to help you make the transition to degree-level study.

Course content

The foundation year is taught by the Lifelong Learning Centre at the University of Leeds. Staff work closely with you during the foundation year to help identify the degree choices that are most appropriate for you and map out your plans to work towards a successful progression. You’ll know from the beginning of your journey what your academic goals need to be and will be provided with guidance throughout the year to help you be as successful as you can be.

Core modules support you in becoming an independent learner ready for study at university and you will be encouraged to explore your own learning experiences in a stimulating and supportive way. You will also study either a data handling or applied information literacy module. Depending on your chosen progression route you will study a module focusing on one of human biology, child development and learning or social sciences.

On successful completion of the foundation year you’ll progress to year one of your chosen degree programme.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year one


Module codeTitleCredits
LLLC0119Academic and Personal Development20
ODLM1000Studying in a Digital Age5


Module codeTitleCredits
LLLC0144Data Handling10
LLLC0145Applied Information Literacy10
LLLC0146People in Society30
LLLC0148Understanding Child Development and Learning30
LLLC0149Human Biology30

For more information on typical modules, read Interdisciplinary Studies with Preparation for Higher Education BA in the course catalogue

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. On this course you broaden your learning through core and/or optional modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

There is a strong emphasis during the foundation year of the programme 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

Entry requirements


GCSE: Maths and English at grade C/4 or equivalent

For applicants wishing to progress to:

Dental Hygiene: 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including English, biology or science and maths.

Nursing (Adult) BSc, Nursing (Child) BSc and Nursing (Mental Health) BSc – normally 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, to include maths, English and 2 science subjects.

Midwifery BSc – 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above to include science, maths and English at grade B/6 or above.

Social Work BA – 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above to include maths and English.

As well as the academic requirements above, we give priority to applicants who live permanently in the UK and meet at least two 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 A*-C passes at GCSE.
  • You grew up in public care.
  • The residual income of your household is less than £25,000
  • You will be the first member of your immediate family (excluding older brothers or sisters or your own children) to achieve a degree
  • Your studies have been adversely affected by circumstances in your personal, social or domestic life.

We actively encourage applications from mature students. Further consideration will be given to the life experience of mature applicants and the circumstances in which they gained prior qualifications.

If you are a mature student or want to study part-time the Lifelong Learning Centre offers a free, confidential and impartial pre-entry guidance service. Our experienced staff can also talk to you about how you might meet the entry criteria and what support may be available to you.

Alternative qualifications

Select an option from the list above to view alternative qualifications.

How to apply

Apply to this course through the Lifelong Learning Centre.

Please mention on your application form the area you want to progress to.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview to assess your commitment and potential.

Admissions policy

Lifelong Learning Centre Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: See fees section below
International: Not applicable  

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2017, the fee for 2017/18 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% for 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 2017 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans for the duration of their course. Read the full government statement

Thereare no upfront fees to pay. All eligible students are able to borrow the entirecost of tuition fees making study free at the point of entry, with goodrepayment terms. You are eligible ifyou are studying for 30+ credits per year on a programme which is at a higherlevel than any qualification already held. Previous study in Higher Educationmay affect your eligibility.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

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.

For example, in 2016/17 depending on your circumstances up to £1,500 non-repayable financial support was available for the foundation year from the Leeds Financial Support scheme and up to £2,500 per year thereafter.

Career opportunities

On successful completion of the foundation year you could progress onto a range of degree courses (both full and part-time) in the social sciences, arts and healthcare. Check the entry for the degree course you wish to progress to for more information about specific career opportunities.

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.

Careers support

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.

The University and the Lifelong Learning Centre provide a range of activities to support LLC students:
  • explore their career options
  • develop or enhance their employability skills
  • gain work or voluntary experience
  • prepare for promotion, review or a role change at work
  • find and apply for jobs

Read more at Careers support for LLC students and on the University’s Careers website.

Course Terms and Conditions