Foundation Year

Your Foundation Year is designed to give you an introduction to the knowledge and skills you will need for a degree course at Aberystwyth. You will study alongside students who are taking your subject, as well as other students taking an integrated foundation year in other Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences or Biological Sciences subjects.

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A foundation degree is suitable:

  • if you are unable to meet the normal entry requirements for a three-year scheme
  • if you are unsure of what to study and would like to experience different subjects
  • if you have been out of education for some time and would like to return.

The Foundation Year at Aberystwyth will give you a broad introduction to fundamental ideas, theories and concepts across the humanities and social sciences. It is designed to enable you to experience and reflect on cross-discipline learning experiences; to develop your critical reasoning skills; and to enhance your communication skills. The Foundation Year provides students with an introduction to their chosen degree scheme in the first semester, before taking ‘taster’ subject modules in the second semester.

If you are a Humanities student (English, Theatre Film and Television Studies, History), or a Social Science (International Relations, Geography, Human Geography, Sociology, Law, Criminology, Education) student, you will take core modules that provide you with a chance to explore key themes related to your chosen degree programme from an interdisciplinary perspective.

If you are a Natural Sciences student (Physical Geography, Environmental Science, Environmental Earth Science), you will have core and optional modules. Your core modules will introduce you to the fundamentals of studying the natural world and will include fieldwork in the local area. You will be introduced to concepts of environmental management through field exploration of the Ystwyth valley, the Rheidol river and the Aberystwyth coast. You will also take modules that give you the skills you need to communicate ideas for an academic context.

If you are a Biological Sciences student (Biology, Sports and Exercise Science) your core modules will introduce you to the fundamentals of the biochemical building blocks and cell structure of organisms. Workshops, field and lab-based practical sessions will acquaint you with the diversity, structure and function of organisms inhabiting the Earth, and the way in which these organisms interact with their environment. You will also take modules that give you the practical, numerical and literacy skills you need to communicate ideas in an academic context.

The following degree schemes include a foundation year:

You will take modules that introduce you to the academic content of your subject, and you will develop other skills that will give you the academic training you need to succeed in your Honours degree. These include:

  • IT skills for university
  • Academic writing for students
  • Learning experience modules where you will be introduced to the key concepts of the subjects offered by your named academic department
  • The opportunity to experience other subjects offered as part of the Foundation Year programme.

Teaching involves a mix of lectures, seminars, and personal development sessions that will give you the confidence and experience to excel academically. Your transition to Level 1 will be supported by your personal tutor and the leader of the Foundation Year.

Funding and availability of student loans is identical to all other undergraduates and you can apply for a place through UCAS in the same way as any other of our undergraduate degrees.

Entry requirements are below, but each applicant will be assessed on an individual basis to ensure that they are right for the course and that the course is right for them.

Foundation year students have full access to all campus facilities, societies and everything else that Aberystwyth student community has to offer.

Options for International Applicants 

Aberystwyth University offers several foundation options for international students whose English language level and/or academic qualifications do not meet the requirements for direct entry onto an undergraduate degree.

4-year degrees with foundation year

International students who are confident in their English language ability and have at least IELTS 6.0 – 6.5 (depending on the requirements of the degree scheme being applied to, and with 5.5 or above in each component) can choose from the above degree schemes.

Pre-sessional Course + 4-year degrees with foundation year

The University offers Pre-sessional courses to help students meet the minimum English language entry requirement for 4-year degrees with foundation year. Learn more here.

International Foundation Certificate

This stand-alone foundation year is designed for students who want to focus on both their English language and academic skills as well as gaining knowledge of their academic subject. Successful completion guarantees entry onto a related degree at Aberystwyth University. Vist our dedicated page to learn more about Aberystwyth University's International Foundation Certificate.

Entry Requirements


Foundation Year entry requirements (at initial application)

Geography, Physical Geography, Human Geography



48 UCAS with D in a humanities

Environmental Earth Science

48 UCAS with D in a science subject

Environmental Science

48 UCAS with D in Environmental Science, Biology or Geography


48 UCAS with a C or above in GCSE Maths

English & Creative Writing

48 UCAS with a D in Humanities

International Politics, InterPol and Military History

48 UCAS with a D in Humanities

History and Welsh History

48 UCAS with a D in Humanities

Theatre and Film Studies/Drama and Theatre Studies

48 UCAS with a D in Humanities

Law, Criminology

48 UCAS with a D in Humanities




48 UCAS with a D in Humanities

Students are required to have a GCSE in Maths and English.