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Our undergraduate degrees with a foundation year are an alternative entry route into university for those without more traditional qualifications or grades, or  are entering university after a notable period of time out of education.

We offer a range of degrees with a foundation year to help students who do not have the qualifications to meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree.

Our four-year degree programmes (including a foundation year) provide an alternative route to undergraduate study at university if you do not have the grades to access higher education in the traditional way. You may be a college or school leaver, or a mature student who would like to return to studying.

Three pathways are available: arts, communication, humanities and social sciences; business management; and psychology. In addition, the University plans a further pathway in science, to access programmes in sport, health and applied sciences, and is looking to develop a pathway into law – all subject to validation.

This suite of programmes offers students the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required to access degree programmes. In the bespoke first year of these four-year degrees, students will focus specifically on communication (oral and written), critical thinking, research, independent study, learning development, and employability skills.

The subject lecturers and academic staff in Learning Development and the Centre for Workplace Learning are committed to making your time here as enjoyable, intellectually stimulating, personally rewarding and as problem-free as possible.

You will need to be self-motivated, disciplined, and able to manage your time effectively. It will be hard work, but we will support you in every way we can. There will be many opportunities to relax and enjoy all the good things that St Mary’s and surrounding areas have to offer. There is a dedicated hub exclusive to the foundation year, giving you the opportunity to create social and academic relationships.

On successful completion of the foundation year, students will automatically progress on to the first year of their chosen undergraduate programme within the School of Arts and Humanities or the School of Management and Social Sciences.

Students who opt to complete only the first year of the four-year degree with us will be provided with a transcript which will detail the modules taken and the grades achieved. This transcript can be used to access undergraduate degrees in future at St Mary’s, or apply for degree level study at another university. It may also support applications for employment.

View core modules

On successful completion of the foundation year, students will automatically progress on to the first year of their chosen undergraduate programme.


There are three pathways in the foundation year. The pathway you take will depend on which undergraduate degree you intend to study:

Tuition fees

Home/EU: £9,250
International: £11,220

Entry requirements

  • 48 UCAS points (or equivalent)
  • applicants with no formal qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis
  • IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent) is required for applicants whose first language is not English