Foundation Programme in Combined Studies

The Foundation Programme is a part-time foundation year designed for adult learners wanting to access full or part-time degree or certificate level study at the University of Sheffield who do not have the standard entry qualifications required by most courses or appropriate recent experience of academic study. It provides a thorough preparation for a wide range of possible degree pathways.

Applications are now open for 2015. Apply via our online form

About the course

The Foundation Programme in Combined Studies is a part-time Foundation Year to the Level one Certificate in Higher Education offered by the Department for Lifelong Learning. It is suitable for learners wishing to

  1. pursue a part-time Certificate in HE with us;
  2. prepare for a full-time degree at the University of Sheffield (or elsewhere) for which there is no current degree with foundation year offered;
  3. spend more time familiarising themselves with a range of subject areas before committing themselves to a specific degree programme.

Successful completion of the Foundation Programme guarantees direct progression onto Level 1 of any of our part-time certificates.

Students wishing to progress to a full-time degree must apply via UCAS in the second year of their foundation year.

Apply now

Year one modules

  • Academic Literacy and Communication (core)
  • Maths and Statistics (core)
  • Introduction to Humanities, Social Sciences or Natural Sciences (choose one from three)

The first year of study provides you with a firm grounding in those study skills, including language and numerical skills, needed for successful progression throughout your university career, and introduces to one of three broad areas of disciplinary study. It also includes opportunities to consider in more detail what specific degree or certificate path you would like to pursue in the future.

Year two study

  • Extended Project (core)

Plus 2 other subjects chosen from:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

The second year of study allows you to focus in much more detail upon specific subject areas, including the completion of an extended project in an area of study of particular interest to you relevant to your intended future studies.

Entry requirements

General entry requirements


Tel: 0114 222 7000

Foundation Programme in Combined Studies student

Modules are taught both during the daytime and in the evenings on the University campus, and extend over two semesters. You should expect to have to attend taught classes for at least one day and one evening per week. Further details of timetabling and commitments will be made available in the early summer.

Why study on a Foundation Year?

Reasons for studying a Foundation Year vary. You may want to build your confidence and update your study skills before starting on full degree level study. You may want to get a taste of more than one subject area before deciding which particular academic route
to follow.

Equally, you may know exactly which degree path is for you, but need formal academic qualifications or subject area knowledge in order to support an application to a specific degree programme.

Over the years we have seen learners successfully apply to a wide range of academic and vocational degrees across many disciplines, including business management, criminology, economics, education, the healthcare professions, journalism, law, politics and psychology.

What happens when you successfully complete the programme?

Students who wish to progress onto Level 1 of any part-time Certificate in Higher Education offered by the Department for Lifelong Learning simply select the particular subject they wish to study at that level.

Staff are on hand to offer guidance and you do not have to go through any formal application or selection process.

Students who decide in their second year to try for a place on a full-time degree at the University of Sheffield (or elsewhere) usually apply via UCAS. Anyone applying to a full-time degree at the University of Sheffield who is predicted an overall grade of 60 or more is guaranteed an interview with the department concerned in order to assess whether they are suited to their chosen course.

We offer you advice and assistance when considering your options for higher level study. We also offer extensive help to students who choose to complete a UCAS application form.

Many of our former students have applied successfully to the University of Sheffield or Sheffield Hallam University. Some have also gained places at a wide number of other universities right across the country.

How to apply

You can apply online using our application form.

We will usually invite you for an informal interview to discuss your programme of study and module choices, and to assess your readiness to study with us.

Apply now