If you don’t have the grades for your chosen undergraduate course, you’re not sure which subject you’d like to take, or you’re returning to study after some time away, you may want to consider an integrated foundation year.
Why study a Foundation Year?
Successfully completing this additional year not only guarantees your place on your choice of a range of linked courses, but also that you’ll be better prepared for university study.
The Foundation Year may be for you, if you:
- aren’t sure which subject you’d like to specialise in
- don’t have the right combination of subjects for direct entry into Year 1
- don’t meet the expected requirements for direct entry into Year 1
- are returning to education after some time away.
You’ll learn essential skills and knowledge and also benefit from:
- courses designed specifically to prepare you for onward study at Sussex
- dedicated academic support for your subject
- the same access to student funding as for other degrees
- access to University-managed housing during your foundation year, and benefit from advice on renting a room or house in the private sector when you move into your first year.
You can study a Foundation Year at Sussex in the following subject areas:
- Arts and Humanities (with a foundation year) BA
- Business, Management and Economics (with a foundation year) BSc
- Computing Sciences (with a foundation year) BSc
- Design and Business (with a foundation year) BSc
- Engineering (with a foundation year) BEng
- Life Sciences (with a foundation year) BSc
- Mathematics (with a foundation year) BSc
- Physics and Astronomy (with a foundation year) BSc
- Psychology (with a foundation year) BSc
- Social Sciences (with a foundation year) BA
Can a Foundation Year set you up for success? Watch our video...
- Video transcript
I think we were quite similar when we came to Sussex.
I applied for the Physics BSc and I didn’t do well enough in my A-levels.
No, me neither!
I got offered a Foundation Year because, like you, I applied for the BSc but I had never heard of a Foundation Year.
When they offered it to me I thought, “Great! I can go to uni with a B and two Cs."
A-levels was not my time at all. It wasn’t mine either!
I chose the Foundation Year because I felt like I didn’t have the basic knowledge that I needed to start a degree.
Sussex really set me up for that with the Foundation Year.
During A-levels I just wasn’t getting it and I wasn’t sure why.
I kept practising and I even had a private tutor and he said “You have the knowledge but you can’t seem to apply it when it comes to an exam.”
I think we both suffer from stress during exams.
We are definitely given a lot of support at Sussex.
Especially from our Academic Adviser.
Jackie has been great, hasn’t she?!
She just listens. I know when I say some things it can be stupid and having her in the Foundation Year to support me gave me a lot of confidence.
She said, “The grades you are getting right now are good enough to go onto a Masters.”
“Oh! I’m actually quite good at this!”
Yes, I feel much more confident.
Both of us were struggling and now we are getting firsts.
It wasn’t just Jackie, it was also the campus, it’s so beautiful.
Especially in the summer. It always gets my mood up.
And you can go just 10 minutes out and you’re here. At this beach.
This is a lovely place to come, especially if you’re stressed from exams.
There are also plenty of places on campus where you can go and relax.
It’s so homely and welcoming.
I just had a gut feeling. Weird as that sounds I felt, “This is the place where I will be more confident and find myself. I don’t want to be that shy person that was struggling so much at A-levels.”
Look at me now! I can’t stop speaking!
If you’re an international student from outside the EU and your first language isn’t English, you may want to consider our International Foundation Year instead. The course may be for you if:
- you don’t meet the entry requirements for direct entry into Year 1
- English is not your first language.
The Foundation Year gave me the chance to get comfortable with university life and learn a wide range of multidisciplinary subjects.”Katie Savage
Social Sciences (with a foundation year) BA, now studying Geography BA
What happens after a Foundation Year
If you successfully complete your Foundation Year, you'll be able to progress on to a range of related (linked) subjects.
You’ll find details of your choice of progression routes on our Foundation Year course pages. You will move into Year 1 (just as completing Year 1 leads into Year 2, and so on).
Life as a Foundation Year student
Many of our students find a Foundation Year is a great way to settle into University life and begin their undergraduate studies. Hear from some of our Foundation Year students below.
- Video transcript
Hey guys, my name is Benita, and I'm currently a second year student at the University of Sussex.
I also did a Foundation Year in Business Management Economics.
Outside of studies, I'm also a dancer.
I enjoy content creating and I'm also a Christian.
This video is going to take you pretty much through my experiences at Sussex and also some advice that I'd like to give to you.
[ON SCREEN TEXT] CHOOSING SUSSEX
I actually heard about Sussex on Results Day as I had to go through clearing since I didn't get the grades I needed to actually go straight through to my course.
And the main reason why I came to Sussex was they offered me the chance to do a Business Foundation year.
So I happily took on the offer.
[ON SCREEN TEXT] STARTING UNI
Starting university for me was quite nerve wracking for two main reasons.
First one being the fact that I didn't know anyone at all from my school who was going to be coming to Sussex University.
And also the fact that I was moving away from home.
Home for me was London, and it was quite different to Brighton.
But eventually I adjusted to the culture and I obviously found friends and made friends who supported me throughout the journey.
[ON SCREEN TEXT] FAVOURITE THINGS
If I could say one thing I enjoyed the most about doing the Foundation Year in Business was being able to learn about all areas.
So that includes Marketing, Finance, Economics and Management.
Pretty much everything about Business, as I wasn't too sure at that point in time what I wanted to go ahead.
So I would definitely recommend anyone if you're not sure about which areas of Business you want to go into.
Or if you just want to learn more about it before actually going to do your degree, then I would highly recommend doing a Foundation Year.
[ON SCREEN TEXT] HOW I’VE CHANGED
During my time with Sussex, I can definitely say I've grown both personally and professionally and this is obviously through taking a risk and going outside my comfort zone and also taking part in things such as society committees, volunteering for corporations that are part of the university such as Into-University and also take on part time jobs as well.
So that whole experience has definitely helped me, not just professionally, but also personally and also with my confidence.
[ON SCREEN TEXT] WHAT’S NEXT?
One thing I'm definitely looking forward to regarding the rest of my university journey is having more opportunities to take part in events and also being a part of the university student community, such as doing more volunteering and potentially also being a rep for my course as well.
[ON SCREEN TEXT] MY ADVICE
And lastly, if I was to give any advice.
First thing is not to be worried about not having friends, as I was.
There are so many opportunities and events that you can make the most of, such as Freshers Fair, society events and also university events where you can meet new people and make friends during your university journey.
And that's pretty much everything for this video.
I do hope you found it valuable and useful. I'm wishing you all the best with results and university search.
Meeting students on the Foundation Year helped me ease into university. I had a chance to understand the standard of work and organisation needed. This will give me an advantage throughout my university studies.”Kadija Khatun
Business, Management and Economics (with a foundation year) BSc, now studying Business and Management Studies BSc