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Durham University

Durham Centre for Academic Development

Foundation Programme


Foundation Programme for UK Students

Durham University’s Foundation Programme has been delivering high quality academic preparation for undergraduate study at Durham University since 1992. It is designed for students from under-represented groups in higher education, who have the potential to achieve the standard for admission to Durham, but who, as a result of educational disadvantage or disruption, do not have the level of attainment or access to qualifications required for entry to a Durham University course. The Foundation Programme is delivered by a dedicated team of academic tutors from Durham’s Centre for Academic Development (DCAD). Each year the Programme provides places for 100 students and supports them to progress to Level 1 study in over 37 academic subjects from every academic department in the University.

The Foundation Programme supports students to develop the skills and subject knowledge required for successful study at degree level. Achieving a minimum of 50% in all modules permits progression to the first year of your degree, without further action or application.

The Foundation Programme is fully integrated into Durham University’s undergraduate degrees. Foundation Programme staff are experts at teaching foundation level courses and are engaged in a wide range of scholarship activities, adding to the body of knowledge within their respective discipline areas and in the field of pedagogy. Foundation Programme students are full members of the university and as such are affiliated to a college, as well as enjoying full access to the extensive extra-curricular opportunities within the university.


There are many types of foundation year. At Durham, the foundation year is a 'year 0' element of an undergraduate degree programme that is designed to enable learners who, as a result of educational disadvantage or disruption, do not have the level of attainment or access to qualifications required for entry to a Durham University course. Students on the foundation programme study a tailored programme that is specifically designed to enable them to achieve progression on to the first year of their chosen degree. There are many degree programmes that include a foundation year option, representing a large proportion of those offered by the university. Foundation students matriculate fully into the university, including becoming a member of one of the 16 colleges open to undergraduate students.

Many degree programmes are available 'with foundation'. To discover if the subject you wish to study has a foundation year, click here. This will enable you to see if that subject is available and if so, by clicking on the link to that programme, the entry requirements and other relevant information can be found.

Each of the available degree programmes has a defined foundation year. Students study modules that add up to 120 'credits', learning both core general academic skills and subject-specific content that will enable them to enter and thrive in year one of their degree subjects. Details of the foundation year modules included within each programme can be found here.

The fees for a foundation year are the same as years one to three of undergraduate study. Details of the fees and any funding you may be entitled to can be found here.

If you think the foundation year may be for you, please see oureligibility page.

Get in touch

Foundation Programme
Pelaw House, Leazes Road
Durham
DH1 1TA

Email Foundation