The University of Southampton

Foundation Year in Science

The University of Southampton's Science Foundation Year is designed to provide you with a route to a science degree if you do not have the traditional entry qualifications. This programme may suit you if you are studying for A levels in subjects different from those normally required for these degrees. It may also interest you if you are a mature applicant, with skills and experience from employment and can show recent study, or if you come from a part of the world where the education system is different from the British A level system

The Science Foundation Year aims to give you the knowledge to meet the challenges of our science degree courses. The year provides a rapid introduction to biology, chemistry and mathematics, which will prepare you for your chosen undergraduate degree.

Students registered on the programme are full-time members of the University of Southampton student community with access to accommodation within halls of residence and full use of recreational, sports, library and IT facilities.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

Introducing your course

This is the course page for Foundation Year in Science at the University of Southampton. Find out everything about Year in Science and what studying here involves.

In this course page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules you can take and how assessment works. We also suggest career opportunities open to you as a University of Southampton graduate of Foundation Year in Science.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. See our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Students at the Faculty Student Office


The foundation year is the preliminary year of a four- or five-year programme. By applying for this course you are expressing an interest in pursuing one of the following science subjects:

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Geology
  • Marine Biology
  • Oceanography
  • Pharmacology
  • Zoology

Successful completion of our Foundation Year will guarantee you a place on one of our science programmes.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

Applications for the Science Foundation Year should be made via UCAS using the code relevant to your chosen discipline:

Biological Sciences courses:

BSc Biochemistry/Biomedical Sciences/Pharmacology with Foundation Year (CB71)

BSc Biology/Zoology with Foundation Year (C108)

Chemistry courses:

BSc/MChem Chemistry with Foundation Year (F108)

Environmental Science courses:

BSc/MEnvSci Environmental Science with Foundation Year (F903)

Ocean and Earth Science courses:

BSc Geology with Foundation Year (F602)

BSc Marine Biology with Foundation Year (F705)

BSc Oceanography with Foundation Year (F701)

For more information, contact the Science Foundation Admissions Team:

Telephone: +44 (0)23 8059 7755 or +44 (0)23 8059 5899


Programme Structure

The Science Foundation Year is a 1-year full-time course integrated with a further 3- or 4-year degree programme.

Key Facts

A route to a degree in a science subject for students without the traditional entry qualifications

All science subjects at Southampton are highly ranked in the UK

Choice of 10 undergraduate science disciplines on completion

Thumbnail photo of Georgia Harper

“If you want to be challenged to work hard, encouraged to do what you want to do, and celebrated for what you have achieved, Southampton is where you want to be. I have changed so much as a person since being here, and my confidence levels have soared thanks to the people I am surrounded by, both lecturers and classmates alike.”

Georgia Harper - BSc Zoology, 2018
Thumbnail photo of Andy  Tucknott

“The foundation year puts you in a unique position from the word go.”

Andy Tucknott

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

If you have not taken two science subjects at A-Level as normally required for direct entry, then you will usually need a Foundation Year. Our offer for students who have studied A-Levels is typically BBB. You will need an aptitude for science, which may be demonstrated by recent study (along with good GCSE grades in science and maths).

International Baccalaureate A typical offer if you are taking science subjects at standard level and/or maths at standard level might be 30 points overall with a minimum of 5 in science/maths.

Our offer for students who have studied a BTEC is typically DDD with distinctions in relevant modules.

Mature applicants are especially welcome. We will be looking either for some recent study (e.g. an AS or A-Level, completed OU modules) and for work experience relevant to your preferred subject area. You will need to show an aptitude for mathematics, which may be best demonstrated by our own maths test.

Other qualifications

If you have qualifications that are not listed above, your application will be considered on an individual basis.

International students

If you can show a proven ability in science and maths, but you come from a region or country where an A-Level equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the Universityis not available, you may be considered for the Foundation Year.

English language

If English is not your first language, we ask you to obtain a recognised language qualification. If you can demonstrate that you have achieved IELTS 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each band, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University, you will be able to join the course without the need for additional English language classes.

If you have achieved IELTS 5.5 with at least 5.5 in each band, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University, you can take the Language Pathway option. This gives you the specialist extra language tuition to help you succeed in your degree.

If you have not yet reached IELTS 5.5 but plan to be based in Southampton, you could consider taking a separate preparatory language course.

Selection process:
Average applications per place:

Each application is considered individually. However, whether you are coming directly from full-time education, or from a different background, you need to demonstrate an aptitude for maths and science. This could be through recent qualifications (for example, as a mature student you may have already completed Open University modules), relevant work experience or both.


This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Whatever degree course you are aiming for, you will take all the modules listed below. All modules are studied for the whole year and are assessed through both coursework and examination. The coursework module integrates elements from the different disciplinary modules and is assessed by a range of approaches. The examinations held in January carry 40% of the marks and those held in June carry 60% of the marks for each disciplinary module.



Students with an IELTS of 5.5 or 6.0 who already have the Mathematics required for their destination degree programme, will be required to follow the Language Pathway and will take GENG0016 English for Engineers and Scientists,

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).


Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Successfully completing the foundation year gives you guaranteed entry to one of our Science based degrees, which carry professional accreditation and offer excellent career prospects.

Graduates who have entered our degrees through the Foundation Year route have progressed to a variety of exciting science and technology roles in the private and public sectors, as well as to self employment and consultancy, both in the UK and overseas.

More information is a available on the specific course pages.

Learning & Assessment

Teaching and learning

Our students acquire knowledge and understanding through a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratory experiments, coursework and individual and group assignments. You will develop the transferable skills for degree success.

Ground-breaking research

The University has an excellent reputation for research in engineering and science. You will be taught by staff at the cutting edge of their research fields in an environment that promotes and values independent enquiry and helps you to develop these skills for yourselves.

Assessment and examinations

You will be assessed through unseen written exams, short tests, assessed coursework in the form of laboratory log books and reports, problems and other set assignments.

Study Locations

Chemistry building

Chemistry, Highfield Campus

Chemistry is based at the heart of the University of Southampton's Hig...Find out more

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