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Engineering and the EnvironmentUndergraduate study

Foundation Year Science

The Foundation Year provides an introduction to biology, chemistry and mathematics and provides the skills required for an undergraduate degree.

Introducing your degree

Find out about Foundation Year Science at the University of Southampton. On this page we explain a range of key information about the course. This includes typical entry requirements, modules and how you'll be assessed.

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.

Programme Overview

The year will be divided into two semesters where you will learn the fundamentals of chemistry, mathematics and biology. The course is integrated with a 3 or 4- year degree. You will undertake laboratory work and a variety of assignments to develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

During your Foundation Year, you will receive full support from subject tutors and feedback to progress your development. You will also develop your transferable and academic skills in our Routes to Success module.

View the specification 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 one-year full-time course integrated with a further three or four-year degree course.

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 league tables
  • Choice of 10 undergraduate science disciplines on completion

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-levelIf 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 BaccalaureateA typical offer if you are taking science subjects at standard level and/or maths at standard level might be 32 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 qualification is not available, you may be considered for the Foundation Year.

English language

On Monday 10th February 2014 the UKVI (also known as UKBA) suspended the consideration of all student visas where the applicant’s English language proficiency was based on the result of a test administered by ETS (the provider of the TOEFL test). As a result, the University regrets that it cannot currently accept TOEFL tests. The University is awaiting further guidance from UKVI regarding the full terms of the suspension.

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 a recognised equivalent, 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 a recognised equivalent, 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.  

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).

Career Opportunities

What are my career prospects?

Successfully completing the Foundation Year gives you guaranteed progression to one of our science-based degrees, which 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.


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

National Oceanography Centre

Marine biology modules are taught by specialists in Ocean and Earth Sc...Find out more

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