Engineering and the Environment

Foundation year

If you don’t have the traditional entry requirements for our undergraduate courses, choosing a programme that includes a foundation year may be an option for you.

A foundation year (sometimes called 'Year 0') is an integral part of a longer degree course, rather than a stand alone qualification. It may be a good choice for you if:

  • you have gained good grades in non-science A levels or International Baccalaureate
  • you did not achieve the predicted grades in science subjects due to exceptional circumstances (for example serious illness)
  • you are taking other qualifications, such as BTEC National Diplomas or Certificates
  • you are a mature student returning to education after a period of time
  • you have studied overseas and your qualifications are not recognised as A level equivalents.

How the foundation year system works

You apply for a degree in a certain subject 'with foundation year'. Depending on the degree subject, in Year 0 you will take either the Engineering, Physics and Geophysics or the Science option: more details are below. Your application gives a general indication of the degree you would like to study in Year 1 onwards. However this is negotiable depending both on your interests and how well you performed in Year 0.

Engineering, Physics and Geophysics (EPG) Foundation Year

This focuses on building your understanding of Maths and Physics as well as complementary skills. It is taught on the University's Highfield Campus. On successful completion, you can proceed directly onto an undergraduate degree in one of our engineering disciplines: Acoustical, Aerospace, Civil, Electrical, Electromechanical, Electronic, Environmental or Mechanical Engineering, or Ship Science. You could also proceed to a degree in Physics or Geophysics. Find out more about the EPG Foundation Year

Science Foundation Year

This provides a grounding in Biology, Chemistry and Maths as well as IT and study skills. From 2012/13 it will be run on the University's Highfield Campus. On successful completion, you can proceed directly onto an undergraduate degree in Environmental Sciences, Healthcare Science (Audiology) or other related subjects. Find out more about the Science Foundation Year.

English language requirements

If you are an international student considering the EPG Foundation Year, you may be able to have specialised English language support through the course's Language Pathway A option.

If you are considering taking the Science Foundation Year, you should be aware that this does not include English language modules. If English is not your first language we will ask you to obtain a recognised qualification, such as IELTS with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component before starting the foundation year. The University offers various courses in English for academic purposes, to take place before your formal studies begin. You can find out more here.

Fees and funding

For fees and funding purposes, the foundation year is generally classed as part of a 4 or 5 year degree course. The annual tuition fee is identical. If you are a UK student, you may apply for a loan or grant for this foundation year in the same way as for other degree courses. You can find out more here.


You should normally apply for all degree courses with a foundation year through UCAS. Competition for these places is strong, and you should aim to present your application as persuasively as possible. You can find out more here.

More information

To discuss either the Science or EPG foundation courses themselves, including entry requirements, you should contact

Dr Anna Barney, Foundation Year Admissions Tutor
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 9442

For general enquiries, you should contact

Engineering and the Environment undergraduate admissions team
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 2840 / 2839 / 8840 / 3113 / 4885

Other University of Southampton sites
Science foundation students

Science foundation students

Web links
  • UCAS
  • The University cannot accept responsibility for external web sites
What's relatedNice to know
  • Within Engineering and the Environment we have two 'with foundation year' courses. To find out more about each course, follow the links above.

  • About half of our Foundation students are mature students (over 21 at the start of year 0), and an increasing number are from overseas.

  • Applying for a foundation year means that you won't need to apply again  through UCAS for a BSc, BEng or MEng. Providing you do well, you are guaranteed a place on a degree course for the following year.

  • You will graduate with exactly the same degree as students who started in year 1.