Foundation Year in Social Sciences

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold award

Our commitment to high quality teaching has been recognised with a TEF Gold rating. The University has received an overall rating of Gold, as well as securing a Gold award in the framework's two new student experience and student outcomes categories.

Why choose this course?

The Foundation year in Social Sciences takes place for one year before your degree. It will provide you with a solid grounding of knowledge and study skills in preparation for your degree.

This foundation year is taught at the University, giving you a taste of academic life in a supportive environment. You'll be introduced to professional skills, research and critical thinking skills, numerical skills, and critical reflections on global issues in the social world. Lectures, labs and tutorials will give you a broad understanding across subjects including economics, criminology, sociology and psychology.

You will study four year-long modules that cover all subject areas that make up the social and behavioural sciences. The subjects covered on this course are criminology, sociology, psychology and economics. You will develop a foundation knowledge of these subjects and begin to explore the boundaries and overlap between these inter-related disciplines.

You will cultivate a range of study skills that will support your transition onto your chosen BA/BSc. These include academic reading, developing arguments, understanding assessment strategies and giving presentations. You will also learn how to carry out research and conduct statistical analysis.

Upon successful completion of this foundation year you will progress to Year 1 of your chosen degree programme.

This foundation year is available with these courses:

Choose your pathway

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
1 year full time UCAS codes are included on the relevant webpage for the course you would like to study 2024 (Clearing)
Main Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is a stepping-stone onto your chosen BA/BSc degree course
  • It prepares you with a foundation of knowledge in social sciences disciplines whilst developing key academic skills
  • You'll gain all of the benefits of being a Kingston University student before your start your degree

What you will study

Throughout the year-long course, you will cover criminology, sociology, psychology, economics and politics, regardless of the specialist area you will be studying the following year. This will enable you to gain an overview of the social sciences and it will guide you in the direction of the social sciences degree that you're particularly interested in.

Foundation year

The foundation year of the course is made up of four year-long modules that cover criminology, sociology, psychology, economics and politics. 

Core modules

Overcoming the challenges in understanding individual and collective human behaviour

30 credits

This is a core module for all students following the Foundation in Social and Behavioural Sciences programme.

The module will introduce you to the wide spectrum of disciplines and approaches that encompass the social and behavioural sciences. The module will address both common features across the social and behavioural sciences (i.e. the study of collective and individual human behaviour), and the defining features of the individual disciplines.

A key focus will be on the overlapping and somewhat artificial nature of the boundaries between the different disciplines in the social and behavioural sciences.

In addition, the module will enable you to engage with key qualitative methods used in the fields examined. By the end of the module, you will have gained a comprehensive overview of the social and behavioural sciences as a field of study, of the individual yet overlapping disciplines within the field, and how they are examined.

Practical Research Skills

30 credits

This module offers you the opportunity to carry out a research project on a topic agreed in consultation with a supervisor. Supervisory sessions with an academic supervisor will help guide you to conduct a literature review, formulate a research question, design a research study, collect data and present findings.

Becoming an Active Learner

30 credits

This module will provide you with a general introduction to the Social Sciences through the critical lenses sociology and criminology. Therefore the module uses the creative pedagogy of film making to help you explore the social nature of crime, deviance and social control, and familiarise yourself with key ideas relevant to explaining these phenomena.

The module will also enable you to develop the academic skills necessary to succeed at university, such as active academic reading, developing arguments, understanding assessment strategies, ways of working in groups, giving presentations and library skills. You will develop your wider self-awareness as a learner and be encouraged to actively shape your own learning. You will produce a portfolio of work to include:

  • a group podcast
  • the production of a group audio-visual film
  • peer assessment task based on the audio-visual film
  • a reflective essay worth 40% which will demonstrate your abilities to identify and research of topics of interest and consider how your learning informs your understanding of the world and your lived experience outside the classroom.
Using Quantitative Methods

30 credits

Through this module you will develop competence in a range of mathematical and statistical techniques. You can then apply these skills to a range of contexts in social and behavioural sciences.

The module reinforces basic mathematical concepts to the level required for entry in the BA/BSc programmes offered by the School of Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences. It is accessible to students with a wide range of previous mathematical experiences.

Future Skills

Knowledge to give you the edge

Embedded within every course curriculum and throughout the whole Kingston experience, Future Skills will play a role in shaping you to become a future-proof graduate, providing you with the skills most valued by employers such as problem-solving, digital competency, and adaptability.

As you progress through your degree, you'll learn to navigate, explore and apply these graduate skills, learning to demonstrate and articulate to employers how future skills give you the edge.

At Kingston University, we're not just keeping up with change, we're creating it.

A female engineering student, in the engineering lab.

Entry requirements

If you would like to join us through Clearing 2024, please call our Clearing line on 0800 0483 334 (or +44 020 8328 1149 if you are calling from outside the UK) and speak to our friendly and knowledgeable hotliners who will be able to provide information on available courses and will guide you through your options.

Please note the entry requirements listed below are for 2025 entry only.

Typical offer 2025

  • 64 UCAS tariff points from level 3 qualifications (CC or equivalent from two A2 subjects).
  • BTEC Lvl3 National: Pass, Pass, Merit (MPP). 
  • Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects at grade C/4 or above, including Mathematics and English Language.

Typical offer 2024

  • 64 UCAS tariff points from level 3 qualifications (CC or equivalent from two A2 subjects).
  • BTEC Lvl3 National: Pass, Pass, Merit (MPP). 
  • Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects at grade C/4 or above, including Mathematics and English Language.

Additional requirements

  • Entry on to this course does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio

Additional requirements

  • QAA-approved Access to Higher Education Diploma in a relevant subject with 60 credits, minimum 45 credits at Level 3 pass.
  • Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects grades A*-C including Mathematics and English Language (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).


  • We welcome applications from International Applicants. Please view our standard entry requirements from your country
  • All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Typical offer and UCAS points explained

Like most universities, we use the UCAS Tariff point system for our course entry requirements.

Find out more about UCAS Tariff points and see how A-level, AS level, BTEC Diploma and T-level qualifications translate to the points system.

Teaching and assessment

Timetabled learning and teaching on this course includes lectures, small group tutorials and seminars.

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking coursework assignments, and preparing and giving presentations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, support you throughout your time at Kingston and show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University. 

Your workload

Type of teaching and learning

Type of teaching and learning
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 384 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 516 hours


  • Year 1 - 43% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (e.g. test or exam), practical (e.g. presentations, performance) and coursework (e.g. essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

Year 1

Type of assessment

Type of assessment
  • Coursework: 34%
  • Practical: 28%
  • Exam: 38%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback to you on your assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student friendly as possible, scheduled learning and teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 6pm. For undergraduate students, Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 60 students and lecture sizes are normally 40 to 60 students. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience.  

Postgraduate research students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. The following group of staff members are currently involved in the delivery of different elements of this course. This pool is subject to change at any time within the academic year.  

Why take a foundation year?

If you would like to study a social sciences degree at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BA/BSc course then you may want to consider studying with a foundation year. It may be that you:

  • are expecting to meet the entry requirements needed for the foundation year
  • or may not have received the grades required for direct entry onto the first year of your chosen BA/BSc programme
  • or you have been away from education for a period of time and would like an introduction back into study prior to taking your degree.

Whatever the reason, this option will prepare your for the transition onto your chosen degree programme.

Course fees and funding

Fees for this course

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

The Government has recently announced that new students from the European Union and Swiss Nationals starting their course after August 2021 will no longer be eligible for a student loan in England for Undergraduate or Postgraduate studies from the 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting after 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.


Most of your readings will be available through the library at no extra cost to you. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks – these can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.


Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston-upon-Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

After this course

Upon successful completion of this foundation year you will progress to Year 1 of your chosen degree programme. 

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.