Foundation Year in Social Sciences

Why choose this course?

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

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, economics and politics. 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.

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 2020 (Clearing)
2021
Location Penrhyn Road

2020 entry

If you are planning to join this course in September 2020, please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • A stepping-stone onto your chosen BA/BSc degree course
  • 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 is designed to introduce students 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 (ie. the study of collective and individual human behaviour), as well as 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 allow students to engage with key qualitative methods used in the fields examined. At the conclusion of the module students will have acquired 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 is designed to provide students 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 students Iexplore the social nature of crime, deviance and social control, and familiarizes students with key ideas relevant to explaining these phenomena. At the same time the module will also enable students to develop academic skills necessary for them to succeed at university such as active academic reading, developing arguments, understanding assessment strategies, ways of working in groups, giving presentations and library skills. The module will develop students wider self-awareness of themselves as learners and encourage them to actively shape their own learning. This will be evidenced through the production of 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 students' abilities to identify and research of topics of interest to themselves and consider how their learning informs their understanding of the world and their lived experience outside of the classroom.
Using Quantitative Methods

30 credits

This module is designed to allow students to develop competence in a range of mathematical and statistical techniques which they can then apply within 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, and is accessible to students with a wide range of previous mathematical experiences.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

If you would like to join us through Clearing 2020, please call our Clearing hotline 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 2021 entry only.

Typical Offer

  • 48 UCAS tariff points from level 3 qualifications (DD or equivalent from two A2 subjects).
  • BTEC Lvl3 National: Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM). 
  • 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).

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).

International

  • 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

Teaching and assessment

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

Guided independent study

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 preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. 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, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will 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 teaching: 384 hours
  • Guided independent study: 516 hours

 

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

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg 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 on 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 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 40-60. 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

2020/21 fees for this course

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which 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, 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.

Text books

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, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

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.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

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 for 2021/22 academic year. This decision only applies to new EU students starting in 2021/22. If you are an existing/continuing EU student, you will continue to be funded until you graduate or withdraw from your course.

After this course

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

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students who will be starting the course in September 2020.

Course information (changes for 2020 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.

In order to safeguard our students' health and safety and to minimise the risk of disruption to their studies, the University has postponed all Study Abroad programmes for outgoing students in the first teaching block of 2020/21. The University will review this decision before the second teaching block and will take into account relevant government advice at that time.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

If the current pandemic situation continues into the next academic year and beyond, the University may be unable to offer suitable placements which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will provide students with appropriate alternative options and ensure that support will be available to them so that they are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2020) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2020 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, or to a different year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Accreditation

During the pandemic, the University has been working closely with all its associated professional bodies to establish where flexibility/changes can be applied without undermining their professional standards. This will ensure that any changes made to courses which have professional, statutory or regulatory body (PSRB) accreditation do not negatively impact the accreditation status.

In the very exceptional circumstance that professional bodies do not agree with changes proposed, it may be necessary to defer relevant modules until those modules can be delivered as required. Students will be informed of this during the induction period and appropriately supported so that they can consider all options available to them.

Additional (changes for 2020 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.