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 2021
2022
Location Penrhyn Road

2021 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between September 2021 and August 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 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 2021/22. 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

Typical offer 2022

  • 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).

Typical Offer 2021

  • 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 2021/22 due to Covid-19

Course information (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Composition of the course

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.

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 in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Modules

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from 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, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

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 in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.

In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.

Teaching (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.

If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.

Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available 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 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 in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. 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, 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. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

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 learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.

‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.

In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2021/22 entry)

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.

Staff (changes for 2021/22 entry)

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

Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.

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

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.

If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered 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 might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.

The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. 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 2021/22.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.

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.

In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments 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.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct 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 by email before enrolment.

Accreditation

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.

Additional (changes for 2021/22 entry)

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.