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  • Science foundation year

Science foundation year

Why choose this course?

We recognise that there are many routes to success at degree level. Our science foundation year specifically caters for those who lack the traditional entry qualifications to join the first year of a science degree.

You are likely to be someone with either non-science-based qualifcations, someone who has tried science-based subjects but has yet to realise their potential or are a mature student, with skills and experience from employment, who wants to return to education.

The foundation year, has the benefit of being part of the extended degree and means that it provides you access to a range of activities and staff on the degree programme you will continue your study with.

Choose your pathway

Where taught Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
Kingston University 1 year full time UCAS codes are included on the relevant webpage for the course you would like to study 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • Kingston was ranked at number one in London and fifth in the UK for sport science (Guardian University League Tables, 2019). 
  • For the Environmental Science and Geography degrees, you'll put theory into practice through fieldwork in the UK and overseas. 
  • You'll gain extensive practical experience in brand new laboratories, recently opened as part of a £6.8 million investment.

What you will study

The foundation year is designed to provide a supportive environment in which you can build your confidence, whilst developing the academic and practical skills alongside the subject knowledge to continue on the degree of your choice.

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list as these could change before your year of entry.


Throughout the year you will study a range of subjects relevant to subsequent study in Year 1 of your degree and beyond. These subjects are supported by modules where your study and mathematical skills are developed. The broad scope of subjects is intended to allow study in a range of subject areas and, in some instances, allows flexibility of choice of intended degree route. Subjects start at an elementary level, and there is a strong emphasis on the development of practical skills. In the Skills module you will also undertake a project where you focus on a topic relating to your degree subject.

Core modules


30 credits

This module is designed to provide an essential introduction to the biological sciences, through the study of basic biochemistry, the characteristics of life, selected body systems, genetics and evolution. It also introduces some of the relevant tools and techniques used in modern biology. 

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the basics of biochemistry.
  • Identify and describe the structural and functional features of cells, tissues, organs and organ systems.
  • Describe and explain some of the central concepts and unifying theories in modern biology associated with the characteristics of living things such as homeostasis, co-ordination/control, genetics and evolution.
  • Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the industrial use of cells and enzymes, and the principles of genetic engineering.
  • Demonstrate a fundamental grasp of a range of techniques used in modern biology; perform simple experiments, accurately record and analyse practical data.

30 credits

The module covers a wide range of fundamental chemical concepts including: atomic and nuclear structure, bonding and structure, energetics, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, acids and bases, redox reactions and organic chemistry including, isomerism and introduction & reactions of alkanes, haloalkanes, alkenes, alcohols, amines, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and carboxylic acid derivatives. The module allows students to see the application of chemistry to a number of science-based disciplines.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Describe the atomic structure including the electronic arrangement.
  • Predict the bonding, structure and shape of simple inorganic, organic and metallic substances.
  • Perform calculations based on the mole concept, enthalpy changes, kinetics (rate), equilibria and pH; write chemical formulae and balance chemical equations (including ionic and redox).
  • Apply IUPAC rules to name a range of organic molecules including structural isomers and stereoisomers.
  • Describe typical reactions of alkanes, haloalkanes, alkenes, alcohols, amines, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and carboxylic acid derivatives.
  • Perform and report laboratory experiments competently and confidently.
Mathematics for Science

30 credits

This module develops competence in a range of mathematical and statistical techniques applied within scientific contexts; building upon previous mathematical experiences gained. Utilising calculators and computer software to analyse and present mathematical data in a variety of suitable formats is incorporated.  

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Recall and use a range of numerical, algebraic and statistical techniques to solve mathematical problems.
  • Recall and use a range of graphical methods to present and interpret data.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of simple calculus and its use to solve problems.
  • Use spreadsheets to present, analyse and interpret numerical data.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of simple probability and its use to solve problems.
  • Relate and use the mathematical concepts and techniques in the module to solve problems expressed in scientific contexts.
Sport Science

30 credits

This module is designed for those who continue to Level 4 of the following undergraduate degree courses:

  • Exercise, Nutrition and Health BSc(Hons)
  • Nutrition BSc(Hons)
  • Sport Analysis and Coaching BSc(Hons)
  • Sport Science BSc(Hons)

The content of this module reflects the variety of disciplines that will be required in these courses, namely anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, sports practical and sports psychology. The module also introduces you to basic research methodology as applied to sports science.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of functional anatomy and sport biomechanics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of physiological aspects of sports performance.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of psychological aspects of sport.
  • Demonstrate competence and understanding of sport science principles through active participation.
  • Demonstrate key skills of communication, numeracy, ICT, teamwork and develop independent skills.
Earth Sciences and the Environment

30 credits

This module is designed for those who continue to Level 4 of environmental, geological or geographical related degrees.

The module is designed to provide an introduction to the Earth sciences, through the study of the geological structure of the Earth, subsurface processes, surface processes, and the interaction of the human race with the environment.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Describe and explain the geological structure and features of the Earth.
  • Describe and explain the plate tectonic model of the Earth and place it within the context of geological history.
  • Describe the nature of Earth materials and place them within their environments or tectonic settings of formation.
  • Describe and explain a range of surface processes and their associated features.
  • Place humans within the context of the Earth, describe some of the inherent geohazards that the environment may present, and identify potential conflicts that may arise through the use of the Earth's resources.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of various techniques used to investigate the Earth.
Scientific Investigation and Skills

30 credits

The module allows you to develop effective study skills, in the context of science and the essential scientific skills necessary to allow you to progress to your chosen degree subject. The module provides a coherent path through a set of practical and theoretical experiences to develop skills and knowledge and is designed to complement and support the subject content of the other modules within the foundation year programme.

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

  • 32 UCAS points from two Level 3 qualifications.

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.

Alternative routes

We will consider a range of alternative Level 3 qualifications or significant experience that are equivalent to the standard offer.

Please note: This is not a standalone course but is an integrated foundation year. Successful completion of the foundation year will enable you to automatically progress onto the first year of your chosen degree. UCAS codes are included on the relevant webpage for the course you would like to study which offer the foundation year option. We will consider you as overqualified for the foundation route into Pharmacy if you have two or more science A2s. In such cases, we will attempt tp make you an offer on an alternative course.


We welcome applications from International Applicants. 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, with no element below 6.0 for students  progressing to Pharmacy MPharm or Nutrition. For all other courses it is Academic IELTS of 6.0, with no element below 5.5.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching uses a variety of approaches including lectures, seminars and tutorials, workshops and laboratory practical work. Sessions are designed to be active, involving students undertaking small projects and working in groups to solve problems. The use of technology to enhance learning is an important way in which students are supported. Particular emphasis is placed on developing study skills that will help mature applicants who are returning to education and those from non-science backgrounds.

Assessment includes a mixture of coursework and examination. Coursework may take the form of report writing, practical data reports, case studies and presentations with emphasis on real world problems. Examinations take place at the end of the year, giving you the opportunity to settle back into education and the course. The style of assessment provides a natural progression to Year 1 of your chosen degree.

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

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

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 9.00am and 6.00pm. 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.


There is a wide range of facilities for practical work at our Penrhyn Road campus, where this course is based. You will have access to a modern environment with the latest equipment, including:

  • the £9.8 million Eadweard Muybridge building with state-of the art laboratories;
  • an exercise physiology and biomechanics lab;
  • modern applied biology and chemistry laboratories specialist equipment, such as electron microscopes and spectrometers;
  • computing laboratories and a team of IT technicians to offer assistance; and
  • a newly refurbished state-of-the-art nutrition kitchen.

The libraries offer:

  • subject libraries, plus a free inter-library loan scheme to other libraries in the Greater London area;
  • online database subscriptions;and
  • a growing selection of resource material.

Who teaches this course?

The course is taught at the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing. Faculty staff have a wide range of experience across research and industry and continue to practice and research at the cutting edge of their discipline. This ensures that our courses are current and industry informed ensuring you get the most relevant and up to date education possible.

Staff will use their experience and professional networks to hone your skills and shape you into the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates.

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) £9,250*
International £14,200
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* These fees are annual and may increase in line with inflation each year subject to the results of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

UK and EU students who successfully complete the foundation year and progress to a BSc(Hons) programme will pay the standard undergraduate fee for the degree part of the course (currently £9,250 for all courses).

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

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, 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.


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

Lab equipment

For this course you will need to purchase a lab coat and safety glasses at approximately £20.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

After you graduate

Success on the course will qualify a student for progression to Year 1 of a bachelors degree at Kingston University. Career opportunities are dependent upon the chosen degree route and are included on the relevant course page.

Undergraduate study
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