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 qualifications, 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. It gives you access to a range of activities and staff on the degree programme that you will continue your studies on.

The foundation year in science is taught at the University and you'll have access to all its facilities. Subject materials and teaching are tailored to degrees at Kingston and you'll develop practical, technical and communication skills, and apply knowledge to real-life problems.

Modules reflect the degree subject you choose but will include the following modules:

Biological & Chemical Sciences
In addition, you'll take the following two modules:

Professional Success
You'll gain study skills for your degree, look at relevant career options and be introduced to business and project management.

Foundation Project-based Learning
You'll work on independent and group projects in your subject area, developing skills in team working, critical thinking and data handling.

This foundation year is available with these courses:

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 2023
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston

  • Kingston is ranked No.3 in London for sport science (Guardian University League table, 2022).
  • 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

Professional Success

30 credits

This is a core module for all students on the Foundation year in Science, Engineering and Computing and is designed to complement and support the subject content of the other modules within the programme. The focus of the module is the development of a range of academic study skills, contextualised to the students chosen subject. This in turn allows students to become independent, resilient and reflective learners who will be able to succeed in subsequent levels of degree study.

The module provides an early appreciation of the career opportunities that their degree leads to, which in turn allows students to determine the employability skills they need to develop. To consolidate employability, the basic principles of Business and Project Management are introduced to students in the context of their chosen degree subject. The personal tutor scheme is embedded within the module and is linked to students development log and aspects of employability.

Foundation Project-Based Learning

30 credits

This is a core module for all students on the Foundation year in Science, Engineering and Computing and is designed to allow students to develop a number of the skills introduced in the Professional Skills module, in particular those relating to critical thinking, problem solving and group work. The focus of the module is in project-based learning as applied to real-world scenarios and/or problems in the degree subject area of the student.

Biological & Chemical Sciences

60 credits

This module is delivered as part of Science pathway in the Foundation Year in Science, Computing and Mathematics. The module is core for students intending to continue to level 4 of a degree in a number of Life Science, Forensic, Nutrition, Sport, Chemical and Pharmaceutical related degrees. The module is designed to provide an essential introduction to the biological and chemical sciences, through the study of introductory chemistry, biochemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, cells, tissues, body systems, physical chemistry, genetics and evolution. It also introduces some of the relevant tools and techniques used in modern biology and chemistry.

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 2023

  • 32 UCAS points from two Level 3 qualifications.

Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects at grade C/4 or above, including Mathematics and English Language.

Typical offer 2022

  • 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 to 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.

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

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 (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 preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for final assignments. 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 learning and teaching

Year 1

Year 1
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 318 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 582 hours

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 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.


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.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Course fees and funding

Fees for this course

Fees are are included on the relevant webpage for the degree course you would like to study.

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.

Need to know more?

Our undergraduate fees and funding section provides information and advice on money matters.

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.


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, this 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 between £100 and £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.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Kingston University will supply you with a lab coat and safety goggles at the start of the year.

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.