Foundation Pathways

Foundation Pathways at Birmingham offers four undergraduate pathways, allowing you to complete a foundation year before entering into a full time undergraduate degree in a broad range of subjects.

The four pathways are:

The Foundation pathways

Pathways consist of 120 credits in 10- or 20-credit modules. 

Your pathway will consist of subject-specific modules, taught in our colleges by Birmingham academics, together with core Academic English and Study Skills modules.

We offer either a Core or High-level English route depending on your current English level.

The Core structure includes 40 credits of modules, whereas the High-level structure includes 20 credits and enables you to study more subject-specific modules.

New nine-month January programme available

We also offer a January–September programme for the Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law pathway. The course is a condensed, nine-month foundation programme, which consists of compulsory modules only.

The nine-month programme is only available for the Core English route as all modules are compulsory on this programme.

Find out more about the January programme.

Selecting your pathway

When you apply you will be asked to choose the pathway you would like to enter and the undergraduate degree that you intend to progress to. The modules you will take depend upon your intended undergraduate degree and are subject to availability and timetabling. You can search for our programmes online via course finder. 

You will not be tied to your choice of undergraduate degree; however, it is important that you make the right module choices. This is because some undergraduate programmes will have compulsory modules that you should take in your Foundation programme and you will be required to achieve a specified grade in order to progress to that course.

Some modules may be shared by the different pathways, so you will be studying alongside students from other disciplines. This will give you the opportunity to share your ideas and increase your knowledge in different areas of study and form academic networks outside your main discipline.


Upon successful completion of the appropriate pathway, you are guaranteed progression to an extensive range of our undergraduate degree programmes in Arts and Law, Engineering and Physical Sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Medical Sciences or Social Sciences.

Academic and English language progression requirements apply for each programme.For a small number of programmes, you will need to pass an interview, workshop or audition stage, as part of the progression process. Please look at the individual pathway pages for more information on progression.

See the progression tables below for more information about the undergraduate degrees available for a Foundation student and the modules to undertake in each pathway:


steve-minchinDr Steve Minchin (Academic Director, Foundation Pathways) "I look forward to welcoming you to the Foundation Pathways at Birmingham and supporting you during your time on the programme. I am sure you will have an intellectually stimulating, enjoyable and rewarding time at Birmingham."

View our YouTube video on  Teaching and Learning on the Foundation Pathways.

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