Physical Sciences Foundation Year

Start date
September
Duration
1 year
UCAS code
FGI0
Course Type
Undergraduate, Foundation, Single Honours
Fees

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:
£9,250 (UK/EU)
Further information

Our inspiring Physical Sciences Foundation Year is an integrated foundation degree, giving you access to our highly ranked physical sciences undergraduate courses. If you do not have the qualifications necessary to apply directly for first-year entry, this could be the course for you.

The Physical Sciences Foundation Year can lead to Bachelors degrees in computer science, mathematics, nuclear science and physics (excluding theoretical physics or theoretical physics and applied mathematics).

Once you’ve completed the course successfully and have met the subject-specific progression criteria, you will automatically join your chosen first-year course.

The foundation year is multidisciplinary and offers a broad programme of study, providing a solid level of knowledge across science, engineering and mathematics. Mathematics is essential for all students to succeed within Engineering and Physical Sciences and as such we place a great emphasis on this subject in the Foundation Year. The skills you learn here will allow you to enter the first year on an equal footing to those who have taken A level Mathematics.

The foundation year provides an excellent opportunity to study at a leading research-focused university without the required qualifications needed for first-year entry. All teaching takes place on the main Birmingham Edgbaston campus, the home of the majority of our undergraduate degrees. As such, you will have access to the same excellent facilities as other students, for example, the state-of-the-art library, sports centre and the stunning new outdoor space: the Green Heart.

Why study the Physical Sciences Foundation Year Programme at Birmingham?

  • Teaching on the Foundation Year is provided by the same academic staff who are involved in our accredited degree programmes across the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
  • They are global experts in their field and provide teaching in leading edge facilities and laboratories.
  • A broad programme of study providing a solid level of knowledge across science and mathematics
  • Academic contact and support, each student is allocated a personal tutor
  • Builds confidence in mathematics, team-work, computer literacy and communication skills
  • We produce graduates ready for the fast-changing marketplace.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Year brochure (pdf 1.35 MB)

For students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to financial support available via student loans for the duration of their course. For more information take a look at the gov.uk website.

Modules

You will take the following modules as part of the Foundation Year:

Core modules:

  • Mathematics I (10 credits)
  • Materials (10 credits)
  • Science and Engineering Skills (10 credits)
  • Mechanics (10 credits)
  • Science and Engineering Laboratories (10 credits)
  • Stats and Data (10 credits)

Optional modules:

Choose 60 credits. Example modules:

  • Foundation Electronic and Electrical Engineering (10 credits)
  • Waves (10 credits)
  • Elementary Computer Programming (10 credits)
  • Introductory Organic Chemistry (10 credits)
  • Introductory Inorganic Chemistry (10 credits)
  • Group Project (10 credits)
  • Individual Project (10 credits)
  • Maths II (10 credits)
  • Calculus (10 credits)

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2020. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.

Fees

Annual tuition fees 2019/20

UK/EU £9,250

Visit our  tuition fees page for more information.

Scholarships

The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of other bursaries, grants and scholarships.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code FGI0.

Important information: When completing your UCAS application, please indicate the degree you intend to follow after the Foundation Year. You must include this under ‘Further details’ in the ‘choices’ section of the application by using the relevant code from the following:

  • For all Computer Science programmes: Comp Sci
  • For all Physics programmes: Physics
  • For all Mathematics programmes: Maths
  • For Nuclear Science or Engineering programmes: Nuclear

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on how to apply for undergraduate courses.


Typical offer:
AAB-BBB

A Levels

  • BBB including Physics
  • ABB including at least one of Chemistry, Computer Science Economics or Electronics
  • AAB in 3 other subjects.

Required subjects and grades

  • Minimum 6/B in GCSE Mathematics

Subjects not accepted

  • A level Maths is not accepted
  • A level General Studies is not accepted 

Access to HE:

60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3 out of which 30 are at Distinction including 12 in Mathematics + 12 in Physics and 15 at Merit.

International Baccalaureate:

32 overall with the following at higher level:

  • 555 including Physics
  • 655 including at least one of Chemistry, Computer Science or Economics
  • 665 in 3 other subjects.

Applicants taking Higher Level Maths are not considered.

BTEC and Cambridge Technical:

BTEC and Cambridge Technical  Extended Diplomas are considered on a case-by-case basis dependent on syllabus. A science-based subject is required.

BTEC Diplomas and Subsidiary Diplomas (Extended Certificate from 2016) and Cambridge Technical Diplomas and Introductory Diplomas (Extended Certificate from 2015/16) will be considered in combination with A Levels on a case-by-case basis dependent on the subjects taken.

BTEC applicants may be required to undergo a problem solving test.

Applicants taking these qualifications are advised to contact the University before making an application.

International Students

Please note this course is only open to UK/EU students. Overseas students may apply to one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages

What can you expect

Depending on the modules you select, each week you will have 16-18 hours of lectures and  classes/labs per week, plus possible timetabled extra support classes for some students.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. We advocate an enquiry-based learning approach and from the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates). To begin with you may find this way of working challenging but rest assured we will enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support systems that will assist and encourage you.

Contact Hours

Depending on the modules you select, each week you will have 16-18 hours of lectures and  classes/labs per week, plus possible timetabled extra support classes for some students.

Assessment Methods

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module you take. You will be assessed through coursework, which may take the form of essays, group or individual presentations and formal examinations. Each module is assessed independently.

We place a strong emphasis on providing prompt and informative feedback on all piece of work that you submit during your studies.

Which career path you eventually take will be influenced by which discipline you elect to study.

Please view the employability tab on the following courses to see examples of the possibilities open to you after graduation.

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details