Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law

This pathway encompasses those degrees subject areas within our College of Arts and Law and the College of Social Sciences, which includes the highly ranked Birmingham Business School. Both colleges are at the forefront of research and innovation, generating new knowledge about society and transforming this in ways that improve wellbeing. Our programmes in the social sciences, arts and humanities explore every facet of human society and culture, from literary criticism to economics and religion to social policy

The Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law Pathway will lead you towards a programme in one of the following:


See the Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law Pathway progression table 2017 for more information about the undergraduate degrees available for a Foundation Pathways student choosing this pathway and the modules to undertake. Also see Course details 'Why study this Course' for a list of degrees you can study on this pathway.

Arts, Social Sciences, Business and Law pathway modules

You will take four or five subject-specific modules from the list below plus one of the Academic English & Study Skills modules (or Advanced Academic Skills).

Some modules are compulsory for progression onto certain undergraduate degree programmes.  When you receive and accept your offer, you will be advised about your module choices. The modules listed may be shared by the different pathways, so you will be studying alongside students from other disciplines.

Modules  Credits
Politics in a Changing World   20
Social Policy, Welfare and Society   20
Business and the Market   20
Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics   20
Learning to Read History   20
Learning to Read Literature    20
Understanding Religion    10
Understanding Law   10

Module descriptions 

There are a range of Academic English and Study Skills modules, including advance options.

Politics in a Changing World

This module will introduce you to the main issues and debates in contemporary international and global affairs and the changing role and position of nation-states in an increasingly globalised world.

Social Policy, Welfare and Society

This module explores the potential to create the societies in which we would want to live through the development and implementation of policies, which include health, social care, housing and criminal justice.

Business and the Market

This module focuses on the relationship between markets and companies under different competitive conditions. How do markets work and differ, and why do these differences matter?

Quantitative Methods for Business and Economics

While this module has a mathematical foundation, it is not simply about developing your mathematical skills. Rather, the purpose of the module is to show you how you can use these skills to improve your understanding of business problems and to help you make business decisions more effectively.

Learning to Read History  

You will explore two contrasting historical periods to develop your analytical skills. First, examine the social, economic and political issues which have shaped Modern Britain. Secondly, analyse the theme of empire, from Ancient Rome to the rise and decline of other empires, while reflecting upon the role of the USA in the modern world.

Learning to Read Literature  

How do we read literature critically and reflectively? How do we understand and interpret what we're reading? Understand different approaches to reading through a wide variety of early and contemporary literature, exploring a range of key ideas and concepts such as heroes and monsters, epics and romances, the Gothic, Feminism and Postmodernism.

Understanding Religion 

Religion is a significant force in the world. It rebuilds and shapes cultures and nations, but can also be divisive and dangerous - and at the heart of many global conflicts of the last century. You will explore why religion has such influence by exploring the ideas, sacred texts and global practices of different religions, and the political, social and cultural power of these faiths.

Understanding Law

The course will enable students to develop a sound foundational understanding of the structure and practice of key domestic and international law fields.  As part of this overall aim, the students will be introduced to core legal skills such as the analysis of statutes, treaties and case-law, critical thinking and problem solving. 

Why study this course

Our Foundation Pathways combines the highest standards of one of Britain’s leading global universities with a fully integrated student experience. Designed for international students who require a preparatory year prior to UK undergraduate study, the foundation programme is equivalent in learning to year 13 of the UK education system.

Successful completion of the foundation year will also guarantee you progression onto your chosen degree.  We will ensure you're fully prepared for your undergraduate programme, immersing you in the university environment and giving you dedicated support in your first year in the UK. 

Fees and funding

The Foundation Pathways Package

The cost of the Foundation Pathways package for 2017–2018 is £15, 210 International Fee) and £9,000 (EU Fee)

This includes:

  • One year’s tuition fees
  • Books and all classroom equipment

Please note: Accommodation will incur additional charges to the above fee.

Entry requirements

Birmingham Foundation Academy entry requirements apply

International students:

Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in 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.

How to apply

Apply through the Birmingham Foundation Academy application process


As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. From the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self-motivated learner, capable of formulating your own ideas and engaging critically with your subject. A key benefit of this approach is that you gain the skills that employers are looking for, such as initiative, teamworking, problem solving and time management.

To begin with you may find this way of working challenging, but rest assured that you will be guided and supported to make the transition to become an independent and self-motivated learner. You will have access to a comprehensive academic support system that will assist and encourage you, inlcuding a tuor in your college who will provide help and advice with any study-related issues, and will help you to monitor and reflect on your progress.

Your learning will take place in a range of settings, from scheduled teaching in seminars, lectures and small group tutorials, to peer group learning in which you may, for example, be asked to prepare and deliver a presentation with your classmates.

Please click on Learning at Birmingham for further information

Arts graduates enter a wide range of careers including advertising, journalism and media, government, law, publishing and teaching at every level.

Social Science graduates have pursued a variety of careers including working for national or local governments, international and non-governmental organisations or the media.

Our Business School degrees have long been recognised by major employers across all sectors of the economy, with many of our graduates findhing employment in financial services, accountancy and a range of management careers.

Law graduates have great career potential, both within and outside the legal profession. Many of our students go on to the Legal Practice Course or bar Professional Training Course to become solicitors or barristers, or pursue careers in public administration, industry and other professional areas.

Some of our graduates decide to pursue postgraduate study at Birmingham or other leading universities, to specialise in an academic area or train for careers such as law and teaching.