Foundation Year (Humanities)

The Foundation Year (Humanities) forms part of an integrated four year degree programme, and is designed for students who do not currently meet the admissions criteria for direct entry onto a degree course at the University of South Wales in subjects including English, History and Welsh.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 4 Years September Treforest A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 4 Years September Treforest A

During the Foundation Year (Humanities) you will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Study Skills
  • Investigative Project
  • English
  • History

You will also study two modules from the following options:

  • Media and Cultural Studies
  • Statistics/Further Mathematics
  • Psychology

Course and module overview:

Compulsory Modules

Study Skills

The module will provide the learner with opportunities to explore their examination and revision techniques and overall planning along with furthering their written and discussion skills. Skills addressed would include note taking, essay writing, discussions, referencing, planning assignments and revising for examinations, whilst also recognising different approaches to studying.

Investigative Project

To enable the learner to become competent researching, planning and writing an independent interdisciplinary project. The learner will develop oral presentation skills and deliver and evaluate an oral presentation.


English Studies combines a variety of units that focus on the processes of reading and writing. Students are encouraged to take a close look at how different meanings are created through a close study of author’s work in units such as “Introduction to Poetry”, “Reading Novels”, and a study of Shakespeare. Further, there is an opportunity to study these and other forms such as journalism, blogging etc. to produce work in the Creative Writing unit.


This module focuses on development of the historical skills of investigation, analysis of primary sources, recognition of key debates and contending perspectives and presentation of findings. You will develop a competence in using a range of sources including sites and buildings, museums, census data, social surveys, election manifestos, oral and written testimonies and archive film to ask questions of, and understand, the past. These skills are developed through studying three discrete topics: the development of local towns from the Celto-Roman period to post-industrial society; war and social change in the twentieth century; and the ‘swinging’ sixties. From the beginning of the course, the emphasis is on ‘doing’ history and on presenting your findings through a variety of formats including oral presentations, a research project and essays.

Optional Modules

Statistics / Further Maths

You will study a number of topics during this module including Introductory Statistics, Algebraic Techniques and Introductory Calculus.


Psychology is the study of behaviour and this module will investigate the development of behaviour throughout the life span, from birth right up to older adulthood. Through a variety of real life case studies and your own piece of psychological research, you will examine what happens when things work out positively (attachment and bonds, pro social behaviour), and also what can happen when things don’t work out as expected (mental health issues, anti-social behaviour).

Media and Cultural Studies

Culture and Media Studies offers a close look at a number of important organisations, practices and issues, and explores the ways in which they work, including their impact upon our society. You will study topics including “What is News?”, “Advertising, Shopping and Consumerism”, “Images and Representations” and “Does Violent Media Create a Violent Society”. Media and Cultural Studies is aimed at getting behind the stories in the headlines and asking what these tell us about the world that we live in, and the cultures of which we are a part.


As well as the compulsory and optional modules studied on your chosen pathway, you will also complete a study skills module culminating in the completion of an extended independently researched essay and presentation.

Our course tutors have extensive experience of working with people returning to study after a break from education. They aim to develop your study skills and self confidence and place a strong emphasis on establishing a friendly and informal atmosphere within the classroom.

How to Apply

If you would like to apply for this course, then you will need to apply online through UCAS.

Upon successful completion of the Foundation Year (Humanities) you will progress onto one of the named degree courses listed below. It is important that you select the correct course when completing your application to study.

L43F – BA (Hons) English (including Foundation Year)
41WF – BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing (including Foundation Year)
V10F – BA (Hons) History (including Foundation Year)

If you would like to progress onto an alternative degree course from those listed above then you might find that the Foundation Year (Social Sciences) is more suitable.


Assessment methods include essays and reports, presentations, exams, class-based tests and an extended essay which help prepare the student for degree level assignments.

Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.

Typical A-Level Offer

EE to include a relevant subject.

Typical BTEC Offer

BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass in a relevant subject

Typical IB Offer

Pass IB Diploma or two IB Certficates at Higher level to include a relevant subject

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits all Passes

Additional Requirements

GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 3 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances

International Entry Requirements

We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.

English Requirements

In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.

However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.

Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.

August 2018 - July 2019 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

August 2019 - July 2020 Fees

  • Full-time UK and EU: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

UK and EU students

Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year 1 of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly

International students

Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU

Apply now 

Admissions statement

Our Careers and Employability Service

As a USW student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.

This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.

Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.