Foundation Year (Social Sciences)

The Foundation Year (Social Sciences) 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 business, accounting and finance, law, youth and community work, public services and criminology.





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 (Social Sciences) you will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Study Skills
  • Investigative Project
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

You will also study two modules from the following options:

  • Statistics/Further Mathematics
  • Advanced IT
  • Social Policy
  • Childhood Studies
  • Principles of Youth and Community Work
  • Business Administration
  • Economics

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.

You will learn to understand the focus of the sociological approach, particularly the importance of learned behaviour. At the heart of this module are investigations into the primary patterns of inequality, class, gender & ethnicity as well as the sociology of crime and deviance. Throughout the module, the importance of institutions such as the family, the state and the mass media in determining the structure and function of society as well as their influence on the way we think and behave.

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).

Optional Modules

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

Social Policy
This module provides an evaluation of welfare provision in the UK. It plots the origins and development of the public sector and the welfare state, as well as welfare provision in the voluntary sector. Subjects covered include, social security, community care, housing, homelessness, health and education. This module will analyse dominant political perspectives in the UK towards welfare spending as well as community based responses to welfare needs.

Childhood Studies
This module examines the concepts associated with the wellbeing of children and families. Topics include attachment, resilience, play, learning and safeguarding theory.

Principles of Youth and Community
The Youth and Community Work module teaches reflective practice, communication and planning skills appropriate for work with young people and families. Informal education theory and concepts of anti-discriminatory practice underpin the module; students learning about adolescent development, empowerment, and community development principles.

Business Administration
The module is designed to provide an understanding of the Business world, the function and structure of different organisations, and their relationship with their employees as they strive to gain competitive advantage over their rivals.

You will develop a broad understanding of the key features of the capitalist economic system, the role of governments in their attempts to influence the outcomes of the macro economy and address issues of inequality and the wealth gap.


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

Upon successful completion of the Foundation Year (Social Sciences) 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.

N20F – BA (Hons) Business Management (Including Foundation Year)
N82F – BA (Hons) Event Management (Including Foundation Year)
N60F – BA (Hons) Human Resource Management (Including Foundation Year)
JN9F – BA (Hons) Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Including Foundation Year)
N50F – BA (Hons) Marketing (Including Foundation Year)
N42F – BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance (Including Foundation Year)
N49F – BA (Hons) Forensic Accounting (Including Foundation Year)
M10F – LLB (Hons) Law (Including Foundation Year)
F430 – BA (Hons) Public Services (Including Foundation Year
L52F – BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work (Including Foundation Year)
L59F – BA (Hons) Youth and Community Work (Youth Justice) (Including Foundation Year)
M90F – BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice (Including Foundation Year)
CC80 – BSc (Hons) Psychology (Including Foundation Year)
LL23 – BSc (Hons) Childhood Development (Including Foundation Year)
LL51 – BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care Management (Including Foundation Year)
M90F – BSc (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice (Including Foundation Year)

If you would like to progress onto a degree course in History or English at the end of your Foundation Year then you might find that the Foundation Year (Humanities) 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


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 in relevant subjects.

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.