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Undergraduate study

Course overview

The foundation year will suit you if you have a keen interest in social science or law subjects. It prepares you for undergraduate study in higher education.

Your existing skills are developed and enhanced through a wide range of stimulating projects and classwork activities. It is ideal if you are from high school or college and don’t meet the entry requirements for undergraduate courses in social sciences or law.

From essay writing to academic presentations, group work to independent study skills, the academic English modules equip you with all the necessary academic and language skills to succeed in higher education. Modules in maths ensure that you have a thorough foundation in numeracy too.

If your English is already at the required level for undergraduate programmes, you can enter the second block of the programme in January. Here, you focus on your subject specialisms whilst also taking modules in computing, maths and academic English. You enter the first block (October) if your English is at IELTS 4.5.


Course details

Course structure

Year 1 core modules

British Life and Society

This module provides the opportunity for International and EU students to study aspects of British life and society in order to develop an understanding of Britain and how it differs to their home cultures.

Accordingly, this module helps students to develop the required skills for learning in higher education, such as seminar skills and research skills.

Foundation Mathematics

This module is designed to build on work in the Getting started with Mathematics module, and introduces basic algebra, elementary trigonometry, mathematical reasoning and financial mathematics. This includes techniques of elementary algebra, and how straight line graphs both support algebraic understanding and can be applied to distance/velocity/time. The fundamentals of trigonometry include Pythagoras’ theorem, side ratios, cosines, sines and tangents. The topic of percentages is expanded to include day to day financial applications such as profit and loss, value added tax, interest and break even analysis.

Getting Started with Maths

This module concentrates on the basic skills necessary to demonstrate a competence in basic numeracy or mathematics to enter, or progress in, your chosen profession. It covers basic arithmetic (fractions, decimals, percentages, ratio and proportion) both with and without the use of a calculator. Charts are introduced to display statistical data and assist with basic statistical calculations. The module also introduces the notation and techniques of elementary algebra.

Intermediate Academic English and Study Skills

To succeed at a UK university you need high level English skills. This is true for native English speakers and if English is not your first language.

The vocabulary you need to complete your degree can be broad, and during this module you gain important skills in spoken English, both in how to listen effectively to lectures, and how to give successful verbal presentations.

Intermediate English

This module raises your general English level by improving your accuracy and fluency when writing and speaking.

Development of your listening and reading comprehension skills is great preparation for living and studying in the UK.

Introduction to Information Technology

Prerequisite: None
You are introduced to PCs, operating systems, networks and software. You learn how to use the internet, email and business applications such as Word and Excel. Overall, you gain a solid foundation for further study.

Word Processing and Document Production

Prerequisite: Introduction to Information Technology
We show you how to create professional documents, such as letters, memos and reports, by exploring formatting facilities and using various tools and techniques.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Learning and teaching are delivered by a range of methods including:

  • taught sessions - lectures, seminars, tutorials
  • practical exercises - laboratory workshops, group work
  • e-learning - using online resources
  • learner independence - research methods and individual tasks

These learning strategies will be through blended learning which uses a combination of face-to-face teaching and online delivery.

How you are assessed

You experience a broad range of assessment methods which include open and closed book tests, weekly tasks, creation of portfolios, oral presentations, and the completion of written assignments. There will also be an assessed conference task where you will have the opportunity to present to foundation cohorts from other universities.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You should have a college or high school education. For details on the suitability of individual qualifications please contact our Admissions Office.

English language requirements
There are two entry points for the International Foundation Year (Social Sciences and Law) depending on your level of English on entry.

If you wish to join the course in September:

  • your English language level* must be IELTS of 4.5 with a minimum of 4.0 in each band. Maximum 5.5 overall with some bands at 4 or 4.5 (or equivalent). B1 level CEFR. Students must have a SELT (Secure English language test) certificate for entry onto this course.
  • you study 120 credits of the International Foundation Year (Social Sciences and Law) including both English language modules.

If you wish to join the course in January:

  • College level of education. IELTS minimum 5.5 overall with all bands 5.0 or higher (or equivalent) and mathematical skills. B2 level CEFR. Students must have a SELT (Secure English language test) certificate for entry onto this course.
  • you study 60 credits of the International Foundation Year (Social Sciences and Law), including an Academic English language module.

* The International Foundation Year course starting in September commences with an intensive English language module so entry is limited to those whose English language level is IELTS 4.5 or 5. If your English language level meets or exceeds IELTS 5.5 then you should consider the International Foundation Year (Social Sciences and Law) which starts in February, or direct entry to an ‘extended’ degree course which includes an integrated foundation year. For further information go to our international course listings and click on the field of study related to the degree course you are interested in. You can find a list of available ‘extended’ degree courses in that subject discipline. If your title does not exist as an Extended degree course, we can help you select the most appropriate progression route based on your background and the degree title that you are interested in.

British Council Accredited
The English modules are accredited by the British Council which guarantees high standards in teaching, study facilities and accommodation.

Upon arrival all new international students will complete an orientation programme organised by our Student Services team. The programme is designed to provide you with essential and useful information to help you settle into university life. This is a great way to make new friends and meet the staff who will support you whilst you are studying at Teesside. Orientation will help you

  • familiarise yourself with the University campus and local area
  • enjoy social events and trips - there may be a small charge (£2.00-£5.00) for some trips

Orientation is also undertaken as part of Pre-sessional English courses.
More information and example orientation timetable

For additional information please see our entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

By successfully completing this foundation course you have the opportunity to select further study from our portfolio of degree courses in social sciences or law.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:


Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser



Entry to 2020/21 academic year

Fee for UK/EU applicants

Fee for international applicants
£9,750 a year

January start £4,875

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: September intake 8 months or January intake 4 months
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: See entry requirements

Apply online (full-time)



  • Not available part-time


Teesside University is committed to ensuring our students graduate with the best possible skills for employment in the legal profession. Through Teesside Law Clinic we work in partnership with lawyers, charities and voluntary organisations to provide our students with real opportunities and practical skills in law.


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Benefit from work placements, live projects, accredited courses


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