Cambridge Foundation Year (Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences): Overview and Entrance Requirements

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The Foundation Year at Cambridge is a unique opportunity for individuals that have faced barriers to achieving their academic potential. These students are interested in pursuing courses in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences.

Throughout the Foundation Year, students can expect a rigorous academic curriculum in these disciplines. This prepares them for the demands of a Cambridge degree. They will also benefit from becoming part of the University community. Students will also have access to College resources and University societies, facilitating the pursuit of their interests.

Notably, there are no tuition fees for the Foundation Year. Furthermore, students admitted to the program receive a Scholarship to cover rent and living costs. This financial support, equivalent to a maintenance loan, ensures that students do not need to take out additional student finance during the Foundation Year.

Additional costs for photocopying, printing, and textbooks are manageable. It’s worth noting that you cannot make course changes during the Foundation Year.

Minimum Entrance Requirements Use the UCAS Tariff Points Calculator to check that your grades meet the required level.
Admission Test for Foundation Yearat CambridgeIf shortlisted, you will be required to undertake a written assessment. You do not need to register separately for the Foundation Year admission assessment and there are no charges. Details will be included in communications inviting applicants to interview. 
Subject Requirements – Foundation Yearat CambridgeNo specific subjects are required.
Extras things admission tutors look forNone
DurationOne year – CertHE
Admissions StatisticsApplications per place: 5
Number accepted: 47
What is Foundation Year at Cambridge?The Foundation Year at Cambridge is a unique educational programme. It supports students interested in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences who may have faced barriers in realising their academic potential. 
The course also offers a challenging academic curriculum and integrates students into the University community.
Furthermore, completing the Foundation Year results in a nationally recognised Certificate of Higher Education. It also provides students with the opportunity to progress to a variety of undergraduate degree courses at Cambridge. They can even apply to other universities.
Cambridge Colleges that offer Foundation Year For 2024 entry: Downing, Fitzwilliam, Girton, Gonville & Caius, Homerton, Lucy Cavendish, Murray Edwards, Newnham, Queens’, Sidney Sussex, St Edmund’s, Wolfson
Structure of the Foundation Year at CambridgeThe curriculum includes four streams and you will complete eight papers from the options available across these four streams. 
Working with textual sources: This stream aims to help you develop a critical approach to textual sources you will encounter in different disciplines. This applies to subjects that rely on interpreting and using textual sources. 
Working with the material sources stream supports you in developing a critical approach to different material sources, such as artefacts and artworks. This will apply to subjects involving art, material culture, sound, film, sculpture, sites and landscapes, and more. 
Working with languages: This stream aims to develop competence and confidence when working within a language other than English and provide an introduction to a range of ancient and modern languages. 
Experience in formal language learning, which is available through this stream, is essential or desirable for some courses.
Working with data this stream develops your critical approach to different data sources. You will also learn various data analysis skills, including qualitative research training. 
Assessment: Takes the form in various ways depending on your choices about what you study during the course. This will include written assignments and a final examination. 
Optional extra-curricular language learning: Foundation Year students can also benefit from optional extra-curricular language learning.
Common degree courses after Foundation Year at Cambridge
At Cambridge, completing the course to the required standard will allow you to progress on to one of 18 degree courses. Courses you could progress to are:
Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, Archaeology, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Classics, Education, English, History, History and Politics, History and Modern Languages, History of Art, Human, Social and Political Sciences and Economy, Law, Linguistics, Modern and Medieval Languages, Music, Philosophy, Theology, Religion and the Philosophy of Religion
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