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Interdisciplinary Studies with Preparation for Higher Education BA 2018 start

  • Overview

    This is an extended degree programme for mature students looking to return to study and wanting to progress to a range of degrees (both full and part-time) in the social sciences, arts and healthcare. The course is 1 year part-time plus 3 years full-time or 5/6 years part-time, depending on your progression choice.

    Preparation for Higher Education (PHE) is the foundation year which provides a supportive environment where you can make the transition to university study and gain the academic knowledge and study skills you’ll need to succeed. You will be taught by friendly and supportive staff with experience in working with adult learners.

    On successful completion of the foundation year, and subject to meeting the specified requirements for progression, you’ll continue to year one of your chosen degree courses. Recent cohorts went on to study for degrees in English, criminology, law, radiography, nursing, midwifery, psychology, sociology, dental hygiene and therapy and professional studies and to part-time degrees in child and family studies, business management and learning and teaching.

    Lifelong Learning Centre support

    We know that many mature and part-time students face unique challenges including balancing academic study with family and employment commitments. For that reason, the Lifelong Learning Centre provides specialised guidance, advice and support to mature and part-time students, from pre-application right through to graduation and beyond.

    Is this course for me?

    BA Interdisciplinary Studies with Preparation for Higher Education is a four-year extended degree, designed for applicants who don't currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree and who can benefit from a programme that begins with a foundation year which provides intensive, well-structured support.

    Designed with mature students in mind, the foundation year runs on two evenings a week and one to two Saturdays a month, so you can study whilst juggling your other commitments.

    During the foundation year you’ll develop and reflect on your academic study skills and study either a data handling or applied information literacy module. In addition, depending on the degree course you wish to progress to, you will study a module focusing on sociology, human biology or child development and learning.

    Once you’ve successfully completed your foundation year and met your progression goals you’ll progress directly onto your chosen degree programme. The Lifelong Leaning Centre team remains on hand to help you make the transition to degree-level study.

  • Course content

    The foundation year is taught by the Lifelong Learning Centre at the University of Leeds. Staff work closely with you during the foundation year to help identify the degree choices that are most appropriate for you and map out your plans to work towards a successful progression. You’ll know from the beginning of your journey what your academic goals need to be and will be provided with guidance throughout the year to help you be as successful as you can be.

    Core modules support you in becoming an independent learner ready for study at university and you will be encouraged to explore your own learning experiences in a stimulating and supportive way. You will also study either a data handling or applied information literacy module. Depending on your chosen progression route you will study a module focusing on one of human biology, child development and learning or social sciences.

    On successful completion of the foundation year, and subject to meeting any progression requirements, you’ll progress to year one of your chosen degree programme.

    Course structure

    These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

    Year 1

    Compulsory modules

    • Academic and Personal Development 20 credits

    Optional modules

    • Data Handling 10 credits
    • Applied Information Literacy 10 credits
    • People in Society 30 credits
    • Understanding Child Development and Learning 30 credits
    • Human Biology 30 credits

    For more information on typical modules, read Interdisciplinary Studies with Preparation for Higher Education BA in the course catalogue

    Broadening your academic horizons

    At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. On this course you broaden your learning through core and/or optional modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

    Learning and teaching

    There is a strong emphasis during the foundation year of the programme on helping you to achieve to your full potential. Teaching is imaginative and supportive to make sure that you are intellectually stretched and helped through any sticking points in your learning. Group sizes are small enough for you to engage actively and be well supported by your peers.


    Methods of assessment during the foundation year reflect those that you will find later in your degree in order to ensure that you are well prepared for continuing study. Assessment is a key way of enabling students to learn by doing and feedback from tutors supports this process.

  • Entry requirements, fees and applying

    Entry requirements

    GCSE: Maths and English at grade C/4 or equivalent

    For applicants wishing to progress to:

    Dental Hygiene: 6 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above including English language, maths and either chemisty and biology or dual science.

    Nursing (Adult) BSc, Nursing (Child) BSc and Nursing (Mental Health) BSc – normally 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, to include maths, English and 2 science subjects.

    Midwifery BSc – normally 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above to include science, maths and English at grade B/6 or above.

    Radiography BSc - 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above to include maths, English and science.

    Social Work BA – 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above to include maths and English.

    As well as the academic requirements above, we give priority to applicants who live permanently in the UK and meet at least two of the following:
    • Your permanent address is in a neighbourhood with low progression to higher education.
    • You attended a school which achieved less than the national average of 5 A*-C passes at GCSE.
    • You grew up in public care.
    • The residual income of your household is less than £25,000
    • You will be the first member of your immediate family (excluding older brothers or sisters or your own children) to achieve a degree
    • Your studies have been adversely affected by circumstances in your personal, social or domestic life.

    We actively encourage applications from mature students. Further consideration will be given to the life experience of mature applicants and the circumstances in which they gained prior qualifications.

    If you are a mature student or want to study part-time the Lifelong Learning Centre offers a free, confidential and impartial pre-entry guidance service. Our experienced staff can also talk to you about how you might meet the entry criteria and what support may be available to you.

    How to apply

    Apply to this course through the Lifelong Learning Centre.

    Please mention on your application form the area you want to progress to.

    Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview to assess your commitment and potential.

    Admissions policy

    Lifelong Learning Centre Undergraduate Admissions Policy


    UK: See fees section below

    For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

    The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

    The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

    The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

    Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

    You will study at 50% intensity (60 credits) in year 1. Fees for 2018/19 are £4,625 (50% of £9,250).

    There are no upfront fees to pay. All eligible students are able to borrow the entire cost of tuition fees making study free at the point of entry, with good repayment terms. You are eligible if you are studying for 30+ credits per year on a programme which is at a higher level than any qualification already held. Previous study in Higher Education may affect your eligibility.

    Additional cost information

    There may be a small cost associated with field trips which are part of module study.

    There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

    Financial support

    If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

    Depending on your circumstances, non-repayable financial support including a fee discount is available from the Leeds Financial Support scheme.

  • Career opportunities

    On successful completion of the foundation year you could progress onto a range of degree courses (both full and part-time) in the social sciences, arts and healthcare. Check the entry for the degree course you wish to progress to for more information about specific career opportunities.

    A qualification from the University of Leeds counts: our graduates are highly valued by employers. When you complete your degree programme you will also become part of a network of highly employable graduates.

    Careers support

    The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate.

    The University and the Lifelong Learning Centre provide a range of activities to support LLC students:
    • explore their career options
    • develop or enhance their employability skills
    • gain work or voluntary experience
    • prepare for promotion, review or a role change at work
    • find and apply for jobs

    Read more at Careers support for LLC students and on the University’s Careers website.