Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year BA

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
4 years full time
Study abroad
See below
Typical A-level offer
CDD excluding Critical Thinking and General Studies. T Levels will be considered on a case by case basis.
Full entry requirements
Available to UK residents only

Course overview


This course is for UK students only. International students should apply for the International Foundation Year.

This extended four-year course supports progression onto a wide range of degree courses in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures or BA Geography in the Faculty of Environment.

The first year of the course is primarily taught by expert academics from the Lifelong Learning Centre (home to the University’s specialist teaching and support for mature, part-time and foundation year students). As a foundation year student you'll be part of the University from day one with all the experiences and opportunities that this offers.

You can explore your current and developing interests as part of an introduction to study in the arts and humanities. The course has an interdisciplinary focus on developing skills for study, alongside integrated opportunities to begin transition to a degree.

We support your development as an interdisciplinary learner and make connections to your chosen degree subject specialism as part of your journey. All learners undertake a discovery module at Level 1 in a subject relevant to their future degree. You can also tailor your Level 0 module choices to align with your personal subject interests.

You’ll build your critical thinking skills and confidence for future study and be introduced to key academic ideas in the arts and humanities. The course features degree-level topics to immerse you in an undergraduate experience that is enquiring, creative and focused on the world around us. You'll investigate historical, contemporary, social and cultural issues to develop your skills as a researcher and use critical analysis to debate topics relevant to your future study.

This course is for UK students from a widening participation background (who meet our additional entry criteria) and who don’t currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree. This course does not accept students with previous higher education experience, including other foundation years or international students.

Lifelong Learning Centre support

The Lifelong Learning Centre provides a supportive environment to enable you to progress to degree-level study. We’ll work with you during your foundation year to provide guidance and help to identify the degree pathway most appropriate for you.

Specialist facilities

During your foundation year, you'll have access to University of Leeds Special Collections. You are encouraged to engage with other social, historical and cultural resources on campus, such as Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery and University Chaplaincy.

As a Foundation Year student, you’ll have access to dedicated study and social spaces that are designed to be welcoming and accessible. The areas in Beech Grove House and the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building (pictured below) offer computer access, reference books and the space to socialise and work with your peers.

Students sit around two circular wooden tables. They are engaging in conversation and working on laptops.Staff and student interacting at a reception desk

Course details

The foundation year provides a carefully structured introduction to the arts and humanities. It balances compulsory interdisciplinary learning, alongside the ability to pursue some of your personal academic interests.

In your foundation year, you'll take two compulsory Level 0 interdisciplinary modules, alongside a Level 1 discovery module from the subject you’ll be studying in your future undergraduate degree. You can then select your remaining foundation year modules of study from a choice of Level 0 option modules within the structure of the academic year.

Each compulsory module has a topic, theme, or concept as the basis for your development of academic skills, which are explored in a step-by-step manner across the foundation year and enable you to consider global, cultural, and ethical issues connected to your study.

Foundation year study is interactive and allows you to communicate your ideas and develop your skills as a learner. Modules also include opportunities to visit cultural institutions such as archives, museums and galleries. You’ll also meet professionals in the field and reflect on how you can build your skills as a researcher in the arts and humanities.

Learning outcomes

You're working towards the completion of the learning outcomes below. On successful completion of your arts and humanities foundation year, you'll be able to:

  • Understand and apply interdisciplinary academic concepts and theories to various arts and humanities disciplines.
  • Independently explore and research topics of your choice to make key decisions in your learning using creative and flexible approaches to subject content.
  • Examine ethical, global and cultural issues from arts and humanities perspectives to explore different contexts.
  • Develop generic and subject-specific skills for interdisciplinary study in the arts and humanities, as well as transferrable skills for your future subject discipline as part of an extended degree.
  • Apply critical thinking using evidence to present and explain your own analysis and arguments persuasively to others.
  • Develop and apply arts and humanities subject knowledge in various periods and disciplines to historical and contemporary issues using real world examples.
  • Identify connections between different subjects and your personal academic interests to develop an understanding of how other disciplines can inform your chosen degree subject-specialism.

Transferable skills

In Level 0, you'll have opportunities to develop academic skills such as academic writing, research and referencing. You'll develop approaches to discussion, collaboration, forming and expressing arguments, finding and using supporting evidence.

You’ll work with others in interactive seminars, workshops, lectures and presentations to develop decision making, forming critical opinions on important real-world topics and working to deadlines. The foundation year supports you to develop critical thinking, analysis and the confidence to communicate your ideas and opinions.

You'll have the opportunity to learn new ways of developing your digital skills to support your studies and future life, working with a range of digital tools to support your work.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Arts and Humanities with Foundation Year BA in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Modernity and Post-Modernity 20
The Renaissance 20

Compulsory modules

Modernity and Post-Modernity (20 credits) - This interdisciplinary module investigates an overview of modernity and post-modernity. You’ll explore an introduction to modern and postmodern culture, as well as theories, concepts and ideas associated with these terms. It introduces modernism and post-modernism with a focus analysis of real-world examples.

The Renaissance (20 credits) - This module explores the background of the English renaissance and the changes in works, ideas and ways of thinking in this period. You’ll focus on elements of culture, history, literature, politics and art with a particular focus on the context of works in this period.

Discovery Module (20 credits) - You’ll select a module connected to your personal interests from with the discovery module options in Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures. This may be connected to your future degree discipline or a relevant aspect of arts, humanities and cultures. We will support you to select a module to fit your studies. This module is taught at Level 1 and supports your development within the extended degree, alongside your Level 0 modules.

Optional modules

Choose a Level 0 optional module in semester one and a Level 0 optional module in semester two. Select a further Level 0 optional module choice from the remaining available options to balance your choice of discovery module within the course structure of the foundation year.

Religion, Politics and Society (20 credits) - The module provides an overview of the intersections between religion, politics and society. Using interdisciplinary perspectives, it examines a range of contemporary issues. It focuses on religious pluralism in practice and case study examples.

Image, Music and Text (20 credits) - This module explores how image, music and text can be used to convey ideas. It looks at how we can read and analyse different forms of creative practice, as well as use different tactics for storytelling. It focuses on the intersections between these areas through theories, concepts and examples of interdisciplinary creative practice.

Communications (20 credits) - This module introduces issues relating to communications and media, including new media and digital media in our contemporary context. It considers the relationship between media and social change, as well as how media and communications relate to the world around us.

Your Subject Exploration (20 credits) - This module activates connections between interdisciplinary foundation year study and discipline specific interests.

Learning and teaching

There is a strong emphasis during the foundation year on helping you achieve your full potential.

Teaching is imaginative, interactive and supportive to make sure you’re intellectually stretched. Group sizes are small, enabling you to engage actively and be supported by your peers. A focus on your ongoing development as a learner at university is integrated within all modules. This includes embedded support and activities across all modules to enable you to develop academic and digital skills central to undergraduate study.

You’ll be taught by our expert academics, who are specialist foundation year practitioners with interdisciplinary and discipline specific expertise. They'll support you to develop your knowledge and understanding of key concepts and methodologies for study in the arts and humanities.

Teaching and learning sessions support you to make connections and explore complex ideas using an introductory and accessible approach through shared reflection and in-class discussion. Across the foundation year, you’ll be supported to build your confidence in critical analysis and participate in the exploration of key topics across interdisciplinary contexts within our learning community.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.


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

Types of assessments may include reflective writing, source analysis, timed assessments, portfolios, presentations and essays.

Entry requirements

A-level: CDD excluding Critical Thinking and General Studies. T Levels will be considered on a case by case basis.

GCSE: English and maths grade C/4 or above, or equivalent. We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications.

Other course specific tests:

Additional entry criteria

As well as the academic requirements above, you must live permanently in the UK and meet at least one of the following:

  • your permanent address is in a neighbourhood with low progression to higher education (we use the OfS postcode checker)

  • you attended a school that achieved less than the national average five A*-C / 9-4 passes (including English and Maths) at GCSE or attainment 8 score at GCSE in a state school. We use the All England State-funded attainment 8 score, excluding applicants from selective and/or independent schools

  • you grew up in public care

Applicants interested in progressing onto Fine Art or Design degrees will need to prepare a portfolio for inspection as part of the progression process, which can be done in your own time alongside your foundation year studies.

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.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

Complete 60 credits with 45 credits at Level 3 of which 30 must be a Merit or above and 15 at Pass.


Merit, Merit, Pass in National Extended Diploma.

Cambridge Pre-U

P1, P2, P3

International Baccalaureate

24 overall (12 higher)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

Please contact the Lifelong Learning Foundation Year Admissions Team

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Please contact the Lifelong Learning Foundation Year Admissions Team.

Welsh Baccalaureate

Please contact the Lifelong Learning Foundation Year Admissions Team.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants

If you are a mature applicant and you don’t have the required A Levels or GCSE English and Math qualifications, you can complete our Alternative Entry Scheme (subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for the scheme). As part of this, you may be asked to take tests in English and maths and to write an essay.

Contact the Lifelong Learning Centre for more information.


UK: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Additional cost information

There are no specific additional course costs related to Level 0 foundation year modules.

There may be a small cost for travel expenses 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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and 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.

Undergraduate scholarships

Learn more about the means-tested undergraduate scholarship.


Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

Admissions Guidance

Visit our Admissions Guidance page for more information about applying to the Lifelong Learning Centre.

Please mention on your personal statement the subject area you want to progress to.

This course is for UK students from a widening participation background (who meet our additional entry criteria) and who don’t currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree. This course does not accept applications from students with previous higher education experience, including other foundation years or international students.

Admissions process

Your application will be reviewed by the admissions team.

The admissions team, when making offer decisions, take into account a wide variety of factors which include, but are not limited to, actual performance to date and predicted results for qualifications currently being studied, contextual information and your personal statement. In some cases, you may be invited to an interview if it will help inform whether or not an offer should be made.

Mature applicants are encouraged to apply early.

If you’re made an offer, you’ll be asked to engage with KickStart. This is a pre-entry programme designed to ease your move into studying at the University of Leeds. You’re welcome to contact us for further information.

Alternative Entry Scheme for Mature Applicants

If you're entering through the Alternative Entry Scheme, you'll be sent details once you've been made an offer.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

Lifelong Learning Centre

Contact us

LLC Foundation Year Arts Admissions


Career opportunities

On successful completion of the foundation year, and subject to meeting the requirements for progression, you’ll continue to Year 1 of your chosen degree course.

There are a wide variety of options for progression in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures at the University of Leeds. This includes options to progress to degrees from all our schools:

Recent students have studied for degrees in subjects such as journalism, English and comparative literature, liberal arts, philosophy and history.

If you've chosen a pathway in the School of Geography, you'll gain skills for a wide range of careers.

A qualification from the University of Leeds counts; our graduates are highly valued by employers. When you complete your degree course, you'll also become part of a network of highly employable graduates.

A degree in an arts, humanities, and cultures subject allows you to enhance your critical thinking and develop a global and cultural awareness relevant to a range of careers.

Careers support

The Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC) has a strong commitment to enhancing opportunity with its own dedicated expert guidance team. Enhancing employability and opportunity are embedded into the LLC, so our students can get dedicated support, as well as the excellent wider university provision.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons University of Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of university by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

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. Find out more at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

A study abroad or work placement option may be offered as part of your undergraduate degree, after the foundation year. For more information about specific opportunities, please check the relevant course information.