This extended degree is a science conversion course designed for high-achieving students who wish to progress to a degree in a scientific discipline but haven’t taken the prerequisite science and mathematics subjects at A-level.
The foundation year is delivered by the University's Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC) which has extensive expertise in supporting learners with diverse learning and life experience. On successful completion of the foundation year, and subject to meeting the specific requirements for progression, you'll progress onto your pre-agreed degree course at the University of Leeds.
During the foundation year, you’ll receive an intensive introduction to the academic and life skills, qualities and techniques that are necessary for success as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduates.
Our curriculum has a strong emphasis on digital literacy, ethics, and diversity. You’ll take compulsory modules in mathematics and a choice of sciences, to develop interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of facts and principles across each of the scientific disciplines. You’ll also gain skills for scientific inquiry in practical, laboratory and field work.
There's a strong emphasis during the foundation year on helping you achieve your full potential and develop as independent, self-directed learner. Teaching is inclusive and supportive to make sure you're intellectually stretched.
Group sizes vary based on module choices, allowing students to engage actively and develop team-working skills with their peers. Methods of assessment during the foundation year will ensure you’re prepared for further study.
Please note, this course is not a progression route for those interested in studying medicine or healthcare.
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.
As part of the BSc Studies in Science course, you'll have access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. In your foundation year, you’ll have several laboratory experiences where you’ll use some of the facilities within the schools you may progress onto.
The foundation year is structured to provide cross disciplinary understanding and depth.
You’ll take compulsory modules in maths, nature of science and chemistry, alongside eiher biology or physics, depending on your chosen degree course. These are taken together with a selection of other sciences to provide the required interdisciplinary understanding for successful progression onto your chosen degree course. You'll also gain skills for academic and scientific enquiry in practical, laboratory, and fieldwork.
On successful completion of the foundation year, and subject to meeting any progression requirements, you’ll progress to year one of your chosen degree course.
The foundation year is taught by the Lifelong Learning Centre.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
You’ll take 50 credits of compulsory modules, 50 credits of pathway specific compulsory modules and 20 credits of pathway optional modules.
Nature of Science and Scientific Thinking (20 credits) - The aim of this module is to enable students to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the nature of science. Using contemporary science topics, students will recognise their own experience of learning and participate in reflective practices to inform future learning, further develop academic study and research skills.
Introduction to Mathematics (20 credits) - This module aims to develop your understanding of fundamental mathematical techniques required for progression onto your chosen degree course. It aims to develop students' understanding, skills and techniques of basic mathematics to a level at which they can confidently and independently apply these concepts within a scientific context.
Introduction to Chemistry (10 credits) - This module requires no prior knowledge of chemistry. It intends to teach the introductory principles of bonding, electronic structure and gives examples of basic reactions as well as unusual chemical properties. During this module you’ll be expected to apply knowledge gained from sessions to build a reasonable mental model of the atomic world based on direct observation and abstract concepts.
Other modules (dependant on degree progression pathway)
Biochemistry (10 credits) - In this module you’ll look at the chemical structures of common biological molecules and discuss how their structure influences their function. You will explore common analytical techniques used in biology to determine the chemistry of the cell and look at simple chemical mechanisms to understand how chemical change occurs.
The Environment (10 credits) - This module requires prior knowledge of science and intends to apply basic principles of properties to the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. During this module you'll be expected to apply knowledge gained from lectures, in workshops and in the laboratory to build a reasonable mental model of how the Earth and environment is formed based on direct observation and abstract concepts.
Industrial Chemistry (10 credits) - In this module you’ll become familiar with the scope of chemical principles involved in physical chemical processes on an industrial scale and to apply this knowledge to new scenarios.
Waves and Particles (10 credits) - This module aims to develop students’ understanding of the physical properties of waves and the phenomenon which led to the current model of the atom and modern physics, using theoretical descriptions, demonstrations and worked examples.
Sustainability Chemistry (10 credits) - In this module, you’ll apply a mental chemical model of the world, appreciating the application of chemical phenomena to environmental examples in order to develop an understanding of the concept of sustainability as it applies to the Earth and human behaviours.
Applied Biology (10 credits) - The aim of this module is to enable students to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of selected topics of biology, such as disease and treatment, as well as inspiring and enable them to apply their biological knowledge to solve real world problems as the next generation of scientists, doctors and healthcare workers.
Biology of Populations (10 credits) - This module incorporates aspects of genetics, evolution and ecology. Students will gain an understanding of how organisms interact with each other and their environment, both currently and through evolutionary history. Within workshop styled sessions, students will have the opportunity to manipulate data sets, make conclusions from evidence and work through scenarios as way of understanding the underpinning science.
Organisms: Form and Function (20 credits) - This module will introduce students to the basic principles of biology at the organismal and cellular level. It will also teach students to integrate, interrogate and interpret biological information, in preparation for their undergraduate studies in the biosciences, medical sciences and food and earth sciences. No prior knowledge of biology is required; topics will be introduced at a basic level before building a more detailed understanding.
Introduction to Physics (20 credits) - This module will introduce students to concepts in mechanics and core physics concepts. Students will gain familiarity with the mathematical toolbox and methods needed to study physics and applied mathematical scenarios at different levels, as well as with the scientific method that can be exported to different disciplines in science. This module will introduce them to fundamental concepts in physics that will be used in other modules and can be found in real world applications.
Electromagnetism and Thermal Physics (10 credits) - This module aims to develop students’ understanding of several core topics in electricity, magnetism and thermal physics, using theoretical descriptions, demonstrations and worked examples.
Introduction to Calculus (10 credits) - This module will introduce students to the essential calculus concepts required for success on their progression degree. Calculus is an essential tool in many areas of mathematics and science. This module will introduce the fundamental concepts and link the abstract concepts to real world applications.
Introduction to Statistics (10 credits) - This module will introduce students to the essential statistical concepts required for success on their degree. Throughout this module you'll be given lots of opportunities to develop your own problem-solving skills and learn how to apply the statistical theories introduced to simple real-life situations. This module will also look to introduce concepts and techniques that are crucial for future research.
Introduction to Pure Mathematics (10 credits) - This module will introduce students to the essential pure and discrete mathematical concepts required for success on their degree. You’ll consider topics that underpin fundamental theorems of mathematics which can be applied to a variety of areas such as geometry, physics, computer science and philosophy.
These are based on a general degree progression and their essential topics.
- Students wishing to progress onto degrees within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science must take a physics or chemistry-based pathway.
- Students wishing to progress onto degrees within the Faculty of Biological Science or Medicine and Health must take a biology pathway.
- Students wishing to progress onto degrees within the Faculty of Environment must take a combined biology and earth science pathway.
- Students take 50 credits of compulsory modules, 50 credits of pathway specific compulsory modules and 20 credits of pathway optional modules.
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.
You'll learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, group tutorials and hands-on practicals, complemented by e-learning, simulation and problem-based learning.
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.
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.
You’ll be assessed through a variety of different types of assessment methods, such as examinations, presentations, problem-based learning assessments and writing up experiments.
A-level: ABB or above, excluding critical thinking and general studies.
To be considered for admissions to this extended degree, the subject range of these qualifications must not match that required by the discipline you wish to study at degree level.
GCSE: English and science at grade C/4 or above and GCSE mathematics at grade B/6 or above, or equivalent.
Access to HE Diploma
60 credits overall with 45 graded credits at Level 3, with the majority of credits at Distinction and no credits below Merit
Distinction, Distinction, Merit
M1, M1, M1
34 overall (16 higher)
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
BB at Advanced Highers (A.H.) and AABBB in Highers - or - B in A.H. and AAABB in Highers - or - AABBBB in Highers.
Accepted, with 2 A-levels
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants
We welcome applications from mature students.
If you are a mature applicant and you don't have the required GCSE qualifications you can complete our Alternative Entry Scheme (subject to meeting the eligibility for the Scheme).
As part of this, you may be asked to take tests in English and maths. Contact the Lifelong Learning Centre for more information.
Mature students are encouraged to apply early.
UK: To be confirmed
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 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 international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
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 you already hold. Previous study in Higher Education may affect your eligibility.
Additional cost information
£10 or less for scientific research project costs in skills module.
Only basic scientific calculators are allowed to be used in University examinations. The recommended approved model is Casio fx-85GT X, which is widely available.
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.
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.
Depending on your circumstances, non-repayable financial support including a fee discount is available from the Leeds Financial Support scheme.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
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.
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.
Your application will be reviewed by the Admissions Team.
Due to the competitive nature of many of the Studies in Science progression pathways, the Admissions Team, when making offer decisions, take into account a wide variety of factors which include, but are not limited to, actual academic performance to date and predicted results for qualifications currently being studied and personal statement. Competitive progression pathways such as Engineering degrees may be closed earlier in the year.
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.
This course is taught by
LLC Foundation Year Science Admissions
Your career progression depends on your chosen progression degree.
On successful completion of the foundation year, and subject to meeting the academic requirements for progression, you will progress onto year one of your chosen degree courses in biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, environmental science, food science and nutrition, physics, or psychology.
For more information about specific career opportunities, please check the degree course you wish to progress to.
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.
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
The study abroad option is part of the progression degree after the foundation year. All opportunities available within the specific progression degree are available to foundation year students.
Work placement opportunities are part of the progression degree after the foundation year. All opportunities available within the specific progression degree are available to foundation year students.