Why I’m glad I studied a foundation year

From confirming your career goals to making sure you're on the course that's right for you, there are so many benefits to studying a foundation year.

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Meet Elijah

I am a UCLan student ambassador, and I recently helped at an open day. I met a student who was nervous about being judged by his mates for doing a foundation year.
selfie of student for testimonial
Elijah Jasse
Sexual Health Studies, BSc

I’ve heard about young people who were affected by COVID and are struggling with not getting the grades they expected to. Similarly, I've come across stories about mature students wanting a career change that feel ashamed about starting their academic journey with a foundation year.

I know that my foundation year is the reason that I’ve succeeded in my time at university, so I’d like to tell you about the benefits of doing a foundation year:

1. It will boost your essay writing skills

When I completed my first ever essay in high school, my classmates had written 4+ pages whereas I had only been able to complete 1 page in the hour we’d been given. This sentiment echoed through the rest of my time in high school and college, but I was so excited to do a degree. After some research, I decided to do a foundation year. I found that studying a foundation year gave me a taste of university life. It also helped me develop necessary skills, like how to write at a degree level, referencing and time management. I am entering my third year now and I'm so grateful for my foundation year lecturers for teaching me how to reference correctly.

2. It'll help you choose the right degree for you

My foundation year showed me exactly what my lecturers would expect of me for the next few years of university. If you’re nervous about the pressure of university and if it is right for you, a foundation year is a great way of testing the waters before committing.

3. It will confirm your career goals for after university

If you’re considering a foundation year, you might be making a career change later in life or have concerns about the subject you’re taking. While I had loved psychology during my A levels, I found that during my foundation year I was falling out of love with it. I realised that psychology had become a hobby, not something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. However, I had fallen in love with UCLan and Preston, and the support from my lecturers academically meant I didn’t want to not do a degree. I looked through the courses that UCLan offered, and after speaking to the amazing careers team, I switched to sexual health. This is a subject I’d always had a passion for but had no idea you could get a degree in!

4. It'll help you get used to living the uni life

Before university, I’d never lived away from home before. Everything was new and, as a neurodivergent person, figuring out what meals to eat and making sure I had clean clothes everyday was stressful. My foundation year had a lot less new content than the first year of my degree, and having the time to learn how to balance uni work and house work was a blessing.

5. It will help you meet new people

If you’re a mature student who’s coming to university after a study break or you are looking for a career change, a foundation year is great for meeting people who are in the same position as you. Most people in the room will have a shared interest in the subject and may have similar circumstances to you. You can breathe easy and focus on yourself and your new degree.

6. You can start your degree with confidence

The purpose of your foundation year is to ensure that you are fully ready to start your degree. You’ll meet the lecturers that you’ll have for the next three years, and they’ll help get you ready the new few years of university study. You can be certain that you’ll have the best start to the full degree you possibly can!