Foundation Year

Foundation Year in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (pre-degree course)


5 at Queens College (50 across all Colleges)


120 UCAS tariff points

Essential subjects:


Essential eligibility criteria:

This course has eligibility requirements which you must check before applying


Pre Interview Assessment

Faculty website:

College information

Foundation Year Course Director:

Dr Alex Pryce

 Course content;

Course outline

This course itself has been designed as a multidisciplinary foundation year within the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Within this Foundation Year you will study a course that will focus on deeper learning skills and preparation for the academic demands of Higher Education. You will choose eight papers from across four streams;

  • Working with textual sources
  • Working with material sources
  • Working with languages
  • Working with data

You will have the ability to choose papers from across these streams and gain knowledge that may be relevant to your future degree course as well as being introduced to new topics that span across multiple subject areas. You will also complete an induction module introducing you to the ways of learning at Cambridge.

If you wish to progress onto study at the University of Cambridge after completing the Foundation Year, you may be required to take certain streams. Please see our website for more detail.

 Working with textual sources

Working with textual sources aims to help develop a critical approach to textual sources you might encounter across different disciplines which becomes very useful for subjects that may rely on interpretation and use of textual sources.

You will gain an increased understanding of the variety of textual sources used in different subjects, the appropriate approaches for different disciplines and the different purposes, origins and biases of textual sources.

 Working with material sources

This stream is most applicable to those who may wish to progress onto subjects involving sources. This will be applicable for subjects that involve sources such as art, material culture, sound, film, sculpture, sites and landscapes and more.

You will develop an appreciation of the possibilities of approaches and interpretations of different kinds of material evidence and the relationships between different material sources.

 Working with languages

This optional stream aims to provide an introduction to a range of ancient and modern languages and develop proficiency and confidence when working within a language other than English. The stream will equip you with an improved understanding of how language works, the challenges of such activities as translation, and understanding of cultural contexts. Additionally, you will be encouraged to acquire proficiency in a language other than English which could support further study of languages.

Working with data

This optional stream aims to help students develop a critical approach to the different types of data sources that they might encounter. Students will learn a wide range of data analysis skills, including qualitative research training which will have a broad focus on society and community. Students will be able to evaluate and interpret a range of data types, their potential sources and limitations. This will include basic analytical and statistical techniques and experience of data handling.


You will be assessed in a variety of different ways depending on your stream and paper choices but this will include written assignments and examinations. You will complete one extended project. Overall, the Foundation Year is 60% coursework and 40% examination.

Optional extra-curricular language learning

All Foundation Year students will benefit from optional extra-curricular language learning as knowledge of languages can enhance options in many courses you may wish to progress to.

Teaching on the Foundation Year:

  • Foundation Year students will typically be taught through lectures, seminars and small-group supervision by a dedicated Foundation Year teaching team
  • Students will have around 14 -16 hours of timetabled teaching each week during term time
  • There will be a strong emphasis on support and discussion
  • Opportunities to explore subject interests and complete an extended project