Foundation in Business

Foundation course

Hear from a Foundation student

UCAS code: N111

Start dates: September 2024 / September 2025

Full time: 1-year foundation course leading to 3-year undergraduate degree (or 4-year undergraduate degree if it involves a work placement or you take a study abroad year)

Location: Headington

Department(s): Oxford Brookes Business School

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Overview

Get ready to study an undergraduate business degree. This foundation year gives you the essential skills you’ll need for learning at university. It’s ideal if you want to top up your academic skills, or if you’re returning to education after a break.

You can personalise your learning experience by studying modules like Business Fundamentals, Global Issues, Tourism and Hospitality. 

Completing the programme guarantees you a place on one of our degrees, such as Business and Management or International Tourism and Hospitality Management. During your Foundation, you’ll have opportunities to build your skills and knowledge through a variety of assessment types, including essays and reports, and presentations. Also you’ll get to create films, websites and posters, and write blogs.

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Why Oxford Brookes University?

  • Get ahead

    Have your study skills in place before starting your undergraduate studies

  • A global community

    Study alongside a diverse mix of international students, learning from each other's experiences and broadening your horizons.

  • Explore your interests

    We try to schedule classes so you have time to make the most of Oxford and join university societies.

  • Personalise your study

    Everyone is different, so optional modules let you customise your learning and build your experience, so you can study aspects of business you want to pursue.

  • Seamlessly progress to a degree

    You’re guaranteed a spot on one of our undergraduate business programmes when you pass this course.

Course details

Course structure

Over your 2 semesters, you’ll study a number of compulsory modules. These will give you the confidence for studying at an undergraduate level, while building your academic and research skills. These modules are taught in small groups and include;

  • Business Fundamentals
  • Economics for Business
  • Culture and Communication
  • Extended Research Essay
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • University Study Skills.

You’ll also pick optional modules that reflect your learning ambitions. Optional modules include Development Studies, Ideas and Ideologies, Tourism and Hospitality, Global Issues, English Law.

After a year of studying the foundation programme, you’ll have a better insight into what to expect from life as an undergraduate student.

Students in a lecture

Learning and teaching

You will have around 15 class hours per week. Classes are held Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays), usually between 9am and 4pm. 

You will need to spend at least 20 hours per week on independent study which includes homework, assignments, reading and preparation for classes (in groups or individually).

Assessment

In your foundation year you will be taught by highly qualified academic staff. 

You will gain practice and training in the different kinds of assessment that are common in higher education, for instance essays, reports, individual and group presentations, reflective learning journals and project work.

Study modules

You can only start this course in September. Your course is 24 weeks so you will study your first semester between September and December and your second semester between January and May. You must take and pass eight modules to complete the foundation year.

Semester 1

Compulsory modules

  • University Study Skills

    This is your introduction to the institutional culture, practices, norms and expectations of British higher education and will help you to develop effective academic research and communication skills both written and oral. Also you’ll focus on listening, notetaking and seminar skills that you’ll progress while exploring pastoral, social and sustainability subject areas. You will gain confidence in critical, strategic and collaborative thinking Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) competencies through a variety of learning activities that encourages self awareness.
     

  • Culture and Communication

    Study the basic concepts, theories and importance of culture and communication in a globalised world. You’ll reflect on personal, consumer and global cultural identities and how these may impact on perceptions, behaviours and communication across human relations. Building your awareness of cultural diversity and intercultural competencies you’ll understand how to communicate effectively across cultures, and be able to identify the barriers to doing so. Also you’ll explore your own biases and the lenses through which the self and ‘other’ are viewed, contributing towards the development of key skills for culture and thereby Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) literacy.

  • Business Fundamentals

    Explore business studies, including some of the core areas and concepts associated with the study of business. You’ll look at people’s motives for setting up in business and the different types of businesses they can create, as well as an introduction to marketing and some of the ways in which businesses promote themselves and their products. 

    You will learn how business performance is measured; including an introduction to cash flow forecasts and the profit and loss account. Finally you’ll study how businesses organise their workforce and manage people at work, including the application of some of the most influential theories and practices associated with motivation.
     

Optional modules

Development Studies

Explore some of the key issues (e.g. urbanisation, poverty and social exclusion, environmental concerns and gender issues) within the field of Development Studies and in particular to identify the factors causing poverty in countries defined as less developed. You’ll look at the fundamentals of how sociology, human geography and economics interact in the process of development. You’ll study key topics that will help you to draw on your own knowledge and experience where possible in evaluating the policies that can be undertaken in pursuit of development, and in mitigating the problems faced by least developed countries. You will be able to identify and reflect on some of the key social, economic and environmental issues that challenge sustainable development.

Ideas and Ideologies

You’ll examine the major thinkers, theories and movements of the modern era (Enlightenment to modern day). You will have the opportunity to study and reflect on critically diverse theories of knowledge through weekly lectures, readings and seminar discussions. The thinkers and theories you study will reflect the various disciplines you’ll go on to study in the fields of Science, Humanities, Social Science and Business. You’ll explore and reflect on how these ideas from diverse disciplines are interrelated and can support sustainable development.

Global Issues

You’ll look at current global issues, question their causes and impacts and reflect on how to drive the changes so urgently needed for a more equitable and sustainable future. You will explore three overarching areas; 

  • Power
  • People
  • Planet.

You’ll draw on theoretical models such as Systems Thinking and Futures Thinking that support a transformative learning approach that aims to build the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) competencies needed to navigate and respond to today’s problems. You’’l be empowered to build skills of resilience, empathy and hope that are vital for working towards a fairer and fitter future. The module uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UNESCO ESD competencies as a framework of reference
 

Tourism and Hospitality

Build your understanding and knowledge of the nature and function of the Travel and Tourism and Hospitality industries. Your study on this module will take into consideration:

  • an historical overview
  • the scale and scope of tourism
  • the different types of tourism
  • the sectors that the travel and tourism industry comprise
  • their role and function  
  • the importance of accommodation and hospitality in meeting the needs of tourists. 

You will also explore the tourist gaze, sustainable tourism and the future of tourism to then critically reflect on them. 
 

Maths and Statistics for University Study [Compulsory for Foundation in Business students who have not met the GCSE Maths entry requirements for their undergraduate programme]

On this module you will study the knowledge, skills and understanding required to interpret mathematical information and carry out the mathematical and statistical activity necessary for your future studies. 

This module will help you to develop your confidence with mathematics and statistics. You will build your skills in mathematical fluency, self-reliance and problem solving and how to apply your learning to your studies and in real life. The module adheres to the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) competencies of integrated problem solving and developing an awareness of real-world issues.
 

Semester 2

Compulsory modules

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

    This module will introduce you to the transferable skills and techniques used in environmentally and socially critical thinking through the exploration of issues of local and global concern. These skills will be put into practice through critical thinking and a problem-solving task. You will develop your argumentation skills using the A-C-R method. You will discuss conspiracy theories and misinformation and logical fallacies will be examined. In addition, you will learn how to conduct primary research at a basic level and complete preliminary ethics approval paperwork. You  will develop your report writing skills, your ability to present information visually and your communication skills. All of this will help you question the prevailing norms, practices and opinions of key stakeholders that have contributed to these problems and those that are most impacted by them.

  • Extended Research Essay

    Plan, research and submit an original paper on an interdisciplinary topic of sufficient depth to demonstrate your understanding of the conventions governing the presentations and submissions of academic papers in British Higher Education. The module will help you to develop your research, academic, personal literacies and your critical self-awareness. For you to gain confidence in critical thinking competency for Education for Sustainable Development. It will also help you to work as an autonomous learner, effectively planning and managing your own time and studies, in preparation for your undergraduate study.

  • Economics for Business

    Learn the basic principles of economic analysis and how to apply them to the real-world situations facing businesses and consumers in the UK and elsewhere. You will develop competencies in applying basic economic concepts and theories with confidence, communicating in the language of economics. Also you’ll learn how to analyse and assess economic issues impacting on business operations and decisions using appropriate economic concepts and theories as well as the use of diagrams. 

    This module aims to help you contextualise economic issues within wider concerns including current and emerging social and environmental issues as well as the way economic thinking is framed and contested.

Optional modules

Development Studies

Explore some of the key issues (e.g. urbanisation, poverty and social exclusion, environmental concerns and gender issues) within the field of Development Studies and in particular to identify the factors causing poverty in countries defined as less developed. You’ll look at the fundamentals of how sociology, human geography and economics interact in the process of development. You’ll study key topics that will help you to draw on your own knowledge and experience where possible in evaluating the policies that can be undertaken in pursuit of development, and in mitigating the problems faced by least developed countries. You will be able to identify and reflect on some of the key social, economic and environmental issues that challenge sustainable development.

Global Issues

You’ll look at current global issues, question their causes and impacts and reflect on how to drive the changes so urgently needed for a more equitable and sustainable future. You will explore three overarching areas; 

  • Power
  • People
  • Planet.

You’ll draw on theoretical models such as Systems Thinking and Futures Thinking that support a transformative learning approach that aims to build the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) competencies needed to navigate and respond to today’s problems. You’’l be empowered to build skills of resilience, empathy and hope that are vital for working towards a fairer and fitter future. The module uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UNESCO ESD competencies as a framework of reference

Ideas and Ideaologies

You’ll examine the major thinkers, theories and movements of the modern era (Enlightenment to modern day). You will have the opportunity to study and reflect on critically diverse theories of knowledge through weekly lectures, readings and seminar discussions. The thinkers and theories you study will reflect the various disciplines you’ll go on to study in the fields of Science, Humanities, Social Science and Business. You’ll explore and reflect on how these ideas from diverse disciplines are interrelated and can support sustainable development.

English Law

Build your foundational understanding of the basic characteristics of the English legal system such as the function of the courts, and key aspects of:

  • Criminal law
  • Contract Law 
  • and Tort Law. 

Also you’ll develop awareness of the difference between law in theory and law in practice, as well as the purpose and limitations of the law, equality of access to the law and how the value of justice is treated. Justice is the core theme of UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Careers

When you pass this course, you’ll be guaranteed a place on one of our undergraduate business programmes. Students regularly go on to study our Business and Management, International Hospitality and Tourism Management, and Events Management degrees.

As well as new knowledge, you’ll have also gained skills in team working, time management, personal reflection, and presentations. All of these are highly valuable to employers across various industries.

Your tutors will encourage you to take part in the voluntary and community activities offered by our careers team. We want you to make the most of your time with us, and see all that Oxford has to offer.

Entry requirements

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Wherever possible we make our conditional offers using the UCAS Tariff. The combination of A-level grades listed here would be just one way of achieving the UCAS Tariff points for this course.

Standard offer

UCAS Tariff Points: 80

A Level: BB

IB Points: 24

BTEC: MMP

Further offer details

Equivalent qualifications accepted.

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£16,300

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time
£9,250

Home (UK) part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time
£16,300

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

Please note, tuition fees for Home students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning Home students at the maximum permitted level.

Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students. 

The following factors will be taken into account by the University when it is setting the annual fees: inflationary measures such as the retail price indices, projected increases in University costs, changes in the level of funding received from Government sources, admissions statistics and access considerations including the availability of student support. 

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.