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Foundation in Humanities

Foundation course

Key facts

UCAS code


Start dates

September 2020 / September 2021

Course length

Full time: 1 year

Part time: 2 years


Our Foundation in Humanities course gives you the subject knowledge and skills you need for undergraduate study. Our course is ideal:

  • if you want to study at Oxford Brookes but need to supplement your A-Levels.
  • if you have returned to study after a long break.

We teach you essential academic skills in individual and small group sessions. You'll also gain skills that are valuable to employers and further study.

If you successfully complete the course, you will be guaranteed a place on a degree or combined degree in a range of subjects in the Humanities and Social Sciences at Oxford Brookes. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Anthropology
  • Criminology
  • English Literature
  • English Language
  • Education Studies
  • Geography
  • History
  • History of Art
  • International Relations and Politics
  • Law
  • Philosophy 
  • Sociology.

*Please see below for our full list of progression courses.

Group discussion

How to apply

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: 72

A Level: DDD

IB Points: 24


Further offer details

Applications are welcomed from candidates with alternative qualifications, and from mature students.

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Applicants whose main language is not English should have IELTS 6.0.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Credit transfer

Many of our courses consider applications for entry with credit for prior learning. Each application is individually assessed by our credit entry tutors. 

If you would like more information about whether or not you may be eligible for the award of credit, for example from an HND, partly-completed degree or foundation degree, please contact our Admissions team.

We operate the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). All undergraduate single modules are equivalent to 7.5 ECTS credits and double modules to 15 ECTS credits. More about ECTS credits.

Application process

Full time Home / EU applicants

Apply through UCAS

Part time Home / EU applicants

Apply direct to the University

International applicants

Apply direct to the University

Full time applicants can also apply through UCAS

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
2020 / 21
Home/EU full time

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2020 / 21
Home/EU full time

Home/EU part time
£1,155 per single module

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Please note tuition fees for Home/EU students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students in line with an inflationary amount determined by government. Tuition fees for International students may increase in subsequent years both for new and continuing students.

Oxford Brookes University intends to maintain its fees for new and returning home and EU students at the maximum permitted level.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

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, if any, are detailed below.

Students who choose to take the optional module in Semester 2, Practice and Pedagogy, will need to be DBS checked which carries a fee to be met by the student.

Learning and assessment

On our course you will:

  • examine a broad range of humanities subjects
  • explore multiple areas according to your interests
  • gain the skills you need to succeed in further study. 

In Semester 1 you will  improve your oral, written and interpersonal skills for Higher Education. And take three modules that combine:

  • English Literature and Drama
  • History and History of Art
  • English Language and Communication.

In Semester 2  a compulsory module combines History, Philosophy, Stylistics and English to explore nationality and identity. And you can choose two optional modules from the fields of Philosophy, History and Education Studies.

You will undertake a small research project to prepare you for your target degree. You will receive one-to-one support from a supervisor.

A dedicated academic advisor will support you throughout your course. And help you explore your options for either continued study and employment.

Students studying

Study modules

Semester 1

Compulsory modules

Being Human: Love, Sex and Death

This module introduces students to an interdisciplinary study of the ways in which emotions and bodies are socially and culturally constructed across time and space through History and History of Art. Students will learn that ideas, practices and experiences about feelings and bodies are fluid and determined by historically, socially, and culturally specific contexts, themselves shaped by politics, religion, science, medicine, and literary and artistic fashions. Students will investigate the ways in which ‘being human’ is relative through three apparently universal features of life: love, sex, and death. They will analyse and interrogate texts, images and artefacts to understand the centrality of human emotions and bodies to the functioning of our world.

Cultural Moments

On this module, students will explore the ways in which Drama and Literary Studies work with the broad concept of genre, and the ways in which the evolution of literary and cultural genres can be associated with major shifts in social and cultural history. Students will study genres as categories that have evolved historically to become influential forces on the production of culture, taste and fashion. Case studies of key movements or genres across a range of disciplines will be employed to illustrate the ways in which art responds to life and life responds to art.

Language, Vision and Representation

This module draws upon expertise from the fields of English Language and Communication, and Cultural Studies to introduce students to the basic theories of meaning-making through reference to visual and language systems. Students will learn to undertake a critical analysis of systems of representation as they encounter them in the ‘real’ world and the world of representations – such as spoken and written language, and virtual and physical texts. In doing so, they will come to understand how meaning is both made and challenged through the often unconscious act of interpretation. Since we are part of those worlds of ‘meaning-making’, students will also be encouraged to reflect on their own role in the production of meaning.

The Reflective Learner

This module helps students to develop the skills and strategies needed to succeed as a university undergraduate. These skills will be applicable to each of the subject disciplines that constitute the Foundation in Humanities. There is a practical emphasis on turning critical reading into effective visual, written and oral undergraduate assignments. Students will also learn effective strategies for responding to lecture content, participating in seminar discussions and working in peer groups.

Semester 2

Compulsory modules

Nation and Identity

By employing approaches and themes from the fields of Philosophy, Religious Studies, History, English Literature and English Language, this module allows students to consider the concept of nationhood. Students will ask a range of engaging questions such as: what is a nation and how is it defined? Is it developed through the shared language and history of a people? Is it about laws and governance, or habits and customs? And what happens when one or several of these characteristics change? In the first part of the module, students will develop an understanding of the different ways in which a nation develops and defines itself. From there, students will develop an understanding of the ways in which the concept of a nation (including aspects such as borders and national identity) can be a site of contest and challenge.

Research Project

The aim of this module is for students to identify, define and complete an extended independent research project. Students will learn to work with advice and support from an academic supervisor, who will provide one-to-one support and guidance on working within a specific subject discipline. Students considering a combined degree can also receive co-supervision through tutorial support both in person and online.

Optional modules

Approaches to Performance

In this module, you’ll examine theatre in the spotlight - and gain a range of theatrical skills. You’ll question the false difference between performance in practice and performance theory. You’ll explore a range of key performance ideas, including how to stage expressionist theatre or draw on rehearsal techniques for naturalist performance. You’ll gain firm knowledge of theatrical forms and approaches to performance, such as: 

  • naturalism
  • performing modernist political theatre
  • melodrama
  • staging and lighting.

You’ll also pay attention to your own actions as you learn, enhancing your knowledge of theatrical skills.  

Introduction to Creative Writing

In this module, you’ll enhance your power and ability as a creative writer. You’ll attend workshops where you’ll learn through reading, writing, discussion and feedback. You’ll practise your own writing, explore the interplay of creativity and craft, and analyse how you work as a writer. You’ll join other students to explore key approaches in prose, poetry and script writing, through:

  • practical writing exercises 
  • discussing each other’s work
  • critically analysing the work of published writers
  • exploring key writing practices. 

You’ll produce a portfolio of original creative writing, as well as a study of the aims and processes of your creative work. You’ll develop excellent writing habits, and the ability to reflect on your own writing practices. You’ll also understand the literary and cultural context of your own writing. 

Eastern Religious Philosophies

What can philosophies and religions teach us about being human? In this module, you’ll immerse yourself in key themes of Eastern religions, including the Buddhist and Hindu traditions. You’ll gain a core understanding of the philosophical foundations of different religious traditions. 

Education, Childhood and Youth in Popular Culture

How are schools, teachers and students represented in popular culture - from films to literary works? In this module, you’ll dig into recurring educational themes in our society, and how they reflect current debates on education, childhood and the role of the teacher. You’ll ask whether popular culture simply reproduces stereotypes about teaching and schools, or whether it can give us a new perspective on education. And you’ll consider why, as a culture, we’re so keen on reliving our school days through television and books. 

Managing Global Issues: Environment and Development

How can we solve global problems without a world government? How can we resolve issues in international politics which are beyond the limit of individual countries? In this module, you’ll gain key analytical skills, as you explore competing ideas on how to manage two global issues: the environment, and global development. You can choose to focus either on global environmental politics, or global development. 

Introduction to Child and Adolescent Development

How do developmental issues impact children’s learning? In this module, you’ll gain a sound knowledge of development, and the developmental themes behind children’s learning. 
You’ll explore key developmental concepts that affect a child's capacity for learning, and evaluate alternative theoretical models of the learning process. You’ll also consider such topics as: 

  • the developing brain
  • constructivist and social constructivist approaches to making sense of the world
  • family, school, friends and other contexts for learning 
  • active engagement in learning - exploration and play 
  • self expression and creativity. 

Introduction to International Development

Why do poor people stay poor? Does a country need to industrialise in order to develop? Does population growth help or hinder development? These are the kinds of questions you’ll confront as you explore key issues in the field of international development. You’ll identify the factors that cause poverty in countries defined as ‘less developed’. You’ll look at possible escape routes from poverty and low levels of economic development. We’ll encourage you to draw on your own knowledge and experience where possible in evaluating the policies around development.

Young Children's Outdoor Learning

In this module, you’ll explore how young children learn through play. You’ll also discover how adults plan exploration and play for children in outdoors environments. You’ll get to grips with two key areas: 

  • maintaining good provisions and interactions in an early years outdoors area
  • teaching and learning through the Forest School approach. 

You’ll look at how children and adults interact in a variety of situations. You’ll also gain core knowledge of health and safety training, as you study issues such as: 

  • children as risk-takers
  • off-site travel
  • maintaining a safe environment.

You’ll develop core analytical skills as you explore how research and the government affect children’s outdoor learning. 

French A1 (Modern Language)

A module in practical French language skills for beginners.

French A2 (1) (Modern Language)

The language level of this module corresponds to work leading to Level A2 in the European Common Framework for Languages (CEFR - A2).

German A1 (Modern Language)

A module in practical language skills for beginners.

German A2 (1) (Modern Language)

The language level of this module corresponds to work leading to Level A2 in the European Common Framework for Languages (CEFR - A2).

Death, Disease and Doctors: Medicine and Society

You’ll examine the history of sickness and healing in society. You’ll look at how people have viewed medicine and disease from 1650 to 2000. In seminars, we’ll investigate issues such as:

  • quackery
  • war and medicine 
  • forensic medicine
  • disease control
  • public health
  • madness and society
  • sexual health
  • the patient’s view. 

This module builds on your material from other level 4 modules. You’ll gain key critical skills as you identify links between other periods and subjects you’ve studied.

Modern British Art

In this module, you’ll dive into art and artists through the century - from the Camden Town Group, to Modernists like Barbara Hepworth and Pop Artists like Peter Blake. You’ll examine paintings, sculptures and films as you discuss how British artists tried to create modern forms of expression. You’ll also investigate the ways they promoted their work, like:

  • exhibitions
  • manifestos
  • books
  • little magazines.

You’ll enjoy on-site visits, where you’ll examine works of art firsthand. You’ll also attend exciting lectures and seminars where you’ll explore your ideas and enrich your understanding of modern British art.

Spanish A1 (Modern Language)

A module in practical language skills for beginners.

Spanish A2 (1) (Modern Language)

The language level of this module corresponds to work leading to Level A2 in the European Common Framework for Languages (CEFR - A2).

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

Learning and teaching

Our course is interdisciplinary. This means we draw upon teaching content, approaches, and expertise from a range of subjects in our Faculty. We might introduce you to new subject areas and approaches to studying.

Our modules all feature content from different disciplines, leading to a unique learning experience. 


Assessment methods used on this course

We will assess you mostly by coursework, including:

  • essays
  • reflective logbooks
  • critical commentaries
  • video assignments
  • e-portfolios
  • group projects. 

After you graduate

Career prospects

Foundation in Humanities is principally intended as a route to further study at degree level. However, this is also a course that is heavily focussed upon developing your academic and interpersonal skills and inspiring self-confidence. By the end of this course you will have been coached in written expression, presentation skills, independent learning, working in groups, accessing information from a range of sources and working to deadlines. All of these qualities are valued by employers and will make you attractive to a range of workplaces.

Further study

Foundation in Humanities has been specifically designed to introduce you to, and prepare you for, any one of the awards named below:

Combined Awards

You will be able to progress directly to these awards at Oxford Brookes without further application and you will be advised and assisted in this process by your Academic Advisor and/or your Student Support Co-ordinator.

*All applicants will be screened for fitness to practise and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

The courses below are not eligible for automatic progression from Foundation in Humanities. Please visit the relevant course pages to view their entry requirements: 

Free language courses

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Information from Discover Uni

Full-time study

Part-time study

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.