Why you should choose us
How can we change our behaviour to reduce the effects of climate change? What controls the Earth’s natural systems? What might our landscape look like in the future? How do I write a good science report? Prepare to explore it all! By taking your Foundation Year with us, you’ll gain the knowledge, understanding and skills that will prepare you well for undergraduate-level study, all within a nurturing, supportive environment. You then progress to study your chosen degree in the School of Environmental Sciences, taught be lecturers who are world leading in environmental sciences subjects from climate change to oceans to volcanoes.
Whether you’re a mature student looking for a new career, a student who is wishing to strengthen their qualifications and learning to qualify for entry onto a degree, our Foundation Year is a great route onto our BSc, BA or MSci courses.
Our BSc Environmental Sciences with a Foundation Year is ranked in the top 20 for Earth and Marine Sciences by 'The Guardian University Guide 2023'.
In your Foundation Year, you may choose to study the physical, chemical, and biological surroundings, or opt for more social science-based modules. You’ll retain this flexibility to shape your degree to your interests in your degree studies too. In this foundation year, you’ll discover how natural systems of the environment are interlinked, and the effects of human influence on them as you learn and debate issues such as:
What happens in the wide range of natural systems that occur on Earth?
What are the greatest challenges for managing the effects of climate change?
What is the latest research into understanding the changes in our environment?
In addition to exploring these big questions, you’ll gain essential academic skills that you’ll apply throughout your degree. Once you have successfully completed your foundation year, you are guaranteed to transfer to the BSc Environmental Science. But we believe our students should have flexibility to shape their studies to their evolving skills and strengths, thus our foundation year students have the option to transfer onto any degree in the School depending on the optional modules selected and grades achieved. Depending on the optional foundation year modules you’ve chosen, your grades and your preferences, you could instead transfer to a different BSc/BA/MSci course in the School of Environmental Science.
When selecting the course you wish to transfer to after completing your foundation year, you have the option to choose a degree with a Placement Year or Year Abroad, this would give a total of 5 years of study, and we advise a student to inform their funding body of the additional year of study prior to the Year Abroad or on a Placement. Progression is subject to year-to-year grade thresholds.
Study and Modules
In your the Foundation Year, you’ll study compulsory and optional modules. Spread across the year is the compulsory Environmental Science module. In each semester, you’ll also take a module to develop your numerical skills at a level that fits your ability and confidence. The other half of your foundation year study is from optional modules which you select from a choice of biology, chemistry, and physics, or you may opt for social science modules on global challenges.
Over the year, you’ll explore various aspects of our natural environment when you will discover where your passions lie. This will help you decide which BSc, BA or MSci degree course to transfer to at the end of your Foundation Year.
Your personal academic adviser and the Foundation Year course director will be on hand to support and advise you, ensuring that you make the most of the options and opportunities in this important first year.
For the years of study beyond the Foundation Year, please see the full BSc Environmental Sciences course.
Optional A Modules(Credits: 40)
Optional B Modules(Credits: 60)
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
Depending on your chosen optional modules, you are likely to have about 15 hours per week, experiencing a range of learning environments including lectures, seminars, laboratory practicals, field work and IT practicals. Together, these develop your subject knowledge and key skills whilst also developing your ability to think and communicate as a scientist.
Most lectures are recorded and accessible throughout the rest of your degree.
During your Foundation Year, you’ll read around content delivered in taught sessions to broaden your understanding and develop as in independent learner. This will help you gain critical skills in good time management and self-discipline as you balance taught sessions, independent study and any extra-curricular activities – skills that are essential for the rest of your course and beyond into graduate jobs.
Alongside several modules we usually run optional support sessions, plus there are helpful extra resources for each module on Blackboard, our online learning support platform to help with your learning.
During your Foundation Year, you’ll be assessed based on your understanding of modules taken. The type of assessment depends on the modules you take, but is likely to include written reports, problem sheets, tests, presentations and exams. Some modules have two or more assessments which may be a combination of two or more of the above.
For each module, you’ll have the chance to develop your skills with at least one practice or “formative” assignment that is similar to the summative (marked) assignment. Feedback on the formative assignment will help you improve the summative assessment.
- A Levels
- T Levels
- Obtain an overall Pass including a C in the core of the T Level and a Pass in the Occupational Specialism. Any subject is acceptable.
- Scottish Highers
- Scottish Advanced Highers
- Irish Leaving Certificate
- 6 subjects at H4
- Access to HE Diploma
- Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 credits at Level 3
- International Baccalaureate
- 28 points
- You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE.
- Most applicants will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some applicants an interview will be requested. Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a time.
- Deferred Entry
We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year. We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry on your UCAS application.
- This course is open to UK applicants. The annual intake is in September each year.
Additional Information or Requirements
UEA are committed to ensuring that Higher Education is accessible to all, regardless of their background or experiences. One of the ways we do this is through our contextual admissions schemes.
We welcome and value a wide range of alternative qualifications. If you have a qualification which is not listed here, please contact us via Admissions Enquiries.
A-Level General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.
We welcome applications from students with non-traditional academic backgrounds. If you have been out of study for the last three years and you do not have the entry grades for our three year degree, we will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference to gain a holistic view of your suitability for the course. You will still need to meet our GCSE English Language and Mathematics requirements.
Once enrolled onto your course at UEA, your progression and continuation (which may include your eligibility for study abroad, overseas experience, placement or year in industry opportunities) is contingent on meeting the assessment requirements which are relevant to the course on which you are enrolled.
We accept many international qualifications for entry to this course. View our International Students pages for specific information about your country.
Fees and Funding
View our information for Tuition Fees.
Scholarships and Bursaries
We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. View our range of Scholarships for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
In your Foundation Year, much of the guided reading is available from the UEA library as textbooks or digital resources.
View our information about Additional Course Fees.
How to Apply
Apply for this course through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS), using UCAS Hub.
UCAS Hub is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom.
Your application does not have to be completed all at once. Register or sign in to UCAS to get started.
Once you submit your completed application, UCAS will process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.
The Institution code for the University of East Anglia is E14.
View our guide to applying through UCAS for useful tips, key dates and further information:
After the Course
Once you successfully finish your Foundation Year, you’ll go straight onto one of the degree programmes within the School of Environmental Sciences.
Throughout your studies, you are encouraged to take advantage of the career development support embedded in your courses. We work closely with UEA’s Careers Service to help you meet employers (including alumni), explore career options, speak to industry mentors, and apply for internships, volunteering, and graduate jobs.
Our degrees lead to a wide range of careers, many of which involve making a difference to the environment, as a graduate employee or perhaps perusing a career as a researcher.
Examples of careers that you could enter include:
- Environmental consultant
- Conservation officer
- Environmental analyst
- Renewable energy adviser
- Graduate sustainability consultant
- Graduate carbon management consultant