What is a foundation year?
A foundation year extends your degree to four years before placing you into the necessary programme. For me this was Economics. It provides many insights into academic writing, independent study, referencing, and builds on your subject knowledge. Ultimately it prepared me for the next part of my degree, helping to build on my skills to perform at a higher level. There is a wide array of options to study with a foundation year; however, I already knew that Economics was the subject I wanted to study.
Why a foundation year?
A foundation year provides you with all the skills you’ll need throughout university, and I believe gave me an advantage over students who had come straight from sixth form or equivalent. I knew from the open day visits I attended that Durham was where I wanted to be as I fell in love with the city, atmosphere and the Economics course. The foundation programme provided me with the path to be here and gain so many experiences. There are so many things to experience in Durham and the extra year really gives you time to get involved. This includes balls, societies, events, college days, formals, and so much more.
The work and assessments involved
Throughout this year, I completed several formative assessments to track my progress and to provide feedback on my knowledge, layout, and use of referencing, which was all very helpful. At the end of the academic year, I took summative exams, online at that time for all the modules involved, to receive my final grade – passing would entail I moved on to the Economics course. Once I received my results, I could then choose which modules I wanted to take for the first year of the Economics course. The academics and resources available were great at helping me revise to pass the summative examinations.
Having an extra year at university allowed me to try out even more sports and societies on offer – trust me, there is a lot! Within my foundation year, I had signed up for DU F1, DU Ice Skating, Aikido and Trampolining, whilst in college I had signed up for JB Dodgeball and Volleyball. A foundation year in no way dampens your involvement and I would say elevates the chances you have to try something new and get involved. This allowed me to make friends outside of my course and within my college! I continue to have friendships from my foundation year but have also blended in well with my Economics course and made friendships there.
To find out more, visit Foundation Programmes – Durham University
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