Frequently Asked Questions.

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These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding of The Foundation Centre and the Durham University experience. We hope to answer any questions you might have. If you think there is something missing, or if you still have further questions, then why not complete an online enquiry form or message us on Facebook. We’d like to hear from you!

Q. I’m thinking about attending one of the Open Days, what should I expect?
Q. To progress onto the degree course, will I need to re-submit an UCAS application? Is a place on the degree course guaranteed?
Q. How can I find out more about what to expect in my degree following the successful completion of the Foundation Programme (year 0)?
Q. What is the workload like? Do Foundation Students have a busy schedule?
Q. How long does it take to travel by bus between Durham City and the Queens campus?
Q. What are the entry requirements for the Foundation programme?
Q. What modules will I study?
Q. I’m shy around new people; will I struggle to make new friends?
Q. Will I be able to work part time?
Q. I’ve reviewed the modules but I want to know how intense the foundation year is? Are the modules difficult to grasp without having prior knowledge? I’m worried that I will find the foundation year difficult to pass.
Q. What are the English language requirements for international students? Am I required to sit an IELTS exam?
Q. Is there an option for students to change their degree progression route during the Foundation Year? For example, from Chemistry to Physics?
Q. To successfully complete the Foundation year, do I need to sit exams? Is there a specific grade or score I need to achieve in order to progress onto the degree course?
Q. Can Foundation students apply to any of the colleges; are Foundation students limited?
Q. Who is a typical Foundation student?

Q. I’m thinking about attending one of the Open Days, what should I expect?

If you are thinking about applying to Durham University, a great way to explore the wealth of opportunities on offer is to come and visit us. We host a number of campus-wide open days and visit options throughout the year. The Open Days and taster sessions are designed to provide advice on applying and student finance information within a friendly and informal atmosphere. There will also be 1-to-1 Information, advice and guidance available.

Q. To progress onto the degree course, will I need to re-submit an UCAS application? Is a place on the degree course guaranteed?

The Foundation Programme is fully integrated with Durham University degree courses, counting as year 0 of an undergraduate degree programme. After successful completion of the Foundation year, students move directly onto the first year of their degree, without further UCAS application. This also means that you have access to all the opportunities and funding that’s available to students on 3 year programmes.

Q. How can I find out more about what to expect in my degree following the successful completion of the Foundation Programme (year 0)?

Why not attend a pre-application open day? Pre-application open days are the best way to discover all you need to know about Durham University. With representatives from all relevant academic and support service departments, and opportunities to explore college options, the open days provide our prospective undergraduates with the full experience of Durham University.

Q. What is the workload like? Do Foundation Students have a busy schedule?

You will study the equivalent of 12 single modules per year (part-time students will study 6 modules per year). A year is divided into 2 teaching blocks which run over 3 terms: Michaelmas (10 teaching weeks), Epiphany (8 teaching weeks), and Easter (3 teaching weeks and a 4 week exam period). Each teaching week will usually contain 18 hours of classes and we expect you to study for an additional 18 hours per week outside class (9 hours of classes and 9 hours of additional study for part-time students). If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry. Foundation Students still have time for a home life, with many Foundation students opting to take part in societies and college socials.

Q. How long does it take to travel by bus between Durham City and the Queens campus?

An inter-campus bus service is available for all students and staff travelling between Durham and Queen’s Campus, Stockton. This is a half hourly service during the day time and an hourly service during the evening, Monday to Saturday with an hourly service on Sundays. Students and staff can travel FREE on the public X1 Arriva service during both term time and vacation periods. It takes about an hour to travel between the two campuses.

Q. What are the entry requirements for the Foundation programme?

Applications for Foundation Centre courses should be made via UCAS.

For the majority of our programmes we welcome applications from:

  • UK, EU and international students
  • Mature learners (over 21) with no formal qualifications*
  • Mature learners (over 21) with A-Levels (or equivalents) which were obtained over three years ago
  • Young learners (under 21) with adverse circumstances which could not be mitigated by their academic provider (evidence will be required)
  • Young learners (18 to 21) who have not engaged in post 16 education
  • Learners with strong A-Level (or equivalent) results in subjects that are not suitable for their chosen degree subject (Conversion students)
  • EU and Overseas learners who have not had the opportunity in their home country to study qualifications suitable for direct entry to their chosen degree course at Durham University
  • Native English speakers (from UKBA approved countries)
  • Non-native English speakers with suitable IELTS (or University recognised equivalent)

*some programmes require GCSE Maths at grade C

We strongly advise all applicants to complete the online enquiry form once they have read the entry requirements for their chosen course, so that we can provide information, advice and guidance tailored to your personal circumstances.

Q. What modules will I study?

The list of Foundation Year modules is available here:

https://www.dur.ac.uk/foundation.centre/dpp/modules/

Q. I’m shy around new people; will I struggle to make new friends?

There are endless opportunities and activities for getting involved. Whether you want to volunteer for charity work, stage a play, sing in a choir, or captain a college sports team, you will find many opportunities for joining in, mixing with different people and simply trying something new. By trying out new activities you might even find that you develop a passion for something you had never even considered before! And if joining a club or society at University-level seems a bit daunting, you can get involved in many of the activities in the smaller setting of your college instead.

Q. Will I be able to work part-time?

Durham University recommends a maximum of 12 hours of part-time work whilst studying at an undergraduate level. The maximum number of working hours recommended is for guidance only. It is your responsibility to assess the academic pressures and demands of your subject discipline and prioritise this over any part-time work. To help you find part-time work and explore other opportunities, Durham University operates a Careers Centre. The Careers, Employability and Enterprise Centre works extremely closely with the Foundation Centre to ensure that students receive information and vacancies relevant to their needs. Students are able to attend presentations and workshops from a wide range of employers from all sectors. They are also able to attend sessions arranged by the Careers Centre on subjects including CV writing, interview preparation and gaining work experience and attend the wide range of fairs organised for Durham University Students.

Further details can be found here: https://www.dur.ac.uk/careers/

Q. I’ve reviewed the modules but I want to know how intense the foundation year is? Are the modules difficult to grasp without having prior knowledge? I’m worried that I will find the foundation year difficult to pass.

Each module has been developed especially for our students by our dedicated and experienced team. The courses are challenging, they are preparing you for study at an elite university, but we have years of experience helping students go on to get Durham University degrees, if you are prepared to put in the work, we will give you a lot of support and help.

Q. What are the English language requirements for international students? Am I required to sit an IELTS exam?

If you are an international student, and not from a country with an exemption (click here for further information) then you will be required to take an IELTS exam and get an average of 6 with no element below 5.5, although for some progression routes (Law and Pharmacy) the requirement is 6.5 with no element below 6.

Q. Is there an option for students to change their degree progression route during the Foundation Year? For example, from Chemistry to Physics?

In some cases this is a possibility, although each situation is dealt with individually.

Q. To successfully complete the Foundation year, do I need to sit exams? Is there a specific grade or score I need to achieve in order to progress onto the degree course?

Each module is composed of coursework and examinations. Exams take place in January and May/June. You need to pass 50% overall in each module to progress on the degree program.

Q. Can Foundation students apply to any of the colleges; are Foundation students limited?

Foundation Students can apply for any college, and have the same chance as any other undergraduate of getting the college of their choice. Even if you are living locally and do not live in college they still provide a great environment to meet other students and try new things. They often have sports facilities as well as academic programmes (lectures and workshops) which you are free to get involved in.

Q. Who is a typical Foundation student?

There isn’t one! There is diverse blend of international and local students, and an even greater blend of accents and dialogues. The mixture of students creates an atmosphere that is interesting and unique to other learning environments. Want to read more?

 

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