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Jan O'Driscoll

"Welcome to the Centre for Foundation Studies. We pride ourselves on being student focused and, as such, offer a highly supportive environment for all students whether they have recently left college or school or are returning to education to start their degree journey later in life. I am lucky to be working with a dedicated team of academics who teach exclusively on Foundation Years within our Department; they are consistently commended by their students for their commitment to students’ success and the student experience.

I, myself, also applied for a Foundation Year at the age of 28. I had not completed the second year of my A-levels and I knew that I wanted a chance to study for a degree. I was anxious and excited at the beginning, but the Foundation Year helped me to navigate university life and to build my academic confidence. There were other mature students around me that provided group support, but there were also younger students that became a part of my undergraduate journey. I continued with my studies after graduating and am now in a job that teaches and supports Foundation Year students at the University of Chester.”

Jan O'Driscoll
Dean of Students and Lifelong Learning

What is a Foundation Year?

A Foundation Year offers a transition year entry point into university undergraduate studies. At Chester, we offer four-year undergraduate degrees that include a Foundation Year. For example, BA History (including a Foundation Year) or BSc Biomedical Science (including a Foundation Year). You are an undergraduate as soon as you enrol on your four-year degree and are part of the University’s vibrant undergraduate community from day one.

Who are Foundation Years for?

Many different people opt to study for a degree with a Foundation Year. It may be that the subjects you took at school or college are not appropriate for the degree that you would like to study. You may not have accrued enough UCAS points to enter directly onto a three-year degree, or you may have been out of education for a while and are seeking a transition.

Why choose a Foundation Year at Chester?

Gain Confidence
A Foundation Year at Chester provides you with subject-specific curriculum and will enable you to gain confidence in developing university-level skills, as well as understanding academic life and transitioning to the next level of your studies.

Prepare for Degree-Level Study
Our Foundation Years are designed with your next level of study in mind. We develop our curriculum to ensure there is alignment with the modules and topics that you will study after completing your Foundation Year. Our teaching, learning and assessment methods reflect those that you will experience throughout your degree. In addition, we work closely with University faculties to ensure a smooth transition from your Foundation Year to the next year.

Get Real Support
Our teaching philosophy has student support at the heart of it. We are a dedicated team of academics that focus on a student’s transition to a university environment. We are experienced in supporting students from a wide range of backgrounds, especially mature students returning to education. We can give you the confidence to succeed at university, and we are proud of what our students achieve whilst they are with us.

Be Part of a Community
At Chester, you will benefit from being taught in a department with academics that solely teach on Foundation Years. This allows us to create a Foundation Year community that consists of students studying anything from engineering to the arts. You will get to know the academics extremely well because they are all based within the Centre for Foundation Studies building in Chester city centre.


Where are Foundation Years taught?

We are based at Rigg Building in Exton Park Campus, with additional teaching taking place within relevant faculties elsewhere across the University. This gives our students the unique advantage of being part of both the Foundation Year and faculty communities. We are located within a short walking distance to the bus and train stations, campus facilities and many halls of residence.

We also teach Foundation Years from University Centre Warrington and University Centre Birkenhead for courses in Nursing and Life Sciences. Students here also benefit from the Foundation Year community and specialist staff support alongside the dedicated facilities offered in each location.

Download the Centre for Foundation Studies Mini Guide

Contact Information

Centre for Foundation Studies