The Foundation Year at SOAS: a stepping stone to an undergraduate degree

Foundation Year programmes - stepping stones - Garyu-ku Kyoto - Kimon Berlin Flickr CC

Foundation Year programmes are an excellent preparation for students who may benefit from an additional year of study before beginning an undergraduate degree. This includes students who do not have the required grades for direct entry onto an undergraduate programme, or students who may need to improve their English skills. There are currently spaces available on our Foundation Year programmes at SOAS for September 2020 through Clearing.

During the Foundation Year at SOAS, students will take modules on academic practice, working with numbers, digital skills and technology, topical global issues and cultural fluency, as well as receiving an introduction into different academic disciplines.

SOAS offers two Foundation Year options, which prepare students to progress to an undergraduate degree.  These are BA/BSc Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities with Foundation Year and BA/BSc Business, Management, Economics and Law with Foundation Year. International students whose English is not quite at the required level are better suited to the International Foundation Course with English Language Studies.

Dilzat Turdi is a student on the BA/BSc Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities with Foundation Year programme at SOAS.  He describes his experience during his first year of study.

What made you choose SOAS as a place to study?

“I’ve always heard about how SOAS has a diverse community filled with people who are passionate about their subject, and how it offers a great opportunity to learn about different cultures in the world.  Another important factor that persuaded me to choose SOAS was how it encourages its students to think globally and internationally, as well as having a special perspective about the issues that are occurring in the world.”

Why did you take the Foundation Year programme?

“As a mature student, I decided to start my university journey with the Foundation Year programme because it was a great opportunity for me to prepare myself for undergraduate study.  For instance, modules like Academic Practice really helped me to develop my academic writing, critical reading and my presentation skills.” 

How have you enjoyed the programme?

“I really enjoyed the programme a lot because it gave me a full insight of what university life is like and what is expected from the students.  Also, it prepared me for entry onto my chosen programme and now I’m equipped with the skills and knowledge required for my undergraduate studies.” 

What has been the highlight?

“For me the Independent Project from our Academic Practice module has been the highlight of the year.  This is because we were given the option to research and write an essay about a subject that we were passionate about, which gave me the motivation and focus to write and present what I enjoy the most – Uyghur music.” 

Any disappointments?

“Obviously, the biggest disappointment for everyone was not being able to continue with our normal life because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As a student, I’m really disappointed not being able to socialise with my friends during this time.” 

What’s it like being a student in London?

“Being a student in London is very exciting, because it gives you many opportunities to achieve your goals and it lets you sink into this huge diverse community.  London is amongst the most influential cities in terms of music and as a music student myself, I hope to learn and gain as much experience as possible in order to reach my goals.” 

How have you coped with studying during a pandemic!?

“During the pandemic, as a student, the first few weeks felt really strange to me.  Even though everything was online, it took me some time to get used to the fact that I have to face my laptop to hear my lectures.” 

What do you hope to do next?

“The next step for me will be to start my undergraduate studies in my chosen degree from this September, and hopefully learn as much as I can to develop my knowledge and skills to the best of my ability.” 

And your long-term ambition?

“My long-term ambition is to successfully graduate from my degree and to do my masters in a related programme where I can extend my knowledge more.  At the same time, I’d like to start working for a music production company, where I will have the opportunity to gain practical experience of the music business.” 

If a Foundation Year programme sounds like the course for you, there is still time to apply for our September 2020 intake through Clearing. Fill out a form on our website to find out more.

Find out more about the Foundation Year programmes on offer at SOAS through Clearing:

• BA/BSc Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities with Foundation Year
• BA/BSc Business, Management, Economics & Law with Foundation Year
• International Foundation Courses and English Language Studies

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