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Undergraduate Course

Psychology Foundation Year

Explore the science behind human thought and behaviour. This foundation year will prepare you for one of our exciting degrees in Psychology.

close up of the psychology equipment on a computer

If you are fascinated by Psychology but do not yet meet the entry requirements of our degree courses, this foundation year is your opportunity to gain the essential knowledge and skills you need before starting a full undergraduate degree.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time, then a 3 year full time or 6 year part time degree
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Education, Language and Psychology

Minimum entry requirements

    48 UCAS Tariff points

    1 GCSE at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Tuition fees

    UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2024 entry £14,000 per year full time

Course overview

A foundation year prepares you for degree level study, giving you the confidence and skills needed to make the most of your course. This option is ideal if you do not meet the entry requirements for our Psychology degree courses, or feel you are not ready for the transition to studying psychology at university.

On this course we will introduce you to the fundamental concepts and theories in psychological science. Focusing on both classic and contemporary studies, you will learn about the history of psychology, and discover the scientific methods used in our research. This will give you a solid foundation from which to build your knowledge further as you progress through your degree.

You will also develop skills necessary to succeed in higher education, such as critical thinking, research, academic writing and independent study. You will be well supported throughout your foundation year, with an academic tutor and a team of technicians and teaching assistants to help you reach your full potential.

You can take your learning further and become part of our research community through our Psychology Research Participation Scheme. This means taking part in some of the psychological studies run by staff and students within the department.

This is a great opportunity to improve your confidence, build your study skills and gain a thorough grounding in the subject before studying it at a higher level.

Psychology degrees available with Foundation Year

This course gives you an alternative route to undergraduate study. Upon successful completion of this course you'll progress onto one of our undergraduate degree courses. All our courses have accreditation from the British Psychological Society.

Forensic Psychology with foundation year BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code: C821

Psychology with foundation year BSc (Hons) 

UCAS Code: C801

Psychology with Counselling with foundation year BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code: C8B8

Psychology with Child Development with foundation year BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code: C811

Course structure

Year 1

Our academic year is split into 2 semesters. You will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 1
  • 3 compulsory modules in semester 2

You can find out which modules are available in each semester on the Course Specifications.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This module will introduce you to the major schools of thought in psychology. You will learn about some of the most influential psychological studies of the 20th century, considering their sociocultural contexts, methodologies, and impact on the way psychology is studied today. Focusing on these classic studies will give you essential foundational knowledge about the conceptual, historical and philosophical background of Psychology.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will build the essential skills needed to succeed in university level study. This will ensure you are fully prepared for the demands of your Psychology degree. The skills you will develop include:

  • Effective reading
  • Academic writing and referencing
  • Note taking
  • Using primary and secondary sources
  • Team working
  • Verbal and written communication
  • Digital skills

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module we will introduce you to the scientific method, encouraging you to take a critical approach to the interpretation of evidence. You will learn about the hierarchy of evidence and evaluate media representations of psychological research findings. By unpicking common ‘neuromyths’ you will be encouraged to think critically about where our knowledge of human behaviour comes from and which sources we should trust.

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will build on what you learnt in Classic Studies, this time focusing on contemporary theory, research, methods, applications and debates in psychology. You will consider the most important overarching questions which are raised across the different branches of the subject by focusing on key recent research studies. Some of the contemporary topics you may cover include:

  • Confirmation bias
  • Stress
  • Interaction on social media
  • Mental health
  • Eating behaviour
  • Gender and culture

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will learn how to conduct research. Through a combination of theoretical learning and practical activities, we will encourage you to consider alternative methods of generating psychological knowledge. You will learn about:

  • Experimental design
  • Data collection methods
  • Statistical analysis
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Ethics in psychological research

Credits: 20

Compulsory module

On this module you will bring together all elements from across the foundation year. You will conduct a small scale research project as a group, analyse your data and write up an individual project report. We will support you to:

  • Design your study
  • Submit an ethics application
  • Conduct the study
  • Analyse the data you collect
  • Present your project in the form of a psychological research report

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

You will be taught through a combination of short lectures and practical workshops. There will be 9 hours of contact time per week.

You will be assigned an academic tutor who will support you throughout your foundation year.

We expect you to engage in independent study outside of your contact hours. This includes reading preparatory materials and completing activities on Moodle (our online learning environment).

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


You will experience a range of different types of assessment on this course. This ensures that you develop all of the skills needed to succeed in your undergraduate study. Assessment types include:

  • Multiple choice exams
  • Written coursework
  • Online exams
  • Skills portfolio (completing a range of applied tasks)
  • Group presentations
  • Extended written project.

Progression onto degree course

Passing this foundation year guarantees you entry onto one of our Psychology degrees. You will start your degree course the September after you have completed this foundation year. Your grades from this year will not be carried forward and will not count towards your final degree results.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    48 UCAS Tariff points

    1 GCSE at grade C/4 (or equivalent) including English Language.

Calculate your UCAS Tariff points

International students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements


Mature Learners Entry Scheme

If you have been out of education for 3 years or more and have a grade C GCSE in English Language or equivalent, you are eligible for our entry scheme for mature learners. It's a scheme that recognises non-traditional entry qualifications and experience for entry onto this course. Information on how to apply can be found on our dedicated page.

Mature entry offer scheme

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

To study a Foundation Year with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. How much you pay depends on whether you live inside the UK, or internationally (outside the UK). Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years. 

UK 2024 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry onto this Foundation Year course is:

  • £9,250 for your Foundation Year
  • Then £9,250 per year of your undergraduate degree

This price applies to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

You can apply for the Tuition Fee and Maintenance Loan for the full duration of your course, including the Foundation Year and then your undergraduate degree. 

You can find out more about funding your degree by visiting our funding opportunities page.

Funding Opportunities

Tuition fees

    UK 2024 entry £9,250 per year full time

    International 2024 entry £14,000 per year full time

International 2024 entry

For full time study the tuition fee for 2024 entry to this course is:

  • £14,000 for your Foundation Year
  • Then £14,000 per year of your undergraduate degree

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a Student Visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your degree.

International Fees and Funding

Additional costs and financial support

There may also be some additional costs to take into account throughout your studies, including the cost of accommodation.

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Study Abroad

For more information on tuition fee reductions and additional costs for studying abroad, please visit our study abroad pages.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Financial help and support

Our Funding Advice team are here to help you with your finances throughout your degree. They offer a personal service that can help you with funding your studies and budgeting for living expenses. 

For advice on everything from applying for scholarships to finding additional financial support email

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