University Foundation Certificate Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education

Gain the skills and confidence required to join an Edge Hill degree on a free 7-week course which is ideal if you are returning to study or seeking to enhance your subject knowledge and skills.

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  • Overview

    Course Length: 7 Weeks Full-Time
    Start Dates: February 2020, June 2020, June 2021
    Subjects: Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education
    Location: Edge Hill University

    Please note, this programme is closed to further applications for February 2020 entry but remains open to applications for June 2020 entry.

    • Gain the skills, understanding and confidence required to join a degree;
    • Take the fear out of academic study with training in essential skills such as note-taking, essay writing, exam techniques and an introduction to IT;
    • Join a programme which is ideal if you are returning to study and/or seeking to enhance your subject knowledge and skills.

    Fastrack is an intensive, 7-week Preparation for Higher Education programme for adults. It is designed to give you the skills and knowledge to study for a degree. The programme is free of charge.

    Successful completion of this Fastrack course will enable you to be considered for a place on a degree in your chosen subject at Edge Hill University, in lieu of achieving the UCAS Tariff points in the entry criteria for the relevant programme, although places on specific degrees are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed.

    The February 2020 intake is for Operating Department Practice only.

    Fastrack subjects available for June 2020 entry are Biology, Business and Management, Computing, Education, English and Creative Writing, Geography, Health and Social Care, History, Law and Criminology, Media, Nursing, Operating Department Practice, Performing Arts, Professional Education, Psychology, Religion, Social Sciences, and Teacher Training. 

    Please note, Adult Nursing and Mental Health Nursing are closed to further applications for June 2020 entry, though Learning Disabilities Nursing remains open to apply.

    Please note, the availability of Fastrack subjects and progression routes varies for each academic year. There are currently no Fastrack routes for prospective Midwifery, Nursing & Social Work (dual award), Paramedic Practice or Social Work students.

    Student and Alumni Profiles

    • Paul Harkin

      Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education
      There’s no down side to this course and I really can’t speak highly enough of it.
      View full profile
    • Joyce Andrews

      Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education
      I’ve recommended Fastrack to lots of people already, so if you are thinking about it I would tell you to just go for it - don’t have a second thought.
      View full profile
    • Tom Chandley

      Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education
      Even if just a small part of you is thinking about doing this course then I would definitely recommend it.
      View full profile
    • Kimberly Rimmer

      Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education
      The confidence boost I have from successfully completing the course has been massive and made me very proud, I feel on top of the world.
      View full profile
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    In Depth

    What will I study?

    This Fastrack course comprises two modules, one of which is related to your subject choice while the other focuses on study skills training.

    You will receive guidance in essay writing, taking and arranging notes, reading effectively, report writing, presentation skills, time management, working in groups, strengths and weaknesses, action planning, target setting, confidence building, presentation skills, group work and course evaluation.

    You will also gain an introduction to ICT covering IT awareness, the Internet, word processing and developing visual presentations.

    How will I study?

    Teaching is through lectures, tutorials, small group work and practical sessions. You will be allocated a personal tutor and have access to a wide range of services and facilities, including the University library, computer hardware and software, ICT/Internet access and media facilities.

    If you are joining a Fastrack subject in initial teacher training, you will also be required to undertake four days on placement in a school. The placement will take place on one day per week across a four-week period. We will endeavour to ensure that the school in which the placement takes place is no more than 90 minutes travel from your term time address.

    How will I be assessed?

    You will be assessed through assignments, projects and coursework. You must also achieve a minimum attendance threshold of 90%.

    There are no formal written examinations as part of the current assessment methods on this programme.

    Who will be teaching me?

    The programme is delivered by a team of tutors who are experienced in teaching and supporting adults returning to education.

    A Great Study Environment

    A student relaxes with a drink while working on her laptop in the Garden Cafe in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Medicine.Based in 160 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, the Edge Hill University campus is a unique and inspirational place to study. Industry standard resources and cutting edge technology combine to make an interactive and highly advanced teaching and learning environment.

    Everything you could want is on one site, from fantastic modern spaces in which you can study and socialise, to more than 2,200 rooms in halls of residence, and 60 acres of sport and leisure facilities.

    There is also a University library which stocks around 200,000 items, including books, journals, e-resources and multimedia. In addition, you can access PCs, laptops, software and assistive technologies. Dedicated support is available for students with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD).

    Entry Criteria

    Entry Requirements

    Formal entry qualifications are not typically required to join this Fastrack programme. However, if you are educated to GCSE standard, particularly if you have GCSE English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent), this would be beneficial. If you can show that you are committed to studying for a degree and demonstrate the skills and potential, for example through relevant work/life experience, then we will offer you a place. An interview forms part of the selection process.

    To study Secondary Mathematics as your Fastrack subject, an AS Level (or equivalent) in Mathematics is required.

    If you are applying to join a Fastrack subject in initial teacher training, you will be required to undergo Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure and medical clearance. Further information will be sent to you after you have accepted an offer of a place on the Fastrack course.

    Applicants to Fastrack initial teacher training subjects would also benefit from having some school experience in a relevant setting, demonstrated through employment, volunteering or observation. In addition to this, you should possess an awareness of your chosen career pathway and have a strong interest in teaching future generations.

    Career Prospects

    What are my career prospects?

    Fastrack: Preparation for Higher Education is designed to equip you, in just seven weeks, with the skills and knowledge required to study on an Edge Hill University degree or foundation degree in a selected subject area. The specific programme(s) you may be eligible to progress onto will be determined by the Fastrack subject you choose.

    Please note, however, that while we expect many candidates who successfully complete a Fastrack course to proceed onto a relevant degree at Edge Hill University, the availability of a suitable progression route and acceptance onto this course, or other degrees, cannot be guaranteed.

    Depending on the degree you wish to apply for, additional entry requirements may also apply. Some potential progression routes, for example, including initial teacher training programmes and Psychology degrees, stipulate that you must have GCSE English, GCSE Mathematics and/or GCSE Science at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent). If you do not already have these GCSEs, Edge Hill University offers equivalency tests.

    Some degrees will also require you to undergo DBS Enhanced Disclosure prior to progressing onto the programme. For initial teacher training students, the DBS requirement also applies to the Fastrack course, with clearance usually carried through to the start of your degree. For other subjects, DBS Enhanced Disclosure is not required in order to undertake the Fastrack programme but may be required to progress to your preferred degree. Further information will be supplied to you at the relevant time.

    You can view the standard entry criteria for each degree, which includes details of DBS Enhanced Disclosure where required, by consulting our A-Z of courses.

    You should also be aware that this Fastrack course is designed to enable progression onto a degree at Edge Hill University and may not be accepted by other institutions.


    How to Apply

    You can apply for the June 2020 intake at The course is now  closed to further applications for February 2020 entry.

    The February 2020 intake is for Operating Department Practice only, for progression onto the corresponding degree starting in April 2020.

    The June 2020 intake is for progression onto the corresponding degree starting in September 2020.

    When you submit your application, you will be asked to specify your choice of Fastrack subject and intended progression route.

    Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

    Visit Us

    Fastrack Information Evening

    An information evening for prospective Fastrack students is taking place on campus on Thursday 27 February 2020 from 5:30pm-7:30pm.

    The Access Programmes team will deliver a talk about the summer 2020 programme and you will be able to meet subject tutors and student support teams who will be able to offer advice and guidance.

    The event is aimed at mature learners looking to study at degree level but who do not currently have the appropriate qualifications.

    Visit to book your place.

    Open Days

    If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at

    Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective students, including monthly campus tours, at

    Request a Prospectus

    If you would like to explore our full range of degrees, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at

    Get in Touch

    If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

    If you would like to talk to the programme team about the course in more detail, please contact:

    Course Changes

    Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.