A student gives a presentation to her peers during a seminar in a classroom in the Catalyst building.

STEM Foundation Year

Develop the key transferable skills and subject-specific knowledge needed to join science-based degrees in the subject areas of biology, computer engineering, computer science or geography at Edge Hill University.

  • Book an Open Day
  • Request a Prospectus
  • Download Course Leaflet
    • You can opt out at any time at the bottom of each email or by getting in touch with us: [email protected].

      • International Students Can Apply


      UCAS Code: Varies by pathway
      Course Length: 4 Years Full-Time
      Start Dates: September 2022, September 2023
      Subjects: Biology and Biosciences
      Computing and IT
      Geography and Geology
      Location: Edge Hill University

      The STEM Foundation Year provides the opportunity to study an integrated 4-year programme where you will complete a Foundation Year before progressing onto a degree in biology, computer science, computer engineering, or geography and geology, subject to passing all assessments. The information below describes the Foundation Year only. The curriculum for the subsequent three years is outlined on corresponding course pages.

      The STEM Foundation Year provides the opportunity to develop scientific skills and knowledge, tailored to your individual needs, that will enable you to progress onto the first-year of selected science-based degrees at Edge Hill University. The programme equips you with the key transferable skills needed for Higher Education and future employment. It is suitable if you meet the University’s minimum entry criteria but do not meet the subject-specific requirements for science-based courses or wish to extend your scientific knowledge base prior to joining a relevant degree. You will develop skills in academic writing, critical analysis, systematic thinking and personal reflection, and receive a broad overview of applied mathematics and physics. The programme includes three pathways which enable you to enhance your scientific knowledge in computer programming, biology or geography. The pathway you will study is determined by your intended degree and whether it is based in the Department of Biology, the Department of Computer Science or the Department of Geography and Geology.

      Please note, this Foundation Year does not normally lead to an award or qualification in its own right, however successful completion of the Foundation Year at the required pass mark enables progression onto a relevant degree at Edge Hill University.

      • Ask Our Students
      • Contact Us
        • Call: 01695 657000
        • Enquire Online
        • Live Chat
      • Student Support
      • Language Centre building
      • Language Centre

      In Depth

      What will I study?

      The STEM Foundation Year combines the core fundamental knowledge, which underpins science subjects, with the skills that form the foundation of studying at university.

      You will hone your skills in academic writing, critical analysis and systematic thinking and learn how to reflect on your academic experiences. A group project enables you to work as part of a team and produce a significant piece of work focused on the acquisition, handling and application of a wide range of information sources.

      You will also receive a firm grounding in applied mathematics and physics and choose from one of three subject-specific modules that provide introductions to computer programming, biology and geography respectively.

      On successful completion of the STEM Foundation Year, you will progress to Year 1 of your intended degree.

      How will I study?

      The programme focuses on student activity as a means of learning. Classes are highly interactive, with practical application of concepts a key factor, as well as cases drawn from real-life. Workshops, seminars, group tutorials and practical activities provide opportunities for you to work interdependently.

      The STEM Foundation Year is delivered on a full-time basis. You may be required to attend up to four days a week. Upon completion of the STEM Foundation Year, you will continue your degree on a full-time basis, with the option to switch to part-time delivery on some programmes if you wish, subject to availability.

      How will I be assessed?

      You will be assessed through a combination of practical exercises, reports, essays, presentations and examinations. We want you to develop the ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team. Assessment therefore includes both forms of participation, though the emphasis is strongly on individual work.

      Who will be teaching me?

      You will learn about the very latest developments in subjects from tutors who are leaders in their fields and whose research feeds directly into their teaching. The programme team regularly engage with the wider business and academic environment in sharing knowledge, while also contributing to academic conferences and journals.


      The STEM Foundation Year is delivered by the Language Centre at Edge Hill University and is available to UK and overseas students.

      The Language Centre is located on the ground floor of the £6million Law and Psychology building. The three-storey building includes a 265-seat lecture theatre, seminar and tutorial rooms, and social learning areas which encourage a more informal and interactive style of learning.

      Upon successful completion of the STEM Foundation Year, you will be based in the Department of Biology, Department of Computer Science or Department of Geography and Geology, depending on your chosen degree.


      Timetables for your first week are normally available at the end of August prior to enrolment in September. You can expect to receive your timetable for the rest of the academic year during your first week. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.


      Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

      Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.


      Expand All

      Compulsory modules:

      IFP0012Academic Writing (20 credits)

      Academic Writing develops concepts such as counter arguments, writing to persuade, comparing and contrasting, formulating effective introductions and conclusions. Different report styles will be introduced including layout, heading/subheading differences and recommendation sections. Elements of writing such as comparisons, discussions and using examples/evidence will also be discussed. The stages of writing, in terms of, planning, organising, rewriting and proof reading will be explored and you will develop your skills in order to produce third person, formal, evidence-backed pieces of writing that contain references both within the text and in the form of a bibliography.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      STM0001Applied Mathematics (20 credits)

      Applied Mathematics recognises that applied mathematics is a fundamental part of any science-based module. Historically major scientific advancements have relied heavily on the concepts and ideas developed within applied mathematics. The module will provide you with a detailed overview of the utilisation and application of mathematics within a wide range of real-world scenarios. You will focus on algebra, trigonometry and scientific functions. You will also solve linear, quadratic and simultaneous equations, functions and their notation, as well as complex numbers, vectors and matrices. You will also develop highly transferable problem-solving skills.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      IFP0003Critical Analysis and Systematic Thinking for Higher Education (20 credits)

      Critical Analysis and Systematic Thinking for Higher Education provides you with a flexible approach to reflecting on your own academic experiences to date. You will critically analyse your knowledge, understanding and skills acquisition and seek to relate them to practical applications of group working, academic debate and presentations. The module will provide tailored approaches and support materials that you can engage with in-class and with support from specialised tutors.

      Assessment: Coursework: 50%, Practical(s): 50%.

      STM0002Group Project (20 credits)

      Group Project introduces you to the importance of discipline-related teamwork. You will work as part of a team, to a given deadline, to produce a significant piece of work. Teamwork is a highly sought after skill in industry and fundamental to Higher Education. Practical sessions will help you to develop the skills and knowledge that are essential to today’s industrial needs. You will focus on the acquisition, handling and application of a wide variety of subject-related information sources and develop specialist skills in research and analysis. You will use these skills to complete a discipline-related group project that includes the development of strategies to help determine solutions to a given scenario relevant to your subject area.

      Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

      STM0005Physics (20 credits)

      Physics provides a foundation in topics that are fundamental to the study of physics and essential for rigorous academic study in science and engineering. The module provides technical breadth and embraces important skills to enable modelling of the physical world. Through a series of lectures, seminars, and tutorials, together with a range of practical laboratory sessions to help reinforce material discussed in lectures, you will use a problem-solving approach to explore classical concepts in physics, covering mechanics, energy, properties of waves, and electricity.

      Assessment: Coursework: 30%, Written Exam(s): 70%.

      You will study one of the following modules. The module you study will be determined by your intended degree upon completion of the Foundation Year.

      STM0004Introduction to Biology (20 credits)

      Introduction to Biology provides an overview of biology at all scales from molecular biology to global ecology. The study of biology is the study of life itself and the module recognises this as it reaches back in time and examines evolution. All material will be related to real-world examples and case studies to ensure that you gain a range of specific practical laboratory and fieldwork skills. The topics introduced in this module will provide a grounding in key biological concepts and principles across a broad biological range.

      Assessment: Coursework: 50%, Written Exam(s): 50%.

      STM0006Introduction to Geosciences (20 credits)

      Introduction to Geosciences equips you with an understanding of the Earth’s systems and related processes. Recognising that geosciences is key to managing resources and sustainability, the module will introduce you to topics such as mineral resources, climate change, water, energy, geohazards, and the relationship between the Earth sciences and human activity. You will receive a detailed overview of the discipline, from basic concepts and principles, to the ability to conduct guided and independent study and evaluate, interpret and analyse your findings.

      Assessment: Coursework: 50%, Written Exam(s): 50%.

      STM0003Introduction to Programming (20 credits)

      Introduction to Programming outlines the foundational concepts underpinning modern computer programming, an area of computer science concerned with the creation of software systems. Such systems can vary significantly in scope and complexity. From the desktop applications we use at work, to the control systems that protect energy grids or manage transactions on the stock exchange. Whether we realise it or not, software is being actively used to support and manage our everyday lives on a grand scale. Indeed, software is now so embedded into our world, that it has become vital to a successful modern economy. The module will equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to create simple software systems using an object-orientated programming language. You will also be introduced to computational thinking and analytical problem-solving techniques.

      Assessment: Coursework: 70%, Written Exam(s): 30%.

      Entry Criteria

      Entry Requirements

      Typical offer 96-104 UCAS Tariff points, for which no specific subjects are required, plus GCSE Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or equivalent).

      Example Offers

      Some examples of how you can achieve 96-104 UCAS Tariff points are detailed below.

      • A Level: CCC-BCC;
      • BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications): Merit, Merit, Merit (MMM);
      • T Level: Overall grade of Pass (C or above on the core);
      • International Baccalaureate (IB): We are happy to accept IB qualifications which achieve the required number of UCAS Tariff points;
      • Access to Higher Education Diploma: 45 credits at Level 3, for example 15 credits at Distinction, 15 credits at Merit and 15 credits at Pass. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

      Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

      If you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven’t been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

      For further information on how you can meet the entry requirements, including details of alternative qualifications, please visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/offers.

      EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at www.edgehill.ac.uk/eu.

      International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international for information on the entry criteria for overseas applicants.

      English Language Requirements

      International students require IELTS 6.0, with a score no lower than 5.5 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

      If your current level of English is half a band or one band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

      Career Prospects

      What are my career prospects?

      The programme will equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to progress onto Year 1 of your intended degree in biology, computer science, computer engineering or geography at Edge Hill University.

      Please note, places on specific degrees are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. In the unlikely event that your intended degree is not available upon successful completion of the STEM Foundation Year, you will be offered the opportunity to progress onto the first year of an alternative degree relevant to your choice of specialism.

      You should be aware that the STEM Foundation Year is designed to enable progression onto relevant degrees at Edge Hill University and may not be accepted by other institutions.


      Tuition Fees

      If you are a prospective UK student who will be joining the STEM Foundation Year in academic year 2022/23, the tuition fee will be £9,250 a year for the integrated 4-year course. Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2022/23 are £15,000 a year.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, as well as Irish nationals, may be eligible for the UK tuition fee rate.

      The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress from the STEM Foundation Year and through your intended degree.

      Financial Support

      Subject to eligibility, UK students joining the STEM Foundation Year can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students enrolling on the programme may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

      For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK students joining the STEM Foundation Year in academic year 2022/23, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2022/23 guide at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradfinance2022.

      EU/EEA and Swiss students who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme may be eligible to apply for financial support. Irish nationals should ordinarily apply to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI). Please see www.edgehill.ac.uk/eufinance for further details.

      Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.


      Ten scholarship winners sitting together in a lecture theatre at the Scholarship Awards Evening.Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time undergraduate students.

      These scholarships aren’t linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

      To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.


      How to Apply

      Apply online through UCAS at www.ucas.com.

      The following programmes are available to apply for in each subject area. Each course has a bespoke UCAS code for its four-year pathway which includes the integrated foundation year.

      Biology and Biosciences

      • BSc (Hons) Biology with Foundation Year – C109
      • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science with Foundation Year – B919
      • BSc (Hons) Biotechnology with Foundation Year  – B219
      • BSc (Hons) Ecology & Conservation with Foundation Year – C189
      • BSc (Hons) Genetics with Foundation Year – SR99
      • BSc (Hons) Plant Science with Foundation Year – CC29

      Computer Science and Engineering

      • BSc (Hons) Computer Engineering with Foundation Year – G609
      • BSc (Hons) Computer Science with Foundation Year – CS19
      • BSc (Hons) Computing with Foundation Year – G419
      • BSc (Hons) Computing (Games Programming) with Foundation Year – G619
      • BSc (Hons) Computing (Networking, Security & Forensics) with Foundation Year – I299
      • BEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering with Foundation Year – H619
      • BSc (Hons) Information Technology Management for Business with Foundation Year – GN59
      • BSc (Hons) Robotics & Artificial Intelligence with Foundation Year – GH79
      • BSc (Hons) Web Design & Development with Foundation Year – W4D9

      Geography and Geology

      • BSc (Hons) Geoenvironmental Hazards with Foundation Year – FF79
      • BSc (Hons) Geography with Foundation Year – F809
      • BSc (Hons) Geography & Geology with Foundation Year – FF69
      • BSc (Hons) Geology with Geography with Foundation Year – 8T19

      Please note, the UCAS codes are specific to the integrated 4-year programmes and are different to the UCAS codes for the corresponding 3-year degrees without an integrated foundation year.

      Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyucas to find out more about the application process.

      Further information for international students about how to apply is available at www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyinternational.

      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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

      Visit Us

      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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/opendays.

      Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about our full range of events for prospective students, including campus tours and virtual activities, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/visitus.

      Request a Prospectus

      If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradprospectus.

      Get in Touch

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

      International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email [email protected] with any queries about overseas study.

      Course Changes

      Expand All This tab 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. Future material changes will be added here as amends are made to course information.

      This tab 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. Future material changes will be added here as amends are made to course information.

      Covid-19 - STEM Foundation Year Essential Information

      Teaching and Learning at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, answers your questions and explains how teaching will work when you join us at Edge Hill University in September.

      Campus Facilities at Edge Hill University in 2020

      In this video Pro Vice-Chancellor, Lynda Brady, explains how we’re preparing the campus for your arrival in September and the facilities that will be available.

      Last updated on Last updated on Track changes to this course Was this page helpful? Yes No Thanks for your feedback! Please tell us more: