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Humanities Foundation

Starting September 2016 | Full-time (1 Year) | City Campus

***Course is subject to validation***

Ever wondered what makes us human? What drives our culture, society, interests and creative pursuits? These are the kind of questions you can explore via different subjects in humanities.

This foundation year will prepare you for degree level study in a range of disciplines across Humanities whilst emphasising the transferable skills of research and communication, employability and independent learning.

Through studying distinctive and stimulating modules, you will engage in a theory and practice combination where you get to pursue your particular academic interests. On successfully completing the foundation year you will qualify to join any of the following degrees:

  • BA (Hons) American Studies
  • BA (Hons) English Language Studies
  • BA (Hons) English Language and Literature
  • BA (Hons) English Literature
  • BA (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing
  • BA (Hons) English Literature and History
  • BA (Hons) History
  • BA (Hons) History and Politics 

Learn from the best

Learn from our team of experts who are active researchers and are keen to share their enthusiasm and cutting-edge insights. Our dynamic team have received international recognition for their quality of teaching and research, in some areas 100% of students agreed that staff are good at explaining things and are easy to contact National Student Survey 2015.

You’ll be supported to develop the skills to plan, manage and review your work and be offered pastoral support to help with any issues that may impact on your studies.

Teaching and assessment

Your tutors will use a variety of teaching methods including lectures, small-group discussions and individual tutorials. These will be backed up by regular feedback and consultation hours during which you can discuss your progress with a personal tutor and ask further questions. We make sure that extensive feedback from tutors and peers is built into the course.

Our assessment strategy is designed to support student-centred learning, based on our understanding that everyone has different needs, strengths, and enthusiasms. Assessments will develop your communication skills while also testing your grasp of the learning outcomes for each module. 

Learning Environment

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) is embedded throughout the course with tools such as the ‘Blackboard’ eLearning Portal and electronic reading lists that will guide your preparation for seminars and independent research. The use of TEL enables us to ‘flip’ our classrooms where appropriate, so that contact time is focused on answering questions and applying what you have already learnt.

Northumbria’s excellent library was ranked #2 in the UK in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey for 2015. There are over half a million print books and another 500,000 electronic books available online. The University has invested in specialist linguistics software and further facilities are available at the Institute for the Humanities, in the University’s Lipman Building. These include a resource room, specialist computing equipment and interview rooms.

Research rich learning

Research excellence is embedded into our teaching. All core modules are designed to develop your understanding of theory and research methods.

As you progress through the course you will learn how to conduct research, critically assess the work of others, investigate and solve problems and to translate findings into intellectual questions and arguments.

Career edge

The primary purpose of the foundation year is to prepare you for further study at undergraduate level in a broad range of courses

Employability is embedded throughout our learning and teaching strategies. Core and optional modules cultivate your competence and self-confidence, enhancing transferable skills such as effective time management, excellent communication, good team work and high level of analysis.

Throughout your foundation year, you will have the opportunity to engage with a wide variety of organisations, including the heritage sector and social enterprise to understand how your studies relate to real world challenges. There’s a strong focus on enterprise activity which will allow you to develop skills and experience that direct entry onto a degree level course may not provide. 

Your future

On successful completion of this foundation year, you will be able to transition smoothly to an undergraduate degree course. Having experienced the various sub-disciplines within Humanities, you will be more confident about choosing the best course for you in English or History.

Whatever you decide to do, you will have strong employability as a result of having acquired the characteristics of a Northumbria graduate. These include critical reflection and self-learning, collaboration and curiosity, and the ability to apply your knowledge to solve problems in ways that are sustainable and ethical.

Entry Requirements

Compulsory Requirements

A good GCSE profile is expected including Maths and English Language at minimum grade C or equivalent

Plus one of the following:

  • GCE and VCE Advanced Level:

    200 UCAS tariff points

  • Edexcel/BTEC National:

    Merit, Merit, Pass.

  • Scottish Highers:

    CCCC at Higher level, BC at Advanced Higher.

  • Irish Highers:


  • IB Diploma:

    25 points

  • Other QAA-recognised access programme:

    Full Access Award. Some units to be achieved at Merit.

  • International/English Language Requirements:

    International applicants are required to have one of the following English language qualifications with grades as shown below.

    • A British Council International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.0 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 5.5
    • Pearson Academic score of 54 (or above) with a minimum score in each component of Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking of 51

    The University also accepts many other English language qualifications and if you have any questions about our English Language requirements please contact the International Admissions Office and we will be glad to assist you.

    (Direct entry to the final year of this programme requires students to have IELTS 6.5 or equivall


Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted using the details below:

UK/EU Applicants Contact Details:

TEL: 0191 227 4444 or EMAIL:

International Applicants Contact Details:

TEL: 00 44 191 227 4274

FAX: 00 44 191 261 1264


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