Year of entry2018
Start dateOctober 2018
Four years full-time
Two to three evenings a week
The BSc Social Sciences with Foundation Year will introduce you to the main academic ideas, theories and issues within the social sciences and help you understand, analyse and write about contemporary debates. You will receive intensive support to develop the skills and knowledge required to undertake undergraduate studies.
This programme will build your confidence and give you the core knowledge and key skills you need to succeed at university. You will also get a taste of the subject area you are interested in and deepen your understanding of the career potential of your chosen subject.
Upon successful completion of the one-year Foundation Year, you can automatically progress on to our three-year, full-time evening study BSc Social Sciences, or one of the following three-year, full-time evening study undergraduate programmes:
- BSc Community Development and Public Policy
- BA Contemporary History and Politics
- BSc Development and Globalisation
- BSc Environmental Management
- BSc Geography
- BA Global Politics and International Relations
- BA History
- BA History and International Relations
- BA Human Geography
- BA Philosophy
- BA Politics
- BA Politics, Philosophy and History
- BA Psychosocial Studies
You need only complete one application and you enrol onto one programme.
- Birkbeck has been helping people access higher education for nearly 200 years. If you have the commitment and ability to study, we'll find a way to make it happen for you.
- Our Foundation Year programmes will fully prepare you for undergraduate study and are ideal if you returning to study after a gap, or if you have not previously studied the relevant subjects, or if you didn't achieve the grades you need for a place on your chosen undergraduate degree.
- Birkbeck's innovative, creative and interdisciplinary courses will help you become a competent, critical and responsible student of the social world and the psychological and social forces that shape individuals.
- Follow your interests and choose to specialise in communication, geography, history, politics, psychosocial studies, social anthropology or social policy.
- Ours is a vibrant research culture, powered by a shared passion for learning and intellectual engagement among our academics and students.
- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), Sociology at Birkbeck was ranked 13th in the UK.
For the Foundation Year, you take four modules - choosing from Approaches to Study or Approaches to Study with English Language Support and Writing and Language - and choose two option modules at Level 4, each worth 30 credits, to a total of 120 credits.
You will also take an additional module which includes reading groups, critical thinking and analysis, and seminars.
If you successfully complete the year, you can automatically advance to a wide range of three-year full-time undergraduate degrees in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy.
Foundation Year compulsory modules
Foundation Year option modules
We welcome a wide range of qualifications, from the UK and abroad, and we will also consider your non-academic achievements.
We welcome applicants without traditional entry qualifications as we base decisions on our own assessment of qualifications, knowledge and previous work experience. We may waive formal entry requirements based on judgement of academic potential.
UCAS tariff points
The UCAS tariff system has changed for courses starting in September 2017 and is now calculated using a new number system. This means applicants applying for courses from October 2016 will see entry requirements and offers expressed using the new tariff.
The UCAS tariff score is applicable to you if you have recently studied a qualification that has a UCAS tariff equivalence.
International entry requirements
If you are an EU or International student and you are interested in this programme, please contact our International Team for advice and guidance.
Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)
If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.
We are committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies.
Full-time home/EU students, Year 1: £ 6000 pa
Full-time overseas students, Year 1: £ 13000 pa
Full-time home/EU students, Years 2+: £ 9250 pa
Full-time overseas students, Years 2+: £13000 pa.
Please note: the tuition fee indicated here is for 2017-18. The tuition fee for 2018-19 is likely to be higher than the 2017-18 fee, subject to an inflationary increase specified by the government.
Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme, which is confirmed annually at enrolment. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.
Teaching and assessment
Our innovative, engaging teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments.
At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.
Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading.
Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.
In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your Personal Tutor.
Methods of teaching on this course
Most of the teaching will take the form of lectures and seminars. For the dissertation, learning will rely more heavily on one-to-one tutorials and supervisions. Students are encouraged through learning journals and other pieces of coursework to become self-aware and independent learners.
The Foundation Year is composed mainly of interactive, tutorial style classes that support the development of knowledge, skills and confidence.
Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).
Indicative class size
Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to large groups, with 30 to 100+ students in attendance, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups of 10 to 30 students, led by an academic.
Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:
- academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
- written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
- numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).
Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.
Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.
Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short– or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.
Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations. You will be given time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.
Unseen written examinations are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June, and, in most cases, are held during the day on a weekday – if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance. Exam timetables are published online in March each year.
Methods of assessment on this course
A range of assessment methods is used: essays, other written tasks (e.g. learning journals, policy briefs), presentations and end-of-module examinations.
As well as a mark for your coursework and exams, you will also receive feedback from your marker(s) to help you learn, improve and succeed. We encourage you to discuss feedback with your module tutor.
Feedback can come in different forms: notes via Moodle (our online learning environment); a paper copy of a completed feedback form; or in-class or face-to-face feedback. The College Policy on Feedback on Assessment sets out what you can expect from your feedback.
Your department will usually provide you with your marked coursework within four weeks of submission. Your initial mark is provisional until the relevant Board of Examiners has confirmed it.
Your official coursework and exam results will be made available to you via your My Birkbeck Profile online.
Careers and employability
To help you get ahead in your career, we offer free advice and training and our recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, can connect you with employers.
Careers and employability
Graduates can pursue careers in local or national government, education, social work or research. This degree may also be useful in becoming a charity officer, journalist, social researcher or further education lecturer.
Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.
We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.
Go on to work and/or study:
Data from 25 students.
75% of those surveyed responded
Source: Destinations of leavers from HE record
- Go on to work and/or study
- Now working: 40%
- Doing further study: 30%
- Studying and working: 15%
- Unemployed: 0%
- Other: 10%
Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck.
How to apply
If you are applying for a four-year, full-time Foundation Year degree at Birkbeck, you have to apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). To apply, go to the UCAS homepage and click on 'Apply and Track'. You will have to register, giving UCAS a few personal details, including your name, address and date of birth, and then you complete an application form.
Birkbeck offers a range of free face-to-face advice and support to help you make a successful application.
Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.
Application deadlines and interviews
15 January is the first UCAS deadline and the majority of university applications through UCAS are made by then. We welcome applications outside of the UCAS deadlines, so you can still apply through UCAS after 15 January, depending on the availability of places. We also take late applications via the UCAS Clearing system in August.
Read more about key dates for UCAS applicants.
Life at Birkbeck
Birkbeck offers a unique combination of evening study and a matchless central London location, right in the geographic and academic centre of the city, giving you exceptional opportunities.
Accommodation and living costs
Most of our students live in private accommodation, but we also offer student accommodation and access to the professional services of the University of London Housing Services.
The Birkbeck experience
Birkbeck is different: our classes are held in the evening, so your days are free - to study, work, volunteer or just do your own thing.
Birkbeck is committed to doing everything we can to help you finance your studies. Find out about what is available, how to apply and the advice and support we provide.
How to apply
Once you've found the course that's right for you, here's what to do next to get your place at Birkbeck. We can give you the advice and support you need.
Discover more about our comprehensive range of student services, which offer all the support and assistance you need.
Boost your career
Discover how Birkbeck's unique evening teaching, coupled with our comprehensive careers and employability services, can help you get ahead in a highly competitive job market.
Fees and payment
With government loans for undergraduate and postgraduate study, fantastic financial support packages and flexible payment options, there’s never been a better time to study at Birkbeck.
There are lots of ways to come and visit us and meet our staff and former students, including Open Evenings, Open Days and guided campus tours. Discover more here.
New Birkbeck initiative provides life-changing education opportunities for asylum seekers
20 asylum seekers from troubled places around the world joined Birkbeck at the start of the new academic year thanks to the Compass Project, a ground-breaking initiative that provided fully-funded places for them to study undergraduate or postgraduate certificate courses of their choice.
Birkbeck student wins prestigious Institute of Business Ethics’ Competition
David Kerr has been announced as the winner of this year’s Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) student essay competition, for his exploration of the ethical questions of tax avoidance.
Professor Bill Bowring awarded Fellowship of the Academy of Social Sciences
Professor Bowring is a leading expert in the UK on legal and human rights issues in Russia and the countries of the Former Soviet Union, and Eastern and Central Europe.
Sunil Gupta: In Pursuit of Love
Peltz Gallery, 43 Gordon Square
SI-UK International Student Fair Tokyo
Belle Salle Iidabashi Ekimae, Tokyo, Japan
Essay Film Festival Presents: Elizabeth (Katharine Meynell 2016)
Birkbeck Cinema, 43 Gordon Square
Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
Student Rebecca Clossick on research into early modern indoor theatre.
Podcast: The Beirut Triology
Jocelyne Saab talks about her Beirut Trilogy, lauded at the 2017 Essay Film Festival.
Will de-cluttering save the planet?
Professor Frank Trentmann looks at what's being done to reduce our high-consumption lifestyles.