Foundation-year courses in the humanities

What is a foundation year?

A foundation year forms part of a four-year degree and provides the understanding and basis needed to embark on the full degree, for those that have had a break in study, have qualifications other than A levels for consideration or did not get the grades they hoped for in their A levels.

“All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it’s just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.” – Somerset Maugham

“All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary – it’s just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.” – Somerset Maugham

Why study a foundation year? Why the humanities?

Whether you haven't yet submitted your application, if you're worried about whether university is for you, or if you don't meet the entry requirements to apply for a three-year degree, our foundation year may be the perfect way for you to achieve an internationally-recognised degree that can help you progress your career.

The courses you'll take in the humanities will help you to gain confidence, enrich your love of learning and begin your studies in English, creative writing, or history.

  • H Build your confidence – use the foundation year to become more confident, regardless of your educational background
  • H Benefit from our support – your tutors, resources, skills training, and the community of students you will be part of will ensure you are prepared to progress from your foundation year and advance through your chosen degree
  • H Immerse yourself in an academic environment offering a wide range of field trips, access to free cultural events through The Arts Institute, student-led magazines, internships and extra-curricular work experiences

Support your studies with a £500 bursary
If you are holding a valid offer for either of the three humanities foundation courses you will be eligible to receive a bursary of £500 which will be automatically deducted from your tuition fees upon enrolment onto the course in September 2021.

Foundation year courses with humanities

Our four-year degrees with a foundation year may be perfect for you – equipping you with an enabling interdisciplinary knowledge of the humanities.

Watch our video to find out what students have to say about our foundation courses.

Discover our foundation courses

More about the subjects


At Plymouth we embed research in our everyday teaching. Explore with leading specialists, for example, gender and the fascinating ways writers have discussed it since the sixteenth century. From Jane Austen, to the Victorians, to World War I, to now, we ask how did writers imagine and express difference and sameness between men and women?

Do you love to read? Engage with the diversity of English literature across six centuries, from Shakespearean drama to the graphic novel.

Choose from a variety of optional modules exploring literature in relation to history, politics and culture, including modules in creative writing. Follow your own interests in your final year dissertation.

BA (Hons) English is a degree highly valued by employers, so take advantage of our many opportunities for work experience and prepare for a rewarding career.

English and creative writing

BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing at Plymouth is a UK top 20 creative writing department.*

Want to find your voice? Hone your craft as a writer by studying others. Immerse yourself in the words that have shaped our world.

Learn how to write poetry, fiction, non-fiction, screenplays and more. Get published and experience the professional writing process.

Throughout this course you’ll write, think and grow – discovering what sort of writing sets your imagination soaring. Studying BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing will broaden your horizons preparing you for many rewarding professions.


“If there is one thing that characterises the study of history, it is passion. When you explore the past, you aren't just encountering dead people, dusty artefacts, and far away places and times, you're actually discovering the human condition now, why our world has come to be what it is today, a vital living history.”

Dr Darren Aoki, BA (Hons) History course lead

So, what comes next? It’s often said that the best way to see the future is to understand the past.

History at the University of Plymouth helps you do just that, while gaining the professional skills you’ll need throughout your career.

Exploring five centuries of human history, you’ll encounter political intrigue, cultural transformation, war, sex and revolution across the globe. You’ll graduate with the problem-solving and analytical abilities that will give you the edge in the world of work.

“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
George Santayana