A female student in a lab coat with a microscope

Science with Foundation Year BSc (Hons)

Prepare to take on a Bachelor's science degree with this science foundation year, covering biology, chemistry, earth sciences, psychology, sport and exercise and health sciences.

Key information

UCAS code:


Typical offer:

56 UCAS points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent

See full entry requirements
Study mode and duration
Start date

Showing content for section Overview


There’s more than one route to becoming a scientist. If you don’t have the grades for our other science degrees, this BSc (Hons) Science with Foundation Year course is the best place to start. Once you’re up to speed, you can choose which science degree to move on to after your Foundation year.

You’ll study introductory science and study skills in areas such as biology, chemistry, earth sciences, psychology, sport and exercise science, and health sciences. And develop skills you’ll use throughout your career, from technology to numeracy.

If you want to be a professional scientist, this science foundation degree could be your launchpad.

Course highlights

  • Gain knowledge of many different scientific principles and practices, and build the skills and understanding to use them
  • Get hands-on in our labs, assessing the physical effects of polar conditions in our extreme environments lab, working with medical manikins in our healthcare simulation suite, and monitoring ecosystems in our shoreside marine station
  • Study alongside students from other scientific interests and backgrounds, and be taught by academics and guest lecturers with experience in industry and research
  • Learn how to meet the demands of taking on a science degree at university – including how to conduct field work and write up your findings

After your foundation year

Once you’ve successfully completed your foundation year, you'll be ready to progress onto a variety of undergraduate science and health courses.

The topics and modules you go on to study will depend on the degree course you choose to take.

Note that some pathways may have specific requirements between completing your foundation year and starting the course.

Bachelor's degrees you could progress onto:

Note that courses in dentistry and paramedic science are not generally considered progression routes.

Quick guide to foundation year courses

A foundation year course allows you to:

  • Explore your options before choosing your Bachelor's degree course
  • Experience university life and get a taste for the way you'll be taught
  • Develop the study skills and knowledge you'll need to succeed in your chosen Bachelor's degree
  • Find out more about how this course works in our foundation year guide.

Contact information


+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

Science with Foundation Year entry requirements

Typical offers

  • A levels - DEE
  • UCAS points - 56 points to include a minimum of 2 A levels, or equivalent. Other qualifications such as Vocational A levels (AVCE), BTECs and Access courses will also be considered (calculate your UCAS points)
  • T-levels - Pass (D or E in the core)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) - MPP

You may need to have studied specific subjects – find full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept.

Selection process

  • Progressions onto some pathways will be subject to interview and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.

English language requirements

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications.

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

We look at more than just your grades

While we consider your grades when making an offer, we also carefully look at your circumstances and other factors to assess your potential. These include whether you live and work in the region and your personal and family circumstances which we assess using established data.

Explore more about how we make your offer

Facilities and specialist equipment

SHSSW photo shoot, November 2018
Nursing, Operating Department Practice (ODP) and Paramedic Science students.

Centre for Simulation in Health and Care

This modern facility helps you develop the practical skills you need to work in the health and care-related sciences, in a safe, contextual and realistic environment.

Explore the centre

IMS Pontoon; 18th June 2019

Institute of Marine Sciences

Explore the marine ecosystems of the Solent European Marine Site at our shoreside marine station, complete with floating research platform, £2 million aquarium and laboratory suite, and 2 research vessels, RV Calypso and RV Noctiluca. 

Discover the institute

Student sitting in a harness, participating in sports science test

Extreme environments laboratories

See how altitude and humidity affect people's comfort, performance and survival. Features an immersion pool and swimming flume, which acts like a treadmill for swimmers.

Learn more

The sediment flume in the Physical Geography and Meteorology Lab

Physical geography and meteorology lab

Use specialist analytical equipment and simulation facilities in this lab, including laser particle size analyser, rainfall simulator, sediment flume and 2 Campbell Scientific weather stations.

Learn more about the lab

Person performing a test using an EEG

Psychophysiology laboratory

Record and analyse physical responses, such as electrical activity in the brain, neural processes, blood pressure and heart rate, to explore how the body reacts to different psychological states.

Careers and opportunities

Do you see yourself conducting lab experiments and researching cutting-edge scientific theories? Perhaps you want to help athletes break new records, uncover new ways to protect endangered species, or fight diseases.

Whatever area of science you're interested in, there's never been a better time to become a scientist. Science and technology are key areas of the UK economy and likely to be even more important in the future as low-skilled jobs decline. There's a shortage of science graduates across various fields, and many sectors are struggling to recruit professionals.

This science foundation year, and the Bachelor's degree you move on to, will prepare you for a scientific career that makes a real difference.

You'll have the flexibility to choose what science-related degree you want to study from year 2 onwards, and you'll get ongoing careers support from our Careers and Employability Service for up to 5 years after you graduate from your full degree.

I really liked how I got to experience a lot of different subjects this year. I was able to refresh myself on topics which were covered during my A levels, while also learning new things.

Bethany Southgate, BSc (Hons) Science with Foundation Year

Placement year opportunities

Once you've completed your foundation year and moved on to your full Bachelor's degree, you'll have the chance to do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry.

Taking a placement year will give you the experience you need to increase your chances of landing your perfect role after graduation.

For example, Environmental Science students have taken placements at organisations including Mott MacDonald and Enitial, and Sport and Exercise Science students have completed placements with Portsmouth FC, England Volleyball and the Hampshire Football Association.

We'll give you all the support you need to find a placement that prepares you for your career, and we'll continue to mentor you throughout your placement.


Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. In year 1, each module is worth 20 credits.

What you'll study

Core modules in this year include:

  • Foundation Research Project – 20 credits
  • Introduction to the Biological World – 20 credits
  • Introduction to the Human World – 20 credits
  • Introduction to the Natural World – 20 credits
  • Numeric and IT Skills for Scientists – 20 credits
  • Study Skills for University – 20 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

The modules you study in years 2, 3 and 4 (and year 5 if you do a placement year or choose an integrated Master's degree) will depend on which science degree you choose at the end of year 1.

On this course, you could do an optional work placement year between your 3rd and 4th years. This allows you to get valuable experience working in the industry relevant to your chosen science degree. 

Whatever science degree you choose, we’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • coursework
  • examinations
  • presentations
  • laboratory work

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.


Teaching methods on this science foundation course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • laboratory classes
  • tutorials
  • workshops

You'll be taught by experts that have both industry and research experience across many scientific disciplines.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies.  As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and practical classes for about 15 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in further years, depending on what science degree you choose at the end of your foundation year.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting you

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)

This course isn't currently open to EU or International students.

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.


How to apply

To start this course in 2024, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – Y100
  • our institution code – P80

 Apply now through UCAS


If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form:

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

This course isn't currently open to EU or International students.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.