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Foundation Year in Science

Learn about the course below

Foundation Year in Science

See How to apply tab
October 2022
1 year full-time
+ 3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£14,000 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Helen Roberts

The Foundation Year in Science is offered as an entry route to a wide range of science degrees operating in the faculty of Science and Technology from those in biology, biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, biomedical sciences, environmental sciences, environmental health, public health or nutrition degree. We have similar foundation year options for computing. engineering, sports science, psychology and law. It is specifically for students who don't yet meet the entry requirements for degree-level study.

Why study the Foundation Year in Science at Middlesex University?

You enrol on a four-year course, which includes the one-year foundation course. If you complete this year successfully you progress directly to the course your applied for – you can also transfer to other degree courses in science subject to availability. The number of students who progress to degree study is  high and in fact many foundation year students have gone on to become some of our most successful graduates.

The Foundation Year is for you if:

  • you do not have the right qualifications for a full degree
  • you feel you are not yet ready for degree-level study
  • you are returning to study and feel you need some help to get up to speed with the demands of learning before embarking on a degree.

How to apply

If you are interested in studying the foundation year you must apply to one of our four-year degree courses. Please have a look at the How to apply tab for further information. Successful completion of the foundation year guarantees entry to your chosen degree.

We offer:

*Please note that it is not possible to apply for the MSci route with a foundation year.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the Foundation Year in Science?

You will study all four modules simultaneously over the year which means you have the chance to examine topics in-depth.​ As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.​


  • Core modules

    • Life Sciences (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module explores fundamental concepts and principles in biology and chemistry to support future studies in programmes related to life sciences. Lectures will provide explanations of key biological and chemical concepts, seminars and workshops will consist of interactive activities and group events, and lab sessions will enable you to develop core laboratory skills and practice.

    • SMART (Students Mastering Academic writing, Research and Technology) (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module introduces some fundamental mathematical topics and concepts that are required in a range of subjects studied at degree level. In a structured and supportive environment, you will begin to develop an appreciation of the importance of mathematics as an aid to understand and describe abstract ideas.

    • Foundation Mathematics (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      This module introduces some fundamental mathematical topics and concepts that are required in a range of subjects studied at degree level. In a structured and supportive environment, you will begin to develop an appreciation of the importance of mathematics as an aid to understand and describe abstract ideas.

    • Chemistry (30 credits) - Compulsory​

      The aim of this module is to provide you with an understanding of the fundamental concepts in chemistry and biochemistry to support your future studies in Natural Sciences. You will study a range of topics such as atomic structure, chemical bonding, acids and bases, and chemical equilibria. Your learning will be enhanced through laboratory sessions, enabling you to put theory into practice.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the Foundation Year in Science taught?

The Foundation year aims to engage you in all aspects of your learning.

You will gain knowledge, understanding and skills through interactive online lectures, and workshops, online activities and tests, guided research, individual and group projects and virtual laboratories and face to face laboratories, COVID-19 permitting. You will receive formative verbal feedback in live teaching practical sessions and summative feedback is provided electronically and/or verbally.


Your knowledge and understanding is assessed by individual written assignments and tests, pair and group presentations, learning logs, and demonstrations.

Changes for students in 2021

If you have travel restrictions to the UK due to coronavirus, this course can be started fully online with support to learn from your home country for the first term.

We are back on campus for the majority of teaching in Autumn 2021, as long as restrictions allow. Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

In case of any changes to government guidance, we‘ll be ready to move to teaching with more restrictions in place and continue to give you an excellent learning experience. In this scenario, on campus teaching should continue although more of your course will take place online.

The table below gives you an idea of what your learning will look like across a typical week. Some weeks might be different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information may change slightly as we receive further guidance from the government. You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario A: Without social distancing

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

8 hours

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

4 hours

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

2 hours

Scenario B: With social distancing and/or with restrictions on travel to campus

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per level:

1 day (6 hours) per month

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

10 hours

Tutor set learning activities

Average hours per week, per level:

2 hours

These hours will vary significantly in certain weeks due to on campus lab sessions.

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our plans for in-person on campus teaching following government advice to keep you safe. If more restrictions are put in place in the future, or there is another lockdown, we’ll deliver your learning and support fully online for a temporary period. We’ll make alternative arrangements for any required placements if they can’t go ahead as planned. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2021/22

Read our guide to what you can look forward to when you study your subject with us including more information about your teaching experience this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

Dr Helen Roberts
Programme leader

Dr Roberts gained a PhD from the University of Glasgow where she investigated the molecular events surrounding steroid-induced skeletal growth retardation. Following this, she moved to the University of Sheffield where she investigated epigenetic biomarkers which were able to predict cancer progression. She has since coordinated research projects both at KU Leuven in Belgium, where she researched the role of epigenetics and autophagy in critical illness-induced bone loss, and at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry where she used genome-wide molecular profiling to identify epigenetic biomarkers associated with inflammation and immune suppression in critically ill patients. Dr Roberts currently coordinates a research track investigating the epigenetic regulation of aberrant cellular behaviour and subsequent skeletal tissue morbidity. She has a particular interest in the role of epigenetics and autophagy in the regulation of osteosarcoma metastasis and chemoresistance.

Duncan Allardyce
Lecturer in Biochemistry

Duncan teaches across the Chemistry and Life Sciences modules on the Foundation Science programme. He has spent several years working in student support and teaching roles at university level and specialises in lecturing fundamental Biochemistry topics. Duncan completed a Master of Science by research with distinction at Middlesex University and continues his studies with an ongoing PhD/MPhil. His main research interests involve a range of computational, biochemical and bioinformatic approaches with applications in drug design.

  • Trisha Lonergan

    Biomedical Science BSc

    I highly recommend the Foundation Year in Science course, especially if you’re a mature student, like me. I had been out of education for 8 years when I started, and, now that I’m in my first year, I’m really seeing the benefits of having that foundation knowledge.

    I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the course. The scientific content was genuinely interesting and thoughtfully chosen to prepare you for your degree. There is an academic writing module which teaches you referencing and hones your command of the academic language, which are invaluable skills for your future endeavours.

    I found all the tutors to be passionate about their subject, which was both motivating and a joy to experience. I never once felt under-supported; tutors were always willing to speak to me after class and were very responsive through e-mail. They genuinely want to see you achieve your best – all they ask for in return is your commitment.

  • Carolyn Sarracino

    Biomedical Science BSc

    Having the opportunity to study Biomedical Science with a foundation year was definitely one of the best decisions I made. I felt that every day I was developing new skills and a better understanding of the science behind every subject. I definitely felt more prepared after completing the foundation year and it gave me an insight into what it's like being a university student.

    I also learnt how to write my references correctly and how to interpret data using statistics. I developed independence and confidence towards my studies and I truly believe that all the skills I developed during the foundation year have truly helped me become a better student.

    I'm now a final year student working on my dissertation project on cancer biology and applying all my skills that I have learnt throughout these years. I feel confident and determined to be the best scientist I can be and I am extremely thankful for all the help and support that my lectures and tutors provide me with.

    I would definitely recommend to anyone to do a foundation year as it prepares you very well for the world of science.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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