School of Business and Law

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student stressing over studying

What if I don’t get the grades for my choice of uni?

Are you concerned about not getting the grades you need for your choice of uni? Well, don’t be, there are options available to you!

Image of Dr Clare Forder

Dr Clare Forder, Foundation Year Course Leader

Here at Brighton, we offer foundation year courses in Business Management; Accounting, Finance and Economics and in Law, to help students progress onto a full degree. The entry requirements are lower than a standard degree, but once completed you can seamlessly go onto our Business and Law degrees.

Many students are unaware that a foundation year is an option for them, so we caught up with Dr Clare Forder, the course leader for all our foundation degrees, to find out more about Foundation Year courses, and why they could be the route for you.

What is a foundation year – why would you consider one?

“A foundation year is a great way of bringing your studies and knowledge up to a level where you can then go on to start a full degree. This is particularly helpful if you have been out of education for a while, did not get the grades you hoped for at A Level (or equivalent), or are looking to make a career change and want to learn more about a specific subject. It gives you a great platform for moving onto higher level studies and most of all, students report a foundation year gives them a big confidence boost before starting their degree.”

What will you learn on a foundation year? Is there a particular emphasis?

“Here at the School of Business and Law, Foundation Year students are exposed to many different ways of teaching and learning, all of which are designed to them enhance their skills, knowledge and experience.

UN development goals logo

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.

Students will develop their personal learning and study styles, experience how to handle data and statistics, delve further into their chosen subject area, and focus on their professional development. In keeping with the School’s mission and vision, the concept of Responsible Enterprise underpins the whole course, and through this, students are introduced the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and how they relate to their studies.

Additionally, we have a strong focus on wellbeing. This is embedded in one of the first semester modules and continued throughout the programme so that issues of wellbeing and mental health are normalised and students can develop means of self-management right from the start.”

What is the profile of students who take the foundation year?

We are fortunate to welcome a wide range of students onto our foundation year pathways. We have students following the typical school/college to university route, but we also have those who have undertaken a gap year (or two!), those who are in work or running their own business, student parents and mature students. This makes our classes and discussions very interesting as students can offer ideas and suggestions from various different perspectives.

Why do students have to do a numeracy module?

Good question! We are often asked this by students on the Law pathway in particular. The numeracy and data handling module is critical because it helps students develop the quantitative skills they will need throughout university, regardless of their chosen studies. Each degree requires students to conduct research at some point and these skills will be necessary! However, it is also important for students to be competent in this area as it’s also something employers want from new graduates.

What is the Introduction to Wellbeing & Study Success module, why do we have it and what does it do?

The module I want to focus on is Introduction to Wellbeing & Study Success. We designed this as a core first semester module so students would start their university journey knowing that we are committed to supporting them – and helping them support themselves – in every way.

Research tells us that student mental health concerns are rising significantly, and with most students transitioning to university at a time when mental ill-health may start to present, we saw this as a critical moment to begin embedding wellbeing into the curriculum.

We look at areas such as stress management, self-worth, how to look after your money and how to budget, and more. Importantly, we bring in our wellbeing staff from across the university so students are fully aware of what support is available to them and so that they are introduced in person to the people who may be able to help them.

We want to move from simply signposting support services to ensuring students understand what’s available to them and how to access it.

What happens at the end of the foundation year?

At the end of the foundation year if students have passed the course, we look forward to welcoming onto their chosen degree. There is no need to reapply as we will process the progression to first year by asking students to complete a transfer form. Some students know which degree they want to do but others don’t – where that is the case we have a collection of Course Leader videos for students to watch to find out more about the courses. We can also arrange for students to speak directly with their prospective Course Leader if they have specific questions.

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Clare Prust • June 25, 2021


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