Foundation Frequently Asked Questions

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Choosing a course

Q: I am a mature student with non-standard entry qualifications but you do not offer a foundation year route onto the full-time degree I want to study at the University of Sheffield. What can I do?

A: You have two main options. One would be to apply for our part-time Foundation Programme in Combined Studies and then, during your second year of study with us, apply via UCAS to the particular degree you are interested in. UCAS applicants who apply from the Foundation Programme to departments at the University of Sheffield are usually guaranteed an interview if they are predicted a grade of 60 or more in appropriate subject modules.

The second option would be to explore what other opportunities you might be able to access at your local college or by distance learning, for example by studying for an Access to HE Diploma or A levels. See here for more information on preparing for university study.

Q: I want to apply for one of the foundation years that lead into a full-time degree, but I’d like to study the foundation year itself on a part-time basis. Is this possible?

A: We have two possible routes you could take for this, depending on which degree you want to study:

  • You could apply to our part-time Foundation Programme in Combined Studies and then, in your second year of study with us, apply via UCAS to the particular degree you are interested in. UCAS applicants who apply from the Foundation Programme to departments at the University of Sheffield are usually guaranteed an interview if they are predicted a grade of 60 or more in appropriate subject modules. If you want to follow this option, be sure to mention in your application statement which full-time degree you would like to apply to through UCAS in the second year of your studies.
  • The other would be that you could apply for one of our part-time degrees with a foundation year that also have a full-time option. It may be possible to start part-time doing the foundation programme and then change to study the degree full-time later. Please check with our foundation admissions department to verify this option is available to you: foundation.admissions@sheffield.ac.uk
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Application process

Q: "I am not yet 21 years old, but see that your courses are specifically designed for mature students. Can I apply?"

A: We particularly welcome applications from mature students, but we will also consider applications from younger applicants in certain circumstances. We would usually expect younger applicants to have been out of full-time education for a number of years and to have developed additional skills as a result. We will therefore look for evidence in your application that you have the potential to succeed on a degree course with us and this can be demonstrated through a combination of work, life-based and prior educational experience. We would also usually expect you to explain why you wish to apply for a foundation year pathway rather than some other means of preparation for study. See our eligibilty requirements page for further information

Q: I have missed the January UCAS deadline for applying. Am I now too late to apply for one of your full-time degrees with foundation year?

A: No, we generally accept applications up to June via UCAS, and we also consider later applications through UCAS's Extra and Clearing. If you are unsure, please call our team on 0114 222 7000 and we will be happy to advise you.

Q: Are your degrees with foundation year available through UCAS Extra?

A: Yes, please see here for more information on how to apply through UCAS Extra: www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/track-your-application/extra-choices

Q: Can I apply for the degrees with foundation year through Clearing? How do I go about this?

A: ’Clearing’ is a UCAS system that allows applicants who do not hold any offers after the final application deadlines to make late approaches to individual University courses.

We will be considering applications to our degrees with foundation years through Clearing this year, if we still have places that haven't been taken up. Any vacancies will be listed on the UCAS and University of Sheffield websites during the week of Clearing. Please check Clearing dates on the UCAS website, or contact us for further advice.

Our Clearing webpages will provide further guidance at this time, but in the meantime please look at the general UCAS guidance on clearing, which explains the process in more general terms: www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/results/no-offers-use-clearing

Q: I haven’t worked or studied for a long time, so I don’t have anybody who can provide an academic or work reference. What shall I do?

A: We recommend that you provide a reference wherever possible, but this is not absolutely essential. If you are unable to provide a reference, please tick the option on your UCAS application to confirm that we do not require a reference.

Q: My circumstances have changed and I need to defer my entry to the part-time Foundation programme to next year?

A: Deferred entry is not usually available for part-time applications, however you can always submit another application next year.

Q: I do not have copies of the qualification certificates that I listed on my UCAS application. Do I have to apply for copies from the relevant exam board and submit them?

A: Yes, we ask that you make every effort to let us see original copies of your certificates wherever possible, but please let us know if you have been unable to obtain copies (for example, if you have been out of education for a number of years).

Q: I am having difficulty completing my online UCAS application, can you help?

A: If you look at the UCAS website at: www.ucas.com/how-it-all-works/undergraduate/filling-your-application, you will see an overview of how to complete your application; from registering to adding your A Levels and selecting courses. There's quite a lot to fill in, but you don't need to do it all at once – you can save what you have completed so far and then log back in again later. You can also watch how-to videos, and there's more detailed advice within the Apply system that gives you step-by-step advice.

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Entry requirements

Q: What qualifications do I need?

A: Please see here for full details of our eligibility requirements

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Fees and financial support

Q: What are the fees for the full-time courses?

A: Fees for full-time students are outlined on the following page: www.sheffield.ac.uk/dll/fees-funding/full-time

Fees for part-time students are outlined on the following page: www.sheffield.ac.uk/dll/fees-funding/part-time

Q: What are the fees for the part-time courses?

A: Fees for part-time students are outlined on the following page: www.sheffield.ac.uk/dll/fees-funding/part-time

The fees to be charged by the University will be updated on the University website and if there is any inconsistency between a print publication (such as the prospectus) and the website, the website should be taken as correct.

For more information on part-time fees visit: www.sheffield.ac.uk/dll/fees-funding/part-time

Q: Where can I find information about other financial support?

A: There are a number of grants and scholarship schemes available that you may be eligible for: www.sheffield.ac.uk/funding

The fees calculator will give you an indication of your entitlement to funding: www.shef.ac.uk/undergraduate/finance/help/student-funding-calculator

Depending on your circumstances, you might also be eligible for further financial support such as a means tested living cost grants, loans and bursaries. More information on our financial support can be found here. www.sheffield.ac.uk/undergraduate/finance/help (Please note that part-time students are currently not eligible for means tested living cost grants.)

You may also contact the finance team for advice on your personal circumstances by emailing them at: financialhelp@sheffield.ac.uk or phoning: 0114 222 1319

Q: Where can I find information about funding for students with disabilities?

A: Information about financial support for students with disabilities can be found at: www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/finance/disability_support

Q: Where can I find information about financial support for childcare?

A: Information about financial support for students with children: su.sheffield.ac.uk/student-advice-centre/living-in-sheffield/students-with-children

Q: Can I study an individual module and if so how much will it cost me?

A: No, you cannot study Foundation modules individually.

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Course structure

Q: How many hours per week can I be expected to attend and when would these be timetabled?

A: Full-time students will typically have 12 hours a week face-to-face class time during term time and can expect to be studying up to 40 hours in total in many weeks. If you are studying part-time you can expect to spend about half this time in classes and studying independently. Most of the teaching will be during the daytime, but there will be some evening teaching too so part-time students who have other commitments will usually be able to confine their attendance to two afternoons/evenings per week in the first year of their studies. We will provide a provisional timetable to those who are offered places in the early summer so you can begin to plan any other commitments you may have around your studies.

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Being a student at the University of Sheffield

Q: Where can I find information about student life?

A: Find out more about being a student at the University of Sheffield: www.sheffield.ac.uk/undergraduate

Q: I have pre-school age children. Is free childcare available?

A: The Students’ Union at the University of Sheffield runs a nursery on campus for children from 6 months upwards: su.sheffield.ac.uk/advice-support/children-s-services/nursery We recommend that you contact the Nursery at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss your requirements and reserve a place.

Some students may be entitled to subsidies or grants to help with the costs – you can find more information here: www.sheffield.ac.uk/finance/students

Q: Can I use University accommodation?

A: Yes, if you are a full-time student. The University provides accommodation for all full-time first year students – you can find information here: www.sheffield.ac.uk/undergraduate/accommodation

There is specialist accommodation for families and couples: http://360degreevirtualtours.group.shef.ac.uk/endcliffe/accommodation/families-and-couples

The University also has a Property Shop which helps students find privately rented accommodation:
www.propertywithus.sheffield.ac.uk

Please note that University accommodation is not available for part-time students.

Q: What support will I get as a student?

A: At the Department for Lifelong Learning we have a dedicated a Student Support and Welfare team, to find out more information about the services they provide please see www.sheffield.ac.uk/dll/help and you will also have a named Personal Tutor. 

There is study skills support from the University’s 301 centre: www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/301 and also specialist support teams for mature students: www.sheffield.ac.uk/undergraduate/mature/support and disabled students: www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/disability. You will have access to all the University’s services, including the Student Union: su.sheffield.ac.uk/, whether you are studying on a full-time or a part-time basis.

Q: How do I register for Disability support?

A: If you need support for a disability, we recommend that you register for it as soon as possible - you can find all the contact details at: www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid/disability

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Course induction and registration

Q: What happens in ‘Orientation Week’?

A: Orientation Week is a programme of events for full-time students in the week beginning of September. The programme gives you a chance to make new friends and find your way around the University campus before the start of the academic session. Special events are planned for mature students and foundation year students – we will send you all the details nearer the time.

Q: When is Intro Week?

A: Intro Week is the beginning of September. During this week there will be lots of events in the University and the Student Union, as well as course registration and induction. Some of the events are very important for you to attend, so please make sure you will be available throughout this week.

Q: When is the course induction?

A: For full-time and part-time students, induction events will take place throughout the beginning of September. Full details will be given to students nearer the time.

Q: When will I choose my modules?

A: We will discuss your module choices in general terms at interview and will contact offer holders during the summer to establish which modules you will be studying. Your module choices will be confirmed when you complete your registration in person during Intro Week.

Q: When will I get my timetable?

A: We will provide a provisional timetable to offer holders in early summer with the module choice information, so you can begin to plan any other commitments you may have around your studies.

Q: How do I register?

A: Before the start of your course you will receive email instructions for pre-registration, which need to be completed online. During Intro Week you will be asked to attend a face-to-face session to complete your course registration.

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Any other questions

If you have any other questions, the University of Sheffield's FAQ database contains answers to hundreds of commonly asked questions: www.sheffield.ac.uk/study/askus

or you can contact us: email: foundation.admissions@sheffield.ac.uk tel: + 44 (0) 114 222 7000