Course overview

The course offers a progression route and a way to gain direct entry to our undergraduate degrees in the College of Business and Social Sciences.

As well as developing your subject-specific knowledge it will build on your key skills, such as teamworking and leadership to start you on your path towards your future career.

You will study core content but also have the opportunity, to choose from optional modules.  This way you can make sure your foundation course is tailored to your interests and the path to your chosen degree.

You will also have the opportunity to conduct your own research project.

Why Foundation Programme in Business and Social Science at Aston University?

TEF Gold 2023 logo
Gold standard teaching
Aston University was awarded Gold - the highest possible rating for the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2023)
Triple accredited icon
Recognised for quality
Aston Business School is proud to among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation
Book and pen
Safe in our hands
An excellent introduction to studying your chosen subject
Graduation cap and certificate
Development opportunities
Opportunity to progress onto an undergraduate degree programme
Career - suitcase
Broaden your perspective
Sample a number of different business and social science subjects and find where your passion lies
QS World University Rankings logo
66th in the world
We’ve been ranked as 66th in the world for business and management studies (QS World University Rankings By Subject 2024)

Course description

Foundation Programme in Business and Social Science

Our Foundation Programme in Business and Social Science at Aston University will equip you with a fundamental understanding of the study of business and social sciences at higher education level, preparing you for progression onto one of our undergraduate degree programmes.

arrow icon

What we will provide
First-class teaching in the UK’s second-largest city, delivered by a diverse array of staff who will inspire and excite you. You will be taught in a similar manner to all other years of study at Aston University, therefore you are provided with a similar experience to all other students attending the University.

user icon

What you will provide
It is important you learn how to adapt a growth mindset to your studies – understanding that intelligence and success come from applying yourself. You must have drive and be willing to grow as an independent learner to take advantage of our resources and truly accelerate your potential. 

graduate cap icon

What skills we teach
Through a range of teaching methods, you will develop and perfect core skills such as your critical thinking and teamwork. You will become a great communicator and learn how to present your ideas effectively. We will also ensure that you are fully equipped to study your chosen undergraduate course.

How you will learn

During your foundation year, you’ll have excellent support from your tutors and lecturers. We also have a Learning Development Centre that can provide additional support, and a peer-assisted learning scheme. Group projects will give you the chance to meet new people, make new friends and build a network of people who will share your university journey.

What you will learn

The programme is structured around four core shared modules and two ‘soft’ pathways reflecting a specialist focus on business or social science. Optional modules are reviewed each year and may change to reflect the expertise of staff, current trends in research, student feedback, or demand for certain modules.

If you would like to progress to BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance or LLB (Hons) Law, you will need to pass your foundation year with at least 50% overall. All other progression routes can progress with a minimum 40% overall pass.

Course objectives

  1. Provides a knowledge and understanding of key concepts and debates in business and social science suitable for progression to degree programmes in the College of Business and Social Sciences.
  2. Develops the essential study and research skills needed to be successful on a business and/or social science degree programme in UK Higher Education.
  3. Develops the transferrable and communication skills required to be successful on a degree programme in the College of Business and Social Sciences.


Modules and learning outcomes

The 12-month programme is made up of 120 credits which you will need to complete and pass before you can progress onto an undergraduate degree. 

Year 1 modules

In your first year you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Introduction to Data Analysis15
Foundations of Academic Research15
Academic and Professional Skills15
Leadership and Management15

For the Aston Business School Pathway, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
Introductory to Marketing15

For the School of Social Sciences and Humanities Pathway, you will study the following core modules:

Module TitleCredits
The Foundation of Modern Politics15
Understanding Society: Power, Identity and Inequality15

You will choose two of the following optional modules:*

Module TitleCredits
Security and International Relations15
Business Model Generation15
Developing Products and Services15
Introduction to Accounting and Finance15

*Availability of any optional modules will be subject to staff availability and a minimum number of students who express an interest in studying the optional modules.

Year 1 outcomes

On successful completion of the first year, you will be able to:

  • Identify and discuss key concepts using appropriate terminology required for business and social science.
  • Apply key concepts and theories in business and social science to real life contexts.
  • Apply the knowledge, skills and methods required to research practical solutions to problems.
  • Collect, present and evaluate data from a variety of sources.
  • Reflect upon your learning needs.
  • Communicate effectively using appropriate media.
  • Demonstrate your ability to work with peers on problems related to tasks in social sciences and business.

Entry requirements

  • A Levels

    CCC (standard offer)

BTEC Extended Diploma – DMM (standard offer)

The University also accepts the BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate/BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma/BTEC Level 3 Diploma for entry onto degree programmes, provided that they are studied in combination with other qualifications that are equivalent to three full A2 Levels.

27 points overall in the IB diploma with grades 4,4,4 in 3 higher level subjects.

You must also have Standard Level grade 4 in Mathematics and grade 5 in English Language.

The following T Levels are accepted qualifications for this course:

  • Design, Surveying and Planning for Construction - grade M
  • Digital Production, Design and Production - grade M
  • Education and Childcare - grade M
  • Onsite Construction - grade M
  • Building Services Engineering for Construction - grade M
  • Digital Business Services - grade M
  • Digital Support Services - grade M
  • Health - grade M
  • Healthcare Science - grade M
  • Science - grade M

GCSE requirements vary depending on the course you would like to progress to. Please see the progression course page for full details of GCSE requirements.

All courses require a minimum of:

  • GCSE Maths – grade C/4 (some progression courses require a B/5 in GCSE Maths)
  • GCSE English Language or English Literature – grade C/4

Some progression courses require 5 GCSEs grade C/4 or above including English and Maths.

International students

Aston University is a diverse, close community and welcomes international students on many of our undergraduate programmes. Students from over 120 countries choose to study with us every year. Based in the centre of Birmingham, Aston is not only a great place to study, it’s also a great place to live.

Qualifications in your country

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.

English language requirements

International students can enter at Year 2 of this course having completed an undergraduate year one programme at the required academic level with approved teaching partners ONCAMPUS Aston or NCUK.

Aston University provides a range of opportunities for international students to join our community and study on our campus. A key part of our strategy is our relationships with teaching partners, providing multiple pathways to Aston.

Aston’s professional work placements can improve your chance of securing a graduate job. Placements give you experience, confidence and opportunities and, as an Aston student, you’ll be better prepared for your future career. One of the great things about Aston is our focus on employability. Our close links with businesses, industries and professions make this possible.

Find out more about applying

Post-study work visa

Aston University welcomed the creation of a new Graduate Immigration Route which enables international students to remain in the UK for two years after you complete your studies to find work. This new post-study work visa applies to international students completing full-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Graduate Immigration Route

Fees and scholarships

Course fees

UK students

Annual tuition fees:£9,250

International students


More information on fees

The United Kingdom government has confirmed that European Union (EU), other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals commencing academic courses in England from August 2021 will no longer be charged the same tuition rates as UK students.

Tuition fees for students are reviewed annually and may increase in subsequent years in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering the Programme. Any such increase shall always be in accordance with the law. When undertaking a placement year, a placement year fee applies.


At Aston University we are committed to supporting the most talented and hardworking students to achieve their potential by providing a range of scholarships to help lower tuition and living costs.

Explore our scholarships 


You will be assessed through a combination of written and oral examinations, class tests, individual and group coursework, projects, presentations, and practical assessments.

Frequently asked questions

Why study the Foundation Programme in Business and Social Science at Aston University?

If you don’t currently have the grades or subjects to progress straight onto an undergraduate degree programme within the College of Business and Social Sciences at Aston University, the Foundation Programme will equip you with the ideal base of knowledge to get you into your chosen study and career path.

You’ll be taught by Aston University staff, refining your knowledge, professional and study skills to prepare you for your chosen degree programme. You can choose to then study one of our business or social science programmes, with an integrated placement year, providing you with invaluable work experience, and even onto a Masters programme.

How will I study on the Foundation Programme?

Students will receive timetables that details the room and time of each subject. Each module will have a lecture that is delivers course content to all the students and seminar in smaller groups to provide more focused skills required for each module. Each module will have a total of four hours of teaching each week.

Is Birmingham a good place to study?

Our campus is based in the centre of Birmingham, the youngest major city in Europe and a great place to live, work and study.

  • Great music and entertainment with a vibrant nightlife. Bars, clubs, pubs, live music, festivals, concerts. Whatever your tastes, there's something here for everyone.
  • Fantastic food. Birmingham's diverse community means you can try anything from the famous Balti triangle, the Chinese Quarter, high street chains, halal and vegan food, and Michelin-star dining.
  • World-class shopping. The Bullring and Grand Central is a shopper's paradise. From the world's biggest Primark to luxury brands at the Mailbox.
  • Arts and culture. Museums, galleries, theatres, concerts and Birmingham's art collection is as wide as it is impressive - not to be missed.
  • Green, open spaces. One of the greenest cities in Europe, Birmingham has hundreds of publicly accessible parks and green spaces across the city.
  • Sporting action. Birmingham has some of the most exciting venues for watching or participating in sport in the UK.

Discover Birmingham


Register your interest