Faculty will welcome Cambridge Foundation Year students as part of landmark University programme

Cambridge Foundation Year

Education will be one of the subjects on offer to students from the Cambridge Foundation Year: a new programme offering talented students from backgrounds of educational and social disadvantage a new route to undergraduate study at the University of Cambridge.

The one-year course, which is initially being run as a pilot scheme, is aimed at applicants who have the ability to succeed at Cambridge but have been prevented from reaching their full potential by their circumstances. It will prepare students for further learning and offer them the chance to progress straight to an undergraduate degree at Cambridge.

The Foundation Year is also free to participating students. Those who have been in care, estranged from their families, or those who have missed significant periods of learning because of health issues are among those whom it aims to reach.

More broadly, the programme will target students whose education has been disrupted and are therefore unlikely otherwise to be able to make a competitive application through the University’s standard admissions process. They may include those who have been unable to access suitable qualifications, students from low-income backgrounds, and those from schools that send few students to university.

Up to 50 Foundation Year students will arrive in Cambridge in the programme’s first intake in October 2022, after applying directly through UCAS by the January 2022 deadline and undergoing interviews and assessments to identify their aptitude. Typical offers will require 120 UCAS Tariff Points, equivalent to BBB at A-Level.

They will study at one of the 13 participating Cambridge Colleges and will be able to enjoy all of the benefits of the ‘Cambridge experience’, such as the close College environment, extensive personal and academic support, a challenging, world-class intellectual programme; and outstanding facilities and opportunities to meet new people from the University’s thriving international community and pursue extra-curricular, as well as academic interests. They will study an engaging, multi-disciplinary curriculum in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences which will prepare them for further study in these subject areas. It is hoped that as the Foundation Year programme develops, more subjects, including STEM disciplines, will be added to it.

On successful completion of the programme, students will receive a recognised CertHE qualification from the University of Cambridge, and with suitable attainment will be able to progress to degrees in Arts, Humanities and Social Science subjects – including Education – without needing to apply to the University again. They will also be supported to find alternative university places if they do not want to continue to full undergraduate courses at Cambridge, or do not meet the required level of attainment.

Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, described the launch of programme as an “historic moment for the University”. He added: “The Cambridge Foundation Year will open up Cambridge to a new field of candidates and transform lives. Students will be drawn from a range of backgrounds, the common link being that disadvantage has prevented them from realising their academic potential. They will benefit from our personal approach to teaching and grow in confidence and understanding, and we will benefit from them joining our community.”

Further information about applying to the Foundation Year Programme and the programme’s course structure and content can be found on the Foundation Year Website.