Foundation in Arts and Social Sciences (CertHE)

This is a one-year introductory course that is designed to prepare students for an undergraduate degree in either the arts or social sciences.

Broaden your knowledge

This innovative course lets you explore the past 2,500 years of society and culture.

Boost your career

After the course, you'll be able to progress to one of our undergraduate degrees, joining a top 10 UK university (QS World University Rankings, 2022).

New options

Become empowered to understand how the world really works, and be taught in a leading School of Economics, with our new Economics and Finance pathway.

Foundation in Arts and Social Sciences (CertHE) courses for 2022

Single Honours

Virtual open week 2021

Join our virtual open week - 13 to 17 September.

Book now

Foundation in Arts and Social Sciences (CertHE) at Bristol

This innovative course could be for you if:

  • you want to study for a degree but do not have the qualifications needed to apply for other courses
  • you have had an unconventional path in (and out of) education
  • you are interested in the arts and social sciences but unsure of what subject you would like to study.

It will help you develop the skills and confidence to progress to an undergraduate degree, with the opportunity to find out more about subjects in the arts and social sciences. We also offer a new Economics and Finance pathway.

You do not need to have any prior qualifications to apply.

For more information, visit our Foundation in Arts and Social Sciences website.

The teaching quality is superb and we are given so much support. I have enjoyed the mixture of practical and theoretical work. There are plenty of cultural events going on in Bristol, especially to do with my course.

Antonette, Foundation in Arts and Humanities

Career prospects

On satisfactory completion of the foundation course you can progress to an undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Arts or the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. We cannot guarantee progression to your first choice of degree but, where this is not possible, we will do our best to offer a suitable alternative.

As part of the course you will receive tailored advice from the University's Careers Service.

The course leads to a Certificate in Higher Education that can also be used to apply for relevant degrees at other institutions or for personal or professional development.

Course structure

The course is taught by experts from a wide range of subjects including archaeology and anthropology, classics, English, economics, history, history of art, modern languages, philosophy, film and theatre, religion and theology, sociology, politics and international relations, education, law, social policy, childhood studies and criminology.

You will be taught through a combination of lectures by experts in different fields, seminar and tutorial discussion in small groups, and peer-led sessions with current undergraduates. You will also have one-to-one discussions with tutors.

This course will introduce you to the range of assessments involved in undergraduate study, including written assignments, portfolios, presentations and exams. There is lots of support and advice available, and you'll work closely with your personal tutor to get the most out of the year and think about what comes next.

Promoting diversity

There is no typical student on this course; it attracts a diverse range of students from age 18 to over 70 and from a variety of educational, ethnic, professional and social backgrounds. This diversity is something we celebrate in itself and makes the course an enjoyable and shared adventure.

The course is organised around the question, 'What does it mean to be human?' and the more perspectives we have, the better.

Edit this page