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Humanities Foundation Preparation for degrees in social sciences and media

Foundation student in the UK

Bellerbys Oxford, our specialist centre for humanities, provides a stimulating, modern learning environment for students with a passion for the study of human culture. 

Located in one of the UK's leading university cities, our centre is surrounded by historic architecture, vibrant culture and fascinating heritage. World-renowned for excellence in education, Oxford is a place that continues to attract the best students from the UK and across the world, facilitating the meeting of great minds. 

The Bellerbys Humanities Foundation is also offered at our Brighton centre.

Humanities subjects are those that study human culture.  For students who are interested in studying subjects like Psychology, Media, International Relations, Politics, Geography, English Literature and other related fields at university, the Bellerbys Humanities Foundation programme provides the basic skills required to study any of these subjects at degree level in the UK.

Humanities Foundation

Once the Humanities Foundation programme has been completed successfully, you can progress to one of our destination universities. See the progression tab for more information about where previous students have furthered their studies after Bellerbys.

Please note: university entrance requirements can change and successful completion of the programme is no guarantee of admission to that university.

Key facts…

  • Age: Students are normally 16.5 or over
    Please note: Brighton – students joining the Foundation Programme must be under 19 years of age
  • Course length: 3 terms Start dates: September, October and January – see term dates & 3.5 term starting week commencing 31 October 2016
  • Entry requirements:
    • Satisfactory completion of secondary or high school
    • IELTS 4.5 or equivalent (for the September start) or IELTS 5 or equivalent (for the October and January start).
  • Fees: Please visit our Fees page to calculate your fees.
  • Note: Students starting Foundation Preparation Programme in October have the opportunity to become accustomed to their environment and British teaching styles. In the first term, October – December, students benefit from extra preparation in English and critical thinking skills and additional university guidance, as well as being given a supervised self-study enrichment project and taster lessons. Foundation study will begin in January.

Humanities Foundation students spend 18-25 hours per week in class. The course is modular in structure and consists of core modules studied by all Foundation students and modules tailored for Humanities students.

Core modules

Foundation English Skills 1

Develop the ability to read academic texts, write short academic texts, take notes from writt en and oral sources and use spoken English to discuss a variety of topics.

Foundation English Skills 2

Improve all the abilities in FES1, developing greater accuracy, speed, cohesion, organisation and presentation.

Foundation English Skills 3

Develop academic English skills for university. This continually assessed course module includes an extended research essay based on an aspect of British culture, debates and discussions, listening, note-taking and summarising as well as oral presentation.

Computer Information Technology

Improve IT literacy and creativity using MS Office, Business and Media applications; develop internet research skills.

Humanities modules

As well as the Core Foundation modules, students will also study the following specialist modules (Brighton and Oxford):

1. Psychology

Cognitive, Social and Media Psychology

Cognitive Psychology: learn about the structure of human memory; models of memory and strategies for memory improvement. Social Psychology: study the explanations for aggressive behaviour and aggression in crowds and study

a) the psychology of addiction, models of addictive behaviour, vulnerability factors in addiction and types of intervention, or;

b) media psychology: the role of persuasion and attitude change in decision making, influence of TV on persuasion and the psychology of celebrity.

2. Psychology 2 Approaches to Psychology, Research Methods and Ethics

Gain an understanding of different approaches to Psychology, its Research Methods and Ethics; study theoretical ways of approaching psychology as well as practical ways of conducting investigations in psychology; learning to plan and produce and evaluate research methods; learning to design your own research study and how to conduct them; learning ways to collect, analyse and present data. It also includes looking at the British Code of Ethics in Psychology when doing research and learning includes various ethical considerations in the various types of research.

3. Psychology 3 Physiological Psychology

Physiological Psychology: understand stress and the psychological stress response, stress related illness and the immune system, factors that mediate stress, ways of coping with the stress response, methods of stress management; Abnormal psychology: learn about eating disorders and study either a) schizophrenia or b) depression: their classification and diagnosis as well as explanations for these disorders.

Students at Brighton will also study the following specialist modules:

1. Sociology 1 Sociological Research Methods, Families and Households

Gain an understanding of key aspects of sociological concepts and methodology; learn research methods as a preparation for research projects; study the key topic of the family.

2. Sociology 2 Mass Media and Globalisation

Study two major issues affecting contemporary society: the influence of the mass media and the impact of globalisation.

3. Sociology 3 Deviant & Criminal Behaviour

Consider deviant behaviour in society, look at sociological and non-sociological theories of criminal behaviour and consider the impact of such behaviour on society as a whole; complete a major project.

Students at Oxford will also study the following specialist modules:

1. Media 1 Film

Learn about film analysis and production via discussion and analysis a variety of films; plan and produce:

a) an analysis essay on a film of your choice;

b) a short film (around 4 minutes); gain an excellent preparation for entry to film school at undergraduate degree level.

2. Media 2 Advertising & Marketing

Analyse advertising campaigns and study the processes of advertising and marketing; work on a practical project, designing an advertising campaign using image-editing software.

3. Media 3 Newspapers & Magazines

Study the influence of the media on society through looking at British news; topics include moral panics and bias; use Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Publisher to create a selection of magazine pages.

On successful completion of the Humanities Foundation you can progress to an undergraduate degree at one of our destination universities.

Below are just a few of the destination universities & degrees of our 2015 Humanities students.

Degree subject University
Archaeology University of Edinburgh
Combined Honours Newcastle University
Communication, Media & Culture Oxford Brookes University
Criminology University of York
Criminology University of Surrey
Criminology & Psychology University of Southampton
Flexible Combined Honours University of Exeter
Education Studies (Psychology) Durham University 
Psychology (Applied) Durham University
Psychology University of Bristol
University of Surrey
International Relations and Politics University of Sheffield
Media  University of Sussex
Media & Communication Goldsmiths, University of London
Management & Marketing Queen Mary, University of London
Media Studies University of East Anglia
Journalism Goldsmiths, University of London
Psychology Durham University
Psychology  University of Exeter
University of Surrey
Swansea University
Politics University of Edinburgh
Practical Film Making Central Film School London
Scandinavian Studies with German University of Edinburgh
Social Anthropology University of Edinburgh
Social Sciences University of Bath
Sociology University of Surrey
Sociology University of Manchester
Sociology University of Lincoln
Sociology (Including a Year Abroad) University of Essex

The added benefits of studying a Humanities Foundation

Our enrichment programmes are built into the daily timetable to allow you not just to study a topic, but to experience and understand what it means in a more practical environment.

Term 1 Enrichment Programme Overview

Example for Bellerbys College Oxford our specialist college for Humanities students

All enrichment activities will fall within the following 3 areas; Project work, specialist course skills, core personal development skills.

These activities include:

  • University and corporate guest speakers
  • Student-led, practical, task based workshops
  • Diverse presentations and workshops
  • Trips to universities, local businesses and international businesses
  • Clubs and societies
  • Student projects and committees
  • Forums and webinars
  • Gallery and museum trips

Term 1 Activity includes:

  • Project work: Tour of Parliament, The Kite Runner and Angry Brigade theatre trips
  • Specialist course skills: Police and crime commissioner Oxfordshire (speaker), (speaker), Warwick University (speaker), Green Peace and Amnesty International (presentations), StudyGroup and Knight Frank (corporate speakers)
  • Personal development skills:Design your future UCAS workshops and career fairs, plus an offsite confidence and communication skills team building day, Southampton University / Surrey University (personal statements), Durham University (research and referencing), Surrey (C.V. writing, taster lectures)

Enrichment fully integrated within the academic learning outcomes

Our enrichment activities will be timetabled to coincide with academic module learning outcomes. The enrichment programme is weaved in to the weekly timetable and is an integral part of the overall enjoyable and confidence building learning experience Bellerbys offers.


Timetable Sample Term 1 from September 2015 Oxford Campus

Business Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
 1    Psych/Soc/Med
 FES 1
 CIT  Enrichment
 2  Tutorial  Psych/Soc/Med
 FES 1
 3  Psych/Soc/Med
 FES 1
 FES 1
 6  Study Period
 Enrichment  Lunch
 7  FES 1
 IELTS  Study Period
 8  FES 1
 Study Period
 IELTS  Study Period
 9  Enrichment

FES1 – Develop the ability to read academic texts, write extended texts, take notes, listen actively and participate in discussions.

Period  9 example of enrichment options in term 1:

Weekly Critical Thinking, Model UN, 3x termly Debating Club, Fortnightly College Magazine/Yearbook, (for those studying Media: Film Club. Photography Club, Art Hub)

To study the Humanities Foundation you will need to have completed secondary or high school to a satisfactory level.

Contact our team of expert Student Enrolment Advisers to find out if your qualifications meet the entry requirements.

English language requirements

To study the Foundation programme you will need to take a UKVI IELTS English language test and achieve a minimum level of 4.5 overall (for the September start) or level of 5 overall (for the October and January start).

English Language Preparation Programme (ELPP)

If you do not meet the English language requirements for entry to the Foundation you can study one, two or three terms of English Language Preparation prior to the start of your academic programme. The length of your English Language Preparation Programme will depend on your current English language level.

Contact a Student Enrolment Adviser to take our English Assessment Test and find out how much preparation you require.

The Bellerbys English Language Preparation Programme is a fast, personalised and highly effective programme that will fully equip you to succeed in your studies. The programme comprises 25 hours per week of general English, examination preparation and skills classes. Throughout the programme you will be closely monitored by a personal tutor and tested regularly to ensure you reach the English language level required for your academic programme.

Please note that the English Language Preparation Programme (ELPP) incurs additional fees on top of your academic tuition fees. Visit our fees page for details and to calculate your fees.

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Study this course in:

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Not quite ready for the Foundation?

Study the key GCSEs you need to progress to the Bellerbys Foundation with the Bellerbys Pre-Foundation programmes