International Foundation Year in Social Studies and Humanities

Explore the world around you.

Your pathway to a rewarding career

Studying the International Foundation Year in Social Studies and Humanities will introduce you to a broad area of study. We will help you develop your critical thinking skills, creativity, analytical and team working skills, providing you with the essential skills needed as a successful graduate entering the world of work.

What will I study?

The International Foundation Year in Social Studies and Humanities is a 2 semester programme that will prepare you to enter the first year of your undergraduate degree at Keele. Your programme will include four core English and subject-specific modules. You will also choose one of two optional modules that focus on the subjects most relevant to your chosen degree. After successfully completing your programme, you will be able to progress to a wide range of single honours or combined honours degrees.

Foundation Academic English Skills

You will develop your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. This module focuses on the academic English you will need during your degree. You will also be introduced to essential study skills, such as note-taking, referencing and source evaluation. Teaching and learning focuses on grammar and vocabulary, for both general and academic English. You will study this module during both semesters, beginning at a level that suits your individual needs. Challenging yourself in your written and spoken work will be an important aspect of this module.

Project Study

This module gives you the chance to explore an issue or problem of your choice. You will study it during both semesters. Week by week you will develop the knowledge and skills to explore and evaluate issues and problems independently. This will result in your research project. You will develop problem-solving and research skills relating to your chosen pathway. You will also learn the study skills and analytical techniques you need to study an undergraduate degree at a British university. This module aims to provide a supportive learning environment where you will become a questioning, independent learner with rigorous analytical skills to apply to your reading, listening, writing and speaking. You will develop effective methods of research, source analysis and project-planning techniques. It involves individual and group activities in which you will develop your collaboration skills.

You will choose one of the two following options:

Legal Foundations

You should choose this module if you want to progress to an undergraduate degree in Law. It is optional for other students following the Social Studies International Foundation Year pathway. The module introduces you to the main principles and values of English law, and the structures and processes of the English legal system. You will focus on how to apply these principles and values. The module also gives you a range of skills that will be relevant to your career. It is a good option to choose if you want to undertake further legal study, or if your future career will require you to work within legal and regulatory frameworks.

Media, Culture and Creative Practice

This is an optional module for students following the Social Studies pathway, but you should choose it if you want to progress to study media or humanities at undergraduate level. It provides a broad introduction to key elements of media, culture and creative practice. You will study concepts and theories relating to a range of media, and explore the meaning of ‘culture’. The module aims to raise your awareness and appreciation of the impact of these concepts and theories on the world around you. You will also develop practical media skills that will be relevant both to further study of this subject and to other humanities pathways.

Introduction to the Social Sciences

You will study this core module during semesters one and two. It gives you an introduction to the social sciences, including economics, geography, international relations, politics, media, culture and sociology. Exploring a range of topics, you will increase your understanding of the social sciences and the processes that cause change locally and globally. Written, audio, video and online materials will help you to develop a range of skills for independent study. These skills will also be relevant to your future career.

Global Political Economy

This core module covers several subject areas. Its focus is to help you develop well-informed perspectives across a wide range of topics at undergraduate level. It does this by teaching you the theory and technical concepts relating to business economics, international relations and politics. This module may be described as a ‘user guide’ for global citizenship. It gives you an understanding of the different approaches to the central economic problem of scarcity. You will learn the structures and concepts that you will need to study these topics in greater depth during your undergraduate degree.

Prepare for your future

After you successfully complete your International Foundation Year in Business, Economics and Computing programme and achieve the required grades, you can enter the first year of your chosen undergraduate degree at Keele University.

Progress to your degree

You will receive regular feedback on your progress throughout the International Foundation Year. This is to make sure you are meeting all the learning outcomes you will need to succeed in your undergraduate studies at Keele University. Progression is subject to achieving the minimum Academic English Skills (AES) and subject module grades.

The grades below show the requirements for progression for the 2019/20 academic year. These are for illustration purposes only.

Progression requirements are reviewed before the start of each academic year and will be confirmed during your programme induction. To progress to Year 1 of your chosen degree*, you need to:

  • Achieve at least 50% in Academic English skills
  • Achieve a minimum 50% average across all subject modules (minimum 60% module mark in Introduction to the Social Sciences module for undergraduate programmes that include psychology and sociology and minimum 55% module mark in Foundations of Law for undergraduate programmes that include Law)

*The degrees and grades listed below are subject to change.

Degree Programmes Award Overall Grade English Grade
Business and Human Resource Management BA (Hons) 50% 50%
Business Management and Media BA (Hons) 50% 50%
Business Management and Psychology BA (Hons) 50% 50%
Criminology BA (Hons) 50% 50%
Criminology and History BA (Hons) 50% 50%
Criminology and Psychology BA (Hons) 50% 50%
Criminology and Sociology BA (Hons) 50% 50%
English and American Literature BA (Hons) 50% 60%
English Literature BA (Hons) 50% 60%
English Literature and Film Studies BA (Hons) 50% 60%

Outstanding progression rates

86% of students who completed their course at the International Study Centre were offered a place to study at Keele University in 2018.

What do our students say?

Abdullah, an international student, in the International Study Centre building at Keele University

"I'm doing politics; the subjects I'm studying now contain a lot of the information I'm studying next. So when I start first year, I'm going to have a good idea about the background."

Combined honours

You can broaden your skills and career options by studying two subjects in equal depth.

Subject 1 subject 2
American Studies and: Film Studies BA (Hons)
History BA (Hons)
Politics BA (Hons)
Business Management and: International Relations BA (Hons)
Media BA (Hons)
Psychology BA (Hons)
Criminology and: History BA (Hons)
Psychology BA (Hons)
Sociology BA (Hons)
Film Studies and: Media BA (Hons)
History and: International Relations BA (Hons)
Politics BA (Hons)
Psychology BA (Hons)
Human Resource Management and: Psychology BA (Hons)
International Business and: International Relations BA (Hons)
International Relations and: Politics BA (Hons)
Marketing and: Media BA (Hons)
Psychology BA (Hons)
Media and: Sociology BA (Hons)
Philosophy and: Politics BA (Hons)
Psychology BA (Hons)
Psychology and: Sociology BA (Hons)


These degrees and grades are subject to change.

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