Foundation Year students studying in the gardens (credit: Ben Robinson)

The Foundation Year is a fully funded, year-long course designed to help students from socio-economic backgrounds that are under-represented in higher education to reach their potential. Students live and study at Lady Margaret Hall, a college of the University of Oxford. Over the academic year, they receive tuition that is focussed on ensuring that they you go on to succeed at undergraduate level either at Oxford or another top university.

The Foundation Year was born out of recognition of the fact that education in the UK is not equal, and that there are currently under-represented groups of students in Higher Education - typically those whose background generates obstacles to their school achievements. LMH is committed to ensuring that access to Higher Education is fair, and the Foundation Year puts principle into practice by acknowledging that exam grades do not necessarily reflect potential. We accept students onto the Foundation Year with grades that are lower than the traditional Oxford offer (e.g. BBB instead of AAA).

Foundation Year students are not expected to be ‘university-ready’ when they arrive at Lady Margaret Hall. Their backgrounds invariably mean that there will be significant gaps in subject knowledge that must be addressed in order for them to achieve their full potential at university level. The aim of the LMH Foundation Year is to address these gaps and prepare students to succeed at university. This is done through a combination of core modules and subject specific modules, which give the students an opportunity to develop both personally and academically through an immersive educational experience. By the end of the year, any lower A level entry grades of the students will have been mitigated by the educational and pastoral environment of the LMH Foundation Year, and students would be expected to be able to go on to achieve a 2:1 or higher either at Oxford University or another top Russel Group institution.

Applications to the Foundation Year are separate to UCAS, and so will not affect a student’s UCAS application in any way.