Foundation Programme in Engineering and Applied Science

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • A level (2020 entry)
  • BTEC
    Extended Diploma: DMM. For more details please see below.
  • International Baccalaureate
    27 overall points and above with 4, 4, 4 at Higher Level.
  • Access to Higher Education:
    Pass your access with 45 credits at Level 3 including at least 15 Distinctions, 15 Merits and 15 Passes
  • Further requirements
    We accept well-motivated and able students with a wide range of qualifications, including BTEC National Diplomas, Access Course Certificates and A Levels.
  • GCSE
    English and Maths: Grade C
More information

Key Dates

Develop your understanding of mathematics and physics to further your studies and kick start your career

Opportunity to progress onto an Aston undergraduate programme

Undertake professional skills training which will provide you with the transferable skills to succeed at university and in your future career

An excellent introduction to studying your chosen subject

Course summary

The course provides a thorough grounding in the key subjects you will need to become an engineer or applied scientist. 

Entry requirements & fees for 2020

Course duration:

Duration: 1 year only


UCAS code: H100

Fees (per annum)

£9,250 (Home/EU) for 2020/21

The Peter N Roberts Endowed Bursary is available for Foundation Year students and is a non-refundable bursary to help support students. Please click here to find out more.

Typical offer level

A level: CCC including a science or technical subject. 


  • Extended Diploma and National Extended Diploma: DMM
  • National Diploma and Diploma: DM plus 1 A-level at minimum Grade B.
  • Foundation or 90 credits Diploma: DM plus 2 A-level minimum grade B National
  • Extended Certificate or Subsidiary Diploma: D plus 2 A-level minimum Grade B

IB: 27 points overall and above with 4, 4, 4 at Higher Level. 

Access to Higher Education: Pass your access with 45 credits at Level 3 including at least 15 Distinctions, 15 Merits and 15 Passes

GCSE requirements: English and Maths, grade C.

We accept well-motivated and able students with a wide range of qualifications, including BTEC National Diplomas, Access Course Certificates and A Levels. Offers are made on an individual basis and may require that you attend an interview. We also consider mature applicants who have industrial experience but do not have relevant academic qualifications.

For any queries, please contact our Admissions Team on 0121 204 3400.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.


Please note that all modules studied during the degree must be passed in order for a student to progress onto a degree programme.

Upon successful completion of the Foundation Year programme you can progress onto any of the Engineering and Applied Science undergraduate degree programmes provided you meet the progression criteria for your selected degree. Progression criteria onto a degree includes the module selected during the Foundation Year, e.g. progression on to a Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry degree requires that the following modules are taken; all core modules plus Foundation Chemistry I, Foundation Chemistry II and Physical Science and Engineering Foundation II. Progression on to other degrees may have a different requirement of modules that would need to be selected. Please contact us if you require information about this.

Please note that you should state your intended progression route (i.e. which degree you would like to progress on to) upon application. 



Course outlines

The Foundation Programme provides a thorough grounding in the fundamental subjects necessary for you to become a respected and successful engineer or scientist. The core modules for progression for engineers are Mathematics, Physics and Professional Skills. Engineering covers a wide range of disciplines and a unique feature of this programme is the opportunity for you to study a subject which will enable you to progress onto the degree of your choice, e.g.  Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Construction Project Management, Logistics with Supply Chain Management or Computer Science.  

The Foundation Programme offers extra support for Mathematics and Physics modules if required by the student. Aston University provides a very supportive environment to all students, but in particular our Learning Development Centre provides additional help to Foundation Programme students in terms of extra sessions in mathematics and physics led by experienced tutors.

Subject guides & modules

Overview of Foundation Prorgamme compulsory modules:

Mathematics 1

To provide a foundation of basic mathematics to support the engineering & science modules within the Foundation programme.  This module will build your confidence and competence in fundamental mathematics.  You will study such topics as numbers, algebra, equations, geometry, trigonometry and graphs.

Mathematics 2

To build upon the basic mathematics of Mathematics 1 to provide a level of mathematics required for progression to the first year of engineering & science degree programmes. In this module you will study: differential calculus, integral calculus, vectors, and complex numbers.

Mathematics 3

The aim of this module is to provide students with the applied mathematical skills and knowledge related to the degree you are moving on to.

Physical Sciences and Engineering Foundations I and II

This module provides a broad-based introduction to the fundamentals of physical science rather than specialised knowledge for a specific engineering discipline. It introduces the nature and practice of experimental work and computer modelling. Concepts such as mechanics, electricity, thermodynamics, ideal gases and optics are included.

Essential Skills for Engineering

To develop the skills and attributes required by a professional engineer and applied scientist and to help you to be a successful learner. You will develop skills in note taking, academic writing, working in a team, self-management, how to communicate effectively, creativity and how to collect evaluate and analyse data from different information sources.

Overview of Foundation Programme module selections:

Biomedical Engineering Foundations

Biomedical Engineering is a broad, interdisciplinary field that applies engineering principles to biology, medicine, and biotechnology. This module provides the fundamental knowledge of biomedical engineering as discipline, alongside with examples on application of available technologies for diagnostics, treatment, modelling and replacement of human body systems, organs or parts.

Construction Project Management Foundations          

This module gives an overview on the largest industry in the world “the construction industry” and its relevant disciplines. It provides the students with an introduction to the knowledge and skills involved in studying three main themes: Civil Engineering, Construction and Project Management. The module involves fundamental theoretical studies and some practical applications which provides a solid basis for those who may wish to study any subject within the construction field.

Electronic Engineering Foundations

This module provides the necessary fundamental knowledge and skills required by an electronic engineer.  You will investigate direct current electrical circuits, capacitors, inductors, alternating current circuits, alternating and direct current generators and motors and digital electronics.

Engineering a Sustainable Future

This modules has been designed to provide students with a wide overview of the meaning of “Sustainability” and the implications of sustainable development. During the module you will learn concepts related to sustainability and how sustainability principles are translated into the business practice through a series of case studies.

Foundation Chemistry I and II

To provide a general background to the fundamentals of the electronic structure of atoms and molecules and an introduction to the physical properties of elements and substances. You will study atoms and molecules, metals, organic and bio-organic materials, inorganic materials, organic chemistry.

Fundamentals of Computing

This module is aimed at introducing some basic and essential computer programming skills that engineers or scientists may need and the fundamentals of computer systems.  You will study such topics basic components of a computer program, basic GUI components, program testing and documentation.

Mechanical Science I and II

To provide an introduction to mechanical engineering. To introduce experimental and design work involving mechanical engineering principles.  You will study such topics as applied mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics.

Systems and Logistics Foundations

This module provides students with a fundamental knowledge of systems thinking, its role in engineering and the role of logistics in society. Topics such as logistics and supply chains, its management in society and the design and re-engineering of logistics networks will be introduced to the students.

Transport Foundations

Provides an introduction to transport, and its place within engineering.  Introduces you to the technology and practice that transport infrastructure and services are built on, and their place in society. Provides you with the key skills to enter a degree in this area.

Learning, teaching and assessment

You are expected to attend lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions. You are also expected to study in your own time and use the resources available to you. These resources include the Library and the Learning Development Centre, where experienced and knowledgeable staff are available to assist you with your studies. You will be assessed by a variety of methods including written coursework, practical work, exams and presentations.

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