Regulation C2: Foundation Year Programmes

1. Scope

This regulation covers all of the University’s Foundation Year programmes at Level 3 and sets out the fundamental structure of these programmes and the requirements to obtain an award and to progress to the next level of study at Keele.  

Where there are further programme specific deviations or exemptions from the University’s Regulations, these will be set out in the relevant Programme Specifications.

2. Admission

By accepting a place at the University, you confirm that you will abide by the University’s rules, regulations and policies set out in the Keele Policies and Regulations.

3. Programmes of study

3.1 You must enrol for your programme of study prior to the start of the academic year by the deadline, which will be notified to you by the University.  

3.2 If you request a change of Foundation Year programme or Foundation Year route after the start of a semester or if you wish to change any of the modules you have chosen, this is subject to the approval of the Director of Foundation Year or their nominee. Approval depends on having met the pre-requisite academic requirements for your new programme and availability of places.  You will not normally be permitted to change programme within the Foundation Year or your modules later than three weeks after the start of the semester.

4. Maximum period of registration

4.1 The maximum period of registration  to complete your programme of study is stated in Regulation C1 and is calculated based on the duration of the degree programme plus the Foundation Year.

5. Structure of modular Undergraduate Degrees

5.1 Modules

(a) All programmes of study covered in this regulation are modular. The credit value for any module is a multiple of 5, and no module has a value of less than 15. 1 credit equals 10 learning hours.

(b) Modules are compulsory or optional, depending on your programme of study.

(c) Any module may have prerequisites, co-requisites and barred combinations and this is set out in the module catalogue.  

(d) Any module may be offered in semester one, semester two, over both semesters or exceptionally outside the approved semester dates.

(e) All FY modules are at Level 3 (pre-degree) and can normally only be taken at that level, with the exception of language options.

5.2 Recognition of Prior Learning

Where you are admitted with a recognition of prior learning or with advanced standing, the value and level of credits recognised by the University in relation to meeting the requirements will be determined in line with the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy

6. Module assessment and reassessment

6.1 Assessment

The main University rules describing the assessment and reassessment of modules are provided in Regulation D1.

6.2 Reassessment

The following deviations from Regulation D1 apply to Foundation Year programmes:

If you fail a module at the first attempt you will be permitted a further assessment attempt which will be capped at the pass mark for the module. The actual achieved mark of that reassessment will be noted by the examination board for progression purposes only. Your transcript will show the capped mark only. 

If you pass a module at the first attempt but require a higher pass mark for progression purposes at Keele you will be allowed one reassessment opportunity in the module. The mark of this second attempt will not be capped at the pass mark. The higher of the two marks achieved will be used for progression purposes but it will be the mark from your first attempt that will be shown on the transcript.

Once you have met the progression requirements of Keele University for your chosen degree you will no longer be required, or eligible, to undertake further reassessment.

7. Module condonement and compensation

The Foundation Year awards credit through condonement of modules. Condonement can be applied and credit awarded for a single module with a mark between 35 and 39 up to a maximum of 15 credits. This is a deviation from University Regulation D5.

8. The Foundation Year Certificate

To be eligible for a Foundation Year Certificate, you must be awarded at least 120 credits at Level 3. The Foundation Year Certificate is an interim award which will not be awarded to you if you continue to progress to Level 4 at Keele University unless:

(a) you leave the University after successful completion of the Foundation Year, or.

(b) you do not successfully complete any further years at Keele.

9. Award classification rules

The Foundation Year Certificate is a classified award at Level 3. Classification of the Foundation Year Certificate is based on the average mark achieved over the 120 credits.


Required Average Module Mark


40 - 49% 


50 - 59%

Upper Merit

60 - 69%


at least 70%

10. Progression to Level 4

10.1 Progression Requirements

Progression to Level 4 of a particular degree programme at Keele depends on you meeting the following requirements:

(a) passing all modules of the Foundation Year. To pass a module, it is necessary to achieve a module mark of 40;

(b) achieving the published threshold mark for each Semester 2 module for your programme. The threshold mark is typically 50% but may vary for certain routes as listed in the relevant programme specification.

Additional requirements may apply depending on your chosen programme of study, such as progression interview or evidence of work experience.  Subject-specific progression requirements are reviewed from time to time and can be found in the Programme specification.

If you pass the Foundation Year with 120 credits but do not achieve the progression requirements of the receiving School after you have completed all your assessment attempts, you are not eligible for guaranteed progression to Level 4. However, you may be considered for a change of programme or route at the discretion of the relevant School.

11. Repeating the Foundation Year

11.1 If, after the end of the Semester 2 reassessment period, you have passed less than 120 credits and have not previously repeated the Foundation Year, the Foundation Year Examination Board will offer one of the following courses of action:

(a) that you retake the Foundation Year in full;

(b) that you retake specific Foundation Year modules on a part-time basis.

11.2 If you are offered one of the repeat options listed above, you are only able to repeat the same Foundation Year route by permission from the Director of Foundation Year. This permission may be granted after taking the following information into consideration:

(a) The number of missed deadlines or assessments

(b) Your attendance at mandatory sessions, with the expectation of a minimum of 70% attendance

(c) Your performance in subject specific modules which should be above 30%

(d) Any exceptional circumstances which you submitted during the academic year

12. Termination of studies

If, after the end of Semester 2 reassessment period, your credit total is below 120 and you have previously repeated the Foundation Year, the Foundation Year Exam Board will recommend that your studies are terminated. Other circumstances where your studies at the University could be terminated are described in Regulation B8.