Durham University, Foundation Centre
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Durham University, Foundation Centre

Durham University has a long tradition in higher education. It received its university charter in 1837 after several centuries without any new universities in England. This makes it the third-oldest university in the country. Strong rankings and an excellent international reputation for research make Durham University a leading candidate for students from Asia.

To that end, the university’s Foundation Centre prepares international students who need to take additional classes before applying to a degree programme in the UK. The standard course takes one year to complete and specifically prepares students to earn a degree from Durham University.

The Sunday Times University Guide listed Durham University as a top-four UK university in 2013. Recently, the QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education University Rankings both listed Durham University as a global top-100 contender. Needless to say, a degree from Durham University is highly sought after, with several listed among the best in the UK according to national rankings.

Preparing for a degree course at Durham University

The Direct Progression Programme is offered through the Foundation Centre and essentially serves as Year 0 of a four-year degree programme at Durham University. It provides students with the skills knowledge that they need to proceed with a degree at the university. Coursework includes core modules in academic English, mathematics, critical thinking and study skills.

Over the course of one year, students will complete the equivalent of 12 modules. These are given during two overarching teaching blocks that span three terms. A standard teaching week involves 18 hours of class time, and students are expected to spend an additional 18 hours studying outside of class.

Student life

The Foundation Centre provides courses at Durham City as well as at Queen’s Campus in Stockton. Students enjoy the same support and lifestyle as full-time university students. They have the option to live in one of the campus colleges, which provides a supportive community and opportunity to develop academic skills, gain experiences and build a stronger network. Even those students who live off campus still belong to a college.

Furthermore, students at the Foundation Centre enjoy a full suite of supportive services. For example, each is paired with a college tutor who can assist them with specific issues on campus as well as financial considerations and career counselling services.


Connect with Durham University and learn more about the Foundation Centre on Facebook.