Essex Pathways

What to expect in your foundation year

A class of students looking interested in what is being said

Enhancing your skills

Every year Essex Pathways welcomes students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. From students who are joining us straight from Sixth Form to those who have been away from education for an extended period of time.

Our foundation year programmes are designed to help support and provide you with the skills needed to make the transition from school or the workplace into university study. During your time with us in Essex Pathways, we will support you in developing these skills, so that when you enter your chosen degree you are already positioned to get the most from it.



How foundation years are taught

You will study four 30-credit modules across one academic year. Three of these modules will be related to your chosen subject area and one will be an academic skills module which will support you with the skills needed for university study. You will be taught by subject specialists and have lectures and classes weekly for each module. You can expect to have around 16 hours per week of timetabled classes, which take place on our Colchester campus. As a University student you'll have full access to the University facilities such as our 24 hour library and our Students' Union.

You'll study in small class sizes, so students get to know each other very well during their time with us. We also run community building and social events to build connections within our student body and help you develop both friendships to last a lifetime and a whole host of other transitional skills.

Each module will have several assessments that you need to complete throughout the year. These assessments will support you in developing a range of skills including essay writing, report writing, presentations, test skills, exam skills, referencing.

If you successfully pass all four modules, you will be able to progress to study a related degree.

How do we support you?
  • We will help you develop the skills you need to succeed in your future degree. In 2022/23 76% of students who graduated and started their studies with a foundation year achieved a 1st or 2:1 in their final degree classification.
  • Throughout the year we will provide you with opportunities to get to know your Year 1 department a little better. You'll have taster lectures, tours of the department, be invited to social events in the department so you'll get a chance to build a connection with them in preparation for your studies once you have finished your foundation degree.
  • Our smaller class sizes ensure you received greater one-to-one support in and outside of the class room. We also provide academic coaches who offer personalised, and focussed coaching conversations to help you improve on a particular skill that will help you with your ongoing university studies, such as time management or motivation. You'll also get a personal tutor that can help you with your academic life, and provide you with guidance and support.

Support outside of the department

We know the transition to university can be challenging, many students may be living away from home for the first time, you have to make new friends and you have a new course to study.  The university has a range of support services to support you when times get a little tricky.  The good news, is that as an Essex Pathways student you also have access to these services which include: