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The Foundation Year by Lesley Onuora

The Foundation Year (shared with Engineering) started in 1989 but I was not involved until 10 years later when I began teaching the Foundation Mathematics module (then called Physical Mathematics). A couple of years after that I became convenor for Physics degrees with a Foundation Year, when Colin Finn retired. By about 2005 the Mathematics Department joined the programme, by which time I had become overall convenor of what became the Engineering, Mathematics and Physics Foundation Year.

Having taught Foundation Mathematics for about 17 years by the time I retired in 2016, I never ceased to marvel at what a good job had been done by the original designer of the module (Peter Dawber[[|]]). In all those years very few changes needed to be made.

In the early years the total number of students was typically around 40 to 50, with about 16 to 20 of these being Physics students. In recent years this increased to over 100 in total, although in general the number taking Physics has stayed much the same, our aim being to select the most suitable students, many of whom went on to achieve very highly.

A new development  has been the extension of Foundation Year Programmes in 2015/16 to other subject areas across the University, largely motivated by the success of our Foundation Year.

November 2016