Learning about humanities

The Foundation in Arts and Humanities (CertHE) is a one-year course designed to reach those who could not access a university education in any other form and who might think university was out of their reach. There are no formal entry requirements to the course. Students have aged from 18 to over 70 since the programme started in 2013. 90% of them have not had A-Levels.

The programme is structured around the question ‘What does it mean to be human?’, which students explore from the present day, starting with Hollywood films and looking back over 2,000 years of history and ideas. It introduces a range of study skills, from note taking and time management to essay writing and speaking in seminars.

The course has always aimed to recruit students from the local area, with more than 50% of students so far based in Bristol. The university has worked with a range of community partners, such as Single Parent Action Network (SPAN) and Bristol Refugee Rights, to develop taster courses that allow people to find out about the course and develop new skills.

Many students come from a disadvantaged background or previously had a poor experience in education.

So far, 90% of the 94 students who enrolled on the one-year course have completed it; 74 of those students have gone on to a degree. They are studying a wide range of subjects including Anthropology, History of Art, Liberal Arts, Film and Television, and Childhood Studies.

The first Foundation students to graduate completed their degrees in July 2017.

Policy area

Related case studies

Media Enquiries
Policy Enquiries

Follow us on Twitter