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Hoping to study under some of the UK’s leading football academics? This one-year football foundation course will help prepare you to undertake a specialised football degree here at Southampton Solent University. You’ll spend the year working on fundamental academic research skills and begin to build a broad knowledge of the academic theories that relate to football studies.

  • Solent is one of the UK's leading providers of football specific education, and is the only UK institution to provide a football focused foundation year.
  • Students develop the key academic skills required for study at degree level.
  • Southampton Solent University is recommended as a ‘leader in football-related academic study’ by The Times Good University Guide.
  • Successful completion of this course grants students entry onto one of Solent’s full undergraduate football degrees.
  • The University is an accredited centre for football coaching with ties to 1st4Sport and the FA.
  • Learners are taught by UEFA ‘A’ and ‘B’ Licence Coach Educators, Pro Licence holders and National Futsal tutors.
  • Students benefit from extensive industry links, including a longstanding relationship with Southampton FC.
  • The University has provided administrative education for FIFA, the FA, the Premier League, the Football League and more than 60 professional clubs. It’s also home to the Lawrie McMenemy Centre for Football Research.
  • Practical sessions are taught at the University’s multi-million pound Test Park football centre.

The industry

In the 2013/14 season the English Premier League generated revenue of almost £4 billion, more than any other European league. With revenues from the five major European leagues rising by 15% this year alone, this large and growing industry offers a wealth of opportunities suitable for properly prepared graduates.

The programme

This foundation year, which is the only one of its kind in the UK, supplements Southampton Solent University’s portfolio of football related honours degrees. With over ten years of successful delivery, this course will provide you with the appropriate skills, knowledge and academic literacy required to progress onto either:

Solent University is proud to offer students a supportive learning environment. Face to face academic support is complemented by 24/7 access to our virtual learning environment. 

Next steps

Interested in pursuing a football related honours degree? This unique Football Foundation Year will help you get to grips with the essential academic skills required for degree-level study. Following this year, you will be fully prepared to progress onto one of Southampton Solent University’s professionally accredited football studies degrees.

Have you got a question about applying?




Typical entry requirements

2016 entry
80 UCAS Tariff points

2017 entry - New UCAS Tariff
32 UCAS Tariff points

Year one:


Core units:

  • Developing Professional Practice
  • Essentials of Employability
  • The Leisure Industry
  • Contemporary Issues Football Project
  • Football in the Contemporary World
  • Fundamentals of Football Activity
Programme specification document

Teaching, learning and assessment

The course is taught through lectures, seminars, practical projects and portfolio work. On the Contemporary Issues project unit, you can select your own project topics which can be related to your long-term study interests within football.

Group work is balanced with individual study throughout the course, as is the mix between theory based and practical learning.

Work experience
Although it is optional, you will be encouraged to seek work experience throughout the course. Solent’s strong links to the football industry provide plenty of opportunities for work experience; previous students have undertaken work experience with Hampshire Football Association, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Sports Partnership and Solent Sport.

The course is assessed using a combination of continuous assessment, written reports, practical presentations and examinations.

Our facilities

Practical sessions will take place at Test Park, the University’s multi-million pound sports development. Facilities include:

  • A multi-purpose, all-weather, full-size 3G sports pitch
  • A Wessex League floodlit football stadium
  • Two adult size grass pitches
  • Three mini-soccer pitches
  • A rugby pitch
  • A venue for Football Association coach education courses.

Study abroad

For international students, we offer a specialist International Football Foundation Year.

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick and convenient online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information to enhance student learning.


Meet the Team

The academic staff on the Football Foundation Year are actively involved in professional football, in roles including elite player development, scouting, performance analysis, coaching, football development and professional practice. Others have active involvement in the leisure industry in general, while practical units are taught by ‘A’ and ‘B’ Licence Coach Educators, Pro Licence holders and National Futsal tutors.

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

The skills that you develop on this course will prepare you for degree-level study at the University, while the introduction to football will give you a strong base for any higher-level studies in football you may pursue in the future.

Links with industry

We have strong links with a range of relevant employers in sports and leisure, ensuring an exciting programme of guest lectures by active industry professionals from organisations which include:

  • the Football Association
  • Hampshire Football Association
  • Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Sports Partnership
  • Southampton Football Club.

You’ll also hear from a number of speakers from other football industry organisations, and are encouraged to attend FA Licenced Coaches conferences.

Students will also benefit from Southampton Solent’s official partnership with Southampton FC, while the course team also has excellent working relationships with key stakeholders including UEFA, the Football Association, the League Managers Association and various other professional clubs.

Transferable skills

You will build a wide range of transferable skills, including verbal and written communication, creative thinking, analytical thinking, project management, teamwork, self-evaluation, presentation, academic literacy, numeracy, IT and problem-solving.

Further study

The foundation year is specifically designed to provide the strong knowledge base you’ll need to take a place on one of Southampton Solent’s highly-rated football studies degrees:
BA (Hons) Football Studies
BA (Hons) Football Studies and Business

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates

While the foundation year is specifically designed to provide an entry to degree-level study, graduates from our BA (Hons) Football Studies and BA and BA (Hons) Football Studies and Business courses have gone on to secure roles with a vast range of football clubs and organisations.

Solent graduates have recently worked for the FA, Premier League clubs including Chelsea FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Manchester City FC, and international clubs and organisations such as Klepp Elite FC (Norway), FC Spartak Moscow, FC Rubin Kazan, the Lithuanian Football Federation, the Latvian Football Federation and Major League Soccer (USA).


Key facts


Location of study:

Study mode:

Entry requirements


UCAS have updated their tariff points for 2017 entry. Please click here for more information.

80 points (for 2016 entry) or 32 points (for 2017 entry) from:

  • A minimum of two completed A-levels, a BTEC Extended Diploma at PPP or BTEC Diploma at PP or equivalent.
  • GCSE mathematics and English at grade C or above. 
  • We will consider mature students who have not recently undertaken a formal course of study at A-level, or equivalent, but can demonstrate relevant work or voluntary experience, that's indicative of their ability to complete the course successfully.
  • We will also consider overseas applicants in an equivalent situation to UK students as outlined above, and who have been taught in English or have IELTS 5.5, or equivalent.
We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.0 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT 71 with a minimum of 19 in in each individual component- TOEFL is only valid for EU students
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.


Costs involved


Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £9,000 per year

International full-time fees: £10,000 per year

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit:

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.

How to apply


Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services


Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.



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