Foundation Certificate in Social Sciences

The Foundation Certificate in Social Sciences introduces students to a broad range of subjects including sociology, anthropology, the principles of economics and the international economy. The course is designed to enable students to reach a GCE ‘A’ level equivalent standard and contains two main elements:

Academic skills modules
The course will help you develop key academic skills including research, writing, presentation and analysis.

Subject modules
During the Foundation Certificate in Social Sciences you will cover core subjects of your chosen area of study, including an introduction to sociology and anthropology. Following this, you will progress to more specialised studies that focus on the topics and skills needed most in your chosen undergraduate degree course.

All modules are specifically designed to meet the needs of foundation social science international students. The Foundation Certificate in Social Sciences is taught specifically with your progression to the University of Glasgow in mind.

Academic and language support

The Foundation Certificate in Social Sciences includes academic and language support to help you improve your English language skills and subject understanding.

Find out more about our academic and language support.

A social sciences education: progression to the University of Glasgow

You will progress directly to year 2 of a degree course at the University of Glasgow when you successfully complete the Foundation Certificate in Social Sciences to the required level.

To see these degrees, click on the ‘progression degrees’ box at the side of the page.

Subject modules

Course outline (2 term*)
Two core academic skills modules:

  • Skills for Study 1 and 2

Two core English language modules:

  • Language for Study 2 and 3

Four core subject modules:

  • Introduction to Social Science
  • Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology
  • Principles of Economics
  • The International Economy

Two social sciences pathway modules:

  • The Individual, State and Society
  • Comparative Politics

* Three-term courses contain additional English language modules.

Start date

We have various start dates throughout spring, summer and autumn. For information on later term dates, please contact one of our education advisers.
See key course dates

Course length

Courses start at 2 terms, and can go up to 3 terms depending on your academic and English needs.

Academic entry requirements

Entry to the Foundation Certificate requires you to have passed Grade 12 (or equivalent).

English language entry requirements

You will need to show proof of your English language ability by taking an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) exam.

UK universities demand a very high level of English from all international students. Our university preparation courses are integrated with academic and language support to help you improve your English language skills and progress to university successfully.

Glasgow Student, Sakiko

“Before I came to the UK to study, I was still studying at high school. I wanted to study Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow because the economist Adam Smith graduated from there and GIC would be a great pathway to get into this university.

Before I came to the UK I was hoping to improve my English and especially how to write academically. I was a bit apprehensive about studying in this country because I thought the teaching style would be very different to what I am used to.

I studied the Foundation Certificate in Social Science. The teaching style is very different compared to how it is back home. In Japan we have to memorise the answers for exams but here we need to understand the concept of what we are studying and also write essays.

If I ever needed help my subject teachers were great and they were easily contactable if ever I had a problem. I also had a learning support tutor, who was very helpful and gave me the support when I needed it. What I enjoyed most about my course was that it was taught at the right speed and my tutors taught me until I totally understood. I picked up a lot of academic skills which I know I will need for when I go to university.

Outside of the classroom I joined the Japanese Martial Arts Society and the Scottish Dance society which helped me make more friends of different nationalities.

I think after studying at GIC I have changed as a person. I don’t need to feel worried anymore because if I am having any problems the tutor will help me all the time. Before I came here I was very shy and unorganised. But now I always make a plan before I do something and I always try everything!

My friends and family feel happy because I really enjoyed studying at GIC and they are very proud of me because I understand how to study in the UK and that’s thanks to GIC! They are very happy that I took the step to come here. I feel much more confident. The College has given me the opportunity so it was up to me to make the most of it. I absolutely feel ready to study my degree at university and GIC provided the steps to do so!”

Sakiko Niwa is from Japan and studied the Foundation Certificate in Social Sciences at Glasgow International college