International Study Centre

International Foundation Year in Business, Media and Social Sciences - two-semester programme

Choose your own path

The University of Sussex gives students the flexibility to adapt in a changing world. At a certain point during your pathway programme, you will have the option to change your pathway and final progression degree. Our expert staff will guide you throughout the programme to ensure you make the right choices. This gives you the chance to explore the subjects in further depth before choosing the one that interests you the most.

What you'll study

During the International Foundation Year in Business, Media and Social Sciences two-semester programme you will study a combination of academic modules, specific to your pathway, and compulsory modules.

Semester one modules – choose one

This module will provide you with the skills you need to become a successful undergraduate student. These skills will be developed through the context of business, management and economics.

You will explore, analyse and evaluate potential ideas for a micro-business start-up, taking into account the fundamental concepts of business, management and economics. You will be introduced to core business concepts including the managing of small organisations, the managing of marketing and people and the impact of the economy on business. This will require you to develop a range of transferable skills including language and communication skills, study skills, independent learning skills and skills of research and analysis.

This module introduces you to core themes in media studies and film analysis. The Media element develops an understanding of the inter-relationships between technology, media texts, media producers, audiences and messages and promotes your engagement and active participation as media consumers and producers.

The Film element develops your understanding of the core theoretical and practical aspects of film production and your ability to view film with critical awareness. The module develops your study skills, analytical thinking and independent study skills in research

Topics include international development, international relations, comparative law, international law, politics and sociology. You will examine case studies, key terms and concepts, approaches and perspectives to your subject.

Teaching styles include tutorials, workshops, seminars and lectures. Academic skills including research skills will be incorporated throughout the module.

You will develop your independent learning skills and enhance your critical ability. You will engage with formative activities and receive feedback on your progress throughout the module.

You can choose modules from any pathway in order to broaden your knowledge beyond your chosen subject. You can change your chosen pathway and progression degree during your programme. However, you will need to achieve 90 credits required in your chosen pathway to progress.

Business Management and Economics

On this module you’ll receive an introduction to the basic principles of financial accounting and financial management. This will help you develop an understanding of the importance of financial management for a business’s success and survival. You will learn that business finance is of interest to a range of stakeholders and be able to generate accurate and creative solutions to business accounting and finance problems and issues.

You will gain a range of relevant business accounting and finance, and generic skills, including decision-making, problem-solving and the quantification and management of information. This is a practical module, in which you will also be expected to undertake work in your own time.

This module will help to prepare you for entry into an undergraduate degree course in a range of subjects including business and humanities at the University of Sussex.

Through seminars and independent study, you will be encouraged to develop, practise and demonstrate your mathematical skills and to apply these concepts and skills to real-life situations. Throughout the module and integrated into each topic will be a particular emphasis on the use of spreadsheets as tools to help model and solve real-world problems such as calculating net profit, compound interest and depreciation and using statistics.

The Economics module provides you with an introduction to the principles, concepts and models of economic analysis. This provides a framework upon which further economic analysis can be developed. Through seminars, workshops and tutorials, you will explore, analyse and evaluate a range of theories, concepts and models and develop the core skills and knowledge essential for studying economics.

You will be introduced to basic microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts and how these influence businesses and impact upon their decision-making. This will require you to develop a range of subject-specific and transferable skills including language and communication skills, study skills, independent learning skills and skills of research and analysis.

This module provides you with an insight into a range of managerial concepts, and gives you a foundation of knowledge and understanding of what management means. You will explore the concepts of entrepreneurship, leadership and management within a business context. This will enable you to apply a number of approaches for the effective leadership and management of employees within different organisational cultures.

You will develop a range of subject specific and transferable skills including language and communication skills, study skills, independent learning skills and skills of research and analysis.

This module provides you with the skills needed to solve marketing problems. You will be introduced to the basic concepts of marketing, including the marketing mix, product portfolios and marketing tools such as the product life cycle and the Boston Matrix. You will use theories and tools to critically analyse organisations’ marketing. You will individually construct a portfolio evidencing and reflecting upon their learning.

You will have opportunities to practise and develop language and communication skills, study skills, independent learning skills and skills of research and analysis within a marketing context.

Film and Media

This module will equip you with a basic understanding and awareness of visual media and how to convey meaning through the moving image. You’ll be introduced to many of the technical skills required in filmmaking practices. You will develop your team-working and independent working skills across different types of tasks.

You will regularly be expected to present and critically review your work in front of the class. You will also learn how to provide constructive criticism to others and apply it to yourself.

This module will introduce you to the basic theory and concepts of photography as a medium, and develop your appreciation of the possible meanings generated by the still image when placed within different contexts and modes of practice.

You will produce a portfolio of photographic work, and experience the creative potential of photography, and some of the historical and critical aspects of photographic practice.

This module allows you to deepen the knowledge gained in semester one around the language of film. You will move on to study film forms and film movements, engaging with examples from European and global cinema.

You will learn how to analyse film texts according to their historical, cultural and social contexts, by engaging with key theoretical debates and textual analysis.

In this module you will explore some of the key approaches for critiquing, analysing, debating and discussing the meanings and messages communicated by the media.

You will study in lectures, seminars and tutorials, and draw on a range of textual examples from around the world to explore the key questions and debates in media and communication studies.

Social Sciences, Global Studies and Law

This module introduces you to the processes and institutions associated with the English legal system. The module covers key terms, concepts, case studies, approaches and perspectives.

You will develop your research skills through tutorials, workshops, seminars and lectures. By studying this module, you will also develop your independent learning skills and critical ability. Throughout the module you will engage with formative activities and receive feedback on your progress.

This module introduces the key aspects of international development. It includes an introduction to the key actors, institutions and issues in the subject. You will explore key terms, concepts, case studies, approaches and perspectives within international development.

You will develop research and independent learning skills in relation to the subject. Teaching styles include tutorials, workshops, seminars and lectures.

You have the opportunity to engage with formative activities in the subject. You will receive feedback on your progress throughout the module.

This module provides an introduction to the background of international relations. You will study key issues such as war, human rights and the environment. This module also explores the key terms, concepts and case studies of International Relations.

You will develop research and independent learning skills through tutorials, workshops, seminars and lectures. The module offers formative actives and you will receive feedback on your progress.

This module introduces you to key aspects of crime and deviance in sociology. You will explore key perspectives and receive an overview of areas including gender and the criminal justice system. You will also explore sociological concepts and methodology in crime and deviance to enhance your critical engagement with the subject.

This module will develop your independent study skills. You will also improve your research, word processing, referencing and critical thinking abilities.

Core module – studied by all students

You will study these Academic English Skills modules for the duration of your International Foundation Year.

Academic English Skills aims to provide thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable international students to best achieve their academic potential at university. Our Academic English programme is validated by UK ENIC, the UK government agency responsible for providing information and expert opinion on qualifications and skills worldwide.

You will develop awareness and competency in a range of language-related academic skills, including the processes of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures. You will also develop the accuracy and range of written and spoken language required to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence in an academic context.

Alongside your classes, your studies will be supported by an online learning platform, providing you with a range of tasks and activities specifically designed to develop and extend your language and academic skills outside the classroom and to give you more control over your own learning.

Your degree at Sussex

Due to the flexible nature of this programme, you are able to change your pathway and/or progression degree within the first semester. This course can lead to one of the undergraduate degrees listed below (subject to meeting the grades outlined). The degrees and grades listed are valid for 2022/23 intakes only and are subject to change.

Degree Programme NameAwardOverall GradeEnglish GradeGrade Module
No Results

Please note:

Mathematics GCSE grade 4 OR pass in Core Mathematics module required for progression to the following degrees:

  • Business and Management Studies BSc (Hons)
  • Business and Management Studies (with a professional placement year) BSc (Hons)
  • International Business BSc (Hons)
  • International Business (with a professional placement year) BSc (Hons)
  • Law with Business and Management LLB (Hons)

Mathematics GCSE grade 5 OR pass in Core Mathematics module required for progression to the following degrees:

  • Geography BA (Hons)
  • Geography BSc (Hons)
  • Geography and Anthropology BA (Hons)
  • Geography and International Development BA (Hons)
  • Geography and International Relations BA

Mathematics GCSE grade 6/C or equivalent OR pass in Core Mathematics module required for progression to the following degrees:

  • Accounting and Finance BSc (Hons)
  • Accounting and Finance (with a professional placement year) BSc (Hons)
  • Banking and Digital Finance BSc (Hons)
  • Banking and Digital Finance (with a professional placement year) BSc (Hons)
  • Economics BA (Hons)
  • Economics BSc (Hons)
  • Economics (with a professional placement year) BA (Hons)
  • Economics (with a professional placement year) BSc (Hons)
  • Economics and Finance BSc (Hons)
  • Economics and International Development BA (Hons)
  • Economics and International Relations BA (Hons)
  • Economics and Management Studies BSc (Hons)
  • Economics and Politics BA (Hons)
  • Finance and Business BSc (Hons)
  • Finance and Business (with a professional placement year) BSc (Hons)
  • Finance and Technology (FinTech) BSc (Hons)
  • Marketing and Management BSc (Hons)
  • Marketing and Management (with a professional placement year) BSc (Hons)
  • Marketing and Management with Psychology BSc (Hons)
  • Marketing and Management with Psychology (with a professional placement year) BSc (Hons)
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) BA (Hons)

Back to International Foundation Year in Business, Media and Social Sciences overview

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Flexibility at each step

If you're not sure yet which undergraduate degree you wish to study upon progression to the University of Sussex, you will have the option to change your International Study Centre pathway and final progression degree at a certain point during your programme

Three-semester programme

Need to improve your English? We also offer a three-semester version of the International Foundation Year in Business, Media and Social Sciences that allows you to improve your level of English before starting the academic modules.

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How to apply

Ready to apply? Discover how to submit an application and learn more about fees, semester dates and entry requirements.

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University of Sussex International Study Centre

Develop skills to change the world at the University of Sussex International Study Centre. Improve your English, develop your academic skills, and grow the confidence you need to succeed in your degree.

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English language courses

Improve your English skills with one of our Online English language courses designed to support international students studying a pathway programme at the International Study Centre.

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Our Student Enrolment Advisors are available to answer any questions you may have and help you with your application. We can't wait to meet you!