Astrophoria Foundation Year logo
Astrophoria Foundation Year logo

Oxford’s Astrophoria Foundation Year Programme

Astrophoria Foundation Year Website

Please see the new Astrophoria Foundation Year website for more information and content relating to this programme.

About Oxford’s Astrophoria Foundation Year

Oxford University is committed to improving opportunities for talented students from all backgrounds to be able to access its exceptional education. Oxford's Astrophoria Foundation Year is a new programme in our range of initiatives aimed at increasing access to Oxford for students from under-represented backgrounds.

Oxford’s Astrophoria Foundation Year is a one-year foundation programme for UK state school students with significant academic potential, who have experienced severe personal disadvantage and/or disrupted education which has resulted in them being unable to apply directly for an Oxford undergraduate degree programme.

It will enable motivated students to reach their academic potential through a supportive and challenging academic course aimed at developing their skills, self-belief and academic confidence.

The programme will support students financially. Just like undergraduate students, Oxford’s Foundation Year students will belong to an Oxford college, but their accommodation will be provided free of charge. Students will not have to pay course fees and will receive a non-repayable bursary to cover their living costs.

Up to 50 places will be offered on the programme each year, with the first students being admitted for entry in September 2023.  

Students will apply for their chosen degree course with a foundation year (for example Materials Science with Foundation Year). During the foundation year they will follow one of the following courses:

For 2023-entry, students will study at one of ten Oxford colleges:  ExeterJesusKebleMansfieldLady Margaret HallSomervilleSt Anne’sSt Hugh’sTrinity and Wadham.

Successful applicants for Oxford's foundation year will be allocated a college at the offer stage. They will be admitted to participating Oxford colleges and will be a fully integrated member of their college community with all of the benefits this includes.

All applicants for 2023 entry to our Astrophoria Foundation Year courses must apply via UCAS by Wednesday 25 January 2023 6pm UK time

By the end of the foundation year, students are expected to have developed the skills and confidence to meet the challenges of a demanding undergraduate degree. On condition that they have completed their foundation year at the required level, they will progress onto the undergraduate degree course at the University of Oxford, if they wish to, without the need to re-apply. Alternatively, they will be awarded a nationally recognised Certificate in Higher Education (CertHE) and will be supported in their applications to undergraduate degrees elsewhere.

The programme is open to UK state school students who are ordinarily resident in the UK and meet the eligibility criteria. International students are not eligible to apply.


Oxford’s foundation year draws on experience from running the pioneering pilot foundation year programme at Lady Margaret Hall (LMH). Now entering its seventh year, 59 students have participated in the LMH foundation year before going on to a range of undergraduate courses at both Oxford and other selective universities. The Astrophoria Foundation Year has been designed using the experience and expertise from across the Collegiate University as well as working closely with an external advisory board of educational and foundation year experts.

Oxford’s Astrophoria Foundation Year is one of two major programmes announced by the University in 2019 to increase access, and follows the successful launch of Opportunity Oxford. The two programmes are aimed at different  students: Opportunity Oxford is suitable for students who are ready to start Oxford degrees with modest support, while Oxford’s foundation year aims to give more substantial support to students who have experienced significant educational and/or personal disadvantage and so need more sustained intervention to prepare them for degree level study at a highly selective university. Opportunity Oxford launched in 2019, and since then over 500 Oxford offer holders have been selected to participate in this academic bridging programme which supports the move from school or college to our university. The launch of the Astrophoria Foundation Year is expected to have a similar positive impact on the participating students.

Finding out more

To join the Astrophoria Foundation Year mailing list to hear more about the programme please complete the sign up form.


Please check out the FAQ page on the Astrophoria Foundation Year website. If you have any further questions about the foundation year please get in touch at