Astrophoria Foundation Year students standing together outside the University of Oxford's Department of Continuing Education.

Oxford’s Astrophoria Foundation Year Programme

Astrophoria Foundation Year Website

The information on this page refers to courses starting in 2024. Information about 2025-entry Foundation Year courses will be available in April.

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 one 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. It is aimed at those with significant academic potential, who have experienced severe personal disadvantage 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.  

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:

Successful applicants for Oxford's foundation year will be allocated to 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 2024 entry to our Astrophoria Foundation Year courses must apply via UCAS by 31 January 2024 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). The Astrophoria Foundation Year has been designed using the experience and expertise from across the Collegiate University. The Foundation Year Team has also worked 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.

Oxford’s foundation year aims to give more substantial support to students who have experienced significant educational or personal disadvantage and therefore 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 700 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 and its first cohort started in September 2023.

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 admissions@foundationyear.ox.ac.uk.