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Social Studies

The International Foundation Year in Social Studies provides a route to a number of undergraduate degrees in the Faculty of Arts and Social Studies at Lancaster University. Degree options include International Relations, Psychology, Sociology, Media and Cultural Studies, and Film.

What will I study?

During Foundation Year, you will study a combination of core modules, including English Language and university study skills, and subject specific modules.

Core modules

Academic English Skills (AES 1,2 & 3)*

You will develop your English communication skills and learn a range of study skills, including writing and reading strategies, presentation and seminar participation, organisation of time and materials, meeting deadlines and responding to feedback.

When you have completed these modules you will be able to take notes and write essays in English. You should also have the confidence to five presentations, answer follow-up questions and contribute to seminar discussions.

Project and Research Skills

You will complete a self-study project on a topic you will relate, in consultation with your tutor, to the academic subject that you will subsequently study at degree level. This is completed over two terms.


Subject- specific modules


This module explores some of the different interpretations of global issues and contemporary events, and develops a range of skills, including critical thinking.


You will investigate the British political system and the British constitution, civil liberties and their relation to the judicial system; how parliament works, including the electoral system, political parties and the legislative process; the composition and functions of the government, the civil service and Britain’s relationship to the EU. 

Media and Culture**

In this module you will examine a range of theories and practices related to media and culture looking at advertising, marketing, branding, social media and popular culture. You will be encouraged to develop a range of skills, including critical thinking and analysis, and apply these skills to analyse how the media works within modern society.


The main aim of this module is to provide you with an introduction to the main approaches to psychology and give exposure to key psychological theories. You will be encouraged to analyse and evaluate approaches and theories, with reference to both psychological concepts and methods of research (experimental and non-experimental).


Plus one of the following options

Law 1 and 2

You will look at concepts of law, the relationship between law, justice and morality; the sources of law, including British and European Union (EU) legislation and the doctrine of precedent; the Civil and Criminal Courts and the role of the Judiciary.

You will study law as it affects the citizen through contract law, including factors that invalidate the contract; the breach of contract and remedies available when a contract is broken; the sale of goods and services legislation and relevant EU regulations.


Principles of Economics 1 and 2

You will learn about economic systems, types of goods, allocation of resources, elasticity, price controls, types of markets, cost and revenue, economies of scale and market failure.

You will learn to understand aggregate demand and aggregate supply, economic policies, inflation, unemployment, international trade and development economics.


Business Studies 1 and 2

In this module you will consider the practical aspects of setting up, establishing and running a business and look at the external influences that could have a major impact on the business’ success.

You will continue to develop an understanding of both the operational and strategic problems facing the business enterprise in the modern market economy. This module will focus on two key areas of Human Resource development and Marketing.

*Subject to approval

**Module content under development