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Integrated Foundation Year Applicant Hub

Integrated Foundation Year Applicant Hub

Welcome to the Integrated Foundation Year Applicant Hub

Hello! We've gathered together some ideas and activities for you to explore over the summer if you're planning on joining us for an integrated foundation year this September.

The foundation year gives just that - a foundation on which to build the rest of your studies. We cover quite a few different subjects in our teaching, across science and the humanities, so you'll discover quite a mix of activities below to explore. Don't be put off by something you're not too familiar with at the moment - that's why we're here to build your confidence, skills and knowledge. We hope you enjoy looking around this page!


  • 'In Search of Schroedinger’s Cat', John Gribbin. John Gribbin in a master of making complicated ideas accessible to anyone. This is his classic book explaining what quantum theory is all about. Perfect for those interested in science.
  • Bridging the Gap to University Mathematics by Edward Hurst & Martin Gould. This book is great for new-starters!

  • The story ‘Runaround’ in 'I Robot' by Isaac Asimov is great to get you thinking about how digital technology impacts our society.

  • 'Stylish academic writing' by H. Sword is a great introduction to give you some ideas for university-level writing!

  • Here are few articles to get you thinking about what it means to live in a digital culture; try Nicholas Carr’s piece from The Atlantic ‘Is Google Making Us Stupid?’

  • Tips and techniques to help you write brilliant, persuasive, original essays, with plenty of examples, from Dr Ursula Hackett at Royal Holloway, University of London here on YouTube:
  • Radiolab Podcast (2016) ‘More or Less Human’: 
  • No discussion about reality, virtual reality and hyper-reality would be complete without the Wachowski’s 1999 film, The Matrix!
  • Have a look at 'The Edge of All we Know' on Netflix. This fascinating film follows the scientists trying to obtain an image of a black hole, and theorists trying to explain what happens to information when it falls into a black hole.

Meet the staff

I teach on the Humanities strand of the Integrated Foundation Degree. I am currently undertaking doctoral research on nineteenth-century German migration to Britain, but have a wide range of academic interests, including rhetoric/composition studies, applied linguistics, and, more recently, a burgeoning interest in the environmental humanities and ecocritical approaches to literature. I have published in academic journals and have recently guest edited a special issue of Journal of Academic Writing.

My own background and educational history make me a firm believer in both learning for life and improving access to higher education: certainly, had the Foundation Degree existed in the late 90s when I was a somewhat out-of-depth undergraduate, I would have signed up very quickly indeed!

As well as being a university teacher with over fifteen years of classroom experience, I like to write and edit. When I am not fulfilling my other passion of running, I enjoy reading difficult texts, and communicating in my two foreign languages, German and Polish. I am currently learning Welsh.

As well as being a teacher for thirteen years, I am also a fiction editor, which means I work closely with writers to develop their novels to a professional standard. My academic speciality is short fiction, but I also cover areas as diverse as: post-war dystopian fiction, the history of games and competition, modernist art, digital philosophies, and visual methodologies. 

I teach on the 'Cultures of Looking' and 'Digital Cultures' modules which delve into visual images and the digital age, and how they shape our society.

I teach on the Sciences strand of the Foundation Year. I completed a PhD in Infectious Diseases at the University of Edinburgh, where I worked on the parasite which causes African Sleeping Sickness. This involved a mix of 'wet-lab' work and bioinformatics – using computer programming to analyse DNA. I did my undergraduate in Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Sheffield, where I worked part-time in food safety and STI testing laboratories.

I speak a little Spanish and play the flute (neither very well!) and love to travel. So far, my favourite adventures include seeing a 'pocket monkey' in the wild, swimming with bioluminescent plankton and hitchhiking from Sheffield to Romania!

Hello, I'm Pip, and I'm a Teaching Fellow on the IFY. My background is in English, with an MA in English Language Teaching. My previous roles have included running pre-sessional programmes and summer schools for international students and teaching academic support courses. Within my teaching, I emphasise pastoral care and learner motivation, which I believe are essential for academic success. I'm particularly interested in using learning technologies in my teaching. Outside of work, I'm an avid reader and sportswoman.

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