FYP's challenging encounter with the Western tradition provides a solid foundation for future studies and pursuits. More >>


Explore the selection of great works offered this year in FYP.  More >>


Browse topics, lecturers and readings for each of the six sections.

Section I - The Ancient World

Section II - The Middle Ages

Section III - The Renaissance and Reformation

Section IV - The Age of Reason

Section V - The Era of Revolutions

Section VI - The Contemporary World

The Foundation Year Programme

"The Foundation Year Programme is a year-long exploration of those foundational works that have made us who we are. We believe that these same works - if read at the right time of life, in the right spirit, and in the right company – can play a great part in determining who we may still become.”

- Daniel Brandes, Foundation Year Programme Co-ordinator

Section I: The Ancient World

About This Section

We trace the origins of much of late Western European culture through the institutions, art, religion, and thought of Greece, Rome, and Israel. The focus is on poetic and philosophical texts. More >>

Selected Reading List:

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • The Bible
  • The Odyssey
  • The Aeneid
  • Republic

Complete Reading List

September - October

Section II: The Middle Ages

About This Section

The main concern of this section is with the development of political, social, and intellectual life as these grow in contrast to, and by assimilation of, ancient culture. We enter the late middle ages through Dante’s Divine Comedy. More >>

Selected Reading List:

  • The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Summa Theologica
  • The Divine Comedy

Complete Reading List

October - November

Section III: The Renaissance and Reformation

About This Section

In this section we examine the foundations of modernity in the break-up of the medieval world. The Renaissance re-ordering of the world is seen through works of art, political philosophy and literature, the expansion to the world beyond Europe and the emergence of a new view of nature. The re-ordering of Christianity is seen in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. More >>

Selected Reading List:

  • The Twelfth Night
  • Dr. Faustus
  • The Prince
  • On the Dignity of Man
  • The Duchess of Malfi

Complete Reading List

November - December

Section IV: The Age of Reason

About This Section

Beginning with Descartes, we study the development of modern concepts of freedom, nature, and society. Special attention is paid to political theory and natural science in this section. More >>

Selected Reading List:

  • Meditations on First Philosophy by Rene Descartes
  • Basic Political Writings by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  • Candide by Voltaire
  • Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evils of Slavery by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano

Complete Reading List


Section V: The Era of Revolutions

About This Section

European culture and society from the French Revolution to World War I is the focus of this section. We endeavour to understand the rise of liberalism and socialism relative to the revolutions in political and economic life. This century is seen as marking the transition between the European Enlightenment and various preoccupations of the 20th century. More >>

Selected Reading List:

  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Communist Manifesto
  • On the Origin of Species
  • Frankenstein
  • On the Genealogy of Morals

Complete Reading List

February - March

Section VI: The Contemporary World

About This Section

The 20th century has given rise to a radical rethinking of various aspects of the European tradition and a concern for the validity of much that has developed in the West. More >>

Selected Reading List:

  • The Second Sex
  • To The Lighthouse
  • Civilization And Its Discontents

Complete Reading List

March - April

...your tutors are human. They're striving for clarity, not perfection!

Students will attend lecture together, and then participate in focused tutorials with about 15 of their classmates. Here, they will discuss, reflect - maybe even disagree - with the texts and each other, under the tutelage of professors in an intimate learning environment. At King’s, emphasis is placed on developing thoughts and arguments, on writing more clearly and on questioning and being questioned. In short, students and faculty at King’s recognize the value of education for its own sake.

FYP is equivalent to four full-year courses for students enrolled in arts, journalism or music degree programmes; an abridged three-credit version is available for science students. It meets the introductory requirements for many departments at Dalhousie University as well as the King’s upper-year programmes and the bachelor of journalism (honours), allowing for a smooth transition into upper year studies. Taught as a single intensive course, FYP provides both a solid foundation for future studies and pursuits and a once in a lifetime opportunity for interdisciplinary study.


August 4, 2015

Get your DalCard ready for Move-in Day! Win $50 gift certificate!

Get ahead of the game... DalCard is your official university ID card. You will need it in order to access…

July 27, 2015

"Extra-FYP" Lecture Series 2015-2016

King's has released its schedule for the 2015-2016  Extra-FYP lectures. This lecture series…

July 13, 2015

Need some summer reading ideas?

  July 2015  Dear incoming students (FYP class of 2016), 


December 2, 2015

"Extra-FYP" Lecture Series - "The True and the Beautiful in Renaissance Art and Architecture"

“The True and the Beautiful in Renaissance Art and Architecture”  Extra-FYP Lecture…