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


The FYP curriculum moves through six historical periods, or sections, beginning with the ancient world and ending with the contemporary. More >>

Foundation Year Programme

Engage in a journey of reflection and discovery, exploring the influential writers and thinkers of the West. At your destination, the significance of the path you have traversed will fully take shape.

Foundation Year ProgrammeFor students in the Foundation Year Programme, the journey begins in the ancient near East, in Egypt and
Mesopotamia, and it winds its way through Plato's Republic, into the garden with St. Augustine and through Dante's circles of Hell. Entering the modern world, students bear witness to the temptations of Faustus, experience the effects of Descartes’s earth-shaking doubt, and confront the contemporary epoch with Nietzsche, Darwin, Freud, and many others.

Foundation Year is widely recognized for its serious engagement with important texts, high academic standards, committed teaching staff, and the calibre of its graduates. It provides a thoughtful exposure to many great works of philosophy, literature, and art, and is best suited to students who love to read, strive to write clearly, and enjoy intellectual dialogue.

For students enrolled in the BA, BJH, BSc or BMus degree programmes, Foundation Year is equivalent to four full-year courses; 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 programmes at King’s, 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 unique opportunity for reflection before later specialization.

The curriculum is highly coordinated, moving through six historical periods, and taught through a combination of lectures and small discussion groups. Rather than having to juggle a number of different course schedules and assignment lists at one time, FYP students participate in a cohesive and multi-faceted learning experience. This coordination and pacing means students can put their focus where it belongs: on the great books at the heart of the programme. FYP students grapple with these works, think, write, question and are questioned—but they are not embarking on this intellectual journey alone. They are part of a large and supportive community, surrounded by students and faculty who know each other as individuals and recognize the value of education for its own sake.

With an enrolment limited to about 300, and with many of its students housed in residential dorms a mere stretch of grass away from lecture hall, the Foundation Year Programme fosters a collegial feeling that expands the King's experience beyond the classroom. The College's diverse traditions—from Classics in the Quad theatre productions, to academic-gown-clad Formal Meal—set the stage for this integrated experience, and evening lectures and the dozens of student-driven societies and initiatives further it. At King's, there is no sharp division between social life and the life of the mind; on the contrary, they are two harmonious moments in the life of a King’s student.


June 23, 2014

FYP Book List 2014-2015

(as of 16 June 2014) The following list indicates most, if not all, of the books we will be using in the…

May 22, 2014

Welcome 2014-2015 Foundation Year Programme Students

Welcome to the 2014-2015 Foundation Year Programme class. As you begin to prepare for the upcoming academic…

May 22, 2014

Frosh week for FYP students (Academic Year 2014-15)

Frosh week is a week of firsts for FYP students. First pick up all 3 FYP Handbooks (which contain schedules,…


August 30, 2014

Move-in Day

Move-In Day is one of the most important days of the year at King’s! This is when residence students…

April 7, 2014

Final FYP lecture: The art of being off-balance

Mr Alex McLean, co-artistic director of Zuppa Theatre Co will deliver the 2013-14 final FYP lecture: "The…

April 2, 2014

Extra FYP lecture: "Zwicky's Lyric and Ecology"

Mr Warren Heiti,  a teaching fellow at King's, will deliver a FYP evening lecture on Jan Zwicky's…