International Foundation in Science and Engineering

Prepare for life as a Science and Engineering student, with university-style teaching, supportive teachers, and use of university labs for practical learning.

Why apply for the International Foundation programme?

  • Guaranteed conditional progression to one of NCUK’s 16 universities (subject to meeting progression requirements).
  • A quality-assured, NCUK accredited programme.
  • Recognised by a wide range of other leading UK universities.

Course options available

  • International Foundation (3 terms) - this is the standard option, suitable for most students.
  • Headstart Foundation (3 terms) - this includes an additional two weeks of learning that introduces you to British culture and history.
  • Extended International Foundation (4 terms)- this option features an additional term of English at the beginning for extra language support and English language entry requirements are typically lower.

What is special about this programme?

The International Foundation is designed to increase your English language skills, improve your study and research abilities, and develop your understanding of key academic subjects.

The programme covers everything you need in order to progress successfully to university. It offers:

  • university-style teaching (for academic modules)
  • English language classes taught in an interactive, inclusive classroom environment
  • helpful and supportive teachers
  • high contact hours and interactive teaching

You will receive advice and feedback from your teachers throughout your studies. Regular access to your teachers will help you plan for future study, and answer any questions to encourage academic success.

Teaching methods

This programme provides a combination of university-style teaching, interactive classes and practical experience in laboratories.

You will have the unique opportunity of having access to the fully equipped science labs at university.

By gaining hands-on experience you will be able to put theory into practice to fully prepare you for undergraduate study.

Who should apply for the International Foundation programme?

You should apply for this course if you have completed secondary school education in your home country. 

The International Foundation programme provides academic preparation for first year entry and ensures that you meet the minimum English language requirement for entry to your chosen undergraduate degree programme. 

Successful completion of this programme will allow you to apply for entry to NCUK and other universities in the UK.

What will I study?

You will study the following compulsory modules:

English for Academic Purposes and Study Skills

Introduces reading techniques for academic study and the structure and function of academic writing.

You will develop the ability to take part in academic discussion. It will help you to work in groups, present ideas, manage your time, conduct research, make lecture notes, organise the content of essays and understand how to evaluate your own work.

Information Communication Technologies (ICT)

Learn how to use word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation software, as well as using the internet, email and virtual learning environment (VLE) software.

You will choose three from the following five specialist modules:


This module takes an evolutionary approach to biology and considers different levels of organisation in living systems.

You will study life processes showing fundamental similarities between living things.


This module develops concepts of physical, inorganic and organic chemistry.

You will develop an appreciation of the social, environmental, economic and technological impact of chemistry.

Further Mathematics

This module is intended for more expert mathematicians and explores complex areas of mathematics.


You will develop a methodical approach to problem solving using mathematical techniques and theory.


Covers a variety of topics of particular relevance to students wishing to pursue a degree in an engineering-related field.

How will I be assessed?

Progress is monitored by continuous assessment of coursework and by the use of class tests.

The final grade for each unit is based on a mixture of coursework and end-of-course examinations.

Basic information will be delivered in lectures, while the individuals' understanding of the subject and their ability to utilise the information will be supported by tutorial work and by extensive e-learning provision - which will also enhance the presentational style of lectures.

Assessment will be by:

  • coursework - assignments, unit tests, experimental reports, computer use etc
  • mid-course and end-of-course examinations

Assured university placement

All students who pass are guaranteed a conditional place on a relevant undergraduate degree at an appropriate NCUK university.

To gain entry to any NCUK university, you must pass all subject modules. You will also need to have a sufficient command of English.

Some degree courses will require minimum grades in specific subjects. University admissions staff may also take into account previous academic attainment.

How do I qualify?

Academic requirements:

You need to have completed 12 years of schooling (or the local equivalent to meet the same standard) with good grades.

For information about country-specific entry requirements please contact us.

English requirements:

4-term programme: IELTS 4.5 (with a minimum of 4.5 in writing) or equivalent.

3-term and Headstart Foundation programmes: IELTS 5.0 (with a minimum of 5.0 in writing) or equivalent.

The Centre can only accept a UKVI approved IELTS test for this course. Read more about UKVI IELTS or contact us.

If you do not meet the minimum English language level you can apply for our Academic English course.


16 years and above.

All students commencing courses on a published September start date must be 17 years old by 31 December of that calendar year.

For all other start dates, students must be 17 years old by 31 December of the preceding calendar year.

When can I start?

Start date Term dates Fees
June 2017 start
(4 terms)
Term 1: Wed 28 Jun 2017 – Fri 08 Sep 2017
Term 2: Mon 11 Sep 2017 – Fri 15 Dec 2017
Term 3: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Thu 29 Mar 2018
Term 4: Mon 16 Apr 2018 – Fri 15 Jun 2018
August 2017 start
(3 terms) - Headstart Foundation
Term 1: Tue 29 Aug 2017 – Fri 15 Dec 2017
Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Thu 29 Mar 2018
Term 3: Mon 16 Apr 2018 – Fri 15 Jun 2018
September 2017 start
(3 terms)
Term 1: Mon 11 Sep 2017 – Fri 15 Dec 2017
Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Thu 29 Mar 2018
Term 3: Mon 16 Apr 2018 – Fri 15 Jun 2018

Tuition fees do not include:

  • enrolment fee: an additional charge of £150 per academic programme, charged upon confirmation
  • text books: an additional charge in the region of £240 (2-term and 3-term) or £320 (4-term) per academic programme
  • lab fee: an additional charge in the region of £400 for science-based courses
  • accommodation is not included in the fees: view our accommodation options

How do I pay?

You can pay by bank transfer or by credit card. Please contact us for bank transfer details.

What's the difference between the 3 and 4-term courses?

The 4-term Extended International Foundation incorporates an additional term of intensive English language tuition on the same visa, allowing you to improve your English to a level appropriate for academic study. It will typically have a lower English language entry requirement than the 3-term programme.

You will be required to pass the initial English language component before progressing to the next stage of the programme.

Headstart Foundation - helping you to get used to the UK

For students starting their International Foundation programme in September, the Headstart Foundation programme is a two-week course designed to provide you with an introduction to British culture and history.

It has been designed to provide international students studying overseas for the first time with the perfect introduction to studying in the UK.

The course will:

  • provide a basic understanding of British society and institutions
  • provide an understanding of national and local history
  • develop your confidence and speaking skills through participation in activities

By the end of the course you will be able to:

  • work effectively with other students in a team
  • understand and respond to spoken and written texts
  • communicate effectively through both individually based written work and group based spoken work
  • use English language skills effectively in a range of situations

Where will this programme take me?

Successful completion of the International Foundation Programme leads to the award of International Foundation Certificate (RQF Level 3) from NCUK.

Our conditional progression guarantee:

We guarantee to find you a conditional place to study on an appropriate degree and university if you successfully complete your International Foundation programme, follow professional advice offered by INTO staff and meet minimum attendance requirements.

As a successful pathway student, you’ll have access to a number of university progression options. Each progression option will follow a specific pathway and specific requirements for both English/study skills and overall grade. You’ll also find some courses have specific requirements, such as:

  • successfully completing an interview;
  • having previously studied a relevant discipline;
  • having previously completed a degree; or
  • having IELTS 6.0 or equivalent in English language.

Degree options

This programme leads to a wide range of undergraduate degrees at NCUK universities and INTO partner universities.

The following are some of the most popular degree choices for international students - for a complete list of all available progression options, please visit NCUK's website.

University of Bradford
  • BSc (Hons) Automotive Design Technology
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BEng (Hons) Civil and Structural Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
  • BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
  • MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy
The University of Huddersfield
  • BA (Hons) Architecture
  • BSc (Hons) Chemistry with Chemical Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Computing Science
  • BEng (Hons) Electronic and Communication Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Food, Nutrition and Health
  • BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Software Engineering
The University of Leeds
  • BEng/MEng (Hons) Architectural Engineering (International)
  • BEng/MEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering
  • BEng/MEng (Hons) Civil and Structural Engineering
  • BSc/MEng (Hons) Computer Science
  • BEng/MEng (Hons) Electronic and Electrical Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
  • BSc (Hons) Food Studies and Nutrition
  • BEng (Hons) Petroleum Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Pharmacology
Leeds Beckett University
  • BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Civil Engineering
Liverpool John Moores University
  • BSc (Hons) Architectural Technology
  • BEng (Hons) Automotive Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology G450
  • BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electro
  • MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy
The University of Manchester
  • BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering
  • BA (Hons) Architecture
  • BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering
  • MEng Civil and Structural Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science
  • BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Material Science and Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Petroleum Engineering
  • MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology
  • BSc (Hons) Textile Technology
  • BA (Hons) Town and Country Planning
Manchester Metropolitan University
  • BEng (Hons) Automative Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology
  • BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Financial Mathematics
  • BSc (Hons) Media Technology
  • BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of Salford
  • BEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Civil and Architectural Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science
  • BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology
The University of Sheffield
  • BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering
  • BA (Hons) Architecture
  • BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering
  • MEng (Hons) Civil Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science
  • BEng (Hons) Electrical Engineering
  • BEng (Hons) Electronic and Communications Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Financial Mathematics
  • MEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering with a Year in Industry
  • MEng (Hons) Structural Engineering and Architecture
Sheffield Hallam University
  • BSc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology
  • BEng (Hons) Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • BSc (Hons) Environmental Science
  • BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science
General, UK and China enquiries: +44 (0)1273 876 040 [email protected]
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