International Foundation in Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences

This programme will prepare you for International Medicine (BSc/MBBS6), Biomedical Science BSc (Hons), and allied programmes such as physiotherapy and diagnostic radiography at St George's, University of London; medical, pharmacy and biomedical programmes at other Irish and UK medical schools and universities; and veterinary medicine and related sciences at Royal Veterinary College, University of London.

Start date: September 2017.

Programme length: 3 terms or approximately 9 months.

Class hours (per week): notional 40 hour learning week with approximately 20 hours contact teaching per week.

Apply

What is special about the International Foundation programme?

Lasting three terms, this programme combines scientific academic study and study skills with English language support, cultural orientation and specific classes in medical and healthcare professionalism.

  • Quality assured by St George's, University of London, one of the oldest medical schools in the UK.
  • Study on the University campus which shares its site with one of the UK's largest and busiest hospitals.
  • Full university status for all students, including access to numerous St George's and the University of London Student Union societies and clubs.
  • Current 6:1 staff to student ratio, plus regular lectures from doctors.
  • Mentoring and support from current medical students.
  • Opportunities to gain work and volunteering experience.
  • Tailored support for international students in preparing for applications to medical and healthcare programmes including interview.

Why choose the International Foundation programme?

  • 98% of successful students progressed to a medical or biomedical degree in 2015.
  • Includes preparation for medical applications in the UK and overseas.
  • Excellent work experience opportunities.

The programme provides academic preparation in line with that of UK A-levels, with the added benefit of preparation for moving into a professional training programme.

Gaining entry to a medical, biomedical or healthcare degree can be exceedingly competitive, so this programme combines academic study with specific support for international students as you move through the admission and selection processes.

The programme includes preparation for the UKCAT entrance exam and medical selection interview that will form part of the selection process for progression onto International Medicine (BSc/MBBS6) at St George's, University of London.

The qualification also prepares you for training in other allied professions, such as physiotherapy or radiography at St George's, as well programmes at other Irish and UK medical schools and universities. This pathway also provides a route into veterinary medicine and related sciences at Royal Veterinary College, University of London.


Key features

Academic content
Approximately three quarters of the programme are devoted to the subject based science modules, designed specifically to help you to reach the required academic level to progress onto a medical, biomedical or related degree programme. 

In addition the programme will develop your academic, study, professional and language skills.

Skills development and English language support
The essential skills module embeds English language support which is designed to help you reach the required level in academic English and covers reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Overall, the module is assessed internally, though you may additionally choose to take an external test such as IELTS.

Professionalism and study skills
Preparation for university is about more than academic and language support. You will need to identify how you learn, and develop the skills to ensure your success, such as note taking, structuring written assignments, group work, and presentations.

In preparation for medical, biomedical and healthcare degrees, it is also essential for you to develop the core non-academic competencies necessary when moving into professional training, including organisation and problem solving, initiative and resilience, insight and integrity and empathy.

Work experience and volunteering
Work experience or volunteering is essential for entry to most medical schools in the UK. Universities want to see evidence of your ability in a variety of behavioural competencies and skills, such as team working, effective communication, empathy, initiative and resilience.

Practical experience will also help you to demonstrate that you have an understanding of the context and different cultures in which you will study.

Our connections with a variety of large and small organisations will allow you to develop a comprehensive portfolio of experience, demonstrating your abilities and intercultural understanding.

Mentor scheme
You will be paired with a current St George's student who will act as a mentor throughout the year.

Your mentor will help you settle into university life in the UK, and will also be a key resource in helping prepare for interviews and getting advice on university applications.

Academic guidance
You will receive support from your tutor on personal and academic issues, including advice on your studies.

Assessment
Entry to medical and biomedical programmes is highly competitive. The process of assessment is not simply to pass or fail students, but to help you improve and build on your success.

Marks from the International Foundation programme do not count towards a final degree, but help the University assess your abilities in your chosen field of study.

INTO St Georges, University of London Wanzana from Zambia

Wanzana
from Zambia

"The teachers are so friendly and they teach so well. They get into every point, and if you don’t understand then you can just mention it and they go through it with you in your own time."

Read more Read less

Meet Wazana from Zambia who is studying on the International Foundation in Medicine, Biomedicine and Health Sciences with St George's, University of London.

What do you think of the course you are studying?

I think it is great. People make it seem like Foundation is really compact and it’s really tough, but this course has been set up in a manner that no matter how much we have to do in a year, or how much we have to cover, you still have time to cover it all. You have so many ways of going about things; we have workshops, we have classes, we have spare time to read and you have a mentor. I would definitely recommend studying this course.

What do you think of the teaching at INTO St George’s?

The teachers are so friendly here and they teach so well, they are really amazing and they have a great passion for teaching. They get into every point, and if you don’t understand at any point in time then you can just mention it and they can repeat it or go through it with you in your own in your own spare time. We call those times workshops, which you can attend after class.

How did INTO support you when you first arrived in the UK?

INTO staff have helped me in so many ways and I am so grateful for that. To start with, when I got here I was so lost and didn’t have an idea of where to go or what to do. But INTO staff and teachers showed me where to go and what I needed to do. We went to so many fun places and parks in Arrivals Week as well. It was really nice because I expected the UK to be very different from what it is. Before I arrived here I used to think British people liked to mind their own business and not talk much. I am glad to have experienced something else and found that everyone is so friendly. Before I left I didn’t think I would feel as comfortable or at home as I do here.

Can you explain what the mentor scheme is and how it had helped with your studies at St George’s?

The mentor scheme is something that is used to help you get used to the course and living in the UK. INTO pairs you with a mentor who helps you throughout your Foundation course. All mentors are current students at St George’s, so if you are applying to Biomedicine, they will try and give you a mentor who is studying Biomedical Sciences. If you plan to study medicine, they pair you with some who is doing medicine. So these mentors have been through the same application process you are going through and know how to help you. My mentor has personally helped me so much. She is always there pushing me, telling me I can do this, I can do that. She tells me how to go about certain things, like personal statements, interviews and my studies. It’s not all just work though we have fun too.

What will I study?

English and Skills for Medicine and Science

The English and Skills for Medicine and Science module, assessed by 100% coursework, is designed to integrate three interdependent strands of learning:

Academic Skills

This develops the skills needed in order to deal effectively with academic studies. It covers:

  • the structure and conventions of academic writing
  • developing reading strategies for academic study
  • ways to deal with spoken texts such as university lectures
  • developing the ability to take part in academic discussion and give academic presentations
  • key aspects of the use of English for academic purposes

Study Skills

  • Designed to help with the transition needed from a school-based learning environment to that of a university one.
  • Focus on key skills such as time management and learning strategies.
  • Develop critical and analytical thinking, skills that are essential for future study and will also help with your preparation for the UKCAT exam.

Professional Skills

  • In collaboration with St George’s, University of London lecturers, this focuses on the aspects and skills you need to succeed as a medical, biomedical or healthcare sciences degree student, and eventually a medical professional.
  • Covers communication skills and an understanding of current medical issues.
  • Develops an understanding of the application and interview process required including interview techniques and step-by-step assistance for the UCAS application.

English language development

If you need help to reach the required English language level for entry into medical, biomedical or healthcare sciences degree programmes, there will be additional assistance. Students who are having difficulties with certain aspects of their English language will also be offered additional assistance.

Biology

This module covers elements of the five basic principles of biology:

  • cell theory, which states that cells are the fundamental units of life
  • gene theory as a product of the structure and function of DNA
  • evolution in terms of genetic variation in populations and inheritance
  • homeostasis and communication in the regulation of the internal environment
  • thermodynamics describing the energy changes in living organisms

Additionally, physical and chemical concepts that apply to biology will be taught in order that students have a thorough understanding of the structure, function and integration of organ systems in the body.

Detailed knowledge and understanding will be acquired through a range of practical activities such as the microscopic study of cells and tissues, and tutorials which will explore the molecular basis of disease.

The module will be delivered in line with the UK curriculum for A-level Biology and will be taught through formal lectures, laboratory experiments and tutorials.

Assessments will comprise of both coursework and two written examinations in January and June.

Coursework elements include written communication of researched tasks, practical reports and in-class tests.

Chemistry

In this module you will gain a thorough understanding of the fundamental principles of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry.

Topics will include:

  • atomic structure and theory
  • the periodic table
  • chemical bonding
  • thermodynamics and reaction kinetics
  • classification, structure and reactions of a range of organic molecules to include alkanes, alkenes, alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters, acids and bases
  • industrial chemistry

Much of the learning in this module will be carried out through practicals that will be related to specific reactions that take place in the human body.

A formal lecture series, practical activities and workshops will be used to deliver this module and assessment is carried out by coursework and two written examinations.

Coursework assessments will comprise of practical reports and problem-solving exercises and will require significant mathematical ability to calculate and analyse data.

Mathematics

This module introduces you to the key mathematical concepts and theories relevant to science, particularly:

  • algebra and geometry
  • differential and integral calculus
  • trigonometry
  • logarithms
  • exponentials
  • probability
  • statistics

Mathematical knowledge will be applied to analyse and interpret data and there will be significant statistical analysis, calculation, graph interpretation and data analysis in the other science subjects.

Assessment will comprise of a written examination.

Physics

This module will convey the fundamental principles of physics and topics will include:

  • physical qualities
  • forces and collisions
  • waves
  • radioactivity and nuclear structure
  • work, energy, power and motion

Individual topics will be tailored and related to medical physics and medicine outlining how physics contributes to modern therapeutic approaches toward tackling of diseases and disorders.

Examples of the use of physics, such as radiotherapy and scanning in relation to cancers, MRI and CAT scanning, the use of gamma and X-rays and ultrasound imaging in pregnancy, will be a focus for learning.

Assessment will comprise of a written examination.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment is both formal and informal. Entry to all INTO St George's, University of London honours degrees is highly competitive.

The process of assessment is not simply to pass or fail students, but to help you improve and build on your success.

Marks from the International Foundation programme do not count towards a final degree, but help the University assess your abilities in your chosen field of study.


A typical week

You will be expected to work a nominal 40-hour week, made up of an average of approximately 20 hours of timetabled lessons and 20 hours of self-directed learning.

These contact hours will be made up of a combination of lectures, laboratory based work, workshops and tutorials.


INTO SGUL sample week International Foundation

How do I qualify?

Minimum age: 16.
English language:

IELTS 5.5 (with a minimum of IELTS 5.5 in any subskill) or equivalent.

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

If you do not meet the minimum English language requirements for direct entry to the International Foundation programme, we recommend you take one or more terms of English for University Study at one of our INTO Centres in London.

For more information please contact your education counsellor or email [email protected].

Academic requirements:

Completion of 12 years of schooling (or the local equivalent to meet the same standard) achieving high grades.

Please contact your local INTO St George's representative for details of country specific grade requirements.


Progression to medicine

INTO St George’s students wishing to progress to medicine will undertake the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) as well as a Multi Mini Interview (MMI).

UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT)

This online examination tests analytical and critical thinking; vital attributes not only for the study of medicine but also study at university level in the UK.

There are five elements to the exam:

  • verbal reasoning
  • quantitative reasoning
  • abstract reasoning
  • decision making
  • situational judgement

INTO St George's students wishing to progress to medicine will take the test in early July, and we offer intensive preparation starting in early spring, as well as input throughout the academic year to build your analytical and critical thinking skills.

For more information visit: www.ukcat.ac.uk.

Multi Mini Interviews (MMI)

Multi Mini Interviews combine traditional-style questions with task-based activities, providing a high level of interaction and the opportunity to demonstrate more than just a taught knowledge of the field of medicine.

The MMIs assess one or more of the following eight competencies, which have been developed from the General Medical Council's publication, 'Tomorrow's Doctors':

  • academic ability and intellect
  • empathy
  • initiative and resilience
  • communication skills
  • organisation and problem solving
  • team work
  • insight and integrity
  • effective learning style

Dates and prices

Start date Term dates Fees
September 2017 Term 1: Mon 18 Sep 2017 – Fri 15 Dec 2017
Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Fri 23 Mar 2018
Term 3: Mon 09 Apr 2018 – Fri 06 Jul 2018
£18,540

Estimated additional costs

Enrolment fee (per academic programme, charged upon confirmation) £150
Textbooks (3 term) £250

Key dates for medical students

  • September - arrivals week
  • October - UCAS deadline
  • March and April - MMIs take place
  • July - UKCAT test for medicine
  • July - final results
  • September - university enrolment

Progression options

The International Foundation in Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences programme is accredited and quality assured by St George's, University of London.

Successful completion leads to the award of a St George's Hospital Medical School International Foundation Certificate, with the opportunity to progress onto a degree programme in medicine, Biomedical Science BSc (Hons), and other professions allied to medicine, or veterinary medicine.

It also offers progression to other UK and Irish medical schools and universities, as well as to Royal Veterinary College.


Progression to St George's, University of London

St George's, University of London offers a range of career options, including the Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) undergraduate programme. This three-year degree leads to a career as a Biomedical Scientist. Students with good grades may also be able to transfer on to the International Graduate Medicine (MBBS4) programme.

Degree programme and award Overall grade Other requirements

International Medicine (BSc/MBBS6)

6 years

75%

68% in the English and Skills for Medicine and Science module, and no less than 60% in all other modules.

Applicants will be assessed on their work or voluntary experience, their performance in the UKCAT examination, and their performance in the medical selection Multi Mini Interview (MMI).

Biomedical Science BSc (Hons)

3 years

60%

60% in the Biology and Chemistry modules, 68% in the English and Skills for Medicine and Science module, and no less than 50% in all other modules.

Physiotherapy BSc (Hons)

3 years

65%

60% in the Biology module, 68% in the English and Skills for Medicine and Science module, and no less than 50% in all other modules.

Diagnostic Radiography BSc (Hons)

3 years

60%

60% in the Physics module, 68% in the English and Skills for Medicine and Science module, and 50% in all other modules.

Therapeutic Radiography BSc (Hons)

3 years

60%

60% in the Physics module, 68% in the English and Skills for Medicine and Science module, and 50% in all other modules.

In addition to academic grades, applicants will be assessed on the quality of their written application.

Please note: students who have previously completed A-levels or an A-level equivalent programme elsewhere, and have not achieved the appropriate grades to apply directly for our degree level programme, may be eligible for the International Foundation in Medical, Biomedical and Health Science.

However, these students will be able to progress to Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) or Physiotherapy BSc (Hons) only, and will be required to achieve progression grades higher than above to be considered for their chosen degree programme.

Applicants wishing to take this route must meet the standard (pre-A-level) Foundation entry requirements for their country and must have achieved a minimum of CCD or equivalent in their A-levels or equivalent programme.


Progression to other medical schools and universities

The International Foundation in Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences programme is recognised as suitable for entry to other UK and Irish medical schools and universities.

This includes the University of Central Lancashire, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Students may also progress to biological or biomedical science degrees at King's College London, Newcastle University, the University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, as well as other UK and international universities.

University Overall grade Minimum requirements
Brighton and Sussex Medical School 70%

Minimum 70% in all modules.

IELTS minimum 7.5 overall (with no less than 7.0 in each subskill).

Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland 72%

Minimum 68% in skills, 60% in all other modules.

University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) 75%

Minimum 60% in all modules.

In addition to academic grades, applicants will also be assessed on the quality of their written application, their work or voluntary experience, and their performance in the medical selection interview.


Progression to Royal Veterinary College

The Royal Veterinary College is the largest and longest-established vet school in the English-speaking world and is a college of the University of London.

Satisfactory completion of the International Foundation in Medical, Biomedical and Health Sciences can lead to any of the following degrees at the Royal Veterinary College.

Degree IELTS Overall grade Other requirements

Veterinary Medicine (BVetMed)

5 years

7.0 75%

70% in Biology and Chemistry modules.

Selection interview.

4 weeks relevant work experience.

Wild Animal Biology (MSci)

4 years

7.0 60% 60% in Biology and Chemistry modules.

Biological Sciences / Bioveterinary Sciences (MSci)

4 years

7.0 60% 60% in Biology and Chemistry modules.

Applied Biological Research / Applied Bioveterinary Research (MSci)

4 years

7.0 60% 60% in Biology and Chemistry modules.

How do I apply?

Whether you decide to apply directly or complete your application with the support of one of our education counsellors we offer a simple application process and we will support you every step of the way.

Throughout the process our multilingual Customer Relations Advisers are available to help answer your questions. They can speak a range of languages including English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Lithuanian, French, Italian, Polish and German.

Please contact us if you have any questions.


What documents do I need to include?

Applications are accepted throughout the year. As part of this you will need to prepare your supporting documentation:

  • completed application form, signed by the student or the parent/legal guardian
  • copy(ies) of relevant academic certificate(s) in English
  • copy(ies) of English language certificates in English
  • full details of previous study in the UK on a Tier 4 Student Visa
  • a copy of your passport

After carefully reviewing your application, if you are successful you will receive a formal offer of a place.

Once we have received your tuition fee and accommodation deposit (as detailed in your offer letter), we will send you a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from St George's, University of London, which you will need in order to apply for your visa.

Uniplan Insurance for international students

To complete the INTO St George’s range of student protection and support services, Uniplan Insurance is a comprehensive insurance policy prepared especially for international students in the UK.

Full medical and travel insurance is mandatory for all INTO St George’s students, therefore Uniplan Insurance will automatically be added to course fees unless proof of suitable alternative cover is provided.

Please supply details of travel arrangements so Uniplan cover can be arranged to include travel to the UK.

If you do not know your flight details at the time of paying your insurance premium, INTO St George’s will arrange cover to start one week before the start of your course and end one week after the end of your course.