International Foundation in Pharmacy, Health and Life Sciences

Please note that this programme is called the International Foundation in Pharmacy, Biomedicine and Health for the January 2017 intake only.

Conduct experiments and practical sessions in our very own, fully equipped laboratories, providing the perfect preparation for a science or health sciences university degree.

Why apply for the International Foundation programme?

  • A guaranteed route to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree at UEA (subject to meeting the specified entry requirements).
  • You are a student of the University from day one, on a quality-assured, UEA-validated programme.
  • Professional help and support with your application to university.

Course options available

  • International Foundation (3 terms) - this is the standard option, suitable for most students.
  • Extended International Foundation (4 terms) - this option incorporates an additional term of intensive English language tuition at the beginning of the course, and English language entry requirements are lower.

What is special about the programme?

The INTO UEA International Foundation programme is designed to improve your academic theory, intensive English language skills, and study and research abilities to prepare for undergraduate study at the University of East Anglia.

It offers:

  • university-style teaching with high contact hours and small class sizes
  • a campus-based programme with access to world-class university facilities
  • interactive seminars and university-standard laboratories
  • many practical classes related to your pathway, such as making aspirin and looking at disease control
  • a 3-day residential field trip in your first term

You will receive advice and feedback during seminars and tutorials. Regular one-to-one meetings with your personal tutor will help you plan for future effective study, and answer any questions to ensure your academic success.

We also have an International Progression team, who will help with your application to the University of East Anglia and arrange visits to your future school of study so that you can learn more about your chosen degree programme.

Who should apply for the International Foundation programme?

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.

In some circumstances you may be able to enrol on the International Foundation programme in order to change your specialist subject.

What will I study?

You will study the following modules:

Academic English and Study Skills

Through the study of authentic academic materials related to your field of study, you will develop the skills to read and interpret academic texts, practise using specialist vocabulary and write academic assignments.

You will also learn academic conventions such as referencing. Extensive group work will help you gain the confidence and skills to participate in seminar discussions and give presentations.

This module also provides study skills sessions in time management, critical thinking and preparing for exams.

Biology and Human Physiology

This module covers the basic biological principles of characteristics of living systems – from biochemistry, genetics and cells to whole organisms, populations and ecosystems.

You will learn about the main organ systems of the human body (namely the circulatory, respiratory, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, immune, digestive and renal systems) and how each system works both on its own and in relation to other systems and processes in the body.

You will not only learn the facts and theories but also undertake practical experiments to expand and consolidate your knowledge as well as encouraging you to make links and apply your biological understanding across systems.

This module is delivered through a series of lectures, workshops, seminars, laboratory practicals, fieldwork and site visits including a residential field trip in the first term.

The transferable skills and topics covered will give you the confidence and knowledge to begin your journey into the world of health and life sciences.

Foundation Chemistry

You will learn the essential principles of chemistry through a series of lectures, interactive workshops and laboratory practicals.

The module explores the core principles of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry including atomic structure and chemical bonding, synthesis of organic compounds, acids and bases, reaction kinetics and thermodynamics.

In the laboratory you will gain a range of practical and data analysis skills.

This module will equip you with a range of skills and knowledge essential for the further study of science subjects and on which you can build in the Further Chemistry module.

Further Chemistry

This module builds upon the essential principles taught in Foundation Chemistry. You will increase your knowledge of organic and inorganic chemistry as well as explore the principles of electrochemistry and environmental chemistry.

In topics covering analytical chemistry and spectroscopic techniques you will learn how to identify the structure of organic compounds through the toolkit of methods used across chemistry, pharmacy, biological and forensic sciences.

The module is taught through a series of lectures, seminars, interactive workshops and laboratory experiments.

This will give you the key skills required for the further study of chemistry, pharmacy and biological sciences at university.

Numerical and Analytical Skills

This module is designed to give you the key mathematical skills required for the study of science and health degree programmes.

You will study relevant topics including trigonometry, calculus, logarithms, probability, vectors, statistics and data analysis.

You will then apply these numerical skills to understand the physics behind some widely used medical imaging techniques, namely X-ray/CT scanning, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Ultrasound.

To do this, you will be introduced to the key principles of waves and electromagnetism in the context of medical physics.

Preparation for Health and Life Sciences

This module will introduce a range of health related topics through interactive discussions, problem-based learning sessions and talks by guest speakers.

You will learn about global healthcare issues, British healthcare systems and society.

A series of seminars, extracurricular activities, completion of a personal development portfolio and one-to-one tutorials will focus on developing your personal, professional and study skills for your future courses and career.

You will receive guidance on your university applications, personal statements and interviews.

A final project will give you an opportunity to bring together and apply your knowledge and skills from across the modules in a topic area of your choice.

Teaching methods

Interactive seminars, practical experience in laboratories, fieldwork and site visits give you plenty of hands-on experiences to bring science to life.

Practical classes on the Pharmacy, Health and Life Sciences pathway can include making aspirin, clinical chemistry, disease control and biotechnology.

A three day residential field trip gives you plenty of opportunity to work together putting theory into practice by analysing real data you collect in river investigations and ecological studies.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in each module. Assessment is designed to help you build on your success and meet the requirements for entry to the first year of a degree. Grades from the International Foundation programme do not count towards the final degree but they help the University assess your abilities in your chosen field of study.

You are assessed by a combination of examination and course work, which may include:

  • essays
  • reports
  • practicals
  • exercises
  • group and individual research projects
  • portfolios
  • oral presentations
  • seminar discussions
  • class tests
  • problem solving exercises

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:

3-term programme: IELTS 5.5 (with a minimum of 4.5 in any subskill) or equivalent

4-term programme: IELTS 5.0 (with a minimum of 4.5 in any subskill) or equivalent

If the University degree programme you wish to progress to has an English language requirement of IELTS 7.0, we recommend you commence your International Foundation with a minimum of IELTS 6.0

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 entry requirements, you can apply for English for University Study.


16 years and above.

You must be 17 years old by 15 September of the year you start your degree with UEA.

Advanced English language speakers

If your English language skills are sufficiently advanced (above IELTS 7.0), you may be set alternative challenges that further develop your study skills and independent research techniques.

When can I start?

Start date Term dates Fees
January 2017 start
(3 terms)
Term 1: Mon 09 Jan 2017 – Fri 31 Mar 2017
Term 2: Mon 10 Apr 2017 – Fri 30 Jun 2017
Term 3: Mon 10 Jul 2017 – Fri 25 Aug 2017
July 2017 start
(4 terms)
Term 1: Mon 10 Jul 2017 – Fri 15 Sep 2017
Term 2: Mon 25 Sep 2017 – Fri 15 Dec 2017
Term 3: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Fri 23 Mar 2018
Term 4: Mon 09 Apr 2018 – Fri 01 Jun 2018
September 2017 start
(3 terms)
Term 1: Mon 25 Sep 2017 – Fri 15 Dec 2017
Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Fri 23 Mar 2018
Term 3: Mon 09 Apr 2018 – Fri 01 Jun 2018
October 2017 start
(4 terms)
Term 1: Mon 02 Oct 2017 – Fri 15 Dec 2017
Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Fri 30 Mar 2018
Term 3: Mon 09 Apr 2018 – Fri 29 Jun 2018
Term 4: Mon 09 Jul 2018 – Fri 24 Aug 2018
January 2018 start
(3 terms)
Term 1: Mon 08 Jan 2018 – Fri 30 Mar 2018
Term 2: Mon 09 Apr 2018 – Fri 29 Jun 2018
Term 3: Mon 09 Jul 2018 – Fri 24 Aug 2018

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

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 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.

If you need to study more than one term of English in order to reach the level necessary for academic study you should apply for the English for University Study course.

Tuition fees

Tuition fees include access to the virtual learning environment; library, internet and IT services; exam fees; and field trips and course-related excursions.

Tuition fees do not include:

  • enrolment fee: an additional charge of £150 per academic programme (to be charged upon confirmation)
  • textbooks and other learning materials: an additional charge in the region of £205 per academic course (3-term) or £280 per academic course (4-term)
  • 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.

Where will this programme take me?

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

Your progression guarantee

While you are studying at the Centre, the International Progressions team will fully support you in choosing the best course for you at UEA and completing your application. Throughout the year they will organise a series of workshops and other engagement activities. This will provide you with the opportunity to explore your options and gain the practical advice to ensure that you have a smooth transition to your chosen undergraduate or postgraduate degree at UEA.

If you pass the course with the minimum grades and good attendance, but do not achieve the required results to progress to UEA, the Student Placement team is there to advise you on the next steps and to guarantee you a place at a UK university; providing you with peace of mind and ensuring you can remain focused on your studies.

Degree options

The Pharmacy, Biomedicine and Health option leads to the following bachelor's degrees at the University of East Anglia:

School of Geography
  • BA (Hons) Geography and International Development
  • BA (Hons) Geography and International or Numerical and Analytical Skills Development with overseas experience
School of Health Sciences (please note that a separate IELTS required for these courses)
  • BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
  • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
School of International Development
  • BA (Hons) International Development
  • BA (Hons) International Development with overseas experience
  • BA (Hons) International Development with Anthropology
  • BA (Hons) International Development with Anthropology with overseas experience
  • BA (Hons) International Development with Economics
  • BA (Hons) International Development with Econmics with overseas experience
  • BA (Hons) International Development with Politics
  • BA (Hons) International Development with Politics with overseas experience
  • BA (Hons) Media and International Development
  • BA (Hons) Media and International Development with overseas experience
School of Natural Science
  • BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences
  • MNatSci Natural Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Natural Sciences with a year abroad or a year in industry
School of Pharmacy
  • BSc (Hons) Pharmacology and Drug Discovery
  • MPharm Pharmacy with a year in industry
School of Psychology
  • BSc (Hons) Cognitive Psychology
  • BSc (Hons) Cognitive Psychology with a year abroad
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology with a year abroad
  • BSc (Hons) Social Psychology
  • BSc (Hons) Social Psychology with a year abroad