International Foundation in Economics, Finance and Management

Preparation for your undergraduate degree in Economics at the University of Exeter Business School.

Why apply for the International Foundation programme?

There are two course options available:

  • International Foundation (3 terms) - this is the standard option
  • Extended International Foundation (4 terms) - this option features an additional term of English at the beginning for extra language support


What is special about the programme?

The Foundation leads to the award of the Foundation Certificate and combines academic study, intensive English language teaching and study skills to prepare you for entry into the first year of a university degree.

As well as a guaranteed conditional offer from the University of Exeter for successful students and full access to all the university facilities you'll benefit from:

  • a quality assured university programme
  • full university status
  • a conditional offer of a place on the first year of a relevant undergraduate degree at the University of Exeter
  • the highest levels of personal care and support

You'll receive support from your tutor on personal and academic issues, including advice on your studies. The International Liaison Office will help with your application to the University of Exeter and arrange visits to your academic college, so that you can learn more about your chosen degree programme. 

Teaching methods

We use a mix of individual, pair and group activities to create a collaborative in-class learning environment, encouraging research and discussion. You will carry out analysis and interpretation of business practices of key global businesses such as Apple, Google, Coca-Cola and Nike. In addition, we use INTO’s well-equipped classrooms and the University’s virtual learning platform to prepare you for independent learning when you progress to the university.

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 Foundation programme in order to change your specialist subject.

What will I study?

Compulsory modules:

English Language for Academic Study

All students will study English language skills for academic study. The module provides the core skills in English needed for university-level study and runs the length of the course.

Foundation Mathematics

Learn the foundation of mathematics, ideal for degrees in accounting, business, economics, engineering, mathematics, psychology or science. Topics will include: geometry, logarithm and exponential functions; differentiation and integration; statistics; and using Microsoft Excel.

Introduction to Economics

This module introduces, and applies to real world situations, major theoretical models and key terminology of macro and micro- economic theory. Topics will include: the economic environment; the market mechanism and market failure; market structure and competition; growth; inflation; unemployment; international trade; and macroeconomic policy.

Study Skills

This will help you work in groups, present ideas, manage your time, conduct research, take lecture notes, organise the content of essays and dissertations, and evaluate your own work.

Introduction to Accounting and Finance

Topics will include: accounting concepts; procedures used in the preparation of financial statements; analysis of published information; and using accounting information to assist with business planning. The study of finance focuses on central issues of how finance is raised and invested to meet core business objectives. You will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the nature of accounting and will have the capacity to undertake appropriate numerical procedures in preparing and analysing statements and management reports.

Mathematics 1

Build on the Foundation Mathematics module to provide stronger background in the mathematics required for higher study of a science-based discipline. Topics will include: algebra; vectors and matrices; further geometry, differentiation and integration; and more statistics.

Introduction to Management

Receive an introduction to the characteristics of different organisations, how businesses are managed and business terminology. You will be able to demonstrate familiarity with business aims, strategy, planning, and different approaches to organisational structure. You will be introduced to the principles of modern management through management theories as well as an investigation of culture, leadership and motivation. The range of themes extends to: production; quality; communication; social responsibility; and business growth and organisation change.


How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed in each module. Assessment is both formative and summative, designed not simply to pass or fail students, but to help you build on our success and meet the requirements for entry to the the first year of a degree. Marks from the 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
  • practical
  • exercises
  • group and individual research projects
  • portfolios
  • oral presentations
  • seminar discussions
  • class tests
  • problem solving exercises

Through formative assessments you receive feedback on your performance which will enable you to improve before the final summative assessments.

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 very good grades, including minimum Year 12 pass in maths.

To find out more about country specific entry requirements contact us now.

English requirements:

Three term programme: IELTS 5.5 (with minimum 5.0 in all subskills) or equivalent.

Four term programme: IELTS 5.0 (with 5.0 in three subskills, with no less than 4.5 in a fourth subskill) or equivalent.

From 6 April 2015, 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 level you can apply for our Academic English course.


17 years and above

Students must turn 17 by the end of their first term of study.

When can I start?

Start date Term dates Fees
July 2017 start
(4 terms)

Term 1: Mon 03 Jul 2017 to Fri 08 Sep 2017 

Term 2: Mon 18 Sep 2017 to Fri 15 Dec 2017 

Term 3: Mon 15 Jan 2018 to Thu 29 Mar 2018 

Term 4: Mon 16 Apr 2018 to Fri 08 Jun 2018 

September 2017 start
(3 terms)

Term 1: Mon 18 Sep 2017 to Fri 15 Dec 2017 

Term 2: Mon 15 Jan 2018 to Thu 29 Mar 2018 

Term 3: Mon 16 Apr 2018 to Fri 08 Jun 2018 

October 2017 start
(4 terms)

Term 1: Mon 02 Oct 2017 to Fri 15 Dec 2017 

Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 to Thur 29 Mar 2018 

Term 3: Mon 16 Apr 2018 to Fri 15 Jun 2018 

Term 4: Mon 25 Jun 2018 to Fri 31 Aug 2018 

January 2018 start
(3 terms)

Term 1: Mon 08 Jan 2018 to Thu 29 Mar 2018 

Term 2: Mon 16 Apr 2018 to Fri 15 Jun 2018 

Term 3: Mon 25 Jun 2018 to Fri 31 Aug 2018 


Tuition fees do not include:

  • text books and other learning materials: an additional charge in the region of £210 per academic course (3 term), £290 per academic course (4 term)
  • enrolment fee: an additional charge of £150 per academic programme (to be charged upon confirmation)


Is accommodation included in the fees?

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 course?

The Extended International Foundation 4-term course has an additional term of English at the beginning and will typically have a lower English language entry requirement.

How do I apply?

You can apply online or by post. Find out more about how to apply.

Where will it take me?

Our progression guarantee:

We guarantee to find you a 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.
13th in the UK for Economics
(The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017)

This course leads to the following undergraduate degrees at the University of Exeter:

Business School

BSc Business Economics

BSc Economics and Politics

BSc Economics

BSc Economics and Finance

BSc Economics with Econometrics

BSc Accounting and Finance

BSc Business and Accounting

BSc Business

BA Business and Management

BA Management with Marketing

General, UK and China enquiries: +44 (0)1273 876 040 [email protected]
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