International Foundation in Humanities, Law and Social Science

Offering you direct entry to year one of an undergraduate degree in humanities, law and social science related subjects at the University of Exeter.

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

The modules and teaching methods are varied and include lectures, seminars, group work, problem solving and discussions. The film module incorporates film screenings, writing film reviews and guided visits to the University’s film museum on campus. The law module includes running mini-trials on a range of issues, allowing you to develop the ability to present fluent, coherent arguments and present cases like professional lawyers. In politics and international relations, you will look at case studies of conflict zones.

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?

All students will study English language skills for academic study. This 40-credit module provides the core skills in English needed for university-level study and runs the length of the course. 

 Compulsory modules:

British History and Institutions

This module provides an overview of the key developments in British history and politics, 1900–1950. Topics will include: liberal reforms of the early 20th century; the Suffragette Movement; economic depression and the General Strike; the rise of the Labour Party; the beginning of the Welfare State; Britain and the European Union; Thatcherism; women in Britain since 1945; and the media.

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.

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 English Law and the English Legal System 1

Cover the basic structure of English law and its legal system, and the foundations of the substantive law of contract and criminal law. Topics will include: the English court system; the doctrine of precedent; the basic foundations of criminal law; and the basic foundations of contract law.


You will choose three of the following modules:

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 Psychology

Learn a range of fundamental issues and concepts drawn from general psychology with a particular emphasis on their relevance to issues that arise in everyday life. An indicative list of topics includes the following: the nature of psychology as the study of behaviour and mental processes, both normal and abnormal; theories and research methods focusing on the main perspectives – cognitive, behaviourist, Freudian and biological; the role of culture; perception, memory and intelligence; and ethical issues.

Introduction to English Law and the English Legal System 2

Following on from the topics covered in Introduction to Law and the English Legal System 1, it will cover how the English legal system has been affected by developments in human rights law, as well as the basic elements of two more core subjects – tort law and land law. Topics include: the impact of the incorporation of the European Convention of Human Rights into English law; the basic foundations of tort law; and the basic foundations of land law.

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 Film and Literary Studies

This module provides an introduction to the study of literature and film from a range of perspectives. This includes textual analysis of the form and style of selected poetic, literary and filmic texts, the development of an awareness of the contexts of production and reception, and an understanding of critical concepts such as narrative, genre and adaptation in literature and film. By the end of this module, you will be able to discuss and analyse relevant theoretical issues through seminars and essay writing.

Introduction to World Politics and International Relations

Understand world politics and international relations by looking at global events since the end of the Second World War. Topics will include: the formation of the United Nations; the increasing importance of International Law; and the changing relationship between states and other international bodies. You will also discuss and analyse the relationship between national politics and a nation’s foreign policy, and the effects of international bodies and ideology.


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 a minimum of 5.0 in all subskills) or equivalent. 

Four term programme: IELTS 5.0 (with a minimum of 4.5 in all subskills) 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 Thu 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.
3rd in the UK for Drama, Dance and Cinematics
(The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017)

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

College of Humanities

BA (Hons) Ancient History

BA (Hons) Ancient History and Archaeology

BA (Hons) Archaeology

BA (Hons) Art History and Visual Culture

BA (Hons) Art History and Classical Studies

BA (Hons) Art History and English

BA (Hons) Art History and History

BA (Hons) Classical Studies

BA (Hons) Classical Studies and English

BA (Hons) Classical Studies and Theology

BA (Hons) Classical Studies and Philosophy

BSc (Hons) Criminology

BA (Hons) Drama

BA (Hons) English (Streatham and Cornwall campuses)

BA (Hons) English and Drama

BA (Hons) English and Film Studies

BA (Hons) Film Studies

BA (Hons) History (Streatham and Cornwall campuses)

BA (Hons) History and Ancient History

BA (Hons) History and Archaeology

BA (Hons) History and International Relations

BA (Hons) Liberal Arts

BA (Hons) Theology and Religion

College of Social Science and International Studies

BA (Hons) International Relations

LLB (Hons) Law (Streatham campus)

BA (Hons) Philosophy

BA (Hons) Philosophy and Theology

BA (Hons) Politics (Streatham and Cornwall campuses)

BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations

BA (Hons) Sociology

BA (Hons) Classical Studies and Philosophy

BA (Hons) History and Politics

BA (Hons) Philosophy and History

BA (Hons) Philosophy and Politics

BA (Hons) Philosophy and Sociology

BA (Hons) Politics and Sociology

BA (Hons) Politics, Philosophy and Economics

BA (Hons) Sociology and Anthropology

BA (Hons) Sociology and Criminology

MArabic (Master of Arabic and Islamic Studies)

BSc (Hons) Archaeology with Forensic Science

BA (Hons) Archaeology and Anthropology

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