International Foundation in Business, Finance, Economics and Marketing

Progression to year two of a wide range of degrees in subjects including accounting, business, economics, finance, management and marketing

Why apply for the International Foundation programme?

  • guaranteed university placement for all successful students
  • direct entry to year two of an undergraduate degree
  • a campus-based programme with access to university facilities

There are two course options:

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

What's special about this course?

This programme ensures that you meet the English language and academic entry requirements for year 2 entry to the University of Stirling and other Scottish universities.

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

  • a quality-assured university programme
  • a conditional offer of a place on an undergraduate degree at the University of Stirling
  • a first-year Scottish undergraduate degree programme equivalent qualification
  • full university status
  • high contact hours and small class sizes
  • the highest levels of pastoral care and support

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

The 4 term course has an additional term of English at the beginning and will typically have a lower English language entry requirement. This is also referred to as an Extended International Foundation programme.

What will I study?

All students complete a common core set of modules. Additionally, there are optional modules to choose from and individual degree programmes may stipulate specific modules which you must study before being permitted to progress on to your chosen degree or university. The course is 120 credits and on average, there are 21 class hours per week.

During this programme you may study:

Core modules:

English Language for Academic Purposes (20 credits)

This module is designed to help students develop their skills and confidence in academic English for university study, focussing on reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The aim is to prepare students to be able to operate successfully in an undergraduate study environment.

Core Mathematics and Statistics (20 credits)

The module covers mathematical and statistical techniques that have applications in business and in economics. The module initially reinforces algebra skills and then builds on these in the areas of equation handling and graphing techniques through to an introduction to differential and integral calculus.

Introduction to British Culture and Society (10 credits)

This module will provide a broad introduction to British institutions and culture to enable students to understand the broader contexts of business, humanities and social science subjects in a UK university.

ICT, Research and Study Skills (10 credits)

This module supports the work of academic modules and is designed to help students adjust to the specific nature, demands and expectations of UK higher education. The skills covered will include: personal and time organisation; library and information skills; using and interpreting data; teamwork; problem-solving; examination and revision techniques; presentation skills; and avoiding plagiarism.


Specialist modules:

Computing for Business (20 credits)

The module briefly covers the history of computers and information technology, and examines the development of information and communications technology infrastructures. More particularly it focuses on the use of IT in work and business, as well as the general impact of information technology in society. It examines the structure and impact of the internet, in terms of the technical core as well as the impact of the online culture upon commerce and society.

Economics (20 credits)

The module provides an introduction to the main theoretical models and concepts used in economics with an emphasis on the application of economic theory in the ‘real’ world. It aims to introduce Economics as a key strand of the social sciences.

Introduction to Business (20 credits)

This module will help students understand key features of business in the UK and introduces many aspects of business in preparation for a range of business degrees. Topics covered range from motivation, management and leadership, business classifications, business funding in the UK, scrutiny of corporate annual reports and accounts, how economic factors affect business, marketing, and current themes in business.

Introduction to Psychology (20 credits)

As the scientific study of mind and behaviour, Psychology is both a biological and a social science. This module therefore comprises an introduction to core elements of the subject which include: Child Development; Brain and Behaviour; Language and Thinking; Animal Behaviour; Clinical and Abnormal Psychology; Social Psychology and Cognitive Psychology.

Law and Legal Systems (20 credits)

The main principles and structure of business law are introduced in this module. In order to understand the background of the legal system you will study the principles of the constitution and various aspects of law.

Principles of Accounting (20 credits)

The module provides a foundation in the theory and practice of accounting. The module covers the following topics: the balance sheet, the profit and loss account, the double entry system, adjustments of accounting, accounts of limited companies, costing, budgeting and variance analysis.

Understanding Media (20 credits)

This module provides an introduction to media. It looks at how different media forms create meaning, how they are consumed and the ways they work to structure forms of identity, introducing students to related critical debates in the field.


Please note: Not all modules will be available in each term. All compulsory modules will be offered at least once during the year, and students will be counselled on modules available.


How will I be assessed?

Assessment is both formal and informal. Informally you will receive advice and feedback throughout your programme from your teachers. You will also be assessed by a combination of examinations at the end of each semester, and coursework which may include written assignments, reports, practical exercises, group and individual research projects, presentations and problem-solving exercises.

Academic guidance

You will also receive support from your tutor on personal and academic issues, including advice on your studies and career plans. We will also help with your application and arrange visits to your Academic School so that you can learn more about your chosen degree programme.

How do I qualify?

Academic requirements:

Completion of 12 years of schooling (or the local equivalent) with good grades. For information about country-specific entry requirements please contact us.

English requirements:

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

Four term programme: IELTS 4.5 (with a minimum of 4.0 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 level you can apply for our Academic English course.

When can I start?


Start date Term dates Fees

June 2017 start (4 terms)

Term 1: Mon 19 Jun 2017 to Fri 25 Aug 2017

Term 2: Mon 25 Sep 2017 to Fri 15 Dec 2017

Term 3: Mon 08 Jan 2018 to Fri 23 Mar 2018

Term 4: Tue 03 Apr 2018 to Fri 08 Jun 2018


September 2017 start (3 terms)

Term 1: Mon 25 Sep 2017 to Fri 15 Dec 2017

Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 to Fri 23 Mar 2018

Term 3: Tue 03 Apr 2018 to Fri 08 Jun 2018


September 2017 start (4 terms)

Term 1: Mon 25 Sep 2017 to Fri 15 Dec 2017

Term 2: Mon 08 Jan 2018 to Fri 23 Mar 2018

Term 3: Tue 03 Apr 2018 to Fri 08 Jun 2018

Term 4: Mon 18 Jun 2018 to Fri 24 Aug 2018


January 2018 start (3 terms)

Term 1: Mon 08 Jan 2018 to Fri 23 Mar 2018

Term 2: Tue 03 Apr 2018 to Fri 08 Jun 2018

Term 3: Mon 18 Jun 2018 to Fri 24 Aug 2018



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 cost in the region of £240 per academic course (3 term) and £315 per academic course (4 term)


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.

How do I apply?

You can apply online or by post. Find out more about how to apply to INTO University of Stirling.

Where will it take me?

Progression to the University of Stirling

If you successfully complete the relevant International Foundation programme and meet the required progression grades for entry to your selected degree programme, you will be offered conditional entry onto year two of an undergraduate degree programme at the University of Stirling.

Progression to other Scottish universities

If you do not meet the progression requirements for entry to the University of Stirling or intend to progress to a degree programme that the University does not offer, our Placement Services team will assist you with your application to another Scottish progression option. You will also be able to apply to other universities in the UK.

Joint 14th in the UK for Accounting and Finance
(The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017)

This pathway course leads to the following degree programmes at the University of Stirling:

BA (Hons) Accountancy

BA (Hons) Accountancy and Business Studies

BA (Hons) Accountancy and Economics

BA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance

BA (Hons) Accountancy and Business Law

BA (Hons)  Accountancy and Marketing 

BA (Hons) Business Studies

BA (Hons) Business Studies and Economics

BA (Hons) Business Studies and Finance

BA (Hons) Business Studies and Human Resource Management

BA (Hons) Business Studies and Law

BA (Hons) Business Studies and Management

BA (Hons) Business Studies and Marketing

BA (Hons) Economics

BA (Hons) Economics and Finance

BA (Hons) Economics and Marketing

BA (Hons) Finance

BA (Hons) Human Resource Management

BA (Hons) Human Resource Management and Law

BA (Hons) Human Resource Management and Marketing

BA (Hons) Management

BA (Hons) Marketing

BA (Hons) Retail Marketing

BA (Hons) Law and Marketing

BA (Hons) Sport Business Management

Please note: This information is correct to the best of our knowledge at time of writing but is subject to change.

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.

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