International Foundation in Science, Sport, Computing and Engineering or Maths

Preparation for entry into year two of undergraduate university study in subjects including biological sciences, computing, mathematics, psychology and software engineering

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
  • full university status
  • a conditional offer of a place on an undergraduate degree at the University of Stirling
  • 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?

Lasting four terms, the Extended International Foundation course has an additional term of intensive English at the beginning and will typically have a lower English language entry requirement.

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 onto your chosen degree or university. 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.


Optional modules:

Biology and Human Physiology * (40 credits)

In the introduction to cell biology, this module helps to develop a strong understanding of the processes involved in cellular life and their roles in the function, reproduction and development of living organisms. Topics include enzymes, biochemistry of energy production, molecular genetics and the genetics of inheritance.

Chemistry (20 credits)

This module develops the concepts in physical, inorganic and organic chemistry required for studying at degree level in physical sciences, engineering or biological sciences. The syllabus includes simple elements, atoms and compounds; atomic structure; chemical bonds; chemical reactions; chemical kinetics; properties of solids, liquids (including solutions) and gases; acids and bases; chemical energetics; chemistry of selected elements; chemistry of carbon compounds; and an introduction to spectroscopy.

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 Computing (20 credits)

This module provide an overview of the systems and software development process; an understanding of programming paradigms and techniques; knowledge of the main components of a computer-programming environment and programming constructs; and an understanding of testing, verification and reproducibility of behaviour in computer systems.

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.

Introduction to Sports Studies (20 credits)

This module, available in semester two, is only for students who are committed to applying for Sports Science. Students may be required to attend scheduled classes and practical sessions with home students, and these classes may lie outside the normal INTO Stirling term dates.

Physics (20 credits)

The module combines scientific content, theoretical principles and laboratory skills, building on basic physics knowledge to develop the descriptive and mathematical understanding of principles required for studying physical sciences and engineering at higher levels.

Pure and Applied Mathematics ** (40 credits)

This double module is designed to develop competence in important areas of mathematics: algebra, geometry and numerical methods. This module also introduces the key concepts of vectors and polar coordinates.

* This module is compulsory for students intending to progress to a degree in biological or life sciences.** This module is compulsory for all students intending to progress to a degree in engineering or mathematics.

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 to meet the same standard) with good grades. For information about country-specific entry requirements please contact us.

English requirements:

Four term programme: IELTS 4.5 (with a minimum of 4.0 in any subskill) or equivalent. 

Three term programme: IELTS 5.0 (with a minimum of 4.5 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 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)
  • an additional £500 per year to cover the use of laboratory facilities (only applicable to science-based courses).


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. A select number of specialist degrees offer entry to year one of an undergraduate degree. If you would like to study the Integrated International Year One programme, please select your chosen degree from the list below.

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.

14th in the UK for Sport Science
(The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017)

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

BSc (Hons) Aquaculture

BSc (Hons) Animal Biology

BSc (Hons) Biology

BSc (Hons) Biology and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Biology and Psychology

BSc (Hons) Business Computing

BSc (Hons) Cell Biology

BSc (Hons) Computing Science

BSc (Hons) Computing Science and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Conservation Biology and Management

BSc (Hons) Ecology

BSc (Hons) Environmental Geography 

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science and Mathematics

BSc (Hons) Information Systems

BSc (Hons) Marine Biology

BSc (Hons) Mathematics and its Applications

BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Psychology

BSc (Hons) Psychology

BA (Hons) Psychology

BA (Hons) Psychology and Sociology

BSc (Hons) Software Engineering

BA (Hons) Sport Studies

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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