The University Foundation Course, also called International Foundation Year (IFY) or University Foundation Programme (UFP) is a one-year intensive course as an alternative to A-Level route, which takes two years to complete. It is designed especially for international students wishing to gain entry into British universities. Click the link for an overview of UK routes to higher education.
This foundation course should not be confused with British Foundation Degree courses, which are two-year employment-related vocational higher education courses, equivalent to the first two years of a bachelor degree.
The Foundation Courses are intended for those UK/EU and international students whose school leaving qualifications do not meet all the academic entry requirements for direct entry to their chosen UK degree programmes. The programmes are thus serving as bridging courses to provide students with the appropriate academic background, English language proficiency and study skills for studying at Bachelor degree level.
The course runs for up to one academic year. Students usually study six modules in total, with three core minor modules (English, Mathematics, and Information Technology) and three major modules, relevant to the student’s future degree programme. The major academic modules may vary with different course providers, covering accounting, sociology, psychology, economics, law, further mathematics, physics, and business studies etc.
Students who completed the foundation programmes are eligible for entry into a wide range of universities in the UK, except Oxford, Cambridge or London School of Economics. However, the founation courses are not generally accepted for entry to degrees in Medicine.
Non-European students wish to study a university foundation course in the UK are required to apply to a Tier 4 (General) student visa. They are also required to demonstrate their levels of English are up to IELTS score of 4.0-5.0.
Choosing Foundation Course
Many universities offer foundation courses to international students as pathways for entry into their undergraduate programmes. It is thus advisable for international students to first decide which undergraduate degree course or subjects they want to study in the UK, and then find out the best possible available universities which offer a pathway foundation programme leading to the intended undergraduate degree. Check it out below the latest UK university and subject rankings, and how we can help.