International Foundation Year

What is the International Foundation Year?

The International Foundation Year is a pre-university foundation programme, designed with NCUK University Partners, that effectively prepares you for first-year university entry. By studying the International Foundation Year, you will develop your subject knowledge, study skills and English language competency, allowing you to choose from thousands of degree courses across 50+ leading universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and more.

Universities worldwide and UK ENIC (European Network of Information Centres) formally recognise the NCUK International Foundation Year as a comparable level to GCE A Level; Australian high school (SSCE); American high school (AP); and Hong Kong high school (HKDSE) qualifications.

Who is it for?

Tailored specifically for international students, the International Foundation Year offers a transformative educational experience. It is crafted to instil the confidence required for thriving at an international university by providing a solid foundation in English language proficiency and essential academic study skills crucial for excelling in higher education.

Delivered through our esteemed Global Network of Study Centres, this qualification offers the flexibility for you to start your journey to university either locally in your home country or nearby, or venture to the UK.

The International Foundation Year is structured to not only facilitate your immediate success but also to act as a stepping stone towards seamlessly transitioning into the first year of an undergraduate degree at a university.

Choose your subject route

With the NCUK International Foundation Year, you will study three academic subject modules in addition to an English for Academic Purposes module. With 13 subject modules available*, there are numerous combinations to choose from which will alter the types of degree courses and university progression options available to you, ensuring that you get started on the path that’s right for you.

Available modules for you to study include Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Further Mathematics, Global Studies, Mathematics Business, Mathematics Engineering, Mathematics Science, Physics, and Sociology.

International Foundation Year modules

*NCUK Study Centres vary on which International Foundation Year modules are available. Please contact your chosen Study Centre to enquire what modules are available so that you are best prepared for your studies.

Where can you study?

The International Foundation Year is available for students to study at a diverse range of NCUK Study Centres located across the globe. Each Study Centre offers a supportive learning environment equipped with experienced educators and the necessary facilities that will enable you to excel in your academic journey. With 110+ Study Centres to choose from, you have the opportunity to study with NCUK in your home country or at various locations in the UK, Ireland and Europe. Click the button below to view the list of Study Centres that you can choose from!

University Progression

International Foundation Year students have the option of progressing to one of 6,000+ degree courses at NCUK University Partners in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and more!

Click the button below to visit the NCUK University Course Finder, which will allow you to view the list of undergraduate degree programmes that you could study after completing our International Foundation Year qualification!

Key Benefits

  • Guaranteed* entry to one of 50+ NCUK University Partners worldwide.
  • Get support throughout the entire university application process.
  • Choose from thousands of degree courses at universities in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and more.
  • Benefit from our English for Academic Purposes module which improves your English language skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening and is accepted by universities in lieu of IELTS.
  • Study modules that will allow you to progress to your preferred degree subject.
  • Learn from highly qualified teachers in small classes enabling you to gain further support.
  • Complete the International Foundation Year in as little as 9 months!
  • Flexible study options – choose from our Global Network of Study Centres

Qualification & Modules Overview

The following document will provide you with overviews of what to expect from the International Foundation Year and a wider understanding of each individual module that Study Centres can offer (please note that not all NCUK Study Centres will deliver every module listed in this document). This includes information on the aims of the qualification, course structures, assessment methods and more.

Click the button below to view this document:

Entry Requirements

To be accepted onto the International Foundation Year qualification, applicants must meet the minimum entry criteria shown below:

Academic requirements:

  • Completion of local high school
  • Completion of IGCSE/O Levels/GCSE’s with 5 modules at grade 4 or above (normally to include English and Maths)

NB: For entry to Study Centres in the UK, students will need to complete a UKVI IELTS test for visa purposes.

English language requirements:

Students must be able to show English language ability at IELTS 5.0 level or equivalent prior to entry. If your qualification isn’t shown above, you can view our full list of country-specific entry requirements by clicking the button below:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where can I study the International Foundation Year?

The International Foundation Year is available to study at NCUK Study Centres worldwide. 110+ Study Centres currently offer this qualification, meaning that you can choose to study locally at a Study Centre near you or you can choose to study in the UK, Ireland and Europe. Search for your Study Centre here.

What universities can I progress to?

If you successfully complete our International Foundation Year, you have the option progress to 50+ NCUK University Partners located in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and more. Click here to view the list of NCUK University Partners you could progress to.

How much does it cost?

Tuition fees for the International Foundation Year vary depending on where you choose to study. Please contact your nearest Study Centre for details on tuition fees.

How do I register?

You can express your interest in studying the International Foundation Year by choosing an NCUK Study Centre and either submitting an enquiry form through their listing on the NCUK website, or visiting their website and contacting them directly. Your chosen NCUK Study Centre will then guide you through the registration process to ensure that you meet the entry requirements and are eligible to proceed with your studies.

How long does it take to complete the International Foundation Year?

Typically the International Foundation Year takes 9 months to complete but there are both shorter (6 months) and longer (2 years) options available. Please check with your Study Centre to see what options are available.

Which universities recognise the International Foundation Year?

50+ NCUK University Partners in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and more recognise the International Foundation Year. Universities outside of our network may also recognise the International Foundation Year, however, we cannot guarantee that you would successfully progress to a non-NCUK University Partner. Click here to view the list of NCUK University Partners that accept the International Foundation Year.

What will I receive after completing the International Foundation Year?

After completing the NCUK International Foundation Year, you will receive a certificate confirming that you have successfully completed the qualification as well as a transcript that details your module results.

NCUK International Foundation Year alumni!

NCUK has supported thousands of students in their journey to study abroad with our International Foundation Year. These include students such as Victoria, who studied the International Foundation Year in her home country of Peru before progressing to the UK to study Music Production at Leeds Beckett University!

Find out more about Victoria’s journey with NCUK and Leeds Beckett University by watching this video. You can also learn more about other NCUK alumni by visiting our Alumni Success Stories area.

Get to where you want to be

Start your journey to a world-class university and study the International Foundation Year today.

  1. Choose from our Global Network of Study Centres
  2. Improve your academic and English language skills by completing the International Foundation Year
  3. Get a place at a leading university
  4. Graduate with an internationally recognised degree, ready to succeed in your career