The benefits of UK-based International Foundation Programmes (IFP)
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Foundation programmes and summer academic experiences are highly beneficial to students.

Students get to better prepare for undergraduate studies, slowly building up relevant qualifications to gain entry into a degree course.

With many providing English language support, international students also receive valuable and guided introduction to academic writing and other language skills. Plus, it’s a good way to get acquainted with the campus and new foreign surroundings too.

Another study commissioned by The Wallace Foundation and produced by RAND Education, confirms the plus sides of joining summer learning programmes.

As the authors note, summer learning programmes have the potential to help youth improve their academic outcomes.

“Rigorous studies of voluntary summer programmes, mandatory summer programmes, and programmes that encourage students to read at home in the summer have all found positive effects on student achievement,” the report wrote.

“The combined evidence from these studies suggests that all of these types of summer learning programs can mitigate summer learning losses and even lead to achievement gains.”

Here are four UK universities that currently offer the International Foundation Programmes…


Located on the east coast of Scotland, the International Education Institute at the University of St Andrews is where students receive a world-class study experience in a beautiful and historic town.

international foundation programmes

Source: University of St Andrews

With a selection of International Foundation Programmes (IFP) for September 2020 and January 2021 entry, international students can combine academic subjects with English language development sessions to prepare for a UK university degree.

These subjects include Business – Management, Economics and Finance, Medicine (Foundation), Medicine (International Pathway), Science and Social Sciences and Humanities.

The Social Sciences and Humanities route is for students who wish to study Psychology, History, International Relations, Literature or Philosophy at university.

The Science International Year One enables students to progress onto Year 2 in degree courses such as Physics, Computer Science, Molecular and Cellular Biology, Organic Chemistry and Geography.

New for September 2020 entry, St Andrews is offering an all-online integrated programme which features a mix of Year 1 content and pre-degree study skills. Designed to give you certainty in uncertain times, the Global Online Year One (GOYO) allows to study from home but will ensure you are thoroughly prepared for degree study in the UK. Successful students can achieve a Certificate in Higher Education or progress onto Year 2 of a degree on campus in St Andrews in September 2021.

So if you want to start your UK study venture at St Andrews, contact the International Education Institute today for further information about these pre-degree pathways.


With around 31,000 students from more than 150 countries worldwide, King’s College London is truly international.

To cater to the many talents on campus, several specialist academic pathway programmes designed for ambitious international and EU students are on offer here.

Source: King’s College London

One such programme is the King’s International Foundation (KIF).

Graduates of this programme are guaranteed a place in a King’s undergraduate degree programme as long as they meet the progression criteria.

They’ll also receive personalised support throughout their coursework and UCAS application, as well as guidance to improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

To find out upcoming entry dates for the KIF pathway, click here.


For students who wish to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level at the University of York, but do not meet the standard entry requirements, the University’s International Pathway College is the answer you’re looking for.

Introducing the York Foundation Certificate, this programme prepares you for progression to the first year of an undergraduate degree and allows you to specialise in Business and Finance, Humanities, Creative Arts and Media, Law and Social Sciences, Life Science, Biomedicine and Environment, Mathematics, Economics and Actuarial Science, or Physics, Mathematics, Computing and Electronic Engineering.

Source: University of York

During this course, you’ll also be able to stay in university accommodation that is conveniently located to the College, with access to all campus facilities so you can get used to what it’s like to study in the UK.

In addition, the College will give you a student starter pack when you arrive at the residence, which includes essential home items such as bedding and cooking utensils to use.

This College eagerly awaits your arrival.


If you opt for a pathway programme at Durham University, you’ll be living and studying at the picturesque Queen’s Campus.

Located in the market town of Stockton-on-Tees, you’ll be surrounded by plenty of shopping malls and welcomed to annual community events, such as Christmas and the annual Spring festival.

If you join its International Foundation Year and achieve the required grades, you will have improved your English language and study skills, making you ready to take on your chosen undergraduate degree at Durham University.

Source: Durham University

Alternatively, if you feel as though you need to improve your communication skills before entering the International Foundation Year, then you can take the English Language Preparation course first.

While undertaking your selected pathway programme at the International Study Centre, the Centre’s team will help you throughout the whole admissions process by providing expert guidance and support.

Click here to find out more about the academic offerings at Durham’s International Study Centre.

*Some of the institutions featured on this editorial are commercial partners of Study International

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