International Foundation Programme


The International Foundation Programme prepares you with the skills, knowledge, and experience you need to gain direct entry to undergraduate degrees. The programme’s world-class teaching is recognised globally. The IFP is one of the most widely accepted foundation programmes in the world.

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International Foundation Programme (IFP)

  • The programme is delivered by one of our Recognised Teaching Centres across the world and you are taught in classrooms with access to our Virtual Learning Environment.
  • The studies are academically rigorous and cover a wide range of topics including Law, Economics, Politics and more.
  • This pre-university programme is equivalent in standard to qualifications to Year 13 (i.e. A levels) for UK based students.
  • You are guaranteed entry to the wide ranging undergraduate degrees offered through the University of London and with academic direction from its member intuitions; London School of Economics (LSE), Goldsmiths, King’s College London and Royal Holloway.
  • As an IFP student, you can also apply to study at a wide range of universities in the UK and other countries.

Programme details

Programme structure and courses

The International Foundation Programme consists of four elective courses.

When you complete the programme, you become eligible for many of our undergraduate programmes offered through the University of London. It is also widely accepted for undergraduate entry at other universities, including most universities in the UK and many in other countries.

Please note that other universities have their own application criteria and you should check with each university for their policies and application deadlines.

Individual courses may also be studied on a stand-alone basis. A student may register for one individual course in an academic year.

Studying a single course leads to the award of a Certificate of Achievement and does not contribute towards the International Foundation Certificate which is awarded only for the successful completion of four courses. No credit transfer or recognition of prior learning (RPL) is allowed for students who complete a single course and then register on the International Foundation Programme.

Key dates

This programme has one intake date per year: November.

2022 Session
Application deadline 14 October 2022
Registration deadline 30 October 2022

How you study

Study at a Recognised Teaching Centre

You must study the International Foundation Programme, including Single Courses, at a Recognised Teaching Centre.

You should contact your local centre directly for information on their start dates and schedules.

Find a Recognised Teaching Centre.

Study materials

Your teaching centre will offer classes using materials written and designed by University of London academics.

Your programme resources also include:

  • A full subject guide for each course you study.
  • Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to access online resources.
  • Past examination papers and full examiners' commentaries.
  • The Online Library provides a range of e-books, along with full-text and multidisciplinary databases where journal articles, book reviews and reports can be found.
  • University of London library: Registered students may use the resources located within the Senate House library (for a small additional fee).

Student Support

We are committed to delivering an exceptional student experience for all of our students, regardless of which of our programmes you are studying and whether you are studying independently or with a Recognised Teaching Centre.

You will have access to support through:

  • The Student Advice Centre – provides support for application and Student Portal queries.
  • TalkCampus – a peer support service that offers a safe and confidential way to talk about whatever is on your mind at any time of day or night.

Time commitment

The IFP can be completed one academic year at most teaching centres. Part-time study is offered at some teaching centres only.

Each Recognised Teaching Centre offers its own study schedule and term dates.


IFP courses are assessed by an unseen written examination. Candidates who pass all four courses are awarded the University of London International Foundation Certificate with a grade of 'Pass', 'Merit' or 'Distinction'.

Exams are held in late April/early May each year. You can sit these at a University of London examination centre. A fee is payable to the local examination centre.

Students who marginally fail one course are eligible to resit that examination in July of the same year.

More about exams

Entry requirements

What qualifications do you need?

To register for the International Foundation Programme, you will need to meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Age 17+ by 31 December in the year of registration.
  • Hold four separate subjects at GCSE / O level (grades A*-C / 9-4), or the equivalent.
  • Meet the English language requirements.
  • Have a place to study at a Recognised Teaching Centre for the programme.

Some teaching centres require higher grades from applicants. Each teaching centre can advise you of their entry criteria.

Find equivalent qualifications where you live.

Even if you don't meet the standard requirements, we will consider each application on its own merits under our Special Admissions procedure.

English language requirements

We will need to see evidence that you have a good standard of English. This may include:

  • GCSE in English language (grade C) or equivalent.
  • Proof that you spent five years at a secondary school taught only in English.
  • A proficiency test passed within the last three years.

If you don't have this evidence but believe you can meet the standard, we may still consider your case.

The following proficiency tests are accepted for the International Foundation Programme, provided they have been awarded within the past three years:

  • APTIS: overall score of at least 140, with at least 21 in Listening, 29 in Reading, 39 in Writing and 29 in Speaking.
  • (IELTS) International English Language Testing System: 5.5 overall, with 5.0 in each sub-test (Academic or General or IELTS Indicator Online Test).
  • Duolingo: must achieve an overall score of at least 95.
  • Password English Language Test: 5.5 overall, with 5.0 in each sub-test.
  • Pearson Test of English, Academic: 46 overall, with 46 in both Reading and Writing.
  • (TOEFL) iBT Test of English as a Foreign Language (including Special Home Edition test): 75 overall, with 18+ in Reading and Writing sub-tests and 16+ in Speaking and Listening.

Computer requirements

We set minimum basic computer requirements because your study resources are accessed via the Student Portal and it is vital that you can access this regularly. For this programme, you will also need Adobe Flash Player to view video material and a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.

More about computer requirements.


The International Foundation Programme is designed to be completed in one year and you are therefore required to pay the total programme fee in full when you start the programme. There is, however, flexibility for you to extend your study period, if required, but additional fees will be payable.

The fees below relate to the 2022-2023 session only and are effective from 30 March 2022. They may increase by up to 5% per year.

Academic year 2022-2023
Initial registration fee 1224
Per course fee (includes one exam attempt)* 275
Total fee for International Foundation Programme (one year)** 2324
Other fees 2022-2023
Fees for additional period of study
Continuing registration fee (second/third year) 449
Examination re-entry fee (per course) 275
Single course taken on a stand-alone basis
Single course fee (includes first examination entry) 583


* If you decide to choose an alternative course to the one you originally registered for (and it is permitted by the Regulations), you must pay a new course fee.

**The IFP is designed to be completed in one year, so we ask for the total programme fee when you register - this includes the initial registration fee and 4 x course fee. If you need to extend your study period or resit any exams, some additional fees are payable.

Most teaching centres will make the necessary arrangements for your fees to be paid to the University of London.

More about programme fees.

Additional Costs

You will also need to budget for:

  • Textbooks (could extend to around £300 per year)
  • Exam centre fees, which are paid directly to the venues where you sit your exams
  • Tuition costs if you study at a Recognised Teaching Centre.

How to pay your fees.

Please note: all student fees shown are net of any local VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST) or any other sales tax payable by the student in their country of residence. Where the University is required to add VAT, GST or any other sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the fees shown during the payment process. For students resident in the UK, our fees are exempt from VAT.

Further information on Sales Tax.

Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).

Further information about fee payment options can be found in the “How to pay your fees” link above.


Most UK universities accept the International Foundation Programme for entry to many of their courses.

Students who have completed the programme have gone on to study with the University of London in the UK or in their home country and at many other institutions in the UK and around the world.

Offers made to our graduates from 2013/14 to 2018/19 [PDF]

In some countries, University of London qualifications earned may not be recognised by certain authorities or regulators for the purposes of public sector employment or further study. We advise you to find out more about local recognition status before you register.

Academic leadership

Lynne Roberts is Director of the International Foundation Programme. She has over 20 years of experience as a lecturer, academic adviser, educational developer and head of learning and teaching at Russell Group Universities in the UK. She holds qualifications from the Institute of Education (Education, Gender and International Development) and Cambridge (Teaching).

Funding your study

There may be additional sources of support for the IFP depending on where you live and how you choose to study.

More on funding your study.

Apply through a Recognised Teaching Centre

Syeda Hadiqa Iqbal, BSc Business and Administration, University of London

Syeda Hadiqa Iqbal

"The courses in the IFP helped mould me into a mature adult with the appropriate knowledge and skill set to be successful in the 21st century."