International Foundation Programme
Our International Foundation Programme (IFP) has been designed to ensure that you achieve high academic standards and gain the skills, knowledge and intellectual curiosity needed to succeed at university. It is one of the most widely accepted foundation programmes in the world.
A stepping stone to undergraduate study
This programme is designed to give you the tools you need to succeed at University and is widely accepted for undergraduate entry in the UK and beyond. Graduates are guaranteed entry to several undergraduate degrees offered through the University of London.
Access a wealth of resources
Get the resources you need to unlock your academic potential with classroom supported by comprehensive subject guides, textbooks and a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which includes a variety of interactive online material. The learning experience is strongly focused on the development of academic skills alongside analysis and debate.
A trusted name in global education
Founded in 1836, the University of London is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in the UK and is internationally regarded as a centre of academic excellence. We educate more than 45,000 distance learners annually in 190 countries.
This programme is academically rigorous and offers a firm grounding in the social sciences across Law, Economics, Politics and beyond. You’ll engage with contemporary issues using real-world examples. Tutors at your local Recognised Teaching Centre will ensure you get the support you need to thrive throughout your studies.
Join the world class
Join a global alumni community and enjoy a lifelong connection to the University of London. Graduates are encouraged to keep in touch with one another and can receive a number of benefits including an extensive programme of events and engagement opportunities.
A recognised and prestigious qualification
Our students have gone to study at prestigious universities in the UK, such as Durham, Edinburgh, King’s College London, London School of Economics, Manchester, Warwick and at universities in Australia, Canada and the USA.
Teaching Centre Support
The IFP consists of four elective modules.
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 modules may also be studied on a stand-alone basis. A student may register for one individual module in an academic year.
Studying a single module 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 modules. No credit transfer or recognition of prior learning (RPL) is allowed for students who complete a single module and then register on the International Foundation Programme.
The Programme Specification and Programme Regulations contain information and rules regarding what courses you can choose and the order in which they must be studied.
Study at a Recognised Teaching Centre
You must study the International Foundation Programme, including single modules, at a Recognised Teaching Centre.
You should contact your local centre directly for information on their start dates and schedules.
When you register, we will give you access to your Student Portal. You can then access your University of London email account and other key resources:
- The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Here, you can access electronic copies of all printed study materials, resources including audio-visual and revision guides, and forums to discuss course material and work collaboratively with others.
- The Online Library. As a student at the University of London, you will have access to a range of resources, databases, and journals via the Online Library. You will be able to contact a team of professional and qualified librarians for any help you require.
Senate House Library
If you’re based in the United Kingdom, or are visiting London, make sure to visit Senate House Library. Students studying with the University of London can join the library free of charge. Membership includes a 10-book borrowing allowance, access to all reading rooms and study areas, and on-site access to Senate House Library digital resources.
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.
The International Foundation Programme 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.
The International Foundation Programme and its modules are assessed by an unseen written examination. Candidates who pass all four modules 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.
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).
|Programme starts||November 2024|
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.
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.
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 a media player (such as VLC) to play video files.
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.
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.
Fees, funding and payment
The fees below relate to new students registering for the 2023-2024 session. On average, fees are subject to a five per cent year-on-year increase.
Students who registered earlier can view their fees on the Course Fees page.
|Initial registration fee||£1285|
|Per course fee (includes one exam attempt)*||£288|
|Total fee for International Foundation Programme (one year)**||£2437|
|Fees for additional period of study|
|Continuing registration fee (second/third year)||£471|
|Examination re-entry fee (per course)||£288|
|Online examination fee*||£10|
|Single course taken on a stand-alone basis|
|Single course fee (includes first examination entry)||£612|
* 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 International Foundation Programme 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 four 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.
*The online examination administration fee is charged for each examination paper held online, including resits. This does not apply to any coursework submissions.
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.
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.
Your payment provider may apply additional transaction fees (if in doubt, please check with them before making a payment).
You’ll have access to a wide range of careers and employability support through the University of London Careers Service, including live webinars and online drop-in sessions.
Tailored support for careers in the refugee and humanitarian fields is available through regular programme events, webinars and careers resources.
What our students say
“The International Foundation Programme allowed me to apply for undergraduate courses in the world's top universities.”