The International Foundation Programme helped me improve my spoken and written English. I also learned study skills that will help me when I continue with my chosen degree.


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    The International Foundation Programme is designed to help you improve your English language skills up to the level so that you can enter an undergraduate degree at Canterbury Christ Church University.

    It is not just a simple language improvement course: you will need to learn the kinds of language and skills which are necessary in university study, and in your subject area. You may also need to revise and expand the basic knowledge you need to study your subject in English.

    The best way to do this is by studying in a university, in English, and by beginning to study the kinds of subjects, experiencing the kinds of teaching, and doing the types of assessment that you will meet when you start your degree.

    For students who do not need a Student Route visa, or for those who already have an English language level of B2 or above:

    • you can apply for an undergraduate degree which will include an additional International Foundation Programme (IFP) as the first year of a four ­year course. Once you have successfully completed the IFP, you are guaranteed a place on the first year of a degree at the University.

    For students who do not meet the above conditions:

    • the course is the same. On successfully completing the course you will be awarded the International Foundation Certificate. You can then use this to apply for our undergraduate degree courses.

      All about the course

      So that you can enter your chosen degree, and also complete it to the best of your potential, the IFP aims to develop your: knowledge and use of English language, so that you can live and study in the UK university environment; academic study skills and knowledge, so that you understand the requirements of UK undergraduate degrees, especially in your subject area. In addition, like all education, the IFP will develop you as a person more broadly, so that you can live and work more successfully both at university and in your life afterwards.

      This is a full-time programme that lasts one academic year. It is structured into two semesters with teaching from September to December, and January to May. After each semester there is an assessment period (and an opportunity for re-assessment at the end of the year).

      In Semester 1 you will be taught normally by core IFP staff in classes with students from a range of academic subject interests. The main aim is to improve your language and skills so that you can study your own intended academic subjects more effectively in Semester 2.

      Semester 2 focuses on the development of university-level academic skills, and the English language for dealing with your intended subject area. There is a mixture of core modules, which all students take, and option modules which will depend on your intended degree subject and their availability in that year. Depending on the module, you may be studying alongside other UK-based foundation students.

      Entry requirements

      English Language

      Normal entry requirements for students who wish to join the stand-alone IFP primarily to improve their academic English—after successful completion of the IFP, you can progress to a 3-year degree programme of your choice, so long as you have met any additional requirements.

      IELTS 5.0 overall with no score less than 4.0, and a 4.5 in Writing (recommended).
      We are also able to consider equivalent qualifications in line with our standard overseas entry requirements.

      Students who need a Student Route visa and want to enter the integrated 4-year pathway should have English already at B2 level:

      IELTS 5.5 overall with 5.5 in each element.
      Applicants who have taken other English language tests, or who have studied English as part of their secondary school qualifications may be considered in line with our standard overseas entry requirements. We can also accept the equivalent of B2 in other English Language tests (such as Pearson and TOEFL).

      Certain degrees may ask for higher levels of English. In these cases you will normally need to achieve a higher grade in the IFP.

      Students who want to move on to undergraduate programmes that include professional qualification, e.g. Nursing & Midwifery, may have admission requirements in addition to passing the IFP, such as an interview or higher language level. If you intend to take these degrees you should check their requirements directly or ask Admissions. In these cases, you may be advised to enter the IFP at a higher language level in order to ensure you can make the necessary progress over the year.


      We advise all applicants that they should already have satisfied the academic requirements for the undergraduate degree they want to take after the IFP. Check these requirements or ask Admissions.

      Contact Admissions for the UCAS code required for the course you wish to study.

      Module information

      Core/optional modules

      How you’ll learn

      You will learn through a mixture of face-to-face sessions of different kinds, and also very importantly, through study in your own time. 

      The aim of these is not just to expand your grammar, vocabulary etc., but also to improve the skills you need to use your English in university study. As a result much of class time is spent on tasks: actively doing things with your language. These may be small in-class exercises (reading & analysing a text, listening to a recorded conversation, writing a paragraph etc.); or they may be part of a larger preparation for a final product: e.g. reading several texts to produce a written assignment or inform a group discussion. A normal part of doing these tasks is working with other students, in pairs or groups; so learning to communicate effectively with other students is an essential part of what you learn.


      Different subjects are taught in different ways, so you may well not just experience a normal ‘lecture’ where the teacher presents and you take notes; even these will include questions to answer, short tasks to discuss in groups etc. There may also be:

      • seminars: a chance to present and discuss prepared material (e.g. your analysis of an important text; solutions to a problem) in whole-class or in smaller groups
      • tutorials: an opportunity to discuss individually or in very small groups specific things in the course: e.g. helping you plan and write an assignment
      • practicals: these may vary from lab work in sciences to field trips or even making a short video; again, they may well involve working with other students

      The focus will be on the knowledge, theories, methods etc. of particular subjects such as the study of contemporary media or analysing business processes. In other words, you will experience teaching as you will expect to experience it in your main degree course.

      The IFP core module tutors are experienced teachers specialising in English for Academic Purposes. In the subject modules you may also be taught by tutors from the relevant academic departments.

      For more language-focused modules, a lot of the learning needs to be done in class. Therefore, in Semester 1, you should expect to be on campus 4 days per week (although not usually for the whole day), and on many days classes may begin at 9.00am. In Semester 2 you may have fewer hours on campus, but you may well still need to attend at some point 3 days per week. If you are concerned about your ability to attend, you should discuss this when you apply.

      A 40% pass mark is required to proceed to Year 1 of undergraduate study. However, for some degree courses a higher pass mark may be required.

      The International Foundation Programme has been running for many years and by now hundreds of students have successfully passed through this programme and onto undergraduate degrees. It is a full-time course, and the staff, both the tutors and support staff will do what they can to help you succeed. The rest is up to you.

      Richard DavieInternational Foundation Programme Course Director

      How you’ll be assessed

      You will be assessed in a variety of ways so that you are familiar with the range of different assessment types across UK universities. These will also enable your tutors to give you feedback about your progress and areas you need to develop further.

      The range of assessment types will include the following:

      • individual and group presentations
      • portfolios
      • reflective writing
      • written coursework assignments
      • written exams

      For certain subjects, you may also need to do the following:

      • Artefacts: analysing or producing an artefact such as a short film is common across a variety of programmes in the performing arts and media.
      • Practical Tasks such as laboratory practicals and field trips which train you in specific techniques and skills for many scientific, technological and professional subjects.


      The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

        UK Overseas*
      Full-time £9,250 £14,500

      *EU students will receive the EEA Transition Scholarship. 

      International Student Scholarship 2022/23

      An International Student Scholarship fee discount of £1,500 is available for international students starting an undergraduate or postgraduate course from January 2022.

      Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

      Please read the 2022/23 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2022/23 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

      Apply now


      1 year

      UCAS code:



      Apply via UCAS