International Foundation Diploma (International Foundation Programme)

Oxford Brookes University Pathways, Oxford Brookes University the United Kingdom

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The award
International Foundation Programme

How long you will study
9 Months

Domestic course fees
GBP 9250

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
GBP 12210

All study options

About International Foundation Diploma at Oxford Brookes University Pathways, Oxford Brookes University

This course will prepare you for an undergraduate course at a UK university. You will improve your subject knowledge, study skills and use of English for academic purposes. Click 'Progression and degree options' for a list of degrees you can study afterwards.

Students who apply for the International Foundation Diploma (IFD) and who have a higher level of English will be placed on the International Foundation Diploma Plus. The IFD Plus has a slightly wider range of (mainly modern language) modules.


The International Foundation Diploma fully prepares students from a range of backgrounds for undergraduate courses at Oxford Brookes University. It provides a bridge between school study in your home country and undergraduate study at a UK university.

Choose this course if you have fewer than 13 years of schooling and want to enter an undergraduate course. This diploma leads to courses in subjects such as business and management, computing, English language and communication, film studies, hospitality and tourism, international relations, law, life sciences, politics, social sciences and education.

If you have a higher English language test result, or if you are a native English speaker, you will be placed on the International Foundation Diploma Plus. IFD Plus students will be able to choose modern languages modules in addition to modules available to all IFD students. The IFD Plus was formerly known as the Foundation Diploma in Liberal Arts.

See our full range of international foundation courses suitable for students with a range of IELTS levels. These include our integrated four-year degrees that combine your foundation and undergraduate degree.

Teaching learning and assessment

The International Foundation Diploma trains you to become an independent learner and fully prepares you for university study. You will experience all the teaching and learning methods used in British universities, such as lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will develop your listening and note-taking skills and learn how to take part in seminars. You will also develop your own ideas through group discussions and class presentations.

You will be taught by highly qualified academic staff. They are specialists in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) who have many years of teaching experience in the UK and overseas.

You will gain practice and training in the different kinds of assessment that are common in higher education, for instance essays, reports, individual and group presentations, learning journals, project work and examinations.

There will be a maximum of 18 students in a class in your compulsory modules. Your subject specialisation modules may be larger.

Teaching hours

You will have 18 class hours in semester 1 and 15 class hours in semester 2 per week. Classes are held Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays), usually between 9am and 4pm. Some subject modules may be between 5pm and 8pm.

You will need to spend at least 20 hours per week on independent study which includes homework, assignments, tutorials, reading and preparation for classes (in groups or individually).

Accreditation and quality

We are accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English as a foreign language. The report from our last inspection stated:

The British Council inspected and accredited Oxford Brookes International in October 2009. The Accreditation Scheme assesses the standards of management, resources and premises, teaching and welfare and accredits organisations which meet the overall standard in each area inspected (see for details).

The large English language teaching department of this university offers courses in academic English for adults.

Points of excellence were noted in aspects of general management, academic resources, course design and learner training.

The inspection report stated that the organisation met the standards of the Scheme.

In detail

Course content

Over two semesters you choose a personal pathway of modules that build on your language and academic skills and reflect your own subject and career interests.

You will develop your knowledge of academic subjects through modules related to your future course of study. One or two of these modules will be at undergraduate level to give you the experience of studying at a higher level with British and international students.

You will also increase your knowledge of English and confidence in using it for academic purposes, and develop your study skills and critical thinking skills before beginning your degree course.


You must take and pass eight modules to complete the diploma.

Compulsory modules

Three compulsory modules will develop your academic study skills and your critical-thinking skills in preparation for your future courses. These are:

  • Orientation to University Studies
  • Foundation Project
  • Inter-Cultural Communication

Optional modules

Your choice of four optional modules will depend on your interests and future study plans. We will advise you on the best combination at the start of the course. As courses are reviewed regularly the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Foundation level

  • Foundations of Computer Systems
  • Foundations of Computer Programming
  • Perspectives on Business Studies
  • Foundation Economics
  • Perspectives on Macroeconomics
  • Foundation Tourism and Hospitality
  • Foundation Media Studies
  • Foundations of Modern Theory and Belief
  • Literature and Arts in Context
  • International Relations
  • Introduction to International Development
  • Modern British Cinema and Society
  • Foundation Law
  • Foundation Politics
  • Foundations of Cell and Human Biology
  • Foundations of Chemistry
  • Foundations of Genetics and Ecology
  • Foundation Engineering Mathematics I
  • Foundation Engineering Mathematics II

Undergraduate level

  • Basic Survey Methods
  • Basic Data Analysis
  • Digital Cinematography
  • Multimedia IT Skills
  • Politics in Comparative Perspective
  • Foundations of Social Psychology
  • Foundations of Developmental Psychology
  • Foundations of Cognitive Psychology
  • Raising Individual Financial Awareness
  • Foundations of Business
  • Global Business Communications
  • Planning a Successful Event
  • Publishing Principles
  • Publishing Principles and Practice: Author to Reader
  • The Rise of the Modern World
  • Contemporary British Studies
  • Introduction to Language and Society
  • Introduction to Popular Music
  • Introduction to Philosophy (IFD Plus students only)

    Undergraduate language modules for students on the IFD Plus. Not available to native speakers of the taught language.

    • French A1
    • French A2
    • French B1 (1)
    • French B1 (2)
    • German A1
    • German A2
    • German B1 (1) dependent on student numbers
    • German B1 (2) dependent on student numbers
    • Japanese for Beginners
    • Japanese 2A
    • Japanese 2B
    • Mandarin Chinese 1A
    • Mandarin Chinese 1B
    • Mandarin Chinese 2A dependent on student numbers
    • Mandarin Chinese 2B dependent on student numbers
    • Spanish A1
    • Spanish A2
    • Spanish B1 (1)
    • Spanish B1 (2)

    Recommended modules for particular pathways

    You can choose modules according to your previous experience, interests and study plans. However, the following modules are recommended for progression to undergraduate degrees in particular subject areas.

    Recommended for business, marketing, accounting and tourism degrees

    • Foundation level: Perspectives on Business Studies (Semester 1); Foundation Economics (Semester 1 or S); Foundation Tourism and Hospitality (Semester 1 or S); International Relations (Semester 2 or S); Perspectives on Macroeconomics (Semester 2)
    • Undergraduate level: Foundations of Business* (Semester 1 or 2 or S); Global Business Communications (Semester 1 or 2); Basic Data Analysis (Semester 2); Basic Survey Methods (Semester 1 or 2); Raising Individual Financial Awareness (Semester 1 or 2); Planning a Successful Event (Semester 1)
      Also: An appropriate Level 3 mathematics module if required for Business

    Recommended for law, politics and psychology degrees

    • Foundation level: Foundation Law (Semester 1 or 2); Foundation Politics (Semester 2); International Relations (Semester 1 or 2 or S); Literature and Arts in Context (Semester 2)
    • Undergraduate level: Foundations of Social Psychology (Semester 1); Foundations of Developmental Psychology; Foundations of Cognitive Psychology; Politics in Comparative Perspective (Semester 2); The Rise of the Modern World (Semester 2); Introduction to Philosophy (Semester 1)
      Also: An appropriate Level 3 mathematics module if required for Psychology

    Recommended for social sciences, humanities, media, communication and publishing degrees

    • Foundation level: Foundation Media Studies (Semester 1); Literature and Arts in Context (Semester 2); Modern British Cinema and Society (Semester 2)
    • Undergraduate level: Foundations of Social Psychology (Semester 1); Politics in Comparative Perspective (Semester 2); Video Production (Semester 1); Electronic Product Design (Semester 2); Multimedia IT Skills (Semester 1); Publishing Principles and Practice (Semester 1); Publishing Principles and Practice: Author to Reader (Semester 2); Introduction to Popular Music (Semester 2)

    Recommended for computing degrees

    • Foundation level: Foundations of Computer Systems (Semester 1); Foundations of Computer Programming (Semester 2)
    • Undergraduate level: Digital Cinematography (Semester 1); Basic Data Analysis (Semester 2)
      Also: An appropriate level 3 mathematics module if required

    Compulsory modules for life sciences degrees (available only to IFD students starting in September)

    • Foundation level: Foundations of Cell and Human Biology (Semester 1); Foundations of Genetics and Ecology (Semester 2); Foundations of Chemistry (Semester 2)
    • Undergraduate level: Basic Data Analysis (Semester 1 or 2)
      An appropriate level 3 mathematics module if required
    *Not available to students with equivalent AS/A2 level qualifications
    Semester 1 = Sept-Dec
    Semester 2 = Feb-May
    S (Summer semester) = June-Aug

    Student support

    Our dedicated student support team are here throughout your time at Oxford Brookes International and can help with any problems or issue you may face. They can provide one to one support, pastoral advice and guidance to help you progress through your course. They also organise our welcome programme and social events for students.

    Course dates

    September 2017 start

    Enrolment and induction: 18-22 September 2017
    Semester 1: 25 September - 18 December 2017
    Semester 2: 29 January - 19 May 2018

    January 2018 start

    Enrolment and induction: 25-26 January 2018
    Semester 1: 29 January - 19 May 2018
    Semester 2: 29 May - 17 August 2018

    (See our university calendar for details of bank holidays.)

    Key facts

    This course is taught by Oxford Brookes International

    Course length

    Full-time:  2 semesters (24 weeks' teaching)

    Teaching location

    Headington Campus

    Start date

    September 2017 or January / September 2018

    Progression and degree options

    Guaranteed progression: Your place on a three year undergraduate course is guaranteed provided you pass your foundation year with the required grades.

    This foundation can prepare you for a range of outstanding degrees at Oxford Brookes University including:

    Business and Management


    • BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance
    • BA (Hons) Business and Management
    • BA (Hons) Business and Marketing Management
    • BA (Hons) Business Management
    • BA (Hons) Business, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
    • BSc (Hons) Economics
    • BSc (Hons) Economics, Finance and International Business
    • BA (Hons) Economics, Politics and International Relations
    • BA (Hons) Events Management
    • BA (Hons) Human Resource Management
    • BA (Hons) International Business Management
    • BSc (Hons) International Business, Finance, and Economics
    • BSc (Hons) Information Technology Management for Business
    • BA (Hons) Marketing Management
    Biological, Environmental and Medical Sciences (for IFD students starting in Sept) 
    • BSc (Hons) Animal Biology and Conservation
    • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences
    • BSc (Hons) Biology
    • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
    • BSc (Hons) Environmental Sciences
    • BSc (Hons) Equine Science
    • BSc (Hons) Equine Science and Thoroughbred Management
    • BSc (Hons) Human Biology
    • BSc (Hons) Medical Science




    • BSc (Hons) Digital Media Production
    • BA (Hons) Drama (as part of joint degree)
    • BA (Hons) English Literature
    • BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing
    • BA (Hons) History of Art
    • BA (Hons) Film Studies


    Computing, Multimedia and Sound Technology


    • BSc (Hons) Computer Science
    • BSc (Hons) Computing for Robotic Systems
    • BSc (Hons) Digital Media Production
    • BSc (Hons) Network Computing
    • BSc (Hons) Software Development for Business
    • Education and Early Years
    • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
    • BA (Hons) Education Studies


    Hospitality Management


    • BA (Hons) Events Management
    • BSc (Hons) International Hospitality Management




    • BA (Hons) History
    • BA (Hons) History of Art
    • BA (Hons) English Literature
    • BA (Hons) Philosophy




    • BA (Hons) Applied Languages
    • BA (Hons) Japanese Studies




    • LLB (Hons) Law


    Publishing and Communication


    • BA (Hons) Communication, Media and Culture
    • BA (Hons) English Language and Communication
    • BA (Hons) Publishing Media


    Real Estate and Planning


    • BA (Hons) City and Regional Planning
    • BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management
    • BA (Hons) Planning and Property Development
    • BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management
    • BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management
    • BA (Hons) Urban Design, Planning and Environment


    Social Sciences


    • BA (Hons) Anthropology
    • BSc (Hons) Biological Anthropology
    • BA (Hons) Communication, Media and Culture
    • BA (Hons) Criminology
    • BA (Hons) Economics, Politics and International Relations
    • BA (Hons) Geography
    • BA (Hons) International Relations
    • BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics
    • BA (Hons) Politics (as part of a joint degree)
    • BSc (Hons) Psychology
    • BA (Hons) Social Anthropology
    • BA (Hons) Sociology (as part of a joint degree)


    Sport, Exercise and Nutrition


    • BSc (Hons) Coaching, Sport and Physical Education
    • BSc (Hons) Nutrition (for IFD students starting in Sept)
    • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
    • BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (for IFD students starting in Sept)


    Course list correct at time of publication

    We will give you advice on the best course for you and help you to apply for your chosen undergraduate course at Oxford Brookes or another British university. There are lectures and seminars on British higher education, and individual help with your application through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) from our admissions staff, our administrative team and your tutors.

    Study options for this course

    • The award How you will study How long you will study Course starts Domestic course fees International course fees
    • The awardInternational Foundation ProgrammeHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study9 months
      Course startsJanuaryDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course feesGBP 12210
    • The awardInternational Foundation ProgrammeHow you will studyFull-timeHow long you will study9 months
      Course startsSeptemberDomestic course feesGBP 9250International course feesGBP 12700

    Notes about fees for this course

    The tuition fees for international students are £12,210 (Sep 2017/Jan 2018)

    For UK and EU students the tuition fees are £9,250 (fees are subject to confirmation but will be no more than than this amount). You will not be eligible for a student loan or other funding from the UK government for this course.

    Teaching materials

    Your tuition fees include most of your teaching materials, and gives you access to the university's learning facilities including the libraries, computers and virtual learning environment. You will need to purchase specific text books for this course costing up to approximately £100.

    Deposits and refunds

    A non-refundable £1,000 deposit is required to secure your place on this course.

    In the unlikely event that you decide to leave within the first four weeks of the course we will refund the tuition fees minus the £1,000 deposit. No refunds are available after the fourth week of the course. For more information see our terms and conditions.

    Entry requirements

    Entry requirements


    • Qualifications from your country
    • British A-levels: EE
    • British AS-levels: CCC
    • International Baccalaureate: 20 points
    • IGCSE: 5 grade Cs/4s

    English language

    • UKVI-approved SELT IELTS 5.0 with 5.0 in all skills (test must be taken at an approved test centre). Those with a UKVI-approved SELT IELTS 6.0 (with 6.0 in reading and writing) will be placed on the International Foundation Diploma Plus (formerly the Foundation Diploma in Liberal Arts).

    If your English level is IELTS 4.5 (with 4.0 in all skills) or equivalent you can apply for our International Foundation Diploma (Extended pathway).

    English language requirements for visas

    This course is classed as a B1 level for visa purposes. To apply for a student visa you will need to meet the minimum B1 English language requirements.

    Minimum age

    The normal minimum age for this course is 18. We will admit 17-year-olds on a case-by-case basis if they turn 18 during the academic year in which the course runs.

    Under 18s are only admitted to the University if they live in student accommodation. Find out more about the university's policy on the safeguarding of children.

    More information for students aged under 18.

    How to apply

    Apply online directly to Oxford Brookes.

    Your admissions officer for this course, Lucy Norris, will be pleased to advise you and will see your application through to the moment you enrol at Brookes.

    Contact her on or +44 (0)1865 483874 for more information

    Conditions of acceptance

    When you accept our offer, you agree to the conditions of acceptance. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

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