The Kent International Foundation Programme (IFP) is primarily designed for international students, allowing them to develop their academic knowledge and skills, and if required their English language ability, for entry to Undergraduate study at university.
The programme, on offer at the University of Kent for over 40 years, takes place on the Canterbury campus and students are full members of the University with access to University accommodation and all academic, welfare, social and sport facilities on campus. With academic subject modules and academic skills modules taught by highly qualified University of Kent tutors, the IFP leads to a range of degree programmes in the Social Sciences including pathways to Anthropology, Business, Journalism, Law, Psychology, and Politics. See 'Related to this course' below for other IFP pathways.
In 2020/21, due to COVID-19, we will offer the programme in person, if it is safe and permissible to do so. We will also offer the course online. Please visit the International Pathways site for more information about the IFP study options and read the Online IFP information for details about the online delivery. The online course will cover the same modules and learning outcomes.
You will have the following four options:
Complete the whole course in personComplete the whole course onlineComplete term 01 online September to December 2020 and then join the in-person delivery in January 2021Opt to join the February-start IFP instead.
Progression on to your degree programme in September is automatic at the end of the IFP, if you achieve the required grades.
The Social Sciences IFP has two start dates; one in September and one in February (see Social Sciences IFP Spring start).
Our IFP is entirely managed and delivered by the University of Kent, allowing us to offer teaching of exceptional quality. Teaching is organised in small groups and includes lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, and independent learning. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to apply the skills learnt in one module to all other modules and find relations between modules in order to broaden their education.
Assessment on the majority of modules will be through a combination of final examinations and coursework, including assignments from 1,000 to 2,000 words, and tests from 45 minutes to 3 hours in length.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the structures, registers and varieties of English to a level sufficient for you to be successful on a University of Kent degree programme
- the inter-disciplinary nature of academic skills in the humanities, social sciences and sciences
- academic literacy and skills, in particular, the use of English for Academic Purposes
- an appropriate degree of factual and conceptual knowledge of biosciences history, economics, sociology, literature, philosophy, politics, mathematics and quantitative methods, law, business management, design, programming, analogue electronics and electrical principles and measurements for the purposes of university study, depending on the modules taken
- academic and social cultures and practices other than the students’ own
- intercultural language issues.
You develop intellectual abilities in the following:
- present, evaluate and interpret a variety of data using defined techniques in a logical and systematic fashion
- develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with the basic theories, methods, principles and concepts of the subjects
- engage in critical reflection, verbal discussion and written and interpretative analysis of key material
- separate fact from opinion and identify a writer’s argument as opposed to what is a counter-argument in a text
- assess the merits of contrasting theories and explanations, and make links across different subjects
- present rational and reasoned theses and arguments to a range of audiences
- distinguish between and use an appropriate range of technical and numerical systems and/or a range of spoken and written academic and other registers, styles and genres.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- demonstrate knowledge of the main methods of enquiry and analysis in the humanities, social sciences and sciences
- present data in graphic and textual form in a manner appropriate to the subjects being studied
- evaluate and interpret data and information, develop arguments and come to sound conclusions in accordance with the relevant theories and concepts related to the subjects being studied
- demonstrate an appropriate level of (subject-specific) linguistic competence
- evaluate the reliability and validity of source data (factual, theoretical, quantitative and qualitative) and incorporate your own opinion in an appropriate manner
- be able to work in laboratory and workshop environments and use appropriate equipment and tools (for Sciences or Architecture and Arts pathways)
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- work with others through the preparation of projects, seminars and presentations, and through general pair and group work in class
- recognise your own strengths and weaknesses and improve your performance as a result
- recognise how skills learned in one module can be applied in another
- apply critical and academic skills across all modules
- communicate information to specialist and non-specialist audiences and show a degree of audience awareness in terms of written and oral text
- demonstrate a degree of autonomy, showing the ability to learn effectively using your own resources, be organised and meet deadlines
- select and use appropriate library and IT applications and resources.
Our aims are to provide students with:
- a range of modules covering the foundations of a range of subjects in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences
- teaching informed by current research and scholarship to encourage active involvement
- opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in a range of activities within the Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences
- a stimulating and challenging education
- a firm conceptual foundation in the subjects necessary for progression to stage one in their chosen pathways
- academic literacy through the English language modules
- general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills
- the ability to manage their own learning and carry out some independent research appropriate to foundation level
- appropriate academic and pastoral guidance.