International Foundation Programme - Business - 3 Semesters

International Foundation Programme - Business - 3 Semesters

3 semesters (9 months)

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The International Foundation Programme in Business is ideal if you are looking to study a business-related undergraduate degree.

This programme is run across 3 semesters and is designed to prepare you for degree-level study in the UK. You will be taught by staff who have a combination of academic and real-world business experience to enhance your understanding of business theories and concepts.

If your qualifications and English language skills fall below the entry requirements for your chosen undergraduate programme, then this course is for you. The course offers you the opportunity to develop your English language and study skills, combined with the study of academic subjects. The programme is multidisciplinary and provides progression on to a wide range of business degree programmes at Northumbria University.

Key facts

  • Learn the skills you need to succeed in your undergraduate business degree
  • Ideal if you do not meet the entry criteria for your chosen undergraduate degree
  • Develop your awareness of academic culture in the UK as you integrate into student life within a UK university
  • Upon completing this course, we will offer you guaranteed progression to one of our undergraduate degrees at Northumbria University
  • Other pathways are available for progression on to undergraduate degrees in Art, Design and Media; Engineering; Computing, English Language, Law, Media Production, Psychology and Sport subjects
About this course

What will I study?

This course seeks to develop the core skills you will need to successfully study a degree at undergraduate level in the UK.

There is an initial semester of English (the English Foundation Course) which will prepare students for the two semesters of International Foundation Programme that follow.

After this, you will study 6 modules in total over the other two semester. These modules will help you develop the academic and English skills needed to successfully make the transition to studying in the UK and include global studies topics and a wide range of cultural texts to aid your learning. In addition, weekly topics of global studies are used across two modules to develop a broad understanding of core issues and how they can affect business.

You will also undertake 2 modules that will focus more on the world of business and IT, aiming to develop your business acumen. The first of these modules will introduce you to Information Technology and the impact this has on society. You’ll also gain practical experience using different computer software so you’ll be able to produce documents, spreadsheets, presentations and databases to a professional standard.
In the second of these modules you will be introduced to business and management. It aims to give you a greater understanding of some of the principal functions of business and an awareness of the impact of the internal and external environment.

Teaching and assessment

The International Foundation Programme in Business prepares you for a wide range of programmes within business by introducing the key concepts that will be built upon in your undergraduate studies. You will be taught by staff who have a combination of academic and real-world business experience, meaning that you can benefit from the theory and how this is applied to real case studies.

It also provides a solid grounding in general studies though core modules in English language to enable you to understand key texts through reading and critical analysis skills. These modules also focus on writing essays and reports, grammar – all of which will prepare you for your undergraduate studies.
In addition, you will also cover core aspects of ICT to enable you to perform at the level expected at undergraduate study. You will use a range of key software to produce documents, reports, presentations and illustrations of data.

The programme specifically develops your awareness of academic culture in the UK as well as intercultural issues to enable you to integrate well into student life within a UK university. It helps you to participate fully in lectures, seminars and project work and develop your independence. Intercultural skills are also an important employment tool that will be useful for you in the future.

The programme is designed to provide a solid foundation to studying in a British university and you will benefit from staff who are used to supporting international students through this important transition. Teaching and learning is carried out through seminars, lectures, tutorials and workshops, totalling around 15-20 hours per week. In addition, you will be expected to spend 15-20 hours a week on independent study through self-directed learning. Teaching and self-directed learning also makes use of the University’s electronic learning portal (Blackboard) and you will be encouraged to use the technology in preparation for your future studies.

You will be taught by module tutors to support your academic needs. In addition to this, you will be allocated a guidance tutor at the start of the programme. Your guidance tutor is your first point of contact for anything outside of the classroom that affects your learning. You will meet your guidance tutor at the start of each semester for a formal meeting. In-between this you can arrange to meet them at any point and they may also contact you if they need to meet you. All conversations with the guidance tutor are confidential and they will always be the first point of contact should you need them.

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Upon successful completion and subject to specific entry requirements, you can go on to study a range of business undergraduate degrees at Northumbria University.

To progress and be eligible for entry on to our undergraduate degree programmes you must achieve at least 50%* and grades BBBB in English in your foundation programme. Use the table below to compare pass rates with UCAS tariff points. For example, if you achieve a 50% pass mark then you can go on to study programmes that require 112-120 UCAS tariff points.

% achieved on IFP Equivalent UCAS tariff point for undergraduate study
50-59% 112 and 120
60-69% 128 and 136
70%+ 144 and above

Please note that our undergraduate degrees are currently being reviewed, however, we have previously offered the opportunity for students to progress on to the following courses:

Your target course International Foundation Programme pass mark required
Accounting BA (Hons) 60% and grades BBBB in English
Business Management BA (Hons) 60% and grades BBBB in English
Business with Accounting BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Business with Economics BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Business with Entrepreneurship BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Business with Financial Management BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Business with Human Resource Management BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Business with International Management BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Business with Logistics and Supply Chain Management BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Business with Management BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Business with Marketing Management BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Business with Tourism Management BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
Finance and Investment Management BA (Hons) 60% and grades BBBB in English
Human Resource Management BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English
International Business Management BA (Hons) 60% and grades BBBB in English
Marketing Management BA (Hons) 60% and grades BBBB in English
Tourism and Events Management BA (Hons) 50% and grades BBBB in English

If you would like to progress on to a degree in Art, Design and Media; Engineering; or Computing, English Language, Law, Media Production, Psychology and Sport subjects, please see our alternative pathway programmes:

Upon successfully passing your programme you will receive a Foundation Diploma in International English for Academic Communication which some other universities may also accept as an entry qualification.

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Applicants should have the following:

Academic requirements

  • GCSE/iGCSE – 5 passes at A-C

We welcome applications from students who have obtained good grades in their upper secondary education.

We also now accept the following:

  • China – Successful completion of Senior Middle School 2 with a minimum average of 70% or higher, or successful completion of Senior Middle School 3 with a minimum average of 60% or higher
  • India – Standard 11 with 55%, Standard 12 with 50%.
  • Malaysia – SPM Malaysia School Certificate, Forecast results accepted – UEC pass grades also accepted.
  • Senegal – Baccalaureate/Baccalaureat Technique 10/20

Depending on your chosen degree course, specific subject requirements may apply. Our team will be able to help confirm the details for you.

For other country specific entry requirements, please check our Entry Requirements. Alternatively, please contact our team who will be able to help you.

English language requirements

Students require IELTS 4.5 with no single element below 4.0, or equivalent, from a UKVI Approved centre

If you do not meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be eligible to join our English for University Studies before starting this programme.

Age requirements

You must be over 16 years old

If you are under 18 at the start of the International Foundation Programme, you will need to include with your application a signed consent form by your parent or legal guardian. You can find a copy of this on our How to Apply page.

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All modules are core.

This module will develop the student’s reading skills to enable to them to understand a range of academic texts and how to both read and interpret them. The module will equip students with the ability to read texts covered in Reading and Critical Analysis and to develop critical responses – a core skill for undergraduate study. It will also enable students to develop their range of vocabulary and understand aspects of word formation.

This module will provide the opportunity to develop listening skills utilising the university digital labs. Students will be able to analyse spoken texts and practise a range of listening skills. The module will also include speaking and communication skills with some focus on pronunciation and fluency. This will prepare students for presentations and seminar discussions that are used across many university modules.

This module will help students to develop an understanding of the requirements of academic writing. It will directly prepare students for the Essay and Report writing module. Students will learn through practical exercises how to form sentence structures and paragraphing for a piece of writing to address a task. The focus will be on accuracy and developing an understanding of academic writing.

This module will cover a range of communication skills including the development of more effective oral communication to a wide range of situations. The aim is to increase confidence in using English to enable students to engage more with the academic and wider community.

This module has a lecture and seminar component and helps to prepare students for this type of module approach used by the university in their target degree programmes. Each week the topic will alternate between grammar and global studies. The global studies topics will also be explored over two weeks of the Reading and Critical analysis module. A key focus is to understand key points of a lecture, ask relevant questions and then analyse further in the weekly seminars.

This module provides weekly reading texts covering Global Studies that provide students with exposure to and the experience of the types of academic texts they will be expected to read during their course.

A key focus of the module will be to develop critical and analytical skills to enable students to select appropriate ideas to support argument and to paraphrase these ideas effectively in speaking and writing.

This module aims to develop reflective, intellectual, analytical and oral skills. Its focus will be to raise students’ awareness of themselves as carriers of culture, to investigate concepts of otherness and to reflect on how they and others are represented within society.
The module will develop oral skills, as students will be involved in discussions, debates, presentations and role-play, with the aim of developing communicative competency and confidence.

This module introduces students to academic writing and focuses in particular on allowing the students to acquire skills in essay and report writing, basic research, and academic conventions. The main focus is on planning, outlining and constructing coherent discursive and persuasive essays and research reports.

This module aims to provide a thorough introduction to the study of ICT.  There is a focus on both practical sessions for applied ICT as well as some of the underpinning theory and concepts behind this including data protection and safe storage of data.  On the applied side of the module, the focus is on gaining practical skills for future undergraduate study with a knowledge of relevant theory to understand good practice.  The module encourages students to produce work through a range of Microsoft Office applications at the standard required by university including spreadsheets, presentations, databases and a variety of report and word-based documents.

This module provides students with an understanding of some of the key areas of business and management and supports students in understanding the different types of businesses that exist. The topics covered in both semesters prepare the students with the knowledge to enter their degree programmes at the same level as any other degree student whether they be local, EU or International students

Introduce students to the key functions of a business including: making students aware of the external business environment; enabling students to understand the role of management in businesses; providing an understanding of core activities that take place in HR, marketing, finance, operations and strategic business management departments; providing students with an insight into communication within businesses.

The programme also gives the students the confidence to fully participate in their degree activities and to build strong relationships with others.

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Tuition fee 2019/20

International students: £18,250

Please note that your tuition fees do not include the cost of course books that you may choose to purchase, stationery, printing and photocopying, accommodation, living expenses, travel or any other extracurricular activities. As a Northumbria University Pathway student, you will have full access to our online digital library with over 400,000 e-books and 50,000 electronic journals.

The modules you will study do not require you to purchase additional textbooks.

Scholarships and bursaries for international students

Depending on the country you are from, you may be eligible for a country bursary and/or scholarship when studying this programme.

All of our scholarships and bursaries are automatically applied when we process your application and one of our team will be able to confirm your eligibility.

Scholarships and bursaries

Payment plans

If you need support to spread the cost of your tuition, you may be eligible for our payment plan.

Payment plans

How to find out more

Enquire now to find out more information about the International Foundation Programme – Business, studying with us, the application process, and to have any other questions you have.

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How to apply

When you are ready, you can apply for the International Foundation Programme – Business. When you are applying you will need to choose the undergraduate degree course that you intend to progress on to after your International Foundation Programme and you must state this on the application form.

If you are accepted you will receive one offer letter for the International Foundation Programme – Business followed by the appropriate degree programme. Once you have successfully completed the International Foundation Programme – Business and achieved the required grades, you can gain direct admission onto your chosen degree at Northumbria.

We strongly recommend that you submit your application as early as possible to allow you to complete all of the preparations needed to study your programme. After receiving your offer it can take time to arrange your finances and apply for your visa (if required) and it is important that you arrive in good time to enrol on to your course. Please refer to the Dates and Fees page.

If you are unable to apply online, then you can download a PDF application form and email it to

Download an application form

Supporting documents

For us to assess your application in a timely manner, it is important that you provide us with the following documents:

  • Fully completed application form
  • Personal email address must be included on the application form
  • Transcripts and/or certificates (including a certified translation if not in English)
  • Passport – copy of personal details page
  • Proof of financial sponsorship if applicable
  • Reference
  • Confirmation of immigration history including copies of previous and current visas if applicable

You can check more information on how to apply here, including guidelines for the application forms.

Course information

Level of study:
Foundation - NQF Level 3
£18,250 (International)
Leads to:
Undergraduate degrees in Business
Entry requirements:
5 GCSE/iGCSE passes at grade A-C, or equivalent
IELTS requirements:
IELTS 4.5 with no single element below 4.0, or equivalent, from a UKVI Approved centre (this varies depending on chosen route of study)
3 semesters (9 months)
Class hours per week:
15 - 18 hours
Average class size:
19 (16-18 for English)
Assessment methods:
A mix of group presentations, oral examinations, written assignments and exams
Scholarship or bursaries:
Payment plan:
Next application deadline:
26 August 2019
testimonial image
testimonial image

“I chose to study the International Foundation Programme to enable me to progress on to an undergraduate degree in Law. The International Foundation Programme helps me escape my comfort zone, allowing me to develop my social skills, specifically my ability to interact with people on a daily basis.”

Abdulaziz J Y M Alyaqoub
International Foundation Programme



We run start dates throughout the year depending on your chosen course. Check our application deadlines, tuition fees and payment plans we offer here.



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