International Foundation Programme - Business and Law

International Foundation Programme - Business and Law

12, 9 or 6 months

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The International Foundation Programme in Business and Law is ideal if you are looking to study a business or law-related undergraduate degree but need to boost your English and academic qualifications.

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.

Upon completion of this programme, you will be able to progress on to a wide range of business degree programmes available at Northumbria University.

Key facts

  • Learn the skills you need to succeed in your undergraduate business degree
  • Develop key understanding of contemporary issues in business including areas such as innovation, market knowledge, the impact of law, how external factors can affect business, etc.
  • 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, Media Production, Psychology and Sport subjects
About this course

What will I study?

This course will introduce you to life studying in the UK and will develop the core academic and English language skills you will need to progress on to an undergraduate degree with Northumbria University.

The modules on this programme will help you to meet the requirements of your target course, where you will develop your reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills alongside learning study techniques, how to read academic texts, and report writing.

Pathway specific modules include three that will focus more on the world of business, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The first two modules will introduce you to contemporary issues facing the business world today, vital management skills, and the principal functions of business.

For the third module, if you intend to progress onto Accounting and Finance, you will study the ‘Business Mathematics and Statistics’ module, which will involve applying quantitative skills in the context of business. For all other target degrees, you will study the ‘Ethical Practices in Action’ module, which will enable you to explore the change business environment and consider how some organisations go beyond the requirements of legislation to support their drive to gain competitive advantage.

Study plan

IELTS Oct-Dec Jan-Mar Mar-Jun July-Aug Sept
4.5 International Foundation Programme – Business and Law
(12 month)
Start your undergraduate degree at Northumbria University
5.0 International Foundation Programme – Business and Law
(9 month)
Summer break
5.0   International Foundation Programme – Business and Law
(9 month)
5.5     International Foundation Programme – Business and Law
(6 month)


How will I be taught and assessed?

Contact hours

  • 16 – 18 hours per week in seminars, lectures, workshops, labs and tutorials

Self-study hours

  • 20 – 22 hours per week – a total of 40 hours per week overall study time with lectures and seminars

Guidance tutor

  • Your first point of contact for anything outside the classroom that affects your learning
  • Meet at the start of each term
  • You can arrange to meet them at any point and they may contact you if necessary


  • Portfolio tasks – including written coursework, presentations, reflective essays and in-class tests
  • Assessed continually through each module and submit a portfolio at the end
  • This allows you to gradually assimilate to the learning and teaching style
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Upon successful completion and subject to specific entry requirements, you can go on to study a range of Business and Law undergraduate degrees at Northumbria University.

To progress and be eligible for entry onto our undergraduate degree programmes you must achieve at least 40% in your International Foundation Programme.

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 progression course
Accounting BSc (Hons)
Business Management BA (Hons)
Business and Entrepreneurship BA (Hons)
Business and Human Resource Management BA (Hons)
Business and Marketing BA (Hons)
Business and Supply Chain Management BA (Hons)
Economics and Finance BSc (Hons)
Economics BSc (Hons)
Finance and Investment Management BSc (Hons)
International Business Management BSc (Hons)
Law LLB (Hons)
Marketing BA (Hons)
Tourism and Events Management BA (Hons)

If you would like to progress on to a degree in Art, Design and Media, Engineering or Computing, English Language, 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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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

There are multiple entry levels to the International Foundation Programme depending on your IELTS level:

  • 4.5 with no single sub score below 4.0, or equivalent, from a UKVI Approved centre will study the 12-month programme
  • 5.0 with no single sub score below 4.0, or equivalent, from a UKVI Approved centre will study the 9-month programme
  • 5.5 with no single sub score below 5.5, or equivalent, from a UKVI Approved centre will study the 6-month programme
  • Students intending to progress on to Law: IELTS 5.5 with no single element below 4.0, or equivalent, from a UKVI Approved centre

Please note that if your qualifications are not in English, we might need certified translations in order to proceed with your application.

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 and worth 20 credits unless specified.

12 and 9 month IFP students only

This module provides you with the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the skills needed to study in a UK university. You will learn about UK Higher Education culture, and acquaint yourself with the many university support mechanisms to develop your skills and thrive at university.

This will be learnt through a number of ways including onsite communicative and task-based learning. This will engage you in the active use of the English language and encourage you to study at university more proactively and independently.

In addition, you will also be introduced to your subject specialisms and the International Foundation Programme as a whole.

Students on the 12-month International Foundation Programme will study 2-terms of this module.

All students will study the following modules:

This module is designed to help you to meet the English level needed for both the International Foundation Programme and your undergraduate degree, and to give you the tools you need to become an independent language learner. It will teach you how to learn language for academic study, take responsibility for your own language learning, and gain the habits of continuous learning which you will need on your undergraduate program.

You will learn to develop your:

  • Communicative abilities in English
  • Functional language ability across the main skills of English (speaking, listening, reading, and writing)
  • Grammatical knowledge and accuracy in English
  • Vocabulary and fluency in English

You will develop your skills in this area and improve your ability to apply them in the subject of your undergraduate degree.

The aim of this module is to equip you with some of the skills that are necessary for preparing you for studying at university and starting your journey into employment. The module comprises several skill areas. The aim of the module is to create a friendly, interactive, and inclusive learning environment.

Personal skills will support the identification of your skills and abilities through targeted activities whilst looking at ways to maximise your presence within both a university context and the wider workplace. Project management skills include working with others, delegation, participation, and reflecting on approaches taken.

This module aims to provide an introduction to Business organisations and their internal functions and external environments that they operate in. You will develop an understanding of how key departments of a business work together and how they affect business decision-making.

You will be required to reflect on current business practices and use critical thinking skills to decide which ones are most appropriate in different situations. As such this module will develop an understanding of how organisations can be seen as an open system that is in contextual interaction with its dynamic environment.

This module explores the concepts of entrepreneurship and innovation, and how they influence individual and organisational performance within the modern global economy.

You will explore the opportunities and disruptive nature of innovation, whether it be adapting an existing process to enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness to a complete transformation of a business model to develop and launch a new product that aims to sustain a competitive advantage.

Please note: this module will not be studied by students progressing onto BSc Accounting

In this module, you will develop an awareness of how ethical action is increasingly important in today’s interconnected world. Decisions we take in one sector of a society can rapidly influence another sector, crossing borders and having far-reaching effects on real lives. Whether it is in the ethical choices you make in business, environmental policy, law and order, medicine, politics, the media or academic research, this is a key topic you need to understand for the twenty-first century.

Drawing on core philosophical principles, the Ethical Practices in Action module guides you in examining how choices we make and actions we take shape today’s world. Through understanding where ethics come from, why they are important, and how they can help us make better choices, you will be better prepared to work in many areas of contemporary society, for instance in business, HR, healthcare, counselling, criminal justice, academia and politics.

Managing projects that produce a final outcome/artefact are an everyday part of working and academic life. Learning the skills of how to organise your time, find resources and use your personal strengths is essential for your future career. This module is designed to support you to carry out a project in your subject-specific area and will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to complete your project successfully.

You will gain an understanding of the essential steps in the project life cycle and have the opportunity to evaluate and reflect on your (and your fellow students’) progress throughout the project work, to the project completion stage.

This module will also introduce you to academic research skills and develop your ability to critically appraise and organise material. This module takes a holistic and reflective approach to your learning, with you developing a portfolio of your improved project planning, research and evaluation skills, and production of an artefact.

The Academic Practice module has a series of practical sessions that link with your other pathway modules to prepare you for your undergraduate degree. These sessions feature the broad range of essential study skills such as research and working with sources, use of digital tools, writing and presentation skills, and reflection and action planning.

Developing and improving study skills is a gradual process. It is also an individual process. If you are new to higher education or have not studied for some time, you may feel worried about tackling your first assignment; taking an exam; or juggling study with other commitments.

Here, this module is designed to help you to acquire the academic literacy and language skills you need to succeed at university.

Students progressing onto BSc Accounting will study the following module:

Please note: this module will be studied only by students progressing onto BSc Accounting, instead of the Ethical Practice in Action module.

The disciplines of mathematics and statistics offer a wide range of powerful tools, which are indispensable to the study of economics, accounting, and finance. While studying on this module you will be introduced to the parts of mathematics and statistics which are most prominently featured in key models and formulae.

You will learn the meaning behind mathematical derivations of some of these formulae, revealing their origin and meaning. Equally, we will cover basic descriptive statistics which is the first step in the analysis of ever-increasing data sets.

Through this, you will advance your awareness and understanding of the mathematical and statistical underpinnings behind the financial and economic theories that you will study on the corresponding programs.

Students progressing onto LLB Law will study the following module:

Please note: this module will be studied only by students progressing onto LLB Law.

Law shapes politics, economics and society and regulates everything around us. This module is designed to provide you with an introduction to English law and the English Legal System as a foundation to further study.

You will have the opportunity to explore various topics and investigate the structure, institutions and people involved in the English Legal system.

The module will encourage you to develop the skills embedded throughout the programme, including presentation skills, working in a group and independent research.



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The course information displayed on this page is correct for the academic year 2023/24. We aim to run the course as advertised however, changes may be necessary due to updates to the curriculum (due to academic or industry developments), student demand or UK compliance reasons.

Tuition fee 2024/25

  • IELTS 4.5 will study the 12-month programme: £20,750
  • IELTS 5.0 will study the 9-month programme: £16,750
  • IELTS 5.5 will study the 6-month programme: £11,250

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, studying with us, the application process, and to have any other questions you have.

Enquire now

How to apply

When you are ready you can apply online to study the International Foundation Programme – Business and Law. Applying online allows you to upload all of your supporting documents and you will automatically receive your student application number.

October 2024
12 month Apply for October
9 month Apply for October
6 month Not Available

Information for disabled applicants

At Northumbria, we welcome applications from disabled students and are committed to ensuring an equal and accessible application journey. Your application will be considered on an equal basis to all other applications. Please contact us if you require any assistance. This website is continually optimised to adhere to accessibility best practice guidelines; tools to assist users with specific accessibility requirements have also been provided. More information is available in our accessibility statement.

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.

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
International Fee:
£20,750 (12 months) £16,750 (9 months) £11,250 (6 months)
Leads to:
Undergraduate degrees in Business and Law
Entry requirements:
5 GCSE/iGCSE passes at grade A-C, or equivalent
IELTS requirements:
From IELTS 4.5 with no single element below 4.0, or equivalent, from a UKVI Approved centre
12, 9 or 6 months
Class hours per week:
16 - 18
Average class size:
Assessment methods:
Portfolio tasks, written coursework, project planning, group and individual presentations, self and peer reflections, learning journals and examinations.
Scholarship or bursaries:
Payment plan:
Not available
January, March, October
testimonial image
testimonial image

“I enjoy the creativity of the programme and the balance of academic and informal teaching methods. The teaching and support helps me to find alternative methods to learn and approach assignments, which gives me confidence that I will do well in my studies at undergraduate level.”

Oluwanisola Esele Oyefeko
International Foundation Programme - Business

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