International Foundation Programme - Humanities and Social Science

International Foundation Programme - Humanities and Social Sciences

12, 9 or 6 months

Download PDF Enquire now


Study a combination of Humanities and Social Science modules alongside an English module and an Academic Practice module. The combination of modules will enable you to develop key skills and understanding in language, study skills, critical thinking and a good understanding of knowledge relevant to Humanities and Social Sciences.

Key facts

  • Develop key understanding of a range of social science developments in present-day society, the conditions these developments create and the theories used to describe and investigate them
  • Develop your awareness of academic culture in the UK as you integrate into student life within a UK university
  • Progress onto courses in a range of subjects from English Language and History, Politics and Sociology to Mass Communication, Psychology and Surveying
About this course

What will I study?

The Humanities and Social Sciences modules are designed to deepen your English language, academic listening and reading capabilities, your ability to interpret your findings and present to your peers and tutor, in appropriate written and oral format – specific to the requirements of undergraduate degrees in Humanities and Social Science.

You will develop your academic skills, techniques and processes with an emphasis on building your personal capacity for creativity, critical and independent thinking. You will also learn how to demonstrate effective academic writing, analysis skills, interpersonal communication and the ability to work in multi-cultural teams.

Study plan

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

Teaching and Assessment

  • 16-18 hours per week in seminars, lectures, workshops, labs and tutorials
  • 20 – 22 hours independent study – total of a max of 40 hours per week overall study time
  • Assessment: Portfolio tasks, written coursework, examinations
Enquire now

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 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
American Studies BA (Hons)
Building Surveying BSc (Hons)
Childhood and Early Years Studies BA (Hons)
Criminology and Forensic Science BSc (Hons)
Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons)
Criminology BSc (Hons)
English Language and Literature BA (Hons)
English Language Studies BA (Hons)
English Literature and American Studies BA (Hons)
English Literature and Creative Writing BA (Hons)
English Literature and History BA (Hons)
English Literature BA (Hons)
Environmental Science BSc (Hons)
Geography BA (Hons)
Guidance and Counselling BA (Hons)
Health and Social Care BSc (Hons)
History and American Studies BA (Hons)
History and Politics BA (Hons)
History BA (Hons)
International Relations and Politics BA (Hons)
Media and Communication BA (Hons)
Physical Geography BSc (Hons)
Professional Policing BSc (Hons)
Psychology BSc (Hons)
Psychology with Criminology BSc (Hons)
Quantity Surveying BSc (Hons)
Real Estate BSc (Hons)
Sociology BSc (Hons)
Sport Coaching BSc (Hons)
Sport Management BSc (Hons)
Sport, Exercise and Nutrition BSc (Hons)

If you would like to progress on to a degree in Art, Design and Media; Engineering; or Computing, Law, Media Production, Sport, and science 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.

Enquire now

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

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.

Enquire now

All modules are core and worth 20 credits unless specified.

12 and 9 month IFP students only

Term of study will depend on entry point. Students on the 12 month IFP will have 2 periods of this module. 9 month IPF students will have 1 period.

Learn about UK Higher Education culture, and develop the skills to help you thrive at university.

  • Learnt through a number of ways including onsite communicative and task-based learning
  • Develop English language skills to study at university more proactively and independently
  • Explore 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:

Gain the skills you need to become an independent language learner. Take responsibility for your own language learning, and gain the habits of continuous learning which you will need on your undergraduate program.

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

xplore the skills that are necessary for preparing you for studying at university and starting your journey into employment.

  • Learn through targeted activities that will help you maximise your presence within both a university context and the wider workplace
  • Develop project management skills include working with others, delegation, participation and reflecting on approaches taken

Explore broad range of essential study skills such as research and working with sources and use of digital tools.

  • Acquire the academic literacy and language skills you need to succeed at university
  • Learn writing and presentation skills, and reflection and action planning

Expand your understanding of globalisation and use your knowledge of other people’s behaviour and traditions to adapt to new cultures both in work and life.

  • Develop your knowledge of contemporary cultural trends
  • Gain critical and creative thinking skills and have more understanding of the influences on contemporary society
  • Explore cultures other than your own and gain an understanding of the new British culture

Explore the contemporary issues shaping the humanities and the study of our social life.

  • Explore aspects of sociology, psychology, mass communication, politics, social policy, the environment, criminology and geography
  • Collect and analyse data using methods found in the humanities and social sciences  and evelop skills in critical analysis, independent thinking and teamwork
  • Investigate ideas shaping contemporary British society, with a focus on power, inequalities, identity, and the relationship between the individual and the group

Whether it is in the ethical choices you make in business, environmental policy, law and order, medicine, politics, the media or academic research, ethics is a key topic you need to understand for the twenty-first century.

  • Draw on core philosophical principles and learn how choices we make and the actions we take shape today’s world
  • Understand where ethics come from, why they are important and how they can help us make better choices
  • Develop the key skills to work in many areas of contemporary society, for instance in business, HR, healthcare, counselling, criminal justice, academia and politics

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.

  • Develop the skills such as time management and research skills
  • Explore 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
  • Gain academic research skills and develop your ability to critically appraise and organise material
Enquire now

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

Access to a laptop/PC with a microphone, speakers, webcam and a reliable internet connect is required for accessing your live online sessions.

Included in your Tuition Fees
Academic Support, including the Academic Community of Excellence (ACE) Team 
Careers and Employment Service
Class hours (lectures, seminars and tutorials)
Facilities (computers, on-campus wi-fi, printers, vending machines) 
Library resources, including a large online catalogue of books, journals and other more
Online resources 
Social spaces (quiet study spaces, multi-faith rooms and spaces to socialise) 
Student Support (Welfare Team, Finance Team and more) 

Tuition fees do not include the cost of course books you may choose to purchase, stationery, printing, photocopying, accommodation, living expenses, travel or any other extracurricular activities.

We recommend you allow an additional £300 per annum to buy some of the course texts.

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

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 – Humanities and Social Science. 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.

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 Humanities and Social Sciences
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:
Average class size:
Assessment methods:
Coursework - portfolios, presentations, essays and in-class tests
Scholarship or bursaries:
Payment plan:
Not available
January, March, October
testimonial image
testimonial image

“The lecturers are fantastic because they provide me with lots of information, and support me with my studies. The library also is very good, I can find information very easily and it’s open 24 hours which means I can go at my own convenience.”

Saleh T S A M Aldamkhi
International Foundation Programme - Engineering

Quick contact

Please note, this will overwrite any previous communication preferences you may have already specified to us on our website or websites relating to our University Partners. You can change your communication preferences at any time. QA Higher Education will process your personal data as set out in our privacy notice