International Medical Foundation Diploma

International Medical Foundation Diploma

9 months

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The International Medical Foundation Diploma is ideal for aspiring medical students.

This 9-month programme is designed to provide fundamental scientific knowledge and skills across a range of science disciplines. This includes laboratory skills, basic numeracy skills and data handling, ICT and study skills. The aim of completing this Medical Foundation Diploma, is to support students to feel more confident and better prepared to pursue a degree in medicine and other allied health science degrees.

The programme has been designed by experts at pathway level to help you maximise your learning potential on the programme. It is delivered by experienced staff who have all worked with international students for many years and have expertise in specialist areas.

Upon successful completion of the International Medical Foundation Diploma and meeting the required admission criteria, students may be eligible to apply and progress onto a 5 Year Medical Degree Pathway (5MDP) at St. George’s University (SGU). Students can start in the UK at Northumbria University or at SGU’s True Blue campus in Grenada.

Key facts

  • Develop skills and knowledge to pursue a Doctor of Medicine degree and gain a global perspective on areas within medical science.
  • Enhance your English language proficiency, including academic vocabulary, writing skills, and independent language learning.
  • As an affiliate of St. George’s University, QA students will receive one to one applicant support at every stage of the admissions process for the 5 Year Medical Degree Pathway (5MDP) while they are studying on the Foundation year.

In affiliation with St Georges University


About this course

What will I study?

This course aims to provide you with a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and English, to prepare you for a Doctor of Medicine degree program.

It includes both theoretical and practical components, with a focus on laboratory skills and hands-on learning. You will learn about the processes inside living cells, the structure and reactions of inorganic and organic compounds or how to apply mathematical concepts to experimental data.

The course also focuses on improving your English language skills, such as academic vocabulary, writing, and independent language learning.

This program will provide you with a broad range of knowledge and skills vital to your success in a medical degree program.

How will I be taught and assessed?

Contact hours

  • 18 hours per week in seminars and lectures

Self-study hours

  • 26 hours per week on an independent study – making use of the University’s electronic learning portal Blackboard


  • You will be assessed through a mix of course work and exams. This includes: portfolios, essays, reports, lab report, exams, poster presentation and group work.
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Upon completion of the International Medical Foundation Diploma and meeting the required admission criteria, students may be eligible to apply and progress onto a 5 Year Medical Degree Pathway (5MDP) at St. George’s University (SGU). Students can start in the UK at Northumbria University or at SGU’s True Blue campus in Grenada.

This International Medical Pathway has been designed to develop knowledge, clinical skills, and research interests while giving you the opportunity to experience a multitude of healthcare systems and enable you to practice medical sciences across all specialties with a global perspective.

Students who successfully complete this programme will be supported in their application/interview to medical degree studies.

Students who do not achieve 75% required, or choose to not follow the above route, can progress onto a specific range of science-based degree programmes within the Faculty of Health and Life Science at Northumbria.

Academic requirements

  • 5 GCSE at a grade C/4, including GCSE Maths at a minimum grade of C/4, or an equivalent level 2 qualification, or good high school grades.

English language requirements

  • IELTS 6.0 with no single element below 5.5

Age requirements

  • You must be 16  years old or older
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All modules are core and worth 20 credits, unless specified.

The aim of this module is to prepare you for successful study in the medical degree route. It introduces the processes which occur inside living cells which are vital for the operation of the whole organism. It is a practical module so that it teaches not only the facts needed to understand the topic, but also practical laboratory skills. You need to be able to use this knowledge synoptically i.e., you need to see how everything affects everything else.

By end of this module, you will be able to describe and explain:

  • the functional significance of the structures found in human organisms at all levels of organisation
  • the physical and chemical processes of digestion and energy supply
  • cardiovascular and respiratory structures and circulatory mediums (blood and lymph)
  • infection immunity and defence and the roles of nervous and endocrine systems.
  • discuss the interaction of biological and social aspects of health.

This module is planned to help you acquire the knowledge to describe the structure and reactions of a range of in/organic compounds.

You will spend time developing chemistry-focused laboratory skills including work confidently and effectively in a laboratory, with due attention to safety.

You will study the reactivity of organic compounds, alongside instrumental techniques such as mass spectrometry and be able to apply this knowledge in medical sciences contexts.

You will get the opportunity to improve and practice key numeracy skills that will enable you to complete the tasks for the other modules you are studying during the programme. These will include calculations associated with experimental work in chemistry, biology, biochemistry and biomedical science You will use Microsoft Excel to process data similar to those that you will acquire experimentally in other modules, do simple statistics, and produce graphical representations and tables of your data.

This module is designed to help you to meet the English level needed for both the International Medical Foundation Programme, 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, develop your skills, and improve your ability to apply them in the medical degree.

This module is designed to help you to understand expectations of studying at Level 3 and to prepare you for progression to medical degree You will develop the skills necessary to complete Higher Education assignments, such as essays, library research reports, presentations, groupwork and laboratory reports.  The module will help you develop a range of academic skills that are transferable to all your modules and life at a Higher Education Institute in the UK and medical field.

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

  • £22,250

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.

Some students may need to purchase some equipment for their modules such as scientific calculators or materials for specific modules. It is wise to allow for a budget of up to £300 a year to cover these costs.

You do not need to purchase learning materials, as these will be available to you via the Virtual Learning Environment or from the library.

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 Medical Foundation Diploma, 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 Medical Diploma. Applying online allows you to upload all of your supporting documents and you will automatically receive your student application number.


Apply for October 2024
Apply for October


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 a good time to enrol on 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:
£22,250 (24/25)
Leads to:
Doctor of Medicine degree
Entry requirements:
5 GCSE at a grade C/4, including GCSE Maths at a minimum grade of C/4, or an equivalent level 2 qualification, or good high school grades.   You must be 16 or older to study this programme.
IELTS requirements:
IELTS 6.0 with no single element below 5.5
9 months
Class hours per week:
Average class size:
Assessment methods:
Coursework and exams
Scholarship or bursaries:
Payment plan:
January, October

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