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International Foundation Diploma

Foundation diploma

This course will prepare you for an undergraduate course at a UK university. You will improve your subject knowledge, study skills and use of English for academic purposes. Click 'Progression and degree options' for a list of degrees you can study afterwards.

Students who apply for the International Foundation Diploma (IFD) and who have a higher level of English will be placed on the International Foundation Diploma Plus. The IFD Plus has a slightly wider range of (mainly modern language) modules.

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

September 2019 / January 2020

How to apply

For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

The International Foundation Diploma fully prepares students from a range of backgrounds for undergraduate courses at Oxford Brookes University. It provides a bridge between school study in your home country and undergraduate study at a UK university.

Choose this course if you have fewer than 13 years of schooling and want to enter an undergraduate course. This diploma leads to courses in subjects such as business and management, computing, English language and communication, film studies, hospitality and tourism, international relations, law, life sciences, politics, social sciences and education.

See our full range of international foundation courses suitable for students with a range of IELTS levels. These include our integrated four-year degrees that combine your foundation and undergraduate degree.

Teaching learning and assessment

The International Foundation Diploma trains you to become an independent learner and fully prepares you for university study. You will experience all the teaching and learning methods used in British universities, such as lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will develop your listening and note-taking skills and learn how to take part in seminars. You will also develop your own ideas through group discussions and class presentations.

You will be taught by highly qualified academic staff. They are specialists in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) who have many years of teaching experience in the UK and overseas.

You will gain practice and training in the different kinds of assessment that are common in higher education, for instance essays, reports, individual and group presentations, learning journals, project work and examinations.

Our core class sizes are kept small so you will get the attention you need.

Teaching hours

You will have between 15-18 class hours per week. Classes are held Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays), usually between 9am and 4pm. Some subject modules may be between 5pm and 8pm.

You will need to spend at least 20 hours per week on independent study which includes homework, assignments, tutorials, reading and preparation for classes (in groups or individually).

Course content

Over two semesters you choose a personal pathway of modules that build on your language and academic skills and reflect your own subject and career interests.

You will develop your knowledge of academic subjects through modules related to your future course of study. One or two of these modules will be at undergraduate level to give you the experience of studying at a higher level with British and international students.

You will also increase your knowledge of English and confidence in using it for academic purposes, and develop your study skills and critical thinking skills before beginning your degree course.

Study modules

You must take and pass eight modules to complete the diploma.

Compulsory modules

Three compulsory modules will develop your academic study skills and your critical-thinking skills in preparation for your future courses. These are:

  • Orientation to University Studies
  • Foundation Project
  • Intercultural Communication

Optional modules

Your choice of four optional modules will depend on your interests and future study plans. We will advise you on the best combination at the start of the course. As courses are reviewed regularly the module list you choose from may vary from that shown here.

Foundation level

  • Perspectives on Business Studies
  • Foundation Economics
  • Perspectives on Macroeconomics
  • Foundation Tourism and Hospitality
  • Foundation Media Studies
  • Foundations of Modern Theory and Belief
  • International Relations
  • Introduction to International Development
  • Modern British Cinema and Society
  • Foundation Law
  • Foundation Politics
  • Foundations of Cell and Human Biology
  • Foundations of Chemistry
  • Foundations of Genetics and Ecology
  • Foundation Engineering Mathematics I
  • Foundation Engineering Mathematics II

Undergraduate level

  • Basic Survey Methods
  • Basic Data Analysis
  • Politics in Comparative Perspective
  • Foundations of Social Psychology
  • Foundations of Developmental Psychology
  • Foundations of Cognitive Psychology
  • Raising Individual Financial Awareness
  • Foundations of Business
  • Global Business Communications
  • Planning a Successful Event
  • Publishing Principles
  • Publishing Principles and Practice: Author to Reader
  • Perspectives on Modern Britain
  • Introduction to Language and Society
  • Introduction to Popular Music
  • Introduction to Philosophy
  • Essential Mathematics for University Study
  • Digital Cinematography
  • Bloody Histories! Crime and Violence in the West

Undergraduate language modules for students on the IFD Plus. Not available to native speakers of the taught language.

  • French A1
  • French A2
  • French B1 (1)
  • French B1 (2)
  • German A1
  • German A2
  • German B1 (1) dependent on student numbers
  • German B1 (2) dependent on student numbers
  • Japanese for Beginners
  • Japanese 2A
  • Japanese 2B
  • Mandarin Chinese 1A
  • Mandarin Chinese 1B
  • Mandarin Chinese 2A dependent on student numbers
  • Mandarin Chinese 2B dependent on student numbers
  • Spanish A1
  • Spanish A2
  • Spanish B1 (1)
  • Spanish B1 (2)

Recommended modules for particular pathways

You can choose modules according to your previous experience, interests and study plans. However, the following modules are recommended for progression to undergraduate degrees in particular subject areas.

Recommended for business, marketing, accounting and tourism degrees

  • Foundation level: Perspectives on Business Studies (Semester 1 or 2); Foundation Economics (Semester 1 or 3); Foundation Tourism and Hospitality (Semester 1 or 3); Foundation International Relations (Semester 2); Perspectives on Macroeconomics (Semester 2)
  • Undergraduate level: Foundations of Business* (Semester 1 or 2); Global Business Communications (Semester 1 or 2); Basic Data Analysis (Semester 1); Basic Survey Methods (Semester 2); Raising Individual Financial Awareness (Semester 1 or 2); Planning a Successful Event (Semester 1)
    Also: An appropriate Level 3 mathematics module if required for Business

Recommended for law, politics and psychology degrees

  • Foundation level: Foundation Law (Semester 2); Foundation Politics (Semester 2); Foundation International Relations (Semester 1 or 2 or 3)
  • Undergraduate level: Foundations of Social Psychology (Semester 1); Foundations of Developmental Psychology (Semester 2); Foundations of Cognitive Psychology (Semester 2); Politics in Comparative Perspective (Semester 2); The Rise of the Modern World; Introduction to Philosophy (Semester 1); Perspectives on Modern Britain (Semester 3)
    Also: An appropriate Level 3 mathematics module if required for Psychology

Recommended for social sciences, humanities, media and communication degrees

  • Foundation level: Foundation Media Studies (Semester 1); Modern British Cinema and Society (Semester 2); Introduction to International Development (Semester 1), Foundations of Modern Theory and Belief (Semester 1 or 2); Foundation International Relations (Semester 2)
  • Undergraduate level: Foundations of Social Psychology (Semester 1); Politics in Comparative Perspective (Semester 2); Foundations of Social Psychology (Semester 1); Foundations of Cognitive Psychology (Semester 2); Foundations of Developmental Psychology (Semester 2); Digital Cinematography (Semester 1); Publishing Principles (Semester 1); Publishing Principles and Practice: Author to Reader (Semester 2); Introduction to Popular Music (Semester 2); Perspectives on Modern Britain (Semester 2); Bloody Histories! Crime and Violence in the West (Semester 1)

Compulsory modules for life sciences degrees (available only to IFD students starting in September)

  • Foundation level: Foundations of Cell and Human Biology (Semester 1); Foundations of Genetics and Ecology (Semester 2); Foundations of Chemistry (Semester 2)
  • Undergraduate level: Basic Data Analysis (Semester 1), Basic Survey Methods (Semester 2)
    An appropriate level 3 mathematics module if required
*Not available to students with equivalent AS/A2 level qualifications
Semester 1 = Sept-Dec
Semester 2 = Feb-May
Semester 3 = June-Aug

Student support

Our student support team provides academic and pastoral student support services for all students across all Pathways programmes. The Pathways student support is facilitated by the Student Support Co-ordinators (SSCs) for the Oxford Brookes Business School. Find out more

Course dates

September 2019 start
23 September 2019 - 1 May 2020
January 2020 start
27 January 2020 - 14th August 2020

Course length

Full time 2 semesters (24 weeks' teaching)

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

September 2019 / January 2020

Progression: You can be considered for a place on a three year undergraduate course provided you pass your foundation year with the required grades.

This foundation can prepare you for a range of outstanding degrees at Oxford Brookes University including:

Business and Management

  • BSc (Hons) Accounting and Finance
  • BSc (Hons) Business & Finance
  • BA (Hons) Business and Management
  • BA (Hons) Business and Marketing Management
  • BA (Hons) Business Management (as part of joint degree)
  • BA (Hons) Business, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship
  • BSc (Hons) Economics, Finance and International Business
  • BA (Hons) Economics, Politics and International Relations
  • BA (Hons) Events Management
  • BA (Hons) International Business Management
  • BA (Hons) Marketing Management

Biological, Environmental and Medical Sciences (for IFD students starting in Sept)

  • BSc (Hons) Animal Biology and Conservation
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
  • BSc (Hons) Equine Science
  • BSc (Hons) Equine Science and Thoroughbred Management
  • BSc (Hons) Medical Science

Arts, Digital Media and Publishing

  • BSc (Hons) Digital Media Production
  • BA (Hons) Film
  • BA (Hons) Communication, Media and Culture
  • BA (Hons) English Language and Communication
  • BA (Hons) Publishing Media


  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science
  • BSc (Hons) Computing for Robotic Systems
  • BSc (Hons) Network Computing
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Science for Cyber Security
  • BSc (Hons) Information Technology Management for Business


  • Education and Early Years
  • BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies
  • BA (Hons) Education Studies

Hospitality Management

  • BSc (Hons) International Hospitality Management

Humanities and Languages

  • BA (Hons) Drama (as part of joint degree)
  • BA (Hons) English Literature with Creative Writing
  • BA (Hons) History
  • BA (Hons) History of Art
  • BA (Hons) English Literature
  • BA (Hons) Philosophy
  • BA (Hons) Applied Languages
  • BA (Hons) Japanese Studies


  • LLB (Hons) Law

Real Estate and Planning

  • BSc (Hons) Construction Project Management
  • BA (Hons) Planning and Property Development
  • BSc (Hons) Quantity Surveying and Commercial Management
  • BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management
  • BA (Hons) Urban Design, Planning and Environment

Social Sciences

  • BA (Hons) Anthropology
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Anthropology
  • BA (Hons) Criminology
  • BA (Hons) Geography
  • BA (Hons) International Relations (as part of a joint degree)
  • BA (Hons) International Relations and Politics
  • BA (Hons) Politics (as part of a joint degree)
  • BA (Hons) Social Anthropology
  • BA (Hons) Sociology (as part of a joint degree)

Sport, Exercise and Nutrition

  • BSc (Hons) Sport, Coaching and Physical Education
  • BSc (Hons) Nutrition (for IFD students starting in Sept)
  • BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (for IFD students starting in Sept)

Psychology and Healthcare

  • BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
  • Bsc (Hons) Physiotherapy*
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology

*Please note that in addition to passing the Foundation course with 60% overall, progression to Physiotherapy will also be subject to a successful interview prior to starting the Foundation course, as there are a limited number of places available and is a highly competitive programme.

Course list subject to change

We will give you advice on the best course for you and help you to apply for your chosen undergraduate course at Oxford Brookes or another British university. There are lectures and seminars on British higher education, and individual help with your application from staff here at Oxford Brookes.

The tuition fees for international students are £12,830 (for Sep 2019/Jan 2020).
For UK and EU students the tuition fees are £9,250 (fees are subject to confirmation but will be no more than this amount).
You will not be eligible for a student loan or other funding from the UK government for this course.

**The fees that EU/EEA students starting courses at UK universities after the UK has formally left the EU are required to pay will depend on what is agreed as part of the UK's exit negotiations. Please see www.brookes.ac.uk/about-brookes/news/brexit-faqs/ for the most up-to-date information.

Teaching materials

Your tuition fees include most of your teaching materials, and gives you access to the university's learning facilities including the libraries, computers and virtual learning environment. You will need to purchase specific text books for this course costing up to approximately £100.


Deposits and refunds

A non-refundable £1,000 deposit is required to secure your place on this course.

In the unlikely event that you decide to leave within the first four weeks of the course we will refund the tuition fees minus the £1,000 deposit. No refunds are available after the fourth week of the course. For more information see our terms and conditions.

Entry requirements


English language

  • UKVI-approved SELT IELTS 5.0 with 5.0 in all skills (test must be taken at an approved test centre). Those with a UKVI-approved SELT IELTS 6.0 (with 6.0 in reading and writing) will be placed on the International Foundation Diploma Plus (formerly the Foundation Diploma in Liberal Arts).

If your English level is IELTS 4.5 (with 4.0 in all skills) or equivalent you can apply for our International Foundation Diploma (Extended pathway).

English language requirements for visas

This course is classed as a B1 level for visa purposes. To apply for a student visa you will need to meet the minimum B1 English language requirements.

Minimum age

The normal minimum age for this course is 18. We will admit 17-year-olds on a case-by-case basis if they turn 18 during the academic year in which the course runs.

Under 18s are only admitted to the University if they live in student accommodation. Find out more about the university's policy on the safeguarding of children.

More information for students aged under 18.

How to apply

Apply online directly to Oxford Brookes

For assistance with your application contact our admissions team on admissions@brookes.ac.uk

Terms and conditions of enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the conditions of acceptance. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.