International Foundation Diploma (Extended pathway)

Foundation Diploma

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Key facts

Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024



Course length

Full time: 1 year (September to August)


This course develops your study skills, subject knowledge and use of academic English to prepare you for a wide range of undergraduate degrees. It includes a first semester of pre-sessional English. See 'Progression and degree options' below for a list of degrees you can study afterwards.

You should take this course if you need to take a foundation course before starting undergraduate study and have an English level of IELTS 4.5 or equivalent.

In your first semester you will improve your academic English skills and you will then continue on to foundation modules for your second and third semesters. You will only need to make one application and you can apply for a visa for the whole three semester programme.

See our full range of international foundation courses if you have a higher IELTS level, including our integrated four-year degrees that combine your foundation and undergraduate degree.

You can only start this course in September. Your course is 36 weeks. Semester 1 is between September and December, Semester 2 between January and April and Semester 3 between May and August. 


two students talking

How to apply

Entry requirements

Academic entry 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.

English language requirements

UKVI-approved SELT IELTS 4.5 (with 4.0 in all skills) (test must be taken at an approved test centre)

If you have a higher language level, you can apply for one of our other international foundation courses.

English 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.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Apply online directly to Oxford Brookes

For assistance with your application contact our admissions team on

Apply now

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time

International full time

2024 / 25
Home (UK) full time

International full time

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 534400

How and when to pay

Tuition fee instalments for the semester are due by the Monday of week 1 of each semester. Students are not liable for full fees for that semester if they leave before week 4. If the leaving date is after week 4, full fees for the semester are payable.

  • For information on payment methods please see our Make a Payment page.
  • For information about refunds please visit our Refund policy page

You will not be eligible for a student loan or other funding from the UK government for this course.

Deposits and refunds

A £3,000 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 a £100 administration fee. No refunds are available after the fourth week of the course. For more information see our terms and conditions.

Financial support and scholarships

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Learning and assessment

The programme fully prepares you for university study at a UK university. You will experience all the teaching and learning methods used in UK 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 gain practice and training in the different kinds of assessment that are common in higher education, for instance essays, reports, individual and group presentations, reflective learning journals and project work.

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.

The semester 1 class sizes are small. You will be allocated an academic adviser to help you with academic issues and guide you through your progression to the foundation and then undergraduate course.

two students studying on computers

Study modules

In the first semester you will improve your English language skills on the modules that are part of University English Level 1

During your final two semesters you will take International Foundation Diploma modules to further develop your knowledge of using English for academic purposes. You will develop your subject knowledge through modules related to your future course of study. One of these modules will be at undergraduate level to give you the experience of studying at a higher level.

Semester 1

Compulsory modules

  • Academic Writing

    This module aims to develop your writing skills within an academic context. It will develop understanding of academic essay structure and of the key characteristics of descriptive, compare and contrast, discussion and opinion essays. In addition, it will introduce you to the micro-skills required for the genres: brainstorming, planning, text organisation, paragraphing, editing and redrafting. You also study the differences between formal and informal writing styles of writing; extend your academic vocabulary and develop your organisational and critical thinking skills. The module will demonstrate the usefulness of both self and peer review through a series of structured worksheets and will familiarise you with electronic submission of work, conducting basic research, understanding and avoiding plagiarism, using feedback to improve your writing, and learning basic citation and referencing skills.

  • Academic Reading

    This module covers intensive and extensive reading, text organisation and analysis of a variety of genres: academic, narrative, and journalistic. It covers the micro-skills of: note-taking, summarising, anticipating main ideas from headings, skimming for main ideas, scanning for specific information, and vocabulary building. The module also introduces you to critical thinking skills.

  • Academic Listening and Speaking

    This module aims to promote proficiency in your listening and speaking skills to enable you to progress to the International Foundation Diploma. The module focuses on introducing and developing strategies for listening to lectures, preparing and delivering an academic presentation and participating in a seminar discussion. Exploration and practice of key pronunciation features are embedded into each of the sessions additionally to help develop your accuracy and fluency in speaking.

  • Grammar and Vocabulary Skills

    This module focuses on the development of academic literacy regarding grammar and vocabulary skills to enable you to progress to the International Foundation Diploma . This module acts as a support to Academic Writing, Academic Reading and Academic Listening and Speaking by introducing, reviewing, practising, consolidating and extending grammar and vocabulary that you need to communicate effectively when writing and speaking in an academic context . There is also an emphasis on key academic study skills.

Semester 2 and 3

Compulsory modules

  • Academic Study Skills 1

    This module is for students with IELTS 5.0 - 5.5. 

  • Academic Study Skills 2

    This module is for students with IELTS 6.0 and above. 

  • Culture and Communication

    Increase your awareness and understanding of how people from diverse backgrounds, including yours, interact with, and interpret, the world around them; prepare yourself for studying in a multicultural university and, in future, living and working as an active citizen in a globalised world.

  • Extended Research Essay

    Understand the processes of planning, researching and writing a substantial assignment to the standards required for higher education; you will finally submit a 2000-word paper.

  • Business Fundamentals OR Economics for Business (Business students)

    Business Fundamentals - Examine the nature, forms and functions of business organisations and their relationship with the external environments in which they operate.

    Economics for Business - Introduction to basic economics, with reference to theory and contemporary issues.


  • Ideas and Ideologies (Humanities and Social Science Students)

    Examine major thinkers, theories and beliefs of the modern era. Reflect critically on diverse theories of knowledge.

Optional modules

Choose two Foundation Level options

  • Maths and Statistics for University Study (For Applicants without the appropriate Maths GCSE grade, or equivalent)
  • Foundations of Computer Programming (For those progressing to a degree in Computing)  
  • Business Fundamentals (Business students)
  • Economics for Business (Business students)
  • Tourism and Hospitality
  • Literature, Art and Media (Humanities and Social Science students)
  • Ideas and Ideologies (Humanities and Social Science students)
  • Global Issues
  • Development Studies
  • English Law (Humanities and Social Science students)

Choose one Undergraduate level option

For Business and Technology students:

  • Foundations of Business (NOT available to students with A level Business Studies)
  • Global Business Communications.

For Humanities and Social Sciences students

  • Bloody Histories: Crime and Violence in the West  
  • Origins of the Climate Crisis
  • Britain: Past and Present
  • Conversational Chinese.

For Life Sciences students

  • Basic Survey Methods
  • Origins of the Climate Crisis.

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from those shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

You will have around 15 class hours per week. Classes are held Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays), usually between 9am and 5pm. 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).
You can only start this course in September. Your course is 36 weeks so you will study your first semester between September and December, your second semester between January and April and your third semester between May and August.

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 Coordinators (SSCs) for the Oxford Brookes Business School. Find out more.


Assessment methods used on this course

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, reflective learning journals and project work.


Progression: Once you pass your foundation year with the required grades, this foundation diploma can prepare you for a range of outstanding degrees at Oxford Brookes University.

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

If you would like to check your eligibility to study an undergraduate course, please contact the admissions team on or call + 44 (0) 1865 535000 for further information.

Programme changes:
On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our changes to programmes page.