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International Foundation Diploma (Extended pathway)

Foundation diploma

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. Click 'Progression and degree options' below for a list of degrees you can study afterwards.

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

September 2020 / January 2021

How to apply

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

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 onto 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.

The programme will help you to meet the English language and academic entry requirements for undergraduate degrees in a range of subjects.

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.

Teaching 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 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 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.

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, with a maximum of 16 students for skills classes. You will be allocated an academic adviser to help you with academic issues and guide you through your progression to the undergraduate course.

Teaching hours

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).

Course content

Semester 1

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

Semester 2 and 3

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 with British and international students.

On successful completion of this programme you will receive a certificate for the International Foundation Diploma. Your transcript will show all the modules you have taken over the 3 semesters.

Study modules

You will take four modules in each semester.

Semester 1

  • Academic Writing
  • Academic Reading
  • Academic Listening and Speaking
  • Grammar and Vocabulary Skills

Semester 2 and 3

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
  • Modern Thought (Humanities, Social Sciences and Law students)
  • Foundations of Cell and Human Biology (Sciences and Psychology students)
  • Economics for Business OR Perspectives on Business Studies (Business and Technology students)

Optional modules
Your choice of three 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
  • Economics for Business 
  • Foundation Tourism and Hospitality
  • Literature, Art and Media
  • Modern Thought
  • International Relations
  • Introduction to International Development
  • Foundation Law
  • Foundations of Cell and Human Biology
  • Foundations of Chemistry
  • Foundations of Genetics and Ecology

Undergraduate level

  • Basic Survey Methods
  • Foundations of Developmental Psychology
  • Foundations of Cognitive Psychology
  • Foundations of Business
  • Global Business Communications
  • Developing and Planning Events
  • Perspectives on Modern Britain
  • Understanding Music on Screen
  • Essential Mathematics for University Study
  • Bloody Histories! Crime and Violence in the West

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 2021 / January 2022

(See our university calendar for details of bank holidays.)

Course length

Full time 1 year (September to August)

Teaching location

Headington Campus

Start date

September 2020 / January 2021

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) Psychology
  • BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy*
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BSc (Hons) Nursing

*Please note that in addition to passing the Foundations 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 are £17,300 (2020/21) for international students.
For UK and EU applicants the tuition fees are £13,010*. You will not be eligible for a student loan or other funding from the UK government for this course.

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.

*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/eu/ for the most up-to-date information.

Entry requirements


English language

  • 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 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 admission@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.