Your pathway to thousands of degrees at leading universities worldwide

What is the NCUK International Foundation Year?

The International Foundation Year (IFY) is a qualification designed specifically for international students to prepare you for first year entry to undergraduate degree courses.

The programme is run over 7-9 months and combines academic study, intensive English language preparation, study skills and cultural orientation.

There are three broad pathways:

Why choose the IFY pathway?

  • 100% of student who successfully pass the IFY will progress to University
  • Quality-assured, globally recognised and NCUK-accredited programme
  • University-standard learning environment with small class sizes
  • Improve your English language skills
  • Personalised University placement guidance and support
  • Excellent levels of individual care and support.

Successful completion of the International Foundation Year leads to an award which is accepted for admission to leading Universities in Ireland, UK, USA and Australia.

What is the difference between IFY and A-Levels?

The International Foundation Year is recognised as an equivalent standard to the – Levels for University admission purposes – however, the programme is delivered over just 7-9 months, rather than 2 years for A-Levels.

Similar to the A-Levels, you will study three academic modules relevant to your study plan, in addition to English for Academic Purposes.


What are the entry requirements?

For entry to the IFY, you need to

  • Be at least 17 years old on the course start date
  • Successfully completed your High School certificate (minimum grades required)
  • Achieved a minimum score of 5.0 IELTS or equivalent

If you do not meet the minimum English language requirements, you may apply for our Pre-Foundation English courses to help improve your English language skills prior to commencing your Foundation studies.

What exams do I need to take?

The IFY is assessed by 30% coursework and 70% final examination.

Where can I study after IFY?

The IFY offers you the opportunity to progress to one of over 40 University partners located across Ireland, UK, mainland Europe, USA and Australia.

All students who successfully pass the IFY will achieve a University placement on a relevant degree.

When can I start? 

We have two intakes each year; in September and January. Students on both intakes will be ready to progress to their undergraduate degree courses by the following September.

Key Features

Programme structure

The IFY comprises approx 26 hours of timetable lessons per week including:

  • English for Academic Purposes which covers reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Three academic subject modules related to your Foundation stream
  • ICT to teach you how to use different software for preparing assignments and presentations, as well as using the Internet, e-mail and virtual learning environment software to support your learning.
  • Study Skills to help you to work effectively in groups, present ideas, manage your time, conduct research, take lecture notes, organise the content of essays and understand how to evaluate your own work.
  • Pastoral Care comprising of a weekly group tutorial to help you prepare for your university applications

Teaching and learning styles

Throughout the NCUK International Foundation Year, all the academic subject modules will be taught using a lecture and tutorial process that mirrors the style of teaching that you will encounter in university courses.

Assessment and support

Progress is monitored by continuous assessment of coursework and in-class tests. The final grade for each unit is based on a mixture of coursework and final examinations.

ID Course Name Duration Start Date
IFY-Bus Business & Management Foundation Course 9 months September 10, 2018
IFY-Eng Engineering & Technology Foundation Course 9 months September 10, 2018
IFY-HS Health Science (Medicine) Foundation Programme 9 months September 10, 2018
IFY-Sc Sciences Foundation Course 9 Months September 10, 2018