Foundation Medicine Courses | Health Sciences Foundation Year

DIFC’s International Foundation Medicine Courses

The International Foundation Medicine Course – Health Science programme is a specialised foundation course designed to support international students to progress to studying Medicine or Dentistry.

If you are interested in studying Medicine or Dentistry, but lack the entry requirements or have completed O Levels, this is an alternative route to entry. This programme is designed to prepare international students for entry to Medicine or Dentistry degrees.

Who is the Foundation Medicine Course for?

The International Foundation Medicine Course -Health Science programme is specifically designed for international students who:

  • Have completed their local high school qualification (or O-Level qualification)
  • Have completed A-Levels or equivalent, but do not meet the entry requirements for university admission
  • Need to improve their English language before studying university in Ireland or UK

Course Details


September & January


In Campus


9 months (September intake) or 7 months (January intake)


plus registration

Course Overview

The International Foundation Year – Health Science programme, offered by DIFC, is an intensive 7 – 9 month foundation course, designed to prepare international students for a place at medical or dentistry school.


During their studies, students on the IFY Health Science programme  will cover four main academic subjects – English for Academic Purposes, Mathematics for Science, Chemistry and Biology. Alongside these subjects, students will also gain key skills, such as:

  • Critical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Time management
  • Presentation skills
  • Academic writing
  • ICT skills

A central component of the programme is the personalised guidance and support students receive when it comes to applying to medical or dentistry school. Weekly tutorials help students to learn about their options, prepare stand-out personal statements and practice for university entrance interviews and exams, which are an important part of the admissions process for medical and dentistry school.

Develop you knowledge and understanding of key health science academic subjects

Opportunity to progress to range of leading partner universities in Medicine, Dentistry or medical sciences

Full university application support provided – including counselling and advice, personal statement support, interview and exam preparation

Entry Requirements

  • Successfully completed high school examinations
    • We accept SPM, WAEC, IGCSEs and a range of local high school qualifications
  • Have a minimum English level of 5.5 IELTS.
  • Volunteering or work shadowing experience is an advantage

Like A Levels, you will study three academic modules, in addition to English for Academic Purposes.

Academic Subject modules are:

  • Mathematics for Science
  • Chemistry
  • Biology

The NCUK IFY is assessed 30% by Coursework and 70% by examination. All assessments are set and moderated by NCUK.

Tuition fees for the IFY Health Science programme are €17,800 plus registration. Full details for fees are available here

DIFC student sitting at desk, typing on a laptop with earphones in

My experience in DIFC has been a really great and exciting journey. Not only are the teachers and staff friendly and helpful, having a class of international students from all around the world was a wonderful opportunity for me to get to know different cultures and make new friends.

Dawn Areen Kaur from Malaysia

Graduated Medicine at RCSI & UCD Malaysia Campus

“When I joined DIFC, my only aim was to get into one of their Medical partner universities. However, I have done more than that. The DIFC programme has helped me to improve in different critical skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving and time management skills, which are essential for a successful university life.”

Babatunde Kehinde from Nigeria

Now studying Medicine at Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, RCSI

The Health Science University Pathway offers progression to Medicine and Dentistry degrees. Students would also have options in other life science degrees such as Pharmacy, Biomedical Science, Genetics, Nursing and so on.

Our Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing university partners are as below. You can search our course finder for details on entry requirements and other life science degrees.


  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin (RCSI)
  • RCSI  & UCD Malaysia Campus (RUMC)
  • University College Cork
  • St George’s University, Grenada
  • University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)
  • University of Bristol
  • Aston University
  • Brunel University London
  • Queen Mary University of London – Malta campus
  • Charles University, Czech Republic
  • University of Debrecen, Hungary
  • Lithuanian University of Health Sciences
  • University of Western Australia


  • University of Bristol
  • University College Cork
  • Charles University, Czech Republic
  • University of Debrecen, Hungary
  • Lithuanian University of Health Sciences

DIFC has a dedicated University Placement Officer who will help you with your university applications. Our university placement process involves career planning and advice, support with preparation of your personal statements, preparation for interviews and application support.

We know that not all students achieve their predicted grades. During your university placement counselling, you will identify back-up options that would be available should you not achieve your predicted grades.

Although there is no guaranteed place in a Medicine or Dentistry  degree, once you successfully pass the IFY Health Science programme, you will achieve a university place in a medical science related degree.

Teaching & Facilities

The IFY Health Science programme consists of interactive classroom learning, small tutorial groups and practical laboratory sessions. Our laboratories are conducted in university laboratories with one of our partner universities in Dublin.

On campus, there is a full student library, private study areas and computer labs all available to students.

Our teaching staff are highly qualified and are experts in their field.

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