DIFC’s Foundation Programme is your guaranteed placement into thousands of degrees at leading universities worldwide.

Malaysian female student sitting at desk typing on a laptop

The International Foundation Programme is your pathway
to thousands of degrees at leading universities worldwide.

It is designed specifically for international students to prepare you for first-year entry to undergraduate degree courses. The Foundation Programme is run over 7-9 months and combines academic study, intensive English language preparation, study skills and cultural orientation.

Our Foundation Programmes allow you to choose from four broad pathways:



Medicine & Dentistry
(Health Science)

What are the entry requirements for the International Foundation Programme?

  • For entry to the International Foundation Programme, you need to be at least 17 years old on the course start date.
  • Successfully completed your High School certificate (minimum grades required): GCSE, IB, SPM, AS levels, A levels, WAEC, Year 11 or 12 depending on your country. Achieved a minimum score of 5.0 IELTS or equivalent (5.5 IELTS for Health Science).
Medicine & Dentistry
Foundation Programme
Foundation Course
Engineering & Technology Foundation Course
Science Foundation

What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between the International Foundation Year programme and A-Levels?

The International Foundation Year programme is recognised as an equivalent standard to the A– 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.

Why choose the DIFC International Programme pathway?

  • 100% of student who successfully pass the International Foundation Programme 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 Programme leads to an award which is accepted for admission to leading Universities in Ireland, UK, USA, and Australia.

Key Features

Foundation Programme structure

The International Foundation Year Programme (IFY) comprise 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

Are you ready

to start your pathway?

Start typing and press Enter to search