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Foundation Medicine courses are designed specifically for international students to prepare you for entry to an undergraduate degree in Medicine. A foundation course in Medicine is essential to help you bridge the gap between your local High School qualification and starting a Medicine degree at an overseas University. Leading overseas Universities in locations such as Europe, Australia and the US, usually require that international students complete a foundation course in Medicine before applying to them. Foundation courses are designed to give you the academic and English language skills you will need to succeed in studying Medicine at an international university.

A foundation course usually runs over one academic year and takes on average 9 months to complete. It is made up of specific academic modules that are directly related to your chosen subject area.

A Foundation Year is recognised as an equivalent standard to A– Levels for university admission purposes. However, a foundation programme is delivered over an average of just 9 months, rather than 2 years for A-Levels.

Why should I complete a foundation Medicine course before I begin University?


Develop your English language skills

Studying Medicine at an English-speaking university can be daunting for an international student. Not only will you be expected to be skilled at speaking the English language in your everyday life, but you will also encounter complex medical terminology throughout your Medicine degree. This terminology can be a challenge for even the most proficient of native English speakers, never mind somebody who does not speak English on an everyday basis.

English language development is an integral aspect of a foundation course. You will develop the required English language skills you need to communicate in your everyday life, as well as to complete your medical studies at university. The skills you gain will ensure that you are proficient in reading, writing, listening and speaking the English language which is essential if you are to succeed at university. In addition, you will develop your academic writing, presentation and group discussion skills, all of which will be invaluable when you start your Medicine degree.

Designed specifically for international students

A foundation Medicine course is designed to meet the needs of international students who want to study abroad, by ensuring that you are academically ready to progress to a Medicine degree at an English speaking university. You will gain the confidence you need to succeed living and studying abroad. You will also learn to tackle the unique challenges faced by international students, such as adjusting to a new environment and culture.

Completing a foundation course where you will be taught in a similar environment to a university but with significantly smaller class sizes, will help you adjust to living and studying abroad. Your foundation year will give you time to get used to being in a multinational and multicultural setting. You will adapt to new teaching styles, lecture environments and academic standards. Small class sizes facilitate more personalised feedback on your course work which will allow your academic skills to flourish in a supportive, caring environment.

You will settle into your new home country, make friends and learn to live independently. All of this will ensure you are happy, confident and completely ready to start your degree at university.


Required for admission to leading universities worldwide

Education standards vary widely from country to country across the world. A Medicine foundation course is designed to ensure that international students have the required standard to gain entry and succeed on an undergraduate Medicine degree. Foundation courses are globally recognised by many of the world’s top universities for admission to their programmes. They allow you to build your knowledge on the subject area you want to study at university by completing subject-specific modules where you will gain key skills and competencies.



Where can I complete a foundation course?

DIFC (Dublin International Foundation College) based in Dublin, Ireland offer foundation  courses in Health Science (Medicine) that will provide you with a solid preparation for your Medicine degree at university.

The International Foundation Year (IFY) in Health Science programme at DIFC 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 overseas.
  • Need to improve their English language before studying at university in Ireland or the UK.

What Universities can I progress to study Medicine after I complete the foundation course at DIFC?

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. Since 2009 DIFC have placed over 300 international students on their dream course in the field of Medicine at one of our top University partners worldwide.

Taking the first step to study Medicine abroad through completing a foundation course opens so many opportunities for international students. The skills that you gain during your foundation year will be crucial in helping you achieve your full potential at university and in achieving your dream career in the field of Medicine.

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