Students studying on lecture hall bench

International Foundation Year

Prepare for your undergraduate degree

The International Foundation Year is a two semester programme preparing you for an undergraduate degree at Cardiff University. There are four routes to choose from, with sub-routes within them related to your chosen degree subject. You will study a combination of English language preparation and subject-specific content and progress to an undergraduate degree when you complete the programme.

Key facts

*This intake is not available for progression to Optometry, Dental Surgery, Medicine, Medical Pharmacology or Pharmacy

  • Length: Two semesters
  • Study mode: On campus

Entry requirements

Check our academic and English language entry requirements


Visit the Fees page for full details.

Who is the programme for?

The International Foundation Year is designed for international students who would like to study an undergraduate degree at Cardiff University. If you don't have the grades required for direct entry, you need to practise your English, or you just want a softer start to your university experience, it could be a great choice for you.

What will I study?

All students will study a module in Academic English Skills. This will support you to develop your skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking, with a particular focus on the language uses that will prove most useful throughout your studies at Cardiff University. This critical module runs throughout each semester at the International Study Centre, and features particular emphasis on grammar and language skills, whilst also allowing you to stretch yourself in your written and spoken work.

You will also study subject-specific modules, depending on which pathway route you choose.

Why join this November?

Join us in November and stay on track to progress to your degree in September 2023*.

By starting in November, you will benefit from three additional weeks of study and life skills before commencing your main pathway programme in January 2023. There will be no additional tuition fee for this period, and this will provide you with a great opportunity for an enhanced student experience focusing on three key areas: orientation; practical support and academic and digital skills. Topics will include a digital skills health check; managing your money; practical tips on finding study and life balance; and an introduction to assessments in UK higher education.

What will I study in the additional three weeks?  

You’ll benefit from a 15-hour per week face-to-face classes, allowing you to:

  • feel more confident and better prepared for the start of your January programme of study
  • practice your English by interacting with the fellow students and build friendships    
  • assess your own digital skills proficiency  
  • meet the key Centre staff who will provide advice for success  
  • familiarise yourselves with the support available   
  • apply a range of academic study skills to meet your individual needs
  • have more time to adapt to the UK life and settle in before you begin your January programme.

Are there any additional cost or fees?

There will be no additional tuition fee, as November starts will have the same tuition fee as the respective January programme. However, there will be additional costs to consider, as expected with being in the UK for a longer period (i.e. accommodation). If you request accommodation on your application form, our Central Student Support Team will contact you directly in October regarding the options available.

New November start

If you want to be better prepared for the start of your January programme of study, join us in November.