Sheffield IC student Eesha from Malaysia

International Foundation Year

Foundation courses to prepare for undergraduate study

The International Foundation Year will give you all the preparation required to succeed at the University of Sheffield. It includes English language tuition, study skills and an introduction to your degree programme. This programme is designed in collaboration with the University of Sheffield and is delivered by Study Group.

What is the International Foundation Year?

The International Foundation Year is an intensive 1.5 or 2 semester programme designed specifically to provide you with a path to undergraduate degree study at the University of Sheffield. Once you complete the programme and achieve the required grades, you can enter the first year of your chosen undergraduate degree at the University. 

Why study one of our foundation courses?

  • Gain the academic skills need to study at undergraduate level.
  • Raise your English language level needed to achieve a place at the University.
  • Develop study skills such as essay writing and research.
  • Adjust to the UK education system.
  • Settle in to university life before you start your degree.

Key facts

Course length: 1.5 or 2 semesters

Entry points: 
2 semesters – September, November (Enhanced Induction) or January
1.5 semesters – March

Age on entry:
Students should be at least 17 years of age on entry to the International College*.

Entry requirements: Check academic and English language entry requirements

Fees: Check fees for your programme

*For some degrees, students must be aged 18 or over upon progression to the University. Please visit the relevant programme route page for more information.

Course content

The programme includes academic subjects, study skills and English language preparation. It has been developed for international students and designed specifically to provide you with the skills and knowledge to succeed on your degree. You will study subject-specific modules that focus on the academic areas most useful to your chosen degree.

Degree progression

Your offer of entry will contain the level you need to achieve on your International Foundation Year. Once you complete the programme and achieve the required grades, you can enter the first year of your chosen undergraduate degree at the University.

Study structure

You will study core modules common to each route, plus subject-specific modules. These have been carefully designed to focus on the academic areas most useful to your chosen degree.


You will be assessed regularly throughout the course. This may include a mixture of the following:

  • continuous coursework
  • end of semester module assessments
  • examinations
  • presentations
  • extended essays.

University-style teaching

The University of Sheffield International College introduces you to the style of teaching that you will experience at postgraduate level. You'll build on your research skills and immerse yourself in critical writing, analysis and literature reviews to prepare you for your masters at the University.

Skills for your future success

Teamwork, problem solving and communication are all skills you will develop during your programme. These are the skills employers are looking for and will help you stand out in the job market. Through various activities, you will develop the self-awareness and confidence to be successful in a professional working environment.

Study plan options

You can start the International Foundation Year at several points in the year, as long as you meet the entry requirements.

Course lengthStart dateEnd dateProgress to the University of Sheffield
2 semestersSeptemberJuneSeptember
3 weeks Enhanced Induction + 2 semestersNovemberAugustSeptember
2 semestersJanuaryAugustSeptember
1.5 semestersMarchAugustSeptember

English language preparation

If you meet the academic entry requirements for the International Foundation Year but need help with your English language, you can join our English Language Preparation programme first.

Taught on-campus by the English Language Teaching Centre staff, the English Language Preparation programme is designed to help you improve your English language skills and introduce you to essential academic and study skills while getting accustomed to life in Sheffield in preparation for your pathway programme in January or September.

Explore English programmes.

Geovanni's inspiring journey at the University of Sheffield

Ready to join us?

Our student enrolment advisors are here to help with your application and answer any questions you have about studying with us.