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The Kent International Foundation Programme (IFP) is primarily designed for international students, allowing them to develop their academic knowledge and skills and, if required, their English language ability, for entry to undergraduate study at university.
The programme, on offer at the University of Kent for over 25 years, takes place on the Canterbury campus and students are full members of the University with access to University accommodation and all academic, welfare, social and sport facilities on campus.
With academic subject modules and academic skills modules taught by highly qualified University of Kent tutors, the Biosciences IFP leads to a range of degree programmes in the School of Biosciences or the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, including pathways to Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Science, Sport and Exercise Science, and Sports Therapy. See 'Related to this course' below for other IFP pathways.
The Biosciences IFP starts in September only.
The International Foundation Programme is a modular course taught over three terms, starting in September. All students take one core module in Academic Skills Development and either complete a Foundation Project module or take a module in English for Academic Study.
The Academic Skills Development classes help you work to develop all the necessary skills to fully enjoy your academic experience in the UK, for example, seminar and group work communication skills, developing as an independent student, improving skills in analysis, critique, time management, and project management. You will then take modules which are relevant to your chosen undergraduate degree programme.
This course structure is indicative of the modules available for this programme. Modules are based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
|Modules may include||Credits|
BI305 - Fundamental Human Biology
Cell structure and function: cell organelles; cytoskeleton; DNA/RNA structure; introduction to transcription and translation; introduction to disorders of cells and tissues
Cell division: mitosis; meiosis; mechanisms of creating genetic variation
Cell differentiation and body tissues: tissue types; extracellular matrix; cell junctions
Organ systems of the body including:
1. Musculoskeletal system: muscle types; mechanism of skeletal muscle contraction; structure, development and maintenance of bone; types of joints
2. Circulatory system: overview of circulation; composition of blood; cells of blood
3. Immune system: infectious agents; lymphatic system; innate and acquired defences
4. Digestive system: digestive tract and accessory organs; types of nutrients; major digestive enzymes; absorption and assimilation
5. Urinary system and excretion: kidney and urinary tract; urine formation; functions in waste removal, homeostasis
6. Endocrine and Nervous systems: concept of homeostatic loops; endocrine glands and hormones; organization of nervous system; generation and conduction of a nerve impulse; synapses and neurotransmitters; comparison of neural and hormonal signalling.Read more
BI324 - Genetics and Evolution
This module is an introduction to Mendelian genetics and also includes human pedigrees, quantitative genetics, and mechanisms of evolution.
An introduction to the genetics of a variety of organisms including Mendelian inheritance (monohybrid and dihybrid) and exceptions to the predicted outcomes due to incomplete dominance, co-dominance, lethal alleles, epistasis and genetic linkage, the chromosomal basis of inheritance, organelle based inheritance and epistasis. The inheritance of human genetic disease and its investigation by human pedigree analysis will also be introduced. Bacterial genetics.
The nature of mutation, including molecular mechanisms leading to the mutation of DNA, and the role of both mutation and horizontal gene transfer in evolution. Historical views on evolution, Darwins observations, the fossil record to modern techniques. Microevolution, population genetics and analysis of the distribution of genes within populations and mechanisms of gene flow, genetic drift, selection and speciation.Read more
LZ045 - Life Sciences for University Study
This module introduces students to the study of Biosciences, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics in this field. This module is predominantly theoretical and is class-room based. The module will explore Biosciences and the research methods common in its research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and theories in the study of Biosciences. The module encourages students to explore Biosciences in a manner which is relevant for University undergraduate study.Read more
LZ013 - Mathematics and Statistics for University Study
Through this module, students will develop their analytical and problem solving skills to successfully complete other related modules on the IFP. The programme of study will be divided into lectures in calculus, algebra and statistics.
As part of the orientation process, students will take a pre-course test which, along with other factors, will determine whether they go into the upper or lower band. This will involve an in class test in the first week. Students will then be grouped according to their mathematical ability and academic focus. The teaching in the upper bands will be geared more towards systematically working towards a solution while that in the lower bands will deal with mathematical techniques.Read more
LZ035 - Foundation Project
Through this module, students will improve the transferable academic skills necessary to successfully complete all the other modules on the IFP and to succeed on their future undergraduate programmes. The programme of study will cover critical and analytical skills in both written and spoken format. Students will attend three two-hour seminar/workshops per week on furthering their academic skills, receiving input on seminar participation, presentation skills and the requirements of EITHER a simplified written Case Study OR an essay (the 'project'). They will also have the opportunity to meet with their tutor four to five times during the term for a tutorial, to discuss their project and progress on the module. Students will create an electronic Portfolio consisting of reflective journal entries based on the progression of their project (with the use of a Wiki), which will be assessed throughout the module. Students will be engaged in seminars (x2), one of which will provide the basis of a group presentation. At the end of the term, students will submit their individual, complete Project Essay OR a Case Study on an issue that may or may not have arisen out of the seminar/presentation elements.Read more
LZ036 - Academic Skills Development
Through this module, students will develop the transferable linguistic and academic skills necessary to successfully complete all the other modules on the IFP. The programme of study will cover academic writing, reading, speaking and listening skills.
Students' entry language level (e.g. IELTS score) will determine whether they take LZ037 English for Academic Study in the first term and LZ036 in the second (IELTS < 6.0) or LZ036 in the first term and LZ035 Foundation Project in the second (IELTS = 6.0).Read more
LZ037 - English for Academic Study
Through this module, students will develop the transferable linguistic and academic skills necessary to successfully complete all the other modules on the IFP. The programme of study focuses on grammar, vocabulary and academic writing skills.
The module begins with an intensive revision of language structures and goes on to embed these structures into academic writing. Students will learn key steps in the writing process and be introduced to a range of written academic genres. Throughout the module, students will also develop their academic vocabulary through reading and writing tasks specially designed for this.Read more
Teaching and assessment
Our IFP is entirely managed and delivered by the University of Kent, allowing us to offer teaching of exceptional quality. Teaching is organised in small groups and includes lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and independent learning. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to apply the skills learnt in one module to all other modules and find relations between modules in order to broaden their education.
Assessment on the majority of modules will be through a combination of final examinations and coursework, including assignments from 1,000 to 2,000 words, and tests from 45 minutes to three hours in length.
On the IFP you will be provided with:
- a range of modules covering the foundations of a range of subjects
- teaching informed by current research and scholarship to encourage active involvement
- opportunities to apply knowledge and skills in a range of activities
- a stimulating and challenging education
- a firm conceptual foundation in the subjects necessary for progression to stage one in their chosen pathway
- academic literacy through the academic skills modules
- general critical, analytical and problem-solving skills
- the ability to manage their own learning and carry out some independent research appropriate to foundation level
- appropriate academic and pastoral guidance
Knowledge and understanding
You will gain knowledge and understanding of:
- the inter-disciplinary nature of academic skills in the humanities, social sciences and sciences
- an appropriate degree of factual and conceptual knowledge of your chosen subject(s) for the purposes of university study
- academic and social cultures and practices other than your own
- intercultural language issues.
- the structures, registers and varieties of language required to be successful on a University of Kent degree programme
You will develop intellectual abilities in the following:
- present, evaluate and interpret a variety of data using defined techniques in a logical and systematic fashion
- develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with the basic theories, methods, principles and concepts of the subjects studied
- engage in critical reflection, verbal discussion and written and interpretative analysis of key material
- assess the merits of contrasting theories and explanations, and make links across different subjects
- present rational and reasoned theses and arguments to a range of audiences
- separate fact from opinion and identify arguments and counter-arguments
- distinguish between and use an appropriate range of technical and numerical systems and/or a range of spoken and written academic and other registers, styles and genres
You will gain subject-specific skills in the following:
- demonstrate knowledge of the main methods of enquiry and analysis in the humanities, social sciences and sciences
- present data in graphic and textual form in a manner appropriate to the subjects being studied
- evaluate and interpret data and information, develop arguments and come to sound conclusions in accordance with the relevant theories and concepts related to the subjects being studied
- demonstrate an appropriate level of (subject-specific) linguistic competence
- evaluate the reliability and validity of source data (factual, theoretical, quantitative and qualitative) and incorporate your own opinion in an appropriate manner
- be able to work in laboratory and workshop environments and use appropriate equipment and tools (for Sciences or Architecture and Arts pathways)
You will gain transferable skills in the following:
- work with others through the preparation of projects, seminars and presentations, and through general pair and group work in class
- recognise your own strengths and weaknesses and improve your performance as a result
- recognise how skills learned in one module can be applied in another
- apply critical and academic skills across all modules
- communicate information to specialist and non-specialist audiences and show a degree of audience awareness in terms of written and oral text
- demonstrate a degree of autonomy, showing the ability to learn effectively using your own resources, be organised and meet deadlines
- select and use appropriate library and IT applications and resources.
Students progress to studying at degree level in the area of Biosciences or Sports and Exercise Sciences.
To gain entry on to the IFP programme, you need the following:
- a good academic school-leaving certificate with particular strengths in subjects that are relevant to your intended area of study.
The University welcomes applications from international students. Our international recruitment team can guide you on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country.
If you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes.
Meet our staff in your country
For more advise about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.
English Language Requirements
Applicants must pass IELTS at 5.0 overall, with 5.0 in all four categories. Please note that the IELTS test must be taken at an approved UKVI test centre and the test report must include a UKVI number.
General entry requirements
Please also see our general entry requirements.
The 2017/18 tuition fees for this programme are:
UK/EU fee paying students
The Government has announced changes to allow undergraduate tuition fees to rise in line with inflation from 2017/18.
In accordance with changes announced by the UK Government, we are increasing our 2017/18 regulated full-time tuition fees for new and returning UK/EU fee paying undergraduates from £9,000 to £9,250. The equivalent part-time fees for these courses will also rise from £4,500 to £4,625. This was subject to us satisfying the Government's Teaching Excellence Framework and the access regulator's requirements. This fee will ensure the continued provision of high-quality education.
For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.*
The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.
General additional costs
View scholarship opportunities for this programme on the International Pathways website.
Please note that Student Loans Company (SLC) funding is not available for UK/EU students intending to study on the IFP (September or January start), as this is a one year stand-alone programme.
Undergraduate degree programmes following on from the IFP will be eligible for SLC funding.