International Foundation Programme (Computer Science) - Credit

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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  Computer Science IFP leads to a range of degree programmes in the School of Computing. See 'Related to this course' below for other IFP pathways.  

Progression on to your degree programme in September is automatic at the end of the IFP, if you achieve the required grades.

The Computer Science IFP starts in September only.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements below demonstrate the type of qualifications you will need to apply for the International Foundation Programme (IFP). Some of our courses have subject specific requirements. Please visit the International Pathways site for more information.

Home/EU students

Applications are invited from home/EU students as well as international students. Please see International students section below for full details necessary requirements.

New GCSE grades

If you’ve taken exams under the new GCSE grading system, please see our conversion table to convert your GCSE grades.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
Access to HE Diploma

Not applicable

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

Not applicable

International students

The University welcomes applications from international students. To gain entry on to the IFP, you need the following:

  • a good academic school-leaving certificate with particular strengths in subjects that are relevant to your intended area of study approved by the University of Kent
  • a secondary school-leaving certificate approved by the University of Kent
  • appropriate national or international qualifications
  • satisfy specific departmental entry requirements
  • for progression to some degree programmes, GCSE grades A-C/9-4 maths or equivalent. If you do not have this level of qualification, you will need to do the IFP Maths module.

Meet our staff in your country

For more advice about applying to Kent, you can meet our staff at a range of international events.

English Language Requirements

Applicants must show that their English language ability meets our minimum standard, equivalent to IELTS 5.0, with a minimum of 5.0 in all skills.

All students requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK who are not from a majority English speaking country will need a UKVI Academic IELTS with a minimum of 5.0 in all skills. For more information, see our list of majority English speaking countries

If you will be applying for a Tier 4 student visa, you need to take the IELTS at a UKVI accredited centre; the correct test is called UKVI Academic IELTS.

Students who do not require a Tier 4 visa can join on other English language qualifications. Please contact us for more details.

Course structure

Duration: 1 year

The International Foundation Programme is a modular course taught over three terms, starting in September. All students must take the compulsory modules listed below. You also complete either LZ035 - Foundation Project or LZ037 - English for Academic Study based on the level of your English.

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.

Foundation year

Compulsory modules currently include

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.

Find out more about LZ013

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.

Find out more about LZ036

This module provides an introduction to programming. Software pervades many aspects of most professional fields and sciences, and an understanding of the development of software applications is useful as a basis for many disciplines. This module covers the development of simple programs. Concepts common to all types of programming – such as sequence, selection and iteration – are covered to provide an understanding of the basic principles of software. In addition, object-oriented concepts are introduced, including classes, objects, constructors, methods and fields. The module includes an introduction to an educational software development environment, as well as other electronic tools, such as electronic mail, a web browser and printing facilities.

Find out more about LZ051

Optional modules may include

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 primarily on grammar, vocabulary and academic writing skills but will include all language 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.

Find out more about LZ037

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 programme. The programme of study will cover critical and analytical skills in both written and spoken format.

Students will attend regular seminars/workshops each week, focusing on furthering their academic skills: they will receive input on seminar participation and presentation skills, and will develop the knowledge to produce 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, which will be assessed and personal skills development on the Academic Skills and Foundation Project modules. in an reflective interview. . Students will engage in seminars, for which they choose the topic and undertake the research, 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 Case Study on an issue researched through the literature review..

Find out more about LZ035

The module will be divided into two halves; the first half will look at debates within epistemology, philosophy of religion and the philosophy of mind. The purpose of these is twofold; first to expand students' theoretical knowledge across a broad range, and secondly to encourage them to discuss complex ideas in a structured and critical way. The second half will build upon the skills developed in the first half by exploring more contentious issues in moral and political philosophy.

Find out more about LZ012


The 2020/21 annual tuition fees* for this programme are:

  • Home/EU full-time £9250
  • International full-time £16200

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

*The 2020/21 annual tuition fees for Home/EU undergraduates have not yet been set by the UK Government. As a guide only full-time tuition fees for Home and EU undergraduates for 2019/20 entry are £9,250.

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.* 

Your fee status

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.

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.


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.

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.

Contact Hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

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

Learning outcomes

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

Intellectual skills

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

Subject-specific skills

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.)

Transferable skills

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.

Teaching Excellence Framework

All University of Kent courses are regulated by the Office for Students.

Based on the evidence available, the TEF Panel judged that the University of Kent delivers consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students. It is of the highest quality found in the UK.

Please see the University of Kent's Statement of Findings for more information.


Students progress to studying at degree level in the area of computer science. For further information on careers, please see the relevant undergraduate degree programme.


There are two ways to apply:

  1. Apply online.
  2. Alternatively, you can apply via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). If you are applying to other UK universities via UCAS, you must use this route. View application instructions on the UCAS website. The institution code number of the University of Kent is K24, and the code name is KENT.

When you apply, you must state which degree programme you want to study after your IFP.

If you are applying for courses based at Medway, you should add the campus code K in Section 3(d).

Apply through UCAS Apply through UCAS

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

T: +44 (0)1227 768896


International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254