Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

International Foundation Programme (Pharmacology and Physiology) - Credit

UCAS code 45NC


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 Pharmacology and Physiology IFP leads to the BSc Pharmacology and Physiology.

The  Pharmacology and Physiology IFP starts in September only.

Teaching Excellence Framework

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.

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Course structure

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.

Foundation year

Modules may include Credits

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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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 gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the structures, registers and varieties of English to a level sufficient for you to be successful on a University of Kent degree programme
  • the inter-disciplinary nature of academic skills in the humanities, social sciences and sciences
  • academic literacy and skills, in particular, the use of English for Academic Purposes
  • an appropriate degree of factual and conceptual knowledge of biosciences history, economics, sociology, literature, philosophy, politics, mathematics and quantitative methods, law, business management, design, programming, analogue electronics and electrical principles and measurements for the purposes of university study, depending on the modules taken
  • academic and social cultures and practices other than the students’ own
  • intercultural language issues.


Intellectual skills

You 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
  • engage in critical reflection, verbal discussion and written and interpretative analysis of key material
  • separate fact from opinion and identify a writer’s argument as opposed to what is a counter-argument in a text
  • 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
  • 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 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 Pharmacology and Physiology at degree level.

Find out more about careers in this field on our Pharmacology and Physiology BSc (Hons) degree page.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

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.
Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement

GCSE grade A/B/C Maths or equivalent for some degree programmes. If you do not have this level of qualification, you will need to take the IFP Maths module.

Access to HE Diploma

The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all Access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. 

If we make you an offer, you will need to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR) on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International students

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 advice 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 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £9250 £15200

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.

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.