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 at 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 February-start Social Sciences IFP leads to a range of degree programmes in the Social Sciences including pathways to Anthropology, Business, Law, Psychology, Politics and Social Sciences. However, if your interests are more Humanities-based, it is possible to progress to other degree programmes, for example, Art History, English Language & Linguistics, World Literature, Film and Drama, Philosophy and Liberal Arts. See 'Related to this course' below for other International Foundation Programme pathways.
The Social Sciences IFP has two start dates; one in January and one in September (see IFP Social Sciences - September start).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, and Art and Architecture 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 Social Sciences. For further information on careers, please see the relevant undergraduate degree programme.
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.
- 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.
- 5.0 IELTS with no less than 5.0 or equivalent.
|Qualification||Typical offer/minimum requirement|
|Access to HE Diploma||
|BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)||
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.
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 2020/21 tuition fees have not yet been set. As a guide only, the 2019/20 annual tuition fees for this programme are:
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
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.