International Pathways

University of Kent International Foundation Programme (IFP)

  • "You learn so many things that will benefit you in the future; it transforms you" - Rajeeb Ghose
    "You learn so many things that will benefit you in the future; it transforms you" ~ Rajeeb Ghose
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    "I would recommend the IFP, it gives you so much, not just academically, but also socially; I really felt I was part of something when I was studying the IFP" ~ Mariam Al-Bader
  • Gold for Kent in Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
    Gold for Kent in Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)
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    We are a founding member of the University Pathway Alliance (UPA), an alliance of leading UK universities who manage and deliver their own in-house academic and English language programmes.

International Foundation Programme (IFP)

Our IFP prepares international students for academic study on a range of undergraduate degree programmes.


International Foundation Programme (IFP) at University of Kent

Based on the Canterbury campus, our tailored International Foundation Programme (IFP) at the University of Kent prepare you for undergraduate study in the UK and give you the best start to your studies. The course and team will support you settling in student life and build your skills and confidence, providing you with a great foundation in the skills and knowledge needed for your undergraduate study.

Our Centre is experienced in working with international students and supporting their transition to university, making it exciting and enjoyable. Our students graduate from the IFP well prepared for university study as confident learners, having built lifelong friendships and at ease with life on the campus and in the UK.

Who is the International Foundation Programme for?

Our IFP course is ideal if you have excellent high school grades but have not completed a suitable qualification or grades that allow you to apply for direct entry to a UK university and Kent, or you might need additional language support to prepare you for undergraduate study.

We offer progression onto the majority of subject areas at Kent, including Business and Economics, Law, Architecture and Design, Social Sciences, Sciences and Humanities. For a full list of the degree programmes you can progress to after the IFP, including progression requirement and module choices, please see our Progression Requirements page.

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Ten reasons to choose Kent's IFP

  • Guaranteed Progression onto a wide range of courses

Your progression onto your degree is automatic at the end of your IFP course if you achieve the required grades.  We offer progression onto 300+ degree courses at the University of Kent. 

  • A great location – a place to inspire

Our Canterbury campus, set in beautiful parkland with views of the city, is a short-walk or bus ride from the world famous, historic city of Canterbury.  Canterbury has fantastic travel links to London, Europe and beyond.

  • Tailor your programme to you

Depending on your pathway, you can choose a number of your subject modules to build a programme and experience to fit your study interests.

  • Develop your academic skills and academic English.

You will study specialist academic skills and, if needed, language modules essential for your study and beyond.  Skills you will learn include extended research and writing, presentation and group work skills.

  • Become a University of Kent student  

Access to all our sport, study, social and support facilities at the university.  You will fully experience student life on your pathway programme.

  • Inspirational Teaching

A great teacher doesn't just teach you, they inspire you. Here at Kent, we are renowned for a teaching style that brings your subject to life and encourages you to think independently.
Our academics have an outstanding ability to pass on their passion for study and debate. Meet our team here.

  • A dedicated international team  

Many of our staff at our Centre have studied or lived abroad.  Our experienced, friendly IFP team work hard to help you to fulfil your potential and support you in your study and life in the UK. Meet our team here.

  • Personalised Support

You will have an Academic Adviser throughout your programme to guide you through your course. Also, you will have regular tutorials with your teachers on each of your modules.  

  • A home from home

We will offer you on-campus accommodation for the IFP and your first year of undergraduate study at Kent.  We have a range of accommodation options.

  • Achieve Excellence

With nearly 40 years of experience in helping international students prepare for their learning journey, our Centre has a record of success you can be confident in. In the past two years, 86% of our students have successfully passed and completed their programme. 77% of our successful IFP students met their course requirements to study at Kent and many progressed onto some of Kent’s most competitive degrees. The majority of our IFP graduates go on to achieve a merit or distinction on their degree programmes.


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IFP Term Dates

Autumn IFP 2018-19

Welcome week: 17 September - 23 September 2018
Autumn term: 24 September - 14 December 2018 (holidays 29 October - 02 November 2018)
Spring term: 14 January - 05 April 2019 (holidays 18 February - 22 February 2019)
Summer examination term: 06 May - 14 June 2019


Spring IFP 2018-19

Welcome week: 28 January - 01 February 2019
Spring term: 04 February - 12 April 2019
Summer term: 29 April - 05 July 2019
Summer examination term: 08 July - 02 August 2019


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IFP Module Options

For a full list of the degree programmes you can progress to after the IFP, including progression requirement and module choices, please see our Progression Requirements page.

Your module choices will be sent to you via email prior to registration.

Academic Skills Development

LZ036 Academic Skills Development (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Trisha Spencer

The core module prepares students for academic study, with a focus on English language, critical, analytical and study skills.  It includes  research and library skills; structuring academic essays; referencing and writing bibliographies; preparing for different forms of assessment; reading academic books and journals and critical evaluation of texts; participating in seminars and oral discussions; listening to lectures and note-taking; giving and leading seminars; extra language and grammar, clubs and societies; European Studies lectures and IT skills.

English for Academic Study

LZ037 English for Academic Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Rebecca Coleman

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.

IFP Project

LZ035 IFP Project (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Chloe Courtenay-Bennett

Through this module, students will develop 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 one one-hour lecture per week on project management and academic skills and meet with their project supervisor three to four times in the term to discuss their project and progress on the module. Students will develop an electronic portfolio of work on the module to be assessed throughout the term and at the end of the term as one Project entity.


LZ001 History for University Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: David Budgen

The history module covers British society, politics and culture from the Napoleonic Wars in the early 19th Century to the Welfare State after the Second World War. It takes in the political changes of the Age of Reform, issues like poverty, science, popular culture, national identity, women and society and colonialism and empire, as well as the Irish Question, industry and the origins of the First and Second World Wars. These subjects will be expanded on through case studies and visits. This is a fascinating period in the development of Britain and the study of it is interesting in and of itself. The study of history is also, however, extremely useful as a means of developing critical thinking skills and is of immense value in terms of understanding a whole range of other subjects from Philosophy to Business Studies.

Drama Film & Literary Text

LZ002 Drama Film & Literary Text for University Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor:  Sarah Anthony

The module aims to develop your critical understanding of drama, film and literary text by a close examination of stylistic variation in a selection of texts from the three main genres.  In the fiction segment, we will explore a range of short stories and one-two novels to understand how prose narratives are constructed and to appreciate the contribution of ‘point of view’, the treatment of time, the use of narrators and presentation of speech and thought.  We will also be asking how an individual writer’s style is a product of linguistic choice. 

This module also gives you an opportunity to study film and drama .  We will look at how selected works convey characterisation, setting, plot and how the techniques used in plays are different from those in prose fiction. 

In the poetry segment, we will examine selected works by some important twentieth-century poets, in order to explore the use of some key poetic forms and to examine the ways that twentieth-century poets engage with their social, political and cultural worlds.  The poetry segment will emphasise close reading of a limited number of poems in order to develop your skills in in-depth analysis.


LZ003 Sociology for University Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Margaret Hall

A simple definition of Sociology is the systematic study of societies.  It is particularly concerned with the way society has changed over the last two centuries, beginning with the massive changes brought about by the British Industrial Revolution and the French Revolution of 1789.

Since then, social change has continued to accelerate so that now, in the 21st century, a major feature of our world is the interdependence of societies which globalisation has brought.  Sociology invites us to ask questions about our social world and to explore our individual and cultural experiences within a wider social context.

While Sociology is concerned with many subjects which we already know something about, such as the family, we are required to examine our common-sense assumptions by 'thinking ourselves away' from the daily routines of our lives. To do this not only requires the development of a sociological imagination but also the use of appropriate methodology and theoretical approaches.  A range of academic study skills can, therefore, be acquired by the study of this subject.


LZ004 Economics for University Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: John Bennett

The first section of the module will be concerned with the nature of markets and the role of the price mechanism in resource allocation.  We will look at the motivations and behaviour of consumers and producers that underpin the operation of markets.

We then move to consideration of the whole economy, analysing such phenomena as inflation, unemployment and economic growth.  Our primary focus will be on the UK economy, and its relationship with others, which will provide the context for illustrating how and why both economic ideas and policies develop over time, but comparison with the performance, structure and institutions of other economies will also be used.

The objective of the module is that students should gain familiarity with the analytical methods of economics, and be able to apply those methods to questions and problems of resource allocation.

Politics and International Relations

LZ007 Politics and International Relations for University Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Chris Henry and Olga Ntalaka

This module provides a general introduction to the study of politics. You will become acquainted with many fields of study in the discipline, among them, political theory, government, international relations and European politics. The module seeks to provide students with a general overview of key concepts, structures and theoretical debates at the heart of the discipline. It looks at the links between national and international politics and encourages students to think critically about social, political and economic trends.

You will draw on a wide range of case studies and tackle important contemporary issues such as terrorism, human rights and environmentalism as well as traditional questions concerning the nature of government, the state and political participation. Moreover, the module requires you to look at a variety of sources including academic books and journals, newspapers, films, novels and cartoons. The lecture-seminars will involve a range of activities and you will be strongly encouraged to contribute to debates and discussions. Throughout the year you will also work on a group project in your private study time which will culminate in either the production of a short film, a newspaper front page or a radio broadcast to be presented to the rest of the class at the end of the year. This is in addition to the graded assessment outlined in this guide.


LZ012 Philosophy for University Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Daniel Cardinal

Philosophy is the search for answers to the fundamental questions of human life, such as 'What sort of being am I?' 'What is it possible for me to know for certain?' 'What is it to be morally good?' 'Are we truly free?' 'Can there be a just society?'

Philosophy for University Study is aimed not at providing answers to these questions, but at teaching you how to approach such questions.  You will learn how to construct coherent arguments, as well as how to spot when, and how, someone else's arguments are flawed.
Through a detailed study of some of the great texts of western philosophy, and through extended classroom debate you will learn not only how to argue well, but you will also gain a clearer insight into how some of the greatest minds in history have attempted to answer some of the ultimate questions of human life.

Maths & Statistics

LZ013 Mathematics & Statistics for University Study (International Foundation Programme)

Convenor: Lazaros Gonidis

Foundation in Mathematics provides a range of mathematical skills you need to go on to a degree course. The module is taught as a series of informal lectures and exercise classes where you can ask questions as they occur and gain experience of various mathematical concepts and techniques you will need. The teaching format supports developing an analytical approach to problem solving, matching the skills you learn to the problem type and working systematically towards a solution.

European and International Business

LZ018 European and International Business for University Study
Convenor: Terry Bevis

There are many different kinds of business organisation, ranging from the sole trader running a small business to great multinational corporations.  This module examines the aims, structures and processes of these organisations and the way they are managed.  In particular, it examines the role of finance in the working of business, the function of accounting as a vital source of management information, the marketing of products and services and the management of human resources.  We also look at the legal aspects of business operation.


LZ019 Law for University Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Jeremmy Okonjo

Law for University Study equips you with knowledge regarding the nature and the sources of English law. We explore the hierarchy and structure of the English legal system, and the functions of the people involved in implementing and interpreting the law. In the second period, we look at specific legal disciplines in more detail and critically analyse the workings of the law in relation to them.

Art & Design

LZ038 Art & Design for University Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Julie Mecoli and TBC

This module is compulsory for students doing the Architecture pathway. It provides you with an introduction to elementary spatial design theory and practice, ready for entry into Stage 1 of the degree courses in Architecture and Interiors. It also provides preparation for related disciplines in Drama and Theatre Studies and the School of Arts. This module gives you the opportunity to investigate the spaces we create and the things we make and to develop your own work and ideas within key areas including: observation and how to read spatial environments, basic principles of construction of objects and environments, recording and communication, skills in freehand drawing, basic workshop techniques for making maquettes and using lens based media, a design project, and the basic principles of design history.


LZ040 Psychology for University Study (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Ioanna Kapantai and Lazaros Gonidis

This module introduces students to the study of psychology, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics within psychology and seminal psychological research. The module will explore psychology as a Science and the research methods common in psychological research. The lectures will cover some of the key concepts and findings in the study of abnormal psychology, sensation, consciousness, child psychology, motivation, emotion, memory and attitudes, group processes (all in term 1) and evolutionary psychology, personality, visual perception, social-cognitive psychology, health psychology and psychobiology (all in term 2).

The module encourages students to explore classical concepts in psychology within the context of cutting edge research and contemporary issues within modern society. There is a particular focus on how psychology and concepts within the subject can inform controversial issues in everyday society.

Life Sciences

LZ045 Life Sciences for University (International Foundation Programme)
Convenor: Nadia Koloteva-Levine

This module introduces students to the study of Life Sciences, with the aim of providing an introductory understanding of key topics in this filed. 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.


CO012 Programming for University Study (International Foundation Programme)  

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 course 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.

Fundamental Human Biology

BI305 Fundamental Human Biology (International Foundation Programme)

This modules looks at the following items: the basic functioning of the immune system and causes of disease, the basic structure and function of eukaryotic cells. how cells divide and pass information to the next generation, the characteristics of the various body tissues, the major systems of the body – blood, muscle and bone, digestive tract, kidneys and nerves, and how the body is co-ordinated and controlled.

Genetics & Evolution

BI324 Genetics & Evolution (International Foundation Programme)

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, Darwin’s 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.

Skills for Bioscientists

BI308 Skills for Bioscientists (International Foundation Programme)

This module allows you to become familiar with practical skills, the analysis and presentation of biological data and introduces some basic mathematical and statistical skills as applied to biological problems. It also introduces you to the computer network and its applications and covers essential skills such as note-taking and essay writing.

For more information, please email

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IFP Fees and Scholarships

Tuition Fees for IFP

Fees for IFP for the 2018/19 academic year are £9,250 for EU students and £15,200 for international students.

Please note that no Student Loans Company (SLC) funding is available for students intending to study on the IFP (September or February start), as this is a one year stand-alone programme. Undergraduate degree programmes following on from the IFP will be eligible for SLC funding.

Scholarships for IFP

We offer two £5,000 tuition fee scholarships for our September-start International Foundation Programme and one £5,000 tuition fee scholarships for our February-start International Foundation Programme.

Application Criteria:

You must have accepted a conditional offer of a place on our IFP programme via your application portal

The scholarship application closing dates are as follows:
September IFP: 30 June at midnight
February IFP: 31 December at midnight

How to apply:

Apply for a place on the International Foundation Programme

Once you have accepted your offer, please submit an essay to answering the following question:

    Why have you chosen your selected pathway programme; why have you applied to the University of Kent; and how do you see your pathway programme and subsequent degree at Kent preparing you for your life after graduation?

The University of Kent reserves the right not to allocate the awards if the selection panel identifies no suitable candidates. We expect to inform candidates whether or not they have been successful by mid-September prior to the academic year of entry (mid-December for February IFP).

For further details of these scholarships and information about pathway opportunities please contact


Please note, 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. If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

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IFP Entry Requirements

When you first apply for the IFP, you will need to provide the following information on your application form:

  • A transcript for your most recent qualification
  • A short personal statement (reasons for study)
  • If necessary, proof of your English language level

If you have applied for our IFP leading to Architecture, you will also need to provide a portfolio of your artwork. Please see below for further advice about your portfolio.
Please note that we may require further information from you throughout the application process, so please check your application portal for any messages that we may send you.

Qualifications accepted for IFP entry

Below is a list of the most commonly accepted qualifications that we accept for admission. If your country or qualification is not included on this list we will still be happy to consider your application.


Academic examinations accepted for International Foundation Programme (IFP) Entry  


Algerian Baccalaureate


Bangladeshi Higher Secondary Certificate


Bahraini Tawjahiya or USA High School Graduation Diploma


Chinese Senior High School Graduation Examination


Greek Cypriot Apolytirion

Northern Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot Lise Bitirme Diploma


West African School Certificate


Greek Apolytirion

Hong Kong

Hong Kong CEE , Hong Kong ALE, New High School Diploma from 2012


Indonesian Sekolah Menengah Umum (SMU)


Iranian High School Graduation Diploma


Japanese Secondary School Leaving Certificate


Jordanian Tawjihiya


Kazakhstani Certificate of Secondary Education


Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education


Korean High School Diploma


Libyan Secondary Education Certificate


Malaysia Sijil Pelajaran (SPM)


Morrocan Baccalaureate


Nigerian Senior School Certificate(WAEC)


Omani Thanawiya Amma


Russian Attestat (School Leaving Certificate)

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian Tawjihiyah


GCE O Level , GCE A Level

South Africa

South African Matriculation


Sudanese School Certificate


Taiwanese Senior High School Leaving Certificate


Thai Upper Secondary School Certificate


Turkish Devlet Lise Diplomasi


Emirati Tawjahiya


Ugandan UCE / UACE


USA High School Graduation Diploma (HSGD)


Vietnamese Secondary School Graduation Certificate


Yemeni Al Thanawiya


Zambian School Leaving Certificate


Entry requirements for most popular qualifications

Below are indicative entry requirements for the most commonly used qualifications on IFP applications. We are happy to consider other qualifications or combinations of qualifications so please do get in touch with us at for any queries.

Note that this remains indicative and we reserve the right to amend the levels indicated below, or add specific subject level requirements to any application.


Indicative offer level

A Level





16.0 overall final result (no A levels required)

AS Level


Chinese High School Diploma

80% or above in the first two years of High School or the Huikao examination (Gaokao not required)

French Baccalaureat

10/20 (pass)

Hong Kong DSE

332 in 3 modules; a mixture of core and elective subjects excluding Chinese Language and Liberal Studies


25 points


5 As and Bs

Kenyan CSE

5 As and Bs

Malaysian SPM

Grades of B or above

South African Matriculation, National Senior Certificate

60% overall


80% overall in grade 12 / Thanawiya

Turkish Lise Diplomasi (not Teknik)

70% in final year

US High School Diploma

2.8 GPA (APs/SAT scores are not required)


5 C5s or above


English language requirement

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. A list of majority English speaking countries is available at 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 dot not require a visa can join on other English language qualifications such as:
IELTS Academic: minimum 5.0 in all skills
TOEFL iBT: Overall 62; Reading 15; Writing 15; Listening 14; Speaking 19
PTE Academic: minimum 36 in each skill
GCSE English (first language): C
GCSE English (second language): B

If you have another English-language qualification that is equivalent to IELTS, please contact us at and we will advise further.

Personal statement advice

These are some things to think about when writing your personal statement:

  • Why are you applying for the IFP? What interests you about the subject and what are your ambitions?
  • Why do you think you would be suitable for this course? Why do you want to study in the UK?
  • Do you do any extra-curricular activities For example; do you belong to a club, or do you volunteer or work?

Portfolio advice for students progressing to Architecture

Your portfolio is an important part of the admissions process for any student wishing to undertake the International Foundation Programme as an entry requirement on to the BA (Hons) Architecture course. It should contain the strongest examples of your work as an artist or designer. Your portfolio should be organised and tidy, but it is entirely up to you how you choose to layout and order your work. For example, the portfolio can be ordered chronologically or ordered according to types/styles of work.

When reviewing applicants, we want to see a broad range of examples of your skills and talents. Please provide as wide a spectrum of these, whilst not repeating examples of techniques and styles. Therefore, do not include too many sketches or drawings if a small selection will demonstrate your skill in a particular medium.  Your portfolio should include any media relevant to the course you are applying for. This may include sketches, paintings, ceramics, textiles, photography, etc. We are receptive to the inclusion of digital work, whether time-based or static. Please include any films or animations that you would like to show.

However, we are not just interested in skills alone. We want you to use these skills to demonstrate your ability to observe, think and create. We want to see:

  • Observational skills: Can you record and render a scene realistically? Life drawing, still life drawing, urban/rural landscapes, etc.
  • Artistic, conceptual, creative thinking: Can you demonstrate your design process from beginning to end of a project?
  • Analyses of colour, form and space

All portfolios should be sent in digital form.  Please ensure that the all images/work is viewable and the files conform to standard formats. All images should be saved in JPEG format and documents in PDF.

Howard Griffin
Director of Recruitment & Marketing
Kent School of Architecture

For more specific information relating to your particular situation, please contact

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Download our IFP brochure

Foundation Programmes 2019 Brochure (English)

Download Foundation Programmes 2019 brochure here


International Foundation Programme 2018 Brochure (English)

Download IFP 2018 brochure here

International Foundation Programme 2017 Brochure (Mandarin)

Download IFP 2017 brochure (Mandarin) here


International Foundation Programme 2017 Brochure (Arabic)

Download IFP 2017 brochure (Arabic) here

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Centre for English and World Languages, Chipperfield Building, University of Kent, CT2 7PE

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824401 or contact us

Last Updated: 12/10/2018