What is the NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) in Science?

The NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) in Science, is a one-year qualification designed to prepare you for first year entry to undergraduate degree courses at reputable English speaking universities around the world. The programme is suited to those seeking a career in all areas of science.

As well as academic knowledge, the NCUK International Foundation Year will give you specialist English language, study and cultural skills that are an essential part of your degree course. This unique combination will help you to get in to the University of your choice and be successful in your future career.

On successful completion of your International Foundation Year at Oxford Sixth Form College you are guaranteed a place at one of the 16 below universities:

  • Aston University
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Bradford
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Kent
  • Kingston University
  • University of Leeds
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • The University of Manchester
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • University of Salford
  • The University of Sheffield
  • Sheffield Hallam University


The International Foundation Year in Science enables students to access thousands of degree courses, including over 70 medical progression routes. Click here for more information.

In addition to this, there are a number of universities worldwide that welcome applications from students holding the NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) qualification. For a full list of these universities please contact our Admissions team

What do I study on the NCUK Foundation Year?

Similar to A-Levels, you study three academic modules designed to prepare you for the study of Science, Engineering or Medicine-related fields at undergraduate degree level. You may also need to study one of our English for Academic Purposes modules.

The academic modules are as follows:

  • IFYMS002 Mathematics (Science)
  • IFYBI002 Biology
  • IFYCH002 Chemistry

Applicants for the St. George’s University Medical degree take an additional module in Anatomy and Physiology.


English for Academic Purposes (FYEN001)

All NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) English modules provide essential preparation for university study. Your options are:

  • English for Academic Purposes for non-native speakers of English

How is it assessed?

The NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) is assessed 20% by Coursework and 80% by examination. All assessments are set and moderated by NCUK.

What are the entry requirements?

You must be at least 17 years old, completed 11 years of high school education and have a recognised English language qualification e.g. IELTS 5.0.

Please note, students will be required to sit a UKVI IELTS exam in order to meet Tier 4 visa criteria.

For further (including country-specific) details, please see NCUK’s Entry Requirements.

Who awards the qualification?

NCUK awards the final certificate. Upon successful completion you will receive a certificate showing that you have passed the course and a transcript that details your individual module results.

Universities worldwide and UK NARIC (National Recognition Information Centre) formally recognises the NCUK International Foundation Year as a comparable level to GCE A Level, Australian high school (SSCE), and American high school (AP) qualifications.


About NCUK

  • NCUK is a consortium of leading universities dedicated to giving international students guaranteed access to universities and helping students succeed when they get there.
  • NCUK qualifications are recognised by NCUK universities and by most others across the UK, including many in the Russell Group (UK’s Ivy League), and also by universities internationally.
  • Since 1987, NCUK has helped over 30,000 international students gain guaranteed access to leading UK universities.

How do I apply?

We are currently accepting applications from students looking to start their NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) in September. You can make an application by filling out our online form here.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to complete the NCUK International Foundation Year?

Starting in September each year, the International Foundation Year in Science takes one academic year to complete. Depending on final exam dates, this is usually 9 months from start to finish.

How much does the NCUK International Foundation Year cost?

Please see our tuition fees page.

Where will I live when I study at Oxford Sixth Form College?

We have a selection of accommodation options for international students, all within walking distance of the main school in the city centre. You can find further information about our accommodation options here.

How do I apply to university?

We will help you with your application and let you know about all the deadlines. With the NCUK guarantee, we ensure you get at least two conditional offers and if you pass the IFY, a guaranteed place.

What is student life like at Oxford Sixth Form College?

Your wellbeing whilst studying at Oxford Sixth Form College is very important to us. We have a Welfare and Safeguarding team at the college who are ready to help and support you with anything you may need, as well as an action-packed social calendar to make sure you’re making the most of your time in this fantastic city. Find out more about College life here.