International Foundation Year

Many young people have the ambition to go to a top university, to give their education and career opportunities the best possible advantage. The International Foundation Year at International House Belfast is an ideal way for students to gain the qualifications, knowledge and confidence needed for entry on to their dream degree course with a choice of universities across the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and Australia.

The International Foundation Year (IFY) is a one year pre-university programme, including a significant amount of English language training. The programme is designed to provide learners with an entry route to UK university programmes or progression on to the NCC Education Level 4 Diplomas in Computing, Business or Business IT.

On completion students will receive a certificate stating they have completed an International Foundation Diploma for Higher Education. The NCC Education Level 3 International Foundation Diploma for Higher Education Studies is the only foundation programme registered with OFQUAL – Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulations.

The IFY aims to:

  • Improve learners general and academic English language ability.
  • Enhance students study skills and cultural understanding.
  • Introduce learners to academic study in English in the fields of computing and/or business.

Important information

TUITION: 20 – 30 lessons per week
TIMETABLE: Full time and modular
DURATION: The qualification is designed to be studied full-time over one academic year. The qualification is taught face-to-face through lectures, tutorials and seminars at International House Belfast.
AGE: 17 years +
LEVELS: Pre-intermediate to advanced
COURSE DATES: September – June and January – June

Entry Requirements

Entry requirements for the NCC Education IFY Qualification: Successfully completed secondary education in an appropriate range of subjects. Plus a valid score of 4.5 or above (September start) or a 5.0 or above (January start) in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination from an approved SELT test centre. EU Students: Alternatively, EU students can take the free NCC Education Standard English Placement Test which is administered by our NCC Education Centres to provide evidence of an equivalent level of English language. Note: Government changes might be applicable.

Qualification Structure

To complete the qualification you must study and pass eight units and the qualification consists of the following six core units:

  1. Developing English Language Skills – develops your English language skills to be able to communicate effectively beyond simple everyday contexts. It aims to improve your reading, writing, listening and speaking and enables you to acquire a broad range of knowledge which you can use to confidently and effectively communicate in English. The unit guides you through Intermediate and then Upper Intermediate levels of English language study.
  2. Advanced English Language Skills – enables you to put into practice the language you have acquired and develop into an advanced user of English. You will make extensive use of the four skills of speaking, reading, listening and writing, as well as extending your knowledge of complex grammar and advanced vocabulary.
  3. English for Academic Purposes – develops your understanding and use of the key linguistic skills necessary to engage effectively in an academic environment where you are being taught in English.
  4. Study and Communication Skills – equips you with the essential study skills needed to succeed at university level. You will learn the basic skills necessary to conduct independent research, write academic papers, give formal oral presentations and apply what has been taught during lectures to your studies.
  5. Culture Studies – enables you to gain awareness and an increased understanding of other cultures. You will learn about various features of a foreign country and its culture, with a particular focus on student life and studying abroad.
  6. Foundation Mathematics – builds upon your existing knowledge in the area of mathematics whilst introducing new topics appropriate across a range of academic disciplines and for your future career.

A further 2 units must be taken from a choice of six electives:

  1. Introduction to Computing – provides you with a basic introduction to a range of IT topics including the organisation of a computer system, the relationship between hardware and software, applications of computers, databases, networking (with a focus on the Internet), graphics and multimedia.
  2. Introduction to Programming – introduces you to extensive practical use of the modern programming language Visual Basic to illustrate the classic programming principles of sequencing, selection and iteration in the context of object oriented computer programming.
    Introduction to Business – provides you with an introduction to the purpose, types and organization of businesses. You will also become familiar with a range of business concepts such as basic marketing practices.
  3. Introduction to Accounting and Economics – introduces you to the key principles of accounting and economics. You will become accustomed to concepts such as market structures and monetary policy and also learn how to produce simple financial statements.
  4. Further Mathmatics – Further Mathematics provides you with an understanding of different mathematical concepts and ideas, building on the work covered in the Foundation Mathematics unit. It will allow you to develop further algebraic techniques on a broad range of mathematical topics, building towards areas often seen and used in university courses.
  5. Physics – Physics equips you with a fundamental background of the principles of physics. The unit focuses on Newton’s mechanics, electrostatics and electrodynamics. The principles of thermal physics and magnetism are also introduced.

Assessment & Examinations

Assessments for all units will be offered in a number of assessment cycles throughout the year. The units are assessed by either examination or coursework assignments.

The NCC Education International Foundation Year will be awarded when you have successfully passed all eight units. A unit is passed when an overall mark of 40% or more is achieved.

Successful candidates are able to:

  • Apply for a guaranteed entry route at one of our partner universities offering guaranteed progression.
  • Apply to one of the 30 universities worldwide which directly recognise the International Foundation Year.
  • Apply to any UK university through UCAS or directly through their international office.