NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY)

YEAR 13 // AGE 17–18

The NCUK International Foundation Year

The NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) is a modular programme that prepares students for first-year entry to undergraduate degree courses.  Students study a combination of modules that fit with their degree destination with four pathways available: Business, Engineering, Humanities and Science.

All NCUK qualifications also include a specialist English for Academic Purposes (EAP) module designed to give students the language ability and study skills that will give them a head start on their undergraduate degrees in the UK.

Successful completion of the IFY provides guaranteed access to one of over 40 NCUK Universities.  Progression options include University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Exeter and The University of Manchester, as well as a number of high-ranking universities in the UK and worldwide.

The maximum grades required to be eligible for the NCUK Guarantee are based on results in subject modules, plus the EAP module.

Global Student Programme

Once students have passed the NCUK IFY, a world of choice awaits them.  NCUK programmes are widely recognised around the globe, with many international students progressing to the best universities in the UK, the US, New Zealand, Australia and the rest of the world.


The IFY qualification consists of 70% examination and 30% coursework.  Assessments are quality assured by NCUK, with certificates issued by NCUK.

UCAS Applications

To enable our students to apply to high quality universities, including Medical, Law and Engineering programmes by 15 October 2021, UCAS support is offered from the start of term in September.


The Business Pathway prepares students in a variety of subject areas and offers a wide range of progression options, particularly for those with an interest in business, finance and all areas of management. This is a great option for students interested in studying Maths as one of their modules and who wish to keep their options open to both Business and Humanities degrees.English for Academic Purposes
Business Studies
The Engineering Pathway with compulsory Maths and Physics modules provides the perfect route for students wishing to study Engineering related degrees at university. This pathway gives students access to virtually all Engineering degrees, whilst keeping their options open to most Business and Humanities degrees.English for Academic Purposes
The Humanities Pathway is ideal for students who wish to access a wide range of degree programmes in the Social Science, Humanities and specific areas such as Law and International Relations. This pathway is aimed at those students not wishing to include Maths as one of their modules, though many of the Business and Management degrees will be open as a future choice to graduates of this route.English for Academic Purposes
Business Studies
Society & Politics
The Science Pathway provides the perfect preparation for and access to a wide range of Science and Medical degrees, through the addition of Chemistry and Biology module options. In addition, students can also secure a place on many of the same degrees as the Humanities, Engineering and Business pathways.English for Academic Purposes

Entry Requirements

  • Academic completion of 12 years of schooling (or local equivalent to meet the same standard) with good grades.
  • English: IELTS 5.5, with 5.0 in any band.  Other English language levels may be accepted.  Highly academically qualified students with an overall IELTS of 5.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


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 other universities across the UK, including many Russell Group institutions and also by universities worldwide.

Since 1987, NCUK has helped over 30,000 international students gain guaranteed access to leading UK universities.

Tom Griffiths Padworth College Registrar
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