International Study Centre

International Foundation Year

The International Study Centre attracts international students from all over the world

What is the International Foundation Year?

The International Foundation Year is a university preparation course. It is designed to improve your English language and academic study skills before you begin the first year of your chosen undergraduate degree.

When you successfully complete the course you can progress into the first year of your degree, provided you meet all of the conditions of entry. The skills you develop mean you can achieve success in all your ventures; in your degree, in your career and in the world. 

Who is this programme for?

The International Foundation Year is suitable for those who do not meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an undergraduate degree at Sussex, or students who would like some extra support. 

You will study a combination of core and subject-specific modules that focus on teaching you the English language, study skills, employability and academic areas most relevant to your chosen degree at Sussex. The teaching styles on this course mirror those at the University, so you will be familiar with Sussex's learning styles before you even start your degree. 

Course facts

Semester dates

  • January 2022
    Semester 1: 17 January 2022 – 08 April 2022
    Semester 2: 03 May 2022 – 05 August 2022
  • September 2022
    Semester 1: 19 September 2022 – 23 December 2022
    Semester 2: 16 January 2023 – 21 April 2023
  • January 2023
    Semester 1: 09 January 2023 – 14 April 2023
    Semester 2: 02 May 2023 – 04 August 2023

Choose your subject route

You choose to study one of the two subject routes below, which have different "pathway" options that focus on particular subjects. You choose your pathway based on your intended undergraduate programme, as it provides the deeper level of specialist knowledge you need for degree study. 

  • Business, Media and Social Sciences
    You can choose from pathways in Business, Management and Economics; Film and Media; or Social Sciences, Global Studies and Law, depending on which degree you intend to progress to. 
  • Science and Engineering
    Choose from four different pathway options in Life Sciences; Psychology; Computing; or Engineering based on the undergraduate degree you intend to study.

Why study the International Foundation Year?

By studying this programme, you can benefit in the long term by getting an insight into your chosen subject ahead of beginning your university degree. You will be guided through your first year in the UK by our attentive staff, and be given all the emotional and academic support you need to feel comfortable and prepared for success.

Other reasons to study include:

Flexible programmes

At a certain point during your pathway programme, you will have the option to change your chosen progression degree, guided by our expert staff. This gives you the chance to explore the subjects in further depth before choosing the one that interests you the most. 

Focus on your career

We know that you may already be thinking about your future career, which is why we have integrated a careers element into our academic courses at the International Study Centre. CareerAhead will guide you towards making the right choices and give you the tools you need to stand out in the competitive graduate job market.

Assess your progress

We will assess your progress regularly to ensure you are on track to complete your course successfully, so that you can go on to study your chosen degree at Sussex. You may take part in exams, seminar discussions, group projects, presentations, laboratory practicals, software exercises and essays as part of your overall assessment.

Improve your English

Need to improve your English language or raise your IELTS score? You can study one of our English language courses at the International Study Centre. Choose from English Language Preparation (ELP), studied before the International Foundation Year, or Language Lift – studied simultaneously with your course.

Study plan options

IELTS Length Jun-Aug Sep-Dec Jan-Apr May-Aug September
5.0 overall (min 5.0 in writing) 2 Semesters Start the first year of your degree at Sussex
5.0 overall (min 5.0 in writing) 2 Semesters
4.5 (with 4.5 in all skills) 3 Semesters
4.0 (with 4.0 in all skills) 3 Semesters
  • International Foundation Year
  • Online Pre-Sessional English
  • English Language Preparation
  • Vacation

Page Testimonial

Sussex student Talat

“The International Study Centre was one of the best experiences of my life, I really enjoyed it. It was one of the major things that brought good changes to my life. My tutors always checked that we understood or asked if we had any questions about the topic. I started to become so much more confident.”

Talal from Pakistan
International Foundation Year in Engineering and Mathematics

More student stories

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.