International Study Centre

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Life Sciences

Study Life Sciences

The International Foundation Year in Life Sciences is your route to a variety of undergraduate degrees at the University of Sussex. You will study a range of subject specific modules, as well as develop your English language skills and future employability as part of this programme.

Why study with us?

There are many reasons why you may want to study this preparational programme and have the opportunity to progress to a range of undergraduate degrees. These include:

  • 94% of our research overall in Biological Sciences was assessed to be world leading or internationally excellent (REF 2021) 
  • 5th in the UK for Zoology (The Guardian University Guide 2024)
  • Students can apply for medicine after a Biomedical Science or Medical Neuroscience degree at Sussex

What you’ll study

During the International Foundation Year two-semester programme you will study a combination of academic modules, specific to your pathway, and compulsory modules.

You will study a total of seven modules and achieve 120 credits required in your chosen pathway to progress.

Core modules

Academic English Skills aims to provide thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable international students to best achieve their academic potential at university. Our Academic English programme is validated by UK ENIC, the UK government agency responsible for providing information and expert opinion on qualifications and skills worldwide.

You will develop awareness and competency in a range of language-related academic skills, including the processes of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures. You will also develop the accuracy and range of written and spoken language required to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence in an academic context.

Alongside your classes, your studies will be supported by an online learning platform, providing you with a range of tasks and activities specifically designed to develop and extend your language and academic skills outside the classroom and to give you more control over your own learning.

Foundations of Science

This module aims to introduce you to the fundamental skills that underpin the practice of science within all STEM subjects, introducing core concepts and practical techniques. This module will also provide you with basic study skills and an understanding of good academic practice to facilitate effective engagement with all other modules within your programme of study.

Prepare for Medicine

This module is designed specifically for aspiring medical students looking to secure a place at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS). It is aimed at equipping you with the essential knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to meet the demands of medical education. From grasping the intricacies of the National Health System in England and ethical considerations in healthcare to fostering critical thinking, effective communication and reflective practices, this module ensures you confidently navigate the highly competitive medical school entry process and ensures you are fully prepared to confidently take on the challenges of being a medical student.

You will start your journey of exploration of the science of life in this module, where you will be studying the mysteries of life's fundamental components, such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids while delving into the intricacies of cellular processes such as cellular respiration, DNA replication, gene expression, and cell division. You will gain practical expertise through engaging laboratory sessions and hone critical skills in academic writing, data analysis, and making observations.

Building upon the foundation laid in the previous module, "Biochemistry and Cell Biology," you will continue your scientific exploration in to study of life by delving into topics such as genetics, speciation, gene technology, ecology and human physiology in this module. Engaging in learning activities, you will develop essential skills in literature search, data handling, and academic writing, empowering you to excel in your studies at the University of Sussex and beyond.

This module aims to provide you with a good background knowledge in organic chemistry that will complement the study of the Biochemistry and Cell Biology module. It will develop your experience in essential techniques in the laboratory that will underpin your future studies. The module aims to develop critical thinking, promote independent study and research.

This module aims to provide you with a good understanding of fundamental concepts in physical chemistry and to develop experience of essential techniques in the laboratory that will underpin your future studies. The module aims to develop critical thinking, promote independent study and research.

Applications of Maths

The aim of this module is to provide you with opportunities to develop, practice and demonstrate core mathematical skills relevant to a range of undergraduate degree courses at the University of Sussex. Through seminars and independent study, the module will enable you to apply these concepts and skills, including the use of spreadsheets, to real-life situations.

Pure Maths 1

This module aims to provide a solid foundation in mathematics applicable across several disciplines including computing, engineering, life sciences and psychology. The module will develop your confidence in some of the basics such as algebra and calculus, which will prepare you for further study.

^Preferred Module – students on this route are most likely to study this module. You may study the alternative module given instead.

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How to apply

Ready to apply? Discover how to submit an application and learn more about fees, semester dates and entry requirements.

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University of Sussex International Study Centre

Develop skills to change the world at the University of Sussex International Study Centre. Improve your English, develop your academic skills, and grow the confidence you need to succeed in your degree.

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English language courses

Improve your English skills with one of our Online English language courses designed to support international students studying a pathway programme at the International Study Centre.

Join us today

Our Student Enrolment Advisors are available to answer any questions you may have and help you with your application. We can't wait to meet you!