International Study Centre

International Foundation Year in Sciences

A pathway programme leading to undergraduate science and research degrees

The International Foundation Year in Sciences prepares you for science-related undergraduate degrees.

This one-year programme is split into two routes:

  • General Sciences
  • Psychology.

Both General Sciences and Psychology offer a variety of modules. The route you take will depend on the degree you are looking to progress to at the University.

Key facts

Course length: Three terms
Entry points: September and January
Age: 17+

See entry requirements

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What you will study

The programme consists of core and pathway-specific modules. Your core modules will improve your academic and English language skills. The pathway-specific modules will go into more depth about the field of your undergraduate degree.

General Sciences route

Academic English Skills

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 the Royal Holloway University London, and ensures you are able to meet the requirements of the UKVI through demonstrating an English language level of CEFR B2 in the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

You will develop awareness and competency in a range of language-related skills required for successful study at Higher Education level. These skills include 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.

Applied Mathematics

This module will introduce applied mathematics through the applications of decision mathematics and statistics. The relationship between real life situations and mathematical models will be studied and the need to recognise how a situation may be represented mathematically to understand the relationship between ‘real world’ problems and their mathematical model will be developed. You will also need to understand how these can be improved and refined and the limitations of many common assumptions so that they can evaluate their own assumptions when setting up mathematical models in order to solve problems. There will be an emphasis on analysing and communicating solutions and generalizing to solve all problems of a particular type.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: accurately define, explain and use terminology; apply knowledge of theories, concepts, methods, models and principles to a variety of different situations; analyse situations and problems in the context of relevant concepts, methods, models, principles and theories; construct reasoned arguments assessing their validity and/or show a logical approach to arriving at solutions to problems and reflect, evaluate and/or justify conclusions based on knowledge and understanding.

Pure Mathematics

The module focuses on developing your knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts, processes, techniques and procedures in theoretical and practical contexts. The module will enable you to develop your knowledge of algebra, solving equations and sketching graphs. Use of calculus, focusing on functions, derivatives and integrals and their application in the ‘real world’ is a major part of this course. Use of graphic calculators is encouraged in order to enhance knowledge and understanding where the use of technology is appropriate. You will be taught to recall mathematical facts, concepts and techniques as and when needed. You will also develop a greater knowledge of the applications of calculus.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: accurately define, explain and use mathematical terminology; apply knowledge of mathematical theories, concepts, methods, models and principles to a variety of different situations; understand mathematical notation, terminology, conversation and units; identify appropriate mathematical tools/principles/concepts relevant to specific problems posed and structure coherent responses; understand and interpret in mathematical terms verbal, graphical and tabular information and manipulate mathematical expressions and apply mathematical methods and techniques.

Physics

The module focuses on developing your basic knowledge of physics, so that you may apply the knowledge to real situations, while facilitating your formative development by broadening your knowledge base, deepening your understanding of the topics studied and practising appropriate study skills, to include practical work and problem solving.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: demonstrate understanding of the main ideas and methods of physics and apply these to solve problems; display knowledge of the theoretical structure of the subject and/or apply this to the techniques of experimental physics; demonstrate understanding of how physics is used in everyday life to solve practical problems; describe and explain phenomena in terms of geometrical, pictorial and mathematical models; recognise that mathematical models can be used to investigate physical events and distinguish between scalar and vector quantities, giving physical examples; demonstrate understanding of the main laws governing motion, principles of static equilibrium and/or the main ideas of electricity and electronics and apply knowledge and understanding of the laws governing motion, principles of static equilibrium and/or ideas of electricity and electronics to theoretical and practical problems.

If you study the General Sciences route, you will not be able to choose any additional optional modules.

Psychology route

Academic English Skills

Academic English Skills aims to provide you with thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable you to best achieve your academic potential at University. These skills include 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.

Core Mathematics

This module will enable you to develop your knowledge of algebra, solving equations and using graphs to represent findings. You will also focus on statistical mathematics, including probability, hypothesis testing, sampling and estimation.

You will develop your ability to apply a wide range of techniques for understanding and analysing data. The emphasis is on understanding the implications of various techniques in practical situations.

Psychology

You will learn about the historical development of psychology as well as key areas of contemporary research, including cognitive, biological, developmental and social psychology.

You will also study the methods of psychological research and will be required to evaluate the scientific status of issues associated with research involving humans and animals.

Applied Mathematics

This module will introduce applied mathematics through the applications of decision mathematics and statistics. The relationship between real life situations and mathematical models will be studied and the need to recognise how a situation may be represented mathematically to understand the relationship between ‘real world’ problems and their mathematical model will be developed. You will also need to understand how these can be improved and refined and the limitations of many common assumptions so that they can evaluate their own assumptions when setting up mathematical models in order to solve problems. There will be an emphasis on analysing and communicating solutions and generalizing to solve all problems of a particular type.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: accurately define, explain and use terminology; apply knowledge of theories, concepts, methods, models and principles to a variety of different situations; analyse situations and problems in the context of relevant concepts, methods, models, principles and theories; construct reasoned arguments assessing their validity and/or show a logical approach to arriving at solutions to problems and reflect, evaluate and/or justify conclusions based on knowledge and understanding.

Business

The module focuses on developing your understanding of strategic issues facing the business enterprise in the modern market economy, while facilitating your formative development by broadening your knowledge base, deepening your understanding of the topics studied and practising appropriate study skills.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: demonstrate an understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of business, displaying knowledge of commercial approaches and frameworks; demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles underpinning business enterprise and apply critical thinking skills to business concepts such as marketing, ethics, finance, and business structure; understand the application of marketing in business including topics such as the product lifecycle, the marketing mix, and market segmentation; identify and apply appropriate use of financial information to support business decisions and demonstrate understanding of graphical and tabular information.

Global Politics

The course explores key themes in global politics among which climate change, identity and power politics, colonialism, neoliberalism, political violence and human rights. Each theme draws out specific historical and geographical locations and uses a wide range of illustrative examples to examine the complexity of responses and to evaluate the broader theoretical approaches. The aim of this module is to provide you with a grounding in key concepts of global politics and to introduce you to the central assumptions and theoretical approaches in the study of global politics.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: show solid foundational knowledge and understanding of politics, critically engage with the dominant assumptions and theoretical approaches that have shaped the understanding of global politics and analyse and reflect on the impact of different events on the nature and development of global politics.

Physics

The module focuses on developing your basic knowledge of physics, so that you may apply the knowledge to real situations, while facilitating your formative development by broadening your knowledge base, deepening your understanding of the topics studied and practising appropriate study skills, to include practical work and problem solving.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: demonstrate understanding of the main ideas and methods of physics and apply these to solve problems; display knowledge of the theoretical structure of the subject and/or apply this to the techniques of experimental physics; demonstrate understanding of how physics is used in everyday life to solve practical problems; describe and explain phenomena in terms of geometrical, pictorial and mathematical models; recognise that mathematical models can be used to investigate physical events and distinguish between scalar and vector quantities, giving physical examples; demonstrate understanding of the main laws governing motion, principles of static equilibrium and/or the main ideas of electricity and electronics and apply knowledge and understanding of the laws governing motion, principles of static equilibrium and/or ideas of electricity and electronics to theoretical and practical problems.

Sociology

This course aims to provide a grounding in sociology as a study of human society and will introduce you to key theories, concepts and research methods relevant to sociological investigations. The emphasis in the module is on the structure and functions of societal institutions such as the family, education, work and the prison system, as well as on a range of issues affecting contemporary society such as poverty, crime, race and gender.

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to: display an understanding and ability to apply sociological theories and sociological concepts in understanding society and social processes; appreciate the significance of a range of issues and historical events which have had an impact on the nature and development of a society; analyse what culture is, how it relates to identity and how it is manifest in society; critically evaluate and discuss the importance of social stratification in key institutions of society and analyse and evaluate the contributions made by sociology in understanding the role and function of different aspects of society such as family, religion, work, poverty, education, deviance and crime.

 

Term dates

September 2021

Term 1: 20/09/2021 - 10/12/2021
Term 2: 10/01/2022 - 25/03/2022
Term 3: 25/04/2022 - 10/06/2022

January 2022

Term 1: 10/01/2022 - 25/03/2022
Term 2: 11/04/2022 - 24/06/2022
Term 3: 27/06/2022 - 12/08/2022

Study plans

IELTS Length Jun Aug Sep Dec Jan Jun Jul Aug Sep
4.5 4 terms         Start your degree
4.5 4 terms        
5.0 (5.0 in writing) 3 terms          
5.0 (5.0 in writing) 3 terms          

   International Foundation Year    Online Pre-Sessional English    English Language Preparation

Progression degrees

You can continue your studies at Royal Holloway as an undergradaute when you successfully complete your International Foundation Year. This means achieving the required grades for progression. Our staff can tell you what they are closer to finishing your programme because the requirements might change.

You can study one of the following undergraduate degrees:

Degree Programmes Award Overall Grade English Grade Additional Grade
BEng Computer Systems Engineering (with a year in industry) BEng (Hons) 65% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 70% in Maths
BSc Applied Psychology BSc (Hons) 70% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 40% in Maths
BSc Astrophysics BSc (Hons) 70% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 70% in Maths
BSc Computer Science BSc (Hons) 65% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 65% in Maths
BSc Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) BSc (Hons) 65% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 65% in Maths
BSc Computer Science (Year in Industry) BSc (Hons) 65% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 65% in Maths
BSc Computer Science and Mathematics BSc (Hons) 65% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 70% in Maths
BSc Computer Science Artifical Intelligence ( Year in Industry) BSc (Hons) 65% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 65% in Maths
BSc Computer Science Information Security BSc (Hons) 65% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 65% in Maths
BSc Computer Science Information Security (Year in Industry) BSc (Hons) 65% 60% overall with min. 40% in other skills 65% in Maths

Duration of the degree

The following degrees run for a duration of four years:

  • MEng Electronic Engineering
  • BEng Electronic Engineering with a Year in Industry (available with integrated year in business degree option)
  • BSc Computer Science (Year in Industry)
  • BSc Computer Science Artificial Intelligence (Year in Industry)
  • BSc Computer Science Information Security (Year in Industry)
  • BSc Computer Science Software Engineering (Year in Industry)
  • BSc Environmental Geology with a Year in Industry
  • BSc Geology with a Year in Industry

The following degrees run for a duration of five years:

  • MEng Electronic Engineering with a Year in Industry (available with integrated year in business degree option)

Royal Holloway ranked 13th in the UK for Geography & Environmental Science

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Careers after graduation

As a science graduate, you can become a professional in:

  • Actuarial science
  • Environmental science
  • Geo-engineering
  • Media
  • Product management
  • Psychology
  • Software engineering.
Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.