Studyng the Sciences pathway at Royal Holloway International Study Centre

Learn with international researchers and lead the way.

The Sciences pathway on the International Foundation Year (IFY) will prepare you for an intensive science-related degree at Royal Holloway, where it is believed that a dynamic research environment is essential in maintaining academic excellence at all levels, and this provides a very strong base for further research growth.

Royal Holloway has a strong commitment to science teaching and research and this is reflected by the Science Faculty’s excellent results in the latest Research Assessment Exercise, achieving a top ten ranking for many of their disciplines.

This pathway is split into two routes, General Sciences and Psychology, your chosen progression degree will determine which route you take and the modules that you will study.


What you will study

You will study English language modules as well as science-related topics. Choose from two course routes, depending on your progression degree.

Route A – General Sciences

Core Modules: Academic English Skills, Applied Mathematics, Pure Mathematics and Physics.

Please note - students will not have the option to select any additional optional modules with this route.

Route B – Psychology

Core Modules: Academic English Skills, Core Mathematics and Psychology, plus you can select one additional optional module.

In some cases you will be required to choose the most appropriate optional module in relation to your chosen degree, this will be discussed upon arrival in centre. 



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. This module is core for both routes.

Applied Mathematics

You will develop your ability to recognise how a real world situation may be represented mathematically and how mathematical models can be improved and refined. You will be required to broaden your subject knowledge and deepen your understanding of the world around you. This module is core for the General Sciences route.

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. This module is core for the Psychology route.

Pure Mathematics 

This module will develop your knowledge of algebra, solving equations and sketching graphs. A major part of this will be the use of calculus, focusing on functions, derivatives and integrals and their application in the ‘real world’. This module is core for the General Sciences route.


You will gain an understanding of the reasons behind starting a business, how a business is organised, the different legal frameworks a business can adopt and how businesses work with stakeholders in the real world.

Using international businesses as examples, the course looks into more detailed study of business activity in the fields of human resource management, marketing, finance and operations, and concludes with an in-depth study of global organisations, business objectives and ethics. This module is an option for the Psychology route.


You will gain a basic knowledge of atomic physics, materials, heat and gases and oscillations and waves.

On completion of the programme, you will be able to understand the main ideas and methods of physics and apply your understanding to solve problems. You will also be able to describe phenomena in terms of geometrical, pictorial and mathematical models. This module is core for the General Sciences route and an option for Psychology route.


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. This module is core for the Psychology route.


You will be introduced to a range of issues which affect contemporary society, and study the research methods relevant to sociological investigations. 

You will also study the way societies develop, their structure and the way in which they function, including aspects such as family, education, work and crime, and issues in which social divisions are prominent; poverty, health, race and gender. This module is an option for the Psychology route.


Science graduate careers include:

  • Software engineering
  • Product management
  • Carbon consultant
  • Charity/Development
  • Coastal management
  • Environmental scientist
  • Geo-engineering
  • Media
  • Actuarial science
  • Accounting
  • Investment banking
  • Lecturer
  • Psychologist
  • Therapists
  • Counsellors