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English & Foundation courses


Engineering IFP

The Engineering International Foundation Programme (IFP) is a mixture of English language and Engineering based modules, designed for students who want to progress into Cardiff School of Engineering or the School of Computer Science and Informatics.

Undergraduate degree programmes in the Schools of Engineering and Computer Science & Informatics combine theoretical study of fundamental concepts with practical application of skills through laboratory and project-based work. The programmes are designed to be stimulating, flexible and relevant both to the needs of a professional career and as a basis for advanced graduate studies in specialist areas.

The Cardiff School of Engineering is recognised as one of the best-equipped Engineering schools of all UK universities in terms of facilities, research and teaching and the Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics has a leading international reputation for research-led teaching, with dedicated laboratories for specialist areas of research.

Both schools produce highly-skilled and employable graduates, many of whom will have benefited from industry-based placements and projects.

English Language & Study Skills 1 (10 Credits)

This module aims to improve overall ability in English and to develop academic study skills for immediate use. On completion of the modules, you should be able to:

  • use reading strategies to perform successfully, indicating an understanding of their importance and benefits;
  • demonstrate knowledge of and ability to manipulate the language: be able to produce a variety of sentence forms in structured paragraphs, with attention to accuracy in an academic style;
  • understand listening extracts of differing lengths and types, e.g. dialogues and monologues, social situations, lectures and talks, radio programmes, news interviews, etc;
  • use his/her spoken skills effectively in a range of informal and formal situations, demonstrating an ability to exchange information, discuss, problem solve, express attitudes and justify opinions.

English Language & Study Skills 2 (10 Credits)

This module aims to develop advanced language and study skills; produce confident manipulators of the English language who work very effectively, if not always accurately, at this high level in a culturally acceptable way.

On completion of this module, you will:

  • be expected to use the structures of the language with greater ease and increased fluency;
  • show an increased understanding of the relationship between the language and its culture, and demonstrate an understanding of the use of an appropriate style/register;
  • have acquired a level of English to enable them to cope well with their academic studies across the skill areas.

English for Academic Purposes (10 Credits)

This module aims to teach generic study skills and subject specific study skills.

The module includes using the facilities in the University libraries to locate books and journals, methods for effective reading and note-taking, basic data analysis, producing a variety of written texts using a language style appropriate to the specific subject (Business, Law, Engineering), planning and giving presentations.

British Social & Cultural Environment 1&2 (20 Credits)

This module aims to prepare you for your studies at Cardiff University while developing and consolidating the language and study skills introduced in English Language & Study Skills 1.

On completion of the module you will have an increased awareness of British life and culture and a basic knowledge of the identity and culture of Wales and the nature of its language.

Integrated Study Skills (10 Credits)

This module aims to introduce you to basic computing skills and Cardiff University specific systems and packages and to provide techniques for future improvement, improve overall ability in English and to develop and practise academic study skills for immediate use

On completion of the module you should be able to:

  • gain access to a range of software packages
  • demonstrate an understanding of how to integrate listening /reading and note-taking skills to construct a written academic text
  • use synthesis skills to produce written work which is correctly referenced, avoiding plagiarism
  • produce a Powerpoint presentation
  • create simple graphs and charts and transfer information for use in a word document

Personal Development Plan

During the course you will also be given the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) which will improve your ability to understand what and how you are learning and help you reflect on and plan your own learning.

The PDP will help you to get the most out of your student experience by encouraging you to take responsibility for your development and raising your awareness of the variety of opportunities for development.

PDP is not just an important process for your time at university but will prove to be a useful skill throughout your life. Learning and development are continual processes and engaging in PDP will help you to develop a positive attitude to all aspects of learning.


Engineering Principles (20 credits)

This is a new module. More information about the content of this module will be published here in early 2016


Introduction to Mechanics (20 credits)

An introduction to the analysis of engineering problems using mathematical techniques which the students will require in the first year of their engineering degree schemes.

On completion of the module a student should be able to have reinforced appreciation of the techniques of calculus (differentiation, integration, and simple differential equations) and applied mathematics.

Introduction to Calculus (20 credits)

An introduction to the basic concepts and techniques of calculus for students who have not studied mathematics at tertiary level.

On completion of the module a student should be able to:

  • Differentiate simple functions from first principles
  • Use standard derivatives in combination with the product, quotient and chain rules
  • Use the first and second derivatives to find maximum and minimum values of a function
  • Apply differentiation to practical problems
  • Use standard integrals to solve polynomial and trigonometric functions
  • Apply partial fractions, substitution and integration parts
  • Solve simple differential equations

The course here in Cardiff employs several teaching methods, all chosen to deliver the tuition you need in the best possible way.


Lectures allow you to gain a comprehensive base of knowledge. Lecturers make use of a range of resources and facilities to provide the information you need. During lectures you will be given written material (handouts), information about exams and essays, and multi-media presentations. You may even find that you are invited to give your own presentation.


These are smaller discussion groups of three to ten students, led by tutors. This is an ideal time to discuss any questions after lectures, and an opportunity to fully understand the subjects you are studying.


You can arrange to meet any tutor to discuss any aspect of the course. For example, if there is something you did not understand in a lecture or seminar, or if you want to discuss the progress of your project or essay - or any other topic you want to talk about. All students are encouraged to speak individually to their tutors if they have any questions or problems; your tutor will always be pleased to see you and happy to help.

Staff/Student Panel

Every department has a staff/student panel which consists of teaching staff and elected student members who meet to discuss academic issues. Any issues that you feel need attention can be alerted to your student representative who will raise the query with the panel. This way the opinions and ideas of students get a hearing which can lead to the way your course is run being changed. This means that each course is constantly being reviewed to make it the best scheme of study available for students.


A variety of assessment methods are used including written essays, reports, presentations, project work and final examinations. All written tasks are word processed and normally submitted electronically. You will be awarded a score out of 100 for each module:

  • 40% and above - Pass
  • 50% and above - Merit
  • 65% and above - Distinction

Attendance and participation in all classes, lectures, and tutorials on the IFP at Cardiff University are compulsory and essential for academic success. Please note that due to immigration rules, we are required to keep records of attendance.

Follow the steps below for a guide to the application process.

Before you apply

Check that you meet the entry requirements

We will consider academic qualifications from all countries. You will also need to show that you have the English language skills necessary to take an active part in the programme. If your country or qualification is not listed on our Entry Requirements page please contact us and we will be very happy to advise you.

Gather supporting documents

You will need to provide:

  • the application form, including personal statement, signature and date

Please write your correspondence address, e-mail address and telephone number clearly so that we can contact you quickly and easily.

  • transcripts of school results so far, including subjects studied and grades achieved
  • two academic references
  • evidence of English language test results or note when you will sit the exam/receive the result
  • a copy of the photograph page of your passport which must include your passport number and full name

If you don’t yet have all the evidence required, you can still apply and submit your supporting documents when they become available.


To apply for a course you need to complete the application form. Once you have completed the form, send it to the International Foundation Programme Office:

Download application form Download monitoring form

Receiving your offer

You’ll receive an email from the Academic Registry confirming your offer.

The email will tell you your student number. Please include this when you contact us so we can help you easily.

When will I receive a decision on my application?

Most applicants hear back from us within four weeks.

Unconditional offer

This means you have been offered a place - congratulations! Now all you need to do is accept the offer.

Conditional offer

This means you have been offered a place, but we haven't received one of your supporting documents or you are still to complete one of the qualifications required in order to gain admission to the University. Your offer letter will clearly state what evidence needs to be supplied. Once we have all the documents required to show you have met the conditions of your offer, your offer will change to Unconditional.

Accepting your offer

You need to accept your offer online through the applicant portal.

Please ensure you have read the enrolment terms and conditions prior to accepting your offer.

Log into the portal

You will receive your user name and password to access the portal via email. If you do not receive your user name and password, please contact us.

After you’ve accepted your offer

Apply for your visa

Once you have accepted your unconditional offer to study via your student record we will send you a CAS email in support of your visa application.

Plan your travel to Cardiff

We will send you information by email about travelling to Cardiff and the University, your residences and the first day of your course.


Tell your friends and family you’re going to Cardiff University.

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Students can automatically progress into Cardiff School of Engineering with a pass (40%) on the Engineering IFP or Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics with a merit (50%) on the Engineering IFP. From 2016/17 onwards students progressing to the School of Engineering to begin their Bachelor programme in 2017/18 will be required to achieve 120 credits and an overall average of at least 50%.

Cardiff School of Engineering

Undergraduate degree programmes at the School cover nine areas of Engineering. On all of the degree schemes you will be taught the fundamental concepts of Engineering through a combination of lectures, design classes and tutorials, supplemented by the practical aspects of engineering which are taught through laboratory and project based work.

Teaching is organised into modules and you will take twelve modules per year, normally six in each of the two semesters. Each semester consists of eleven teaching weeks, one revision week and an examination period. Help with specific aspects of a module can be directly obtained from the lecturers concerned. Staff are happy to clarify any material or answer any of your questions. Your progress will be assessed using a variety of different methods including written examinations, case studies, assignments and project work.

The undergraduate programmes offered by the School of Engineering include:

More information about the School of Engineering can be found on their website.

Cardiff School of Computer Science & Informatics

The School's undergraduate degree programmes have all been designed to be stimulating, flexible and relevant both to the needs of a professional computing career and as a basis for advanced graduate studies in specialist areas of computer science and information systems.

Each year over 100 highly-skilled students graduate from the School, many of whom will have benefited from industry-based placements and projects.

The courses available at Undergraduate level include:

Visit the School website to find out more.

International Foundation Programme