The Psychology Foundation Programme (IFP) is a combination of English language and science-based modules.

The programme is designed for students who want to progress into the School of Psychology at Cardiff University.

English modules

The overall aim of the English language and study skills input is to help you meet the demands of academic study during your Foundation programme and to prepare you effectively for the academic scheme you will proceed to afterwards.

This module aims to improve students’ overall ability in English and to develop academic study skills for immediate use. Students will learn to write in an academic style with a focus on written accuracy, formal register and the ability to draft and edit essays, in addition to demonstrating an ability to use academic vocabulary and present arguments, and solve problems in both written and spoken format.

The module aims to develop advanced academic language and study skills, building on the strategies and language taught in semester one. Students will be required to apply and practise skills and knowledge in a more autonomous manner, perform more complex writing tasks and take more responsibility for their output.

This module aims to teach academic presentation skills, research methods (including use of the University’s library and database systems), and the importance of appropriate in-text referencing and accurate reference lists. Classes will also focus on methods for effective reading and listening to complete secondary tasks such as paraphrasing / summary writing.

The module aims to raise students’ awareness of and build confidence in using situational language and skills appropriate to the field of Health and Life Sciences. It takes a practical experiential approach, involving activities such as talks by visiting professionals. Students also undertake research in an area related to health and life sciences, and develop and consolidate the language skills introduced in other IFP English Language modules.

This module will introduce advanced English language and skills, and the analysis and reporting of results and experiments/projects. Essay writing skills will focus on the analysis of arguments.

Psychology modules

The Psychology-specific modules provide a foundation-level introduction to the science subjects that will be relevant to your future undergraduate studies.

We have designed this programme to give you a solid foundation in biology and chemistry, in addition to an in introduction to all the major areas of psychology, to give you the best possible information and assistance for your time as a student in the UK.

In this course you will be given an introduction to all the major areas of psychology. The knowledge you gain here will form the building blocks for your undergraduate degree in psychology. Topics include forensic psychology, autism and schizophrenia, the psychology of children, psycholinguistics, consciousness and the mind, language and its disorders, the biological basis of behavior, neuroscience, vision and action, environmental psychology, applied decision making, ingroup/outgroup behaviour, and emotions. The teaching will involve interactive discussions and presentations from academics at the School of Psychology.

This module deals with:

  • the broad principles of physiology, the nervous system, its nature, structure and function
  • the cardiovascular system and the roles of the heart, blood vessels and blood; changes in disease
  • breathing and lung function; the role of the kidneys; the function of the endocrine system and the physiology of reproduction
  • the digestion and absorption of food
  • motherhood and the physiology of the newborn child.

This module deals with the structure, function and transmission of genes and with inheritance of genetically controlled characteristics, including more complex patterns of inheritance brought about by linkage and interaction between genes.

This is followed by a brief review of the evidence for evolution and a coverage of evolutionary processes. Finally the module provides you with an introduction to the diversity of living organisms.

The theoretical coverage in lectures and tutorials is supplemented by practical classes which allow examination of cell division in plants and animals, analysis of patterns of inheritance for various genetic traits and examination of a diversity of life forms at both the microscopical and whole organism level.

We will also be offering three other modules, which have yet to be confirmed.

Teaching, learning and assessment

We employ a variety of teaching methods, all selected to deliver the tuition you need in the best possible way.


Students who obtain a  minimum overall average of 60% with no modules below 50% and at least 60% in all English language modules can automatically progress into our School of Psychology.

We have one of the largest and most successful psychology schools in the UK. The quality and relevance of our research has been recognised in every research assessment exercise.

In the most recent assessment, we were ranked second in the UK. We have around 50 academic staff, 30 of whom are professors, and a further 50 research and 35 professional service staff.

This means we have the expertise and resources to give one of the best psychology educations in the UK. We offer a three-year degree in psychology and a four-year degree in psychology with professional placement. Both of our degrees are accredited by the British Psychological Society. The four-year degree provides a unique opportunity to gain supervised work experience for a year between your second and final years of study.

Find out more about our undergraduate courses.