Engineering Foundation Year (Foundation programme)

Are you one of the many people who would like to become an engineer but do not have the right qualifications?

Engineering student

If so, at the Cardiff School of Engineering we have a course which might suit your needs.

The course is called the Foundation Year and is specially designed to give you the necessary basic knowledge to enable you to cope with an engineering degree scheme.

Although the Foundation scheme lasts for one year, it must be considered as an entry route to one of our degree schemes. It is not a stand alone year, but the initial part of a programme of study leading towards a BEng or MEng degree. Once you successfully complete the Foundation Year you will progress to the first year of your chosen degree scheme.

Key facts

UCAS CodeH101
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration4 years
Typical places availableThe School typically has approx 230 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives approx 1270 applications
Typical A level offerAAB
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of one A-level
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark
Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Peter Theobald, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published in July 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Course Structure

The course is designed to expose students to a broad spectrum of engineering through modules consisting of lectures, tutorials and case studies. These include aspects of mathematics, physics and information technology that are relevant to engineering but omit many of the subjects taught at A level. The practical nature of the course contrasts with the way such subjects may have been presented at school. Assessment is by project work, continuous assessment and end of semester examinations.

Please click here for further details of module or course structure.

Entry Requirements

The course is aimed at a wide range of potential applicants. For instance, if you have a GCSE pass in Mathematics and good A level passes in subjects that are not recognised for direct entry to our degree schemes, (eg. no Maths A level), the Foundation Year would be an ideal route for you to enter engineering. Likewise, if you have a BTEC or a similar vocational qualification in a non-engineering subject, an overseas Baccalaureate or School Leaving Certificate that is not recognised for direct entry, then why not consider the Foundation Year?

Special consideration is afforded to students with alternative experience who show the drive, commitment and potential necessary to complete the course and continue further to gain a degree. In these cases, formal qualifications may be waived after consideration of vocational experience, although some evidence of mathematical and scientific ability would need to be evident.Further information about our Engineering degrees can also be found on Course Finder.

“I’m in the Engineering Society, I play squash with other Engineering students, and I went to the Engineering ball, which was great. There’s a lot of stuff going on that’s fun but that can also boost your CV”

Cordelia Overland, Undergraduate Engineering student

Preliminary year

Year one

Module titleModule codeCredits
Mechanics 2EN103810 credits
Power EngineeringEN106510 credits
Mechanics 1EN104310 credits
Communication Skills in English and Professional StudiesEN104710 credits
Engineering ApplicationsEN104820 credits
Thermofluids 2EN103910 credits
Network AnalysisEN106410 credits
Thermofluids 1EN103410 credits
Engineering AnalysisEN109020 credits
Computing 1EN104210 credits

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
Fluid MechanicsEN203310 credits
Materials and ManufactureEN202510 credits
Control EngineeringEN205810 credits
Solid MechanicsEN200210 credits
Product Design and System IntegrationEN290920 credits
Thermodynamics and Heat TransferEN204110 credits
Computing 2EN200810 credits
DynamicsEN203210 credits
Engineering AnalysisEN203010 credits
Power Engineering 2EN270410 credits
Introduction To Economics, Law, Accounting and Management ScienceEN200910 credits

Year three

Module titleModule codeCredits
Materials and ManufactureEN304610 credits
ProjectEN310030 credits
Quality and ReliabilityEN364010 credits
Microprocessors & Instrumentation Sys.EN350710 credits
Business ManagementEN300410 credits
Energy StudiesEN303610 credits
Product DesignEN390610 credits

Module titleModule codeCredits
Solid MechanicsEN303710 credits
Electrical Machines and Drives AEN370210 credits
Fluid Power & ControlEN351310 credits
Thermodynamics and Heat TransferEN304210 credits
Robotics and Image ProcessingEN306210 credits
The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

The Cardiff School of Engineering is an integrated School with a reputation for providing education of the highest quality. The School is renowned for its up-to-date teaching and research facilities and its strong links with industry. The School's graduate students are in great demand from industry and the public sector across the UK, and internationally.

No matter which degree programme you choose, you will be taught the fundamental aspects of engineering through a combination of lectures and tutorials, supplemented by the practical aspects of engineering which are taught through laboratory and project-based work. On average, you will have 20 hours of timetabled lectures, laboratory classes and tutorials each week and will be expected to supplement this with your own private study. Our 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. Staff are always happy to clarify any material or answer any of your questions and help with specific aspects of a module can be directly obtained from your lecturers.

Your progress in each module is usually assessed mid-way through each semester (through a one hour test) to give you feedback on your progress, then finally at the end of the appropriate semester. Assessment is undertaken using a variety of different methods including formal written examinations, case studies, assignments and project work.

Your first year of academic life will expose you to a broad range of new and exciting experiences. To help you through this transitional period in your life, upon starting your studies at Cardiff, you will be assigned a personal tutor who is a member of the academic staff associated with your degree programme. Your tutor will be there to advise you on academic, non-academic and personal matters in a confidential and informal manner as and when you need some guidance. We aim to help you overcome any problem, however big or small, as smoothly and quickly as possible.

In 2010, 89% of the School's graduates were in employment or engaged in further study within six months of graduation. Our graduates occupy key positions in leading firms where engineering skills are required, such as Halcrow, Atkins, BP, RWE npower, Mott McDonald, Network Rail, Tata Steel, and beyond. Our graduates have also moved on to work within local and national governments, UK and international utility companies and organisations such as Climate Energy and GlaxoSmithKline.

Being at the forefront of engineering research means that Cardiff has excellent links with industry and the School is scrutinised by a panel of top industrialists on a regular basis. In addition, numerous links have been developed with companies, both in the UK and overseas, through our Year in Industry programmes and through consultancy and advisory work by staff. You can be confident therefore that Cardiff's School of Engineering has an ethos which is entirely focused on providing you with the knowledge, experience and connections to succeed in your chosen career.


4 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

Applications received

Typical applications received


QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark

Overview and aims of this course/programme

The Cardiff School of Engineering is an integrated School, recognised as one of the best-resourced Engineering schools in the UK in terms of facilities, research and teaching. Interdisciplinary research and teaching are a key feature of the School, and we offer many courses across a wide range of disciplines.

We are renowned for our up-to-date teaching and research facilities, as well as our strong links with industry. Our graduate students are in great demand from industry and the public sector across the UK and internationally.

The Engineering degree programme caters for anyone interested in the study of the various areas of Engineering, including Architectural, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical and Medical Engineering.

This version of the degree programme includes a ‘Preliminary Year’ before the first year of a choice of full Engineering undergraduate degrees. The Preliminary Year is an access course designed for students who do not have the full mathematical background required for direct entry into Year 1 of the course. The Preliminary Year provides an opportunity for students, including mature students and those with qualifications in other disciplines, to gain background knowledge in the engineering, mathematics and architecture. Students who pass all of their Preliminary Year modules may then progress onto the First Year of a choice of Engineering degrees. Please view the prorgamme you wish to undertake following the preliminary year to view a full programme description.

What should I know about year five?

How is this course/programme structured?

What should I know about year four?

What should I know about year three?

What should I know about the preliminary year?

What should I know about year one?

Other information

Distinctive features

How will I be taught?

Admissions tutors

Dr Peter Theobald, Admissions Tutor

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.


Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

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