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Health and Life Sciences

This nine-month course aims to provide you with the knowledge and understanding required to succeed in undergraduate study of life sciences and healthcare-allied subjects.

Distinctive features

  • You will study your academic modules alongside Preliminary year students in the Schools of Biology and Chemistry, both of which have featured Nobel Laureates on their staff.
  • Your English language modules will include English Orientation Health & Life Sciences which aims to build confidence in using situational language and includes talks by visiting healthcare professionals.
  • Students planning to apply for Medicine will receive assistance in the UCAS application process in addition to interview practice and support.

Key facts

  • Next intake: September 2019
  • Duration: 9 months
  • Mode: Full-time
  • Fee: £15,650
  • Accreditation: BALEAP

English language requirement

IELTS (Academic) for UKVIOverall scoreMinimum subscores
General entry5.54.0 in all areas
Medicine6.05.5 in all areas
Optometry & Pharmacy6.05.5 in Writing, 4.0 in all other areas

Course structure

This is a nine-month full-time course, consisting of 120 credits. All modules are compulsory.

Cells and the Chemistry of Life10Autumn
Genetics, Evolution and Diversity10Autumn
Fundamental Aspects of Chemistry10Autumn
Inorganic and Redox Chemistry10Autumn
English Language and Study Skills10Autumn
English for Academic Purposes20Autumn & Spring
The Way the Body Works10Spring
Thermodynamics, Kinetics and Equilibria10Spring
Chemistry of Organic Compounds10Spring
Further English Language & Study Skills10Spring
English Orientation Health & Life Sciences10Spring


Explore the subject areas and courses you can progress to from the health & life sciencs programme:


Equipped with a wide range of the latest facilities to enhance teaching and research, study one of a recently launched suite of dynamic new degree programmes, which have scientific excellence and student choice at their core.


At Cardiff University, we are noted for our advanced research in this fundamental and exciting discipline, which plays a significant role in many areas of science and in everyday life.

Conservation of Objects in Museums and Archaeology


Since its foundation in 1893, the School of Medicine has been a major contributor to the way medicine is practised in Wales, the UK and internationally. One of the largest medical schools in UK, we are committed to the pursuit of improved human health through education and research.

All applicants who are offered a place on the IFP for Health and Life Sciences with a view to progressing to a degree course in Medicine must apply through UCAS whilst on the Foundation Programme to meet the 15 October 2019 deadline. Please note that entry to the Medicine course is extremely competitive and is subject to making a successful UCAS application and interview.

Applications to study on the IFP for Health and Life Sciences are assessed in two separate stages:

1.     Consideration of the IFP application form and supporting evidence submitted

2.     A short talk or interview via Skype

During the interview via Skype we will talk to you about your application, focusing on your understanding of the demands of medicine, what makes a good doctor, your caring ethos, team work and sense of responsibility. We would also like to know how you balance your studies with other activities. One key area will be to assess your communication skills.

Final decisions on applications received for the IFP for Health and Life Sciences for Medicine will be made in early July 2019. We will score all IFP applications equally against all other international applications received.

Applicants also need to take the national University Clinical Admissions Test (UCAT) from July-October 2019. You can find comprehensive information on this (including specimen test questions) on the UCAT website.

Applicants whose UCAS application and interview for Medicine are successful will be made a conditional offer.


The degree course at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences is consistently ranked as one of the best in the UK. Top quality teaching housed in a purpose-built, state-of-the-art building.

Progression to the BSc Optometry degree programme is subject to application and interview whilst on the Health and Life Sciences IFP.


For nearly a century, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences has cultivated a strong tradition of innovative education, research and services.

Progression to the MPharm degree programme is subject to application and interview whilst on the Health and Life Sciences IFP.


Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the International Foundation Programme (IFP) in 2019/20 are £15,650 and are payable in three instalments.


We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Living costs

Cardiff is one of the most affordable cities in the UK. See how far your money goes by using our simple living costs calculator.


In recognition of the outstanding talent of many international students, we offer highly prestigious scholarships to attract and reward the best students.

Our 2019 International Foundation Programme Scholarship offers funding to non-sponsored international students on the International Foundation Programme in 2019/20.

Qualifying recipients will receive an award of £2000 in the form a tuition fee discount.

International applicants holding offers for our International Foundation Programme will be automatically considered for the scholarship. You do not need to submit a separate application for the award.

If you meet, or exceed, the conditions of your offer, or if you are holding an unconditional offer, you will automatically be awarded the offer as a tuition fee discount.

Only self-funding international students are eligible and you must be confirmed as an overseas student for fee-paying purposes. The scholarship is not open to students who are in receipt of funding from external bodies such as local Government, charities or private organisations.

For more information, please see the International Scholarship pages