Introducing The International Foundation Programme

Gaining in popularity and widely recognised by universities in the UK, Canada, Australia, US, and the UAE, the University of London’s International Foundation Programme (IFP) offers a viable academic foundation to transition into undergraduate studies, or even as a complement to A Levels and the IB.

In 2013, the University of London launched its International Foundation Programme (IFP), a challenging and inspiring programme designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge to prepare them for rigorous undergraduate study. Students who have completed
the IFP have gone on to study with not only the University of London, but also Russell Group and other universities in the UK and around the world.

The IFP can be completed in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in a minimum of one year, although there is an opportunity to complete it over an extended time period. The programme gives students the opportunity to acquire the skills and qualifications necessary to move onto a full degree at university.

“University of London, one of the world’s leading universities, is internationally recognised for its high academic standards. An academic award from the University of London is a mark of excellence, respected by employers and universities worldwide,” says Lynne Roberts, Director of IFP at University of London. “The IFP has been designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to help you progress to either degree-level study at a top university in the UK, Canada, Australia, United States, or the UAE, or onto a prestigious professional accountancy qualification such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).”

How it works

The IFP is a taught programme and must be studied at a University of London Recognised Teacher Centre. PwC’s Academy was recently appointed as the only Recognised Teaching Centre for IFP in the UAE, where the programme is available exclusively to students who attend or have attended a GEMS Education school.

Students are provided with online study materials coupled with tuition that ensures they are prepared for the examinations in late April/early May. Study materials provided include a subject guide for each course; access to a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) that contains supplementary learning resources including audio visual tutorials, academic interviews and self-testing activities; a student handbook containing practical information and advice and examiners’ commentaries that provide guidance on how sample and past examination questions should have ideally been answered; and a University of London email account and web area that students can use to manage their personal information.

In terms of entry requirements, the programme will consider all international high school results where students have achieved very good grades, especially in the subjects relevant to their intended IFP courses, or where students need a UK-focused academic foundation before undergraduate studies. Students should be 17 years of age as of December 2019 (although younger students will also be considered) and have a minimum IELTS score of 6.0. Students must also have passed a minimum of four separate subjects at GCSE/GCE O level, with grades A-C or the equivalent. Suitability for the programme will be assessed on
an individual basis.

The UoL IFP is typically completed in one academic year, but at PwC’s Academy students also have the flexibility of spreading their learning experience over two academic years.

Additional support

PwC’s Academy building and facilities are available outside class time for students to undertake independent study, prepare for exams and make use of ‘study buddy’ assistance.In addition to the tutors setting guided learning, extra sessions are offered including academic English, employability skills, and university progression counselling.

The focus at PwC’s Academy is on making sure students have all the knowledge and exam technique needed to complete the IFP. The core objective is to help students pass their exams and gain admission into a university of their choice, as they earn valuable, practical academic qualifications to enhance their pathway to university and career success in the future. In addition, GEMS career and counselling teams are available for each IFP student to guide them through their UCAS or next academic pathway after the IFP.

“The combination of University of London and PwC’s Academy will provide you with the chance to get ahead in your academic journey,” explains Lynne Roberts. “The team at PwC’s Academy will guide you through your studies and provide a rich learning environment supported by the University of London IFP team and our online resources. They will also, if necessary, work with you to improve your level of English and complete any university application to increase your chances of being offered a place at a top university or professional training institute.”