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International Foundation Year

Improve your English and academic skills to continue your studies.

Enquire: +44 23 8031 9129

Would you like to improve your English language and academic skills before progressing onto a full undergraduate degree programme? This course aims to fully prepare those who speak English as a second language for full-time study on one of Southampton Solent University’s specialist degree programmes. 

  • Students will improve their English language skills under the guidance of expert language tutors.
  • Students will develop the key academic skills required for study at degree level.
  • The course coaches learners to reach a level of English broadly equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall.
  • Students benefit from a dedicated multimedia facilities and language centre.
  • Upon successful completion of this foundation year, students will be able to progress onto a full undergraduate degree here at Southampton Solent University.
  • Southampton Solent University is centrally located in one of the UK’s most vibrant cities, just a short distance from London.

The programme

Part of a range of extended degree programmes for students whose first language is not English, this foundation year helps learners to reach a standard broadly equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall (with a minimum of IELTS 5.5 in each language skill component) before starting undergraduate studies.

Using our multimedia facilities and language centre, students will have the chance to tailor their English language studies to suit the subject they will later study at degree level.

Solent University is proud to offer students a supportive learning environment. Face to face academic support is complemented by 24/7 access to our virtual learning environment. Students also benefit from access to our dedicated language centre, which offers a range of interactive resources designed to aid second language study.

Next steps

Thinking of studying for a degree here in the UK? This foundation year will help you transition into academic life as smoothly as possible, improving your language, research and communication skills as you begin to learn about your chosen subject area.

Have you got a question about applying?


Typical entry requirements

A minimum level of English of PTE Academic 41/IELTS 4.5


Students study a total of 120 CATS points (equivalent to 60 ECTS) through four core units, one pathway unit and one option unit, which is related to your chosen degree course.

All pathways 

  • Business English Lower Intermediate
  • Academic Skills for Undergraduate Study 1
  • Business English Upper Intermediate
  • Academic Skills for Undergraduate Study 2

Business, sport and enterprise pathway

  • The UK Economy and Institutions
  • One option, from:
    • Business Issues in the Contemporary World
    • Principles of Finance
    • Sport, Health and Fitness
    • Law and Society
    • Tourism and Events in the Contemporary World
    • Work and the Media in the UK

Creative industries pathway

  • Background to the UK Economy
  • Degree-related Project

Maritime and technology pathway

  • Background to the UK Economy
  • Degree-related Project

Teaching, learning and assessment

Lectures and classroom-based seminars and workshops are complemented by individual and group tutorials, online learning and independent study.

You will be assessed through in-class tests, presentations, portfolio and assignment work. You must pass each language test component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) of the Academic Skills for Undergraduate Study 2 unit to pass the course overall.

Our facilities

Our language centre contains interactive learning materials.

Web-based learning

Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

Meet the Team

Members of staff have a wide range of experience in teaching English as a foreign language in the UK and abroad, and specific subject expertise.

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

The International Foundation Year prepares you for continued undergraduate study at Solent, and ensures that you will have the practical academic skills and specialised language to make the most of your studies.

Transferable skills

English language, academic skills, communication, evaluation, critical thinking and problem-solving.

Further study

The International Foundation Year will prepare you for your chosen study on one of the following courses:

Business, Sport and Enterprise pathway

BA (Hons) Accountancy and Finance NNJK, NNKH
BA (Hons) Adventure and Outdoor Management  N805
BSc (Hons) Business Economics LC10 
BA (Hons) Business Management N2Q3, NN1G 
BA (Hons) Fitness Management and Personal Training CN68
BA (Hons) International Business Management N1RY 
BA (Hons) International Tourism Management N8QJ)
LLB (Hons) Law M1Q3, M205 
BSc Maritime Business N9Q3 
BA (Hons) Marketing N509
BA (Hons) Marketing with Advertising Management N515, N590
BSc (Hons) Shipping and Port Management 4XAT
BA (Hons) Sport Studies C6QA 
BA (Hons) Sports Studies and Business C6ND
BA (Hons) Tourism Management N83F

Creative industries pathway

BA (Hons) Advertising N561
BA (Hons) Media Culture and Production P309
BA (Hons) Photography W644
BA (Hons) Public Relations and Communication P2Q3
BA (Hons) Sport Journalism P5QH
BA (Hons) Television and Video Production PP34

Maritime and technology pathway

BEng (Hons) Acoustics R2M7
MEng (Hons) Audio and Acoustic Engineering F381
BA (Hons)Architectural Technology K1Q3
BSc (Hons) Audio Engineering O373
BSc (Hons) Broadcast Systems Engineering H643
BSc (Hons) Business Information Technology G5Q3
BSc (Hons) Computing G403
BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Web Design G4QH
BSc (Hons) Construction Management, K2Q3
BEng (Hons) Electronic Engineering H6QH
BSc (Hons) Engineering Design and Manufacture H151 
BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering H305
BSc (Hons) Software Engineering G6Q3
BEng (Hons) Yacht and Powercraft Design H524
BEng (Hons) Yacht Design and Production 4R81 


Key facts


Location of study: East Park Terrace

Study mode: n/a

The International Foundation Year (IFY) starts in September.

Entry requirements

  • For this course you will have successfully completed your high school diploma or equivalent outside the UK
  • You must also have a minimum level of English of IELTS 4.5 overall, with 4.5 in each language skill component or equivalent.
  • In addition, where courses require specific subject expertise (for example, mathematics for engineering courses), you must demonstrate this prior to entry onto the International Foundation Year.
We welcome applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants who are not in possession of the minimum entry requirements but are able to demonstrate aptitude, enthusiasm and motivation will be considered on an individual basis and may be admitted subject to satisfactory interview and/or portfolio. Please contact us for further details.

Note to all international students requiring a visa:

All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Southampton Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Southampton Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.

We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.  

Non-standard entry

If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University using the contact details found at the top of this page.

Costs involved


Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU full-time fees: £7,650 

International full-time fees: £10,000 

Graduation costs 

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost.

For more details, please visit:

Bursaries and scholarships

Southampton Solent University offers a range of scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our scholarships page to find out more.


How to apply


Any student applying for the first year of a full-time/sandwich undergraduate course must apply through UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service). This includes mature, overseas and EU students.

Nearly all schools and colleges offer their students the facility of applying electronically through the UCAS website using 'Apply'; it may also be used by those applying independently in the UK and overseas. This facility and all course information can be found on the UCAS website:

Your application should reach UCAS by January if you hope to enter a course the following autumn. Early application is advised for the most popular subject areas. Late applications may be made until June. The UCAS Code for the University is S30, code name SOLNT.

Student support and services


Student welfare

Southampton Solent University is committed to giving you the best possible educational experience during your time with us. As such we have a number of support services and policies set up covering funding, careers and employability, chaplaincy, counselling, international advice, student affairs, key academic skills, disability support and general student advice. Find out more about our approach to student welfare.

University facilities

You will have access to a modern, comfortable and efficient environment in which to study, following our extensive refurbishment and modernisation over recent years. Some key facilities include Mountbatten library, a wide variety of sports and watersports facilities, plus superb IT and media facilities. Find out more about our first-class facilities here.

Living in Southampton

Southampton is a vibrant student city and studying at Solent means that you will be at the very heart of the action. Find out more about being a student in Southampton.

Solent Students’ Union

Run by students for students, Solent Students’ Union is a key part of any student’s time at Solent. Visit the Students’ Union website for more information.



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