University Foundation Advice

Why study the NCUK International Foundation Year at MPW?


The NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) was developed by 11 UK universities including Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield, to help international students progress onto undergraduate degree programmes. Students are able to tailor the programme to suit their interests by choosing one of the IFY’s four pathways:

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Humanities
  • Science

Each pathway begins with a core module: English for Academic Purposes and Study Skills. This module is designed to equip students with the skills they need to succeed as undergraduates. In addition to this, students choose three modules from a list including economics, government and politics, international relations, mathematics and the sciences.

Why choose the NCUK IFY?

Strong progression opportunities

The NCUK IFY is a very prestigious programme that is written and assessed by the founding universities of the Northern Consortium. It is widely respected and upon successful completion of the programme, graduates are guaranteed entry to 16 universities, including six in the Russell Group. This gives students a wide range of progression opportunities, to over 3,000 degree programmes in the UK. In addition to guaranteed entry to 16 universities, many more, including Russell Group institutions, will consider applications from students who have completed the NCUK IFY.

NCUK Partner Universities

University of Bradford
The University of Huddersfield
University of Leeds
Leeds Beckett University
Liverpool John Moores University
University of Manchester
Manchester Metropolitan University
University of Salford
University of Sheffield
Sheffield Hallam University
Aston University
University of Birmingham
University of Bristol
University of Kent
Kingston University, London
Queen Mary, University of London

Other Universities
(NCUK students have successfully applied to these universities in the past)

University of Cambridge
University of Durham
University of Edinburgh
King’s College London
University of St Andrews
University of Warwick

Simple application process

The NCUK IFY suits students from a range of backgrounds. Our experienced staff are familiar with the educational structure of a number of different countries and will be able to discuss your current level of education and likely progression route clearly and simply. In addition to this, our staff frequently travel overseas and therefore may be available to meet you in your country to answer any questions you have. Alternatively, an appointment on Skype can be made. To apply to study the NCUK IFY, simply complete our application form or email

Four pathway options

The NCUK IFY suits students with a range of interests as it is possible to select your course from a list of various options, tailoring the modules to suit you. The four pathway options are:


This option is best-suited for students who are keen to follow a career in Business, Finance or Management. It also allows students to study a high-level Mathematics module as part of the course, building on their existing knowledge in this subject.


The Humanities pathway includes modules such as economics, international relations and politics. It is well-suited to students who would like to take an undergraduate course in a humanities or social sciences specialism.


Mathematics and Physics are compulsory modules for students on the Engineering pathway which will of course prepare students to study Engineering at university. It will also allow students to progress to other Business and Humanities degrees so taking this pathway is a good way of keeping options open.


The IFY Science pathway is a perfect preparation for students who would like to take a science degree in the future. Many of the degree opportunities for students on the Business or Humanities pathways are also open to students on the Science pathway.


Undergraduate Degree Programme




Business Studies



IT Management


Events Management

International Management

Logistics and Supply Chain

Sports Business Management

Fashion and Textile Management

Hospitality Management


Many of the humanities degrees will also be open to students following this pathway



International Relations

Media Studies



Peace Studies

Development Studies

Social Science



Many of the business degrees will also be open to students following this pathway


Aerospace Engineering

Automotive Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Civil Engineering

Computer Science Engineering

Electrical Engineering Mathematics

Mathematics and Physics

Mechanical Engineering

Petroleum Engineering


Many of the business and humanities degrees will also be open to students following this pathway


Actuarial Science


Biomedical Science


Computer Science

Environmental Science







Many of the business and humanities degrees will also be open to students following this pathway

Why choose to study at MPW?

MPW is an accredited NCUK partner and has a long history of success and achievement. Students (including IFY students) benefit from very small class sizes allowing tutors to spend time individually with each student but also for the classroom to benefit from peer-to-peer discussion and interaction. Our teachers are well-qualified and experienced; many have studied at prestigious institutions including Oxford and Cambridge, and have PhD or research degrees. Nearly all MPW students are taking IFY or A level courses, with a view to progressing to university afterwards. This fosters an environment of focus and motivation, and students are very well supported in achieving their goals by a dedicated team of personal tutors. We have a long history of success in supporting our A level students in winning a place at a top UK university and last year (our first year of teaching the NCUK IFY) we were able to help even more international students: 78% were successful in their applications to Russell Group universities.

As well as comprehensive support for the UCAS application, our personal tutors are there for our students on a pastoral level too. We recognise that studying abroad for the first time is a daunting prospect and we aim to help students to settle in to a their new environment and feel at home as soon as possible. PTs are welcoming and approachable; a friendly face for a new student. We also organise social events and extracurricular activities to help students get to know each other outside of the classroom and to help them feel like they belong in their new country. This is a different sort of environment to most universities, where there is often not a large amount of pastoral care and students are relatively anonymous.

Entry requirements and key dates for students

To be accepted on to the NCUK IFY, students must be aged 17+ at the start of the course and have an IELTS score of 5.5 (or the equivalent). Students must have completed around 12 years of schooling; our Admissions team can explain more about this requirement individually as it varies depending on country of origin.

The course begins in September and lasts for one academic year, with students taking exams in June.

For more information about the IFY and other courses, see our article the advantages of studying a foundation programme and how to choose the right university foundation programme.