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Programme Specification for the 2021/2 academic year

FdCert International Foundation Programme in Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science and Physical Sciences (January Start)

1. Programme Details

Programme nameFdCert International Foundation Programme in Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science and Physical Sciences (January Start) Programme codeLIF0INTINT18
Study mode(s)Full Time
Academic year2021/2
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award3 (INTO)

2. Description of the Programme

This pre-undergraduate programme is intended to enable you to further your study of Mathematics, Computer Science or Physics and to improve your English and study skills in order to meet the requirements for entry to undergraduate degrees in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the University of Exeter.

The programme consists of:

  • Four academic content modules
  • A module in English language for academic study
  • A module in study skills.

You will explore the academic content modules through studying and applying core concepts and principles, whilst developing the requisite technical and communication skills.

You will be offered a favourable learning environment, designed to meet your specific needs, in which to develop English language competence, study skills and an understanding of academic subject content. Learning is appropriately paced and supported with a generous allocation of teaching time (typically 22-24 hours per week).

The programme will give you experience of being a university student and allow you to take part in campus life, while at the same delivering benefits in the form of tuition and support.

Entry to the first year of degree at Exeter is through UCAS application and dependent on your achieving the required academic standards and meeting the general entry requirements for the University of Exeter. 

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. enable you to increase your knowledge and skills in this discipline to a level equivalent to A-level study
2. help you to improve your English to the levels required for entry onto undergraduate programmes in the UK (in most cases equivalent to IELTS 7.0 or 6.5), making sure that you can use written and spoken language appropriately within an academic context
3. help you to develop the necessary study skills and approaches to learning required in undergraduate level study
4. introduce you to the culture of academic study in a UK higher education institution
5. provide you with the technical, communication and personal skills that you will need in your further studies and throughout your professional career

This programme is designed specifically to enable you to enter a degree programme at the University of Exeter. The aims of the Foundation programme are to:

4. Programme Structure

The International Foundation programme is a one year full-time programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 3, and is a single stage programme. The programme is divided into units of study called modules which are assigned a number of credits. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work. The programme consists of 120 credits with 90 credits at level 3, and 30 credits at level 2. There are 4 subject content modules of 20 credits at level 3, a 10-credit Project module at level 3, and a 30-credit module in English Language Skills for Academic Study at level 2.

Academic content modules are based on semesters (12 weeks), with an assessment period at the end of each semester. Foundation Academic English is taken over two semesters with staged assessment at the midpoint as well as at the end of the period.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.


Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the following web site:  (Cohort 1)  (Cohort 2)


Optional modules may not be available in every academic year. Options are offered every year at the discretion of the Centre and student choice may be constrained by the requirements for progression into their chosen undergraduate degree programme and timetable constraints.

Stage 1

Compulsory Modules

Students will normally study INT0043 (Introduction to Physical Sciences) in semester 1. Note that students studying INT0043 (Introduction to Physical Sciences) can progress on to Computer Science degrees.


CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
INT0052 Foundation Academic English 30 credits30Yes
INT0051 Engineering and Science Research Project 10 credits10No
INT0007 Foundation Mathematics 20 Credits20No
INT0043 Introduction to Physical Science 20 credits20No
INT0045 Advanced Mathematics 20 credits20No
INT0046 Mathematics for Engineering 20 credits20No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Describe key theories, concepts and information within your specific subject area, as determined by the pathway you are following;
2. Apply the knowledge, theories and concepts you have learnt from your studies to respond to new contexts;
3. Read widely about your subject, going beyond the basic texts;
4. Operate in English effectively, including in the context of your discipline, and with the skills necessary for an academic context

ILOs 1 and 2 are developed through lectures, and classes which consist of a variety of tasks, activities, student presentations and seminar discussions. ILO 3 requires guided independent study and use of ELE resources. ILO 4: English language classes employ a variety of learning activities and teaching methods. These include teacher-led groups, student presentations, seminars, set tasks.

ILOs 1 to 3 are assessed by a combination of written examinations, presentations and coursework assignments. ILO 4: English language assessment comprises a group presentation, listening and note taking tasks, seminars and written tasks, (including notetaking, summary, paraphrasing, referencing).

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

5. Present an argument which is coherent and supported with evidence from wider reading;
6. Present an argument which is coherent and supported with evidence from wider reading;
7. Apply relevant theories, procedures or skills to solving practical problems or analysing situations;
8. Demonstrate appropriate academic literacy practices, using citation and providing bibliographies correctly.

ILOS 5-7 are developed through teacher-led classes which consist of a variety of tasks, activities, student presentations and seminar discussions. In addition, guided independent study, practice and use of ELE resources play an
important role. ILO 8: input and practice are provided in the Foundation Academic English and Engineering and Science Project modules. This is supported in the other modules.

ILOs 5 to 7 are assessed by a combination of written examinations, presentations and coursework assignments. ILO8 is assessed with a reading and study skills project, as well as, where appropriate, in essays in other modules.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

9. With support, take responsibility for your own learning and work independently;
10. Work co-operatively in groups;
11. Present your work to others, communicating logically and effectively in the written or spoken form;
12. Assess your performance against given criteria Undertake straightforward research tasks (collecting and interpreting information) within a given framework and with guidance.

ILO 9 is developed in the process of acquiring subject knowledge and core academic skills, since independent study and practice forms an important part of teaching and learning methods. ILOs 10 and 11 are developed through class and group discussions in classes and working in groups in all modules. ILO 12 is developed through the processes of formative assessment and feedback. ILO 13 is developed as students progress through the content modules, and overtly in the Study Skills module.

ILOs 10 and 11 are assessed primarily through coursework assignments, exams and presentations. ILOs 9 and 12 are indirectly assessed – in the sense that, where modules require development of these skills, it would be very difficult to achieve a good mark in the assessments without having developed such skills. ILO 13 is explicitly assessed in the Study Skills module assignment and in some elements of assessment of Foundation Academic English.

7. Programme Regulations

The programme consists of 120 credits. The pass mark for all modules is 40%.
To achieve the Foundation Certificate you are required to achieve 120 credits in this single stage programme. Up to 30
credits can be condoned, provided you have achieved an average mark of at least 40% across the 120 credits of assessment, including the marks for any failed and condoned modules. Condonementis the process that allows you to pass a stage should you fail to achieve the required number of credits in any stage. 


Admission (or ‘progression’) to Year 1 at the University of Exeter is dependent on students meeting the requirements given to them in their conditional offer from the University of Exeter. These conditions have been approved by the University of Exeter’s Admissions Policy Group (APG) and can be found for the current admissions cycle:

Assessment and Awards
In case of non-progression to a degree at Exeter, assessment of this single stage programme contributes to the summative classification of the award.

The marking of modules and the classification of the Foundation Certificate broadly corresponds to the following percentage

Distinction: At least 69.5% in academic content subjects with a minimum 0f 69.5% in INT0029 (English Language Skills for Academic Study );

Merit: At least 59.5% in academic content subjects with a minimum of 59.5% in INT0029 (English Language Skills for Academic Study);

Pass: At least 40%.



Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

All INTO Foundation students will be allocated a personal tutor and will normally retain the same tutor throughout their time at INTO. You will have a formal meeting with your personal tutor on a regular basis (at least once per semester). Personal tutors liaise with the Programme Manager, who takes responsibility for the programme as a whole and provides a second line of support to students.

Each student will be issued with a Programme Handbook which contains information on:

  • Programme staff
  • Programme dates
  • Programme structure and modules
  • Attendance
  • Assessment, including submission and marking
  • Sickness, absence and mitigation procedures
  • Other general, important information

The Programme Handbook can be found here:

The University Library is open 24 hours a day and, in addition to reference books and books available on loan, provides computer printing services and access to technical journals. Engineering-specific content can be found at:

Other resources for the programme are published on ELE

where there are links to separate areas for each of the programme modules. Resources include:

  • Timetables
  • Course programmes / schedules
  • Coursework tasks, schedules and marking criteria
  • Past exam papers
  • Extra academic resources to support your studies
  • Links to useful web sites

Personal tutoring: The role of personal tutors at INTO is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff. A University-wide statement personal tutoring is included in the University’s Personal Tutor Code of Practice at:

Learning Resources

In addition to the centrally provided services detailed below, INTO University of Exeter also provides

  • Its own computer suites, and printing facilities
  • Students with specific physical and learning needs will have a support package put in place. We also liaise with AccessAbility, who can provide further information and resources. However, for International Students there may be cost implications for some support elements.
  • One-to-one language tutorials to support subject assignments.
  • Dedicated support for applications for further study.
  • Dedicated online resources on ELE for each programme and module
  • Language counsellors who speak a range of languages and who provide pastoral care and can communicate in the student's own native language.

 Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

Learning Resources

The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, together with a number of specialist collections in certain Colleges. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions. 

IT Services provide a wide range of services throughout the Exeter campuses including open access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours, 7 days a week. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

  • University Wellbeing Service - available free of charge, to provide confidential help and support. Student Health Centre - We are a Primary Health Care Centre, primarily funded by the National Health Service, providing care for all acute and long-term health problems for students on the Streatham Campus.
  • Student Services Centre - in the Forum is your first port of call for free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of 12 student services from Accommodation to Finance, Wellbeing to International Student Support, IT to AccessAbility. You can access the SID team 12 hours per day during term time between 8am – 8pm plus 10am – 3pm on Saturdays. Out of term time we are open 9am – 6pm Monday – Friday.
  • The Student Engagement and Skills team offer support for all students who wish to improve their personal, professional and academic skills, through lectures, workshops, individual appointments and peer support programmes in colleges and interactive online resources on Exeter’s Learning Environment (ELE).
  • Family Centre (Streatham campus) provides high quality care and education for early-years children of students and staff. 
  • Student Advice Centre - : (the Forum) is your first port of call for free, impartial and confidential advice on a range of issues: housing, finance, and academic matters.
  • The Students’ Guild is the students’ union of the University of Exeter providing representation, advice, activities, social events, dining outlets and more. 
  • Student complaints procedure.
  • Chaplaincy offers confidential support, advice and pastoral listening for all students.
  • The International Student Support Office supports non UK students across all University of Exeter campuses.   
  • INTO University of Exeter partnership provides English Language and other preparatory courses for international students.
  • AccessAbility offers advice and support to students with specific learning disabilities (eg. dyslexia) and physical disabilities/health conditions. Support includes helping students access learning and teaching opportunities and make the most of university life.
  • Employability and Graduate Developmentthe Career Zone has over 40 staff working to help you improve your chances of getting a great job after you graduate. They provide expert advice to enable you to plan your future through: guidance interviews, psychometric testing, employer presentations, skills events, practice job interviews and CV preparation.


9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of INTO University of Exeter.

For entry to the International Foundation Programme in Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, entry requirements are:

  • Normally completion of 12 years of education;
  • A/AS 64 points (local language A/AS Levels are accepted); IB 20 points;

(Country-specific entry qualifications can be obtained from INTO Admissions.)

  • English: IELTS 5.0 with a minimum of 5.0 in writing and 4.5 in other subskills (or equivalent)
  • Minimum grade C in GCSE maths; IB Maths SL / HL 3 if not offered at O level / GCSE; or Minimum Year 12 Pass in Maths; 
  • Unless otherwise specified Subjects recognised must relate to 'academic’ subjects or modules only

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.


12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

INTO programmes are accredited by the British Accreditation Council.
INTO University of Exeter ensures that students studying on the International Foundation programme meet the standards
required by the receiving Colleges for entry into the first year of a degree programme through representation at Examination
Boards and through joint College/INTO Boards of Studies. An INTO/University Academic Board oversees implementation of the
University’s quality assurance mechanisms.

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges review the quality and standard of teaching and learning in all taught programmes against a range of criteria through the procedures outlined in the Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA) Manual Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution


16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS)

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by


18. Final Award

FdCert International Foundation Programme in Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science and Physical Sciences (January Start)

19. UCAS Code

Not applicable to this programme.

20. NQF Level of Final Award

3 (INTO)

21. Credit

CATS credits


ECTS credits


22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date


Date of last revision