Skip to Content

International Foundation in Architecture

| Undergraduate

IFY Architecture

Entry year
Entry requirements
Please see below
1 years (Full Time)
UCAS code
  • Overview

    The International Foundation Programme in Architecture (IFPA) is aimed at international students who have completed a minimum of 12 years of school education but who do not yet meet the English language or academic requirements for direct entry into the first year of undergraduate study at Queen's. It provides students with the opportunity to develop the necessary English language and foundational academic knowledge and skills to progress to Year One undergraduate degree programmes in Architecture, and related subject areas, at Queen’s University Belfast.

    The Foundation programme in Architecture has both a September and January intake each year.

    The programme is delivered in a university environment with the pastoral and language support that is necessary to ensure well-being and success, and where the study programme is focused on preparation for university study.

    If you’re inspired by creativity and design, a degree in Architecture is the ideal choice. In this exciting field, you’ll develop an in-depth understanding of history and theory, technology and environment, and professional practice of architecture. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn through design-based projects, develop research methods and build your critical thinking skills.

    From design strategies to the importance of architectural communication, you’ll learn a wide range of interesting and practical skills to take forward into your career.

    Progression degree highlights:

    6th in the UK for Architecture (Guardian League Table 2021) and over 75% of students graduate with a 1st class degree.

    Candidates who study the International Foundation in Architecture have the opportunity to build up their portfolio and have guidance in submitting their Art portfolio before submission to the university.

    IFY Architecture Degree highlights

    Develop the knowledge and skills for your chosen degree through a specialist pathway.

    Global Opportunities

    Professional Accreditations

    • Russell Group University Architecture Part 1 degree that is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Architects Registration Board (ARB) in the UK as well as the Board of Architects Malaysia (LAM).

    Professional Exemptions

    • Please check the relative degree page through our Course Finder:

    Industry Links

    • Queen's Architecture has strong links with a wide range of industry partners through teaching and research at local and global level. Students are tutored by practicing architects as well as experienced scholars. They are equipped with professional skills that prepare them both for practice and the application process.

    Career Development

    • The IFPA teaching team have fostered close links with the School of Architecture at QUB who in turn have strong links with RIBA, ARB, RSUA (Royal Society of Ulster Architects) and RIAI (Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland).
      One important aspect of this programme is to begin to develop a student's understanding of what it means to be an architect. Practicing architects visit and talk to our students, and the students are introduced to a wide range of architecture through both virtual and in person visits.

    World Class Facilities

    • QUB design studios and review/exhibition spaces are located in Chlorine Gardens and David Keir Building on Queen’s campus in South Belfast. The architectural workshop for laser cutting, model making and 3D printing is also in DKB. For lectures and seminars we use all kinds of lecture theatres and classrooms at Queen’s.
    "There is a variety of support available, depending on the needs of each student. For instance, the Progression Team work with students to support and guide them with the application process to Queen's University Belfast. Furthermore, INTO Queen's also provide additional support for mental health, academic study and English language training."
    Elisa, Spain, International Foundation student, 2021.
  • Course content

    Course Structure

    Core ModulesAll students must study these core modules as part of the Foundation in Architecture programme:

    - English Language and Study Skills (30 credits)
    - Practical Skills for Art Portfolio (30 credits)
    - Principles of Architectural Design and Practice (30 credits)
    Optional ModulesStudents must choose ONE of the following optional yet specialist modules to complete their required 120 credits for the Foundation programme:

    - Foundation Mathematics for Business, Humanities and Social Sciences (30 credits)
    - Foundation Politics and International Relations (30 credits)

    People teaching you

    Dr Jane Rogers
    Teacher of Art and Architecture

    INTO Queen's
    Students are tutored by a range of academic and English Language and Study Skills tutors sharing a wealth of qualifications and experience and a passion for international education.

    Mrs Sarah Prince
    Programme Manager for Foundation Architecture

    INTO Queen's
    Sarah has over 20 years experience in teaching students at foundation level. She graduated from QUB in Biomedical Science and after 6 years working in Medical Research in London and Nottingham, completed a teaching qualification at Cambridge University. Sarah has been teaching foundation students at INTO QUB for 5 years and is also the Programme Manager for the 3 INTO Foundation Programmes.

    Contact Teaching Times

    Large Group Teaching8 (hours maximum)
    Typically 8 hours of lectures
    Medium Group Teaching8 (hours maximum)
    Typically 8 hours - practical sessions and tutorials
    Personal Study20 (hours maximum)
    Approximately 20 hours of personal study a week
    Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial2 (hours maximum)
    Typically 2 hours - workshop sessions

    Learning and Teaching

    The programme is delivered in a university environment with the language and pastoral support that is necessary to ensure well-being and success, and where the work is focused specifically on preparation for undergraduate study. Students attend a combination of lectures, workshops and practical sessions which compliment each other to ensure that both subject and language module learning outcomes are achieved and that skills are developed in accordance with the educational aims of the programme.

    • Educational Aims of Programme (1)
      To provide students with a high quality education and learning experience at pre-undergraduate foundation level
    • Educational Aims of Programme (2)
      To prepare students for entry to Year One of the BSc (Hons) degree in Architecture at Queen’s University Belfast, or related degree.
    • Educational Aims of Programme (3)
      To enhance the subject knowledge, learning skills and English language proficiency of students to enable them to communicate and study effectively and confidently at undergraduate level.
    • Educational Aims of Programme (4)
      To assist international students to become accustomed to student life in the UK and to provide practical experience of the learning, teaching and assessment methods found in Queen’s University Belfast and in other UK universities.
    • Educational Aims of Programme (5)
      To cultivate a commitment to good practice in academic work.
    • Educational Aims of Programme (6)
      To provide students with the necessary personal and key skills to enable them to develop as independent, autonomous learners.
    • Educational Aims of Programme (7)
      To provide a qualification to facilitate alternative progression routes for those students who either (i) do not meet the entry criteria for progression to undergraduate degree programmes at Queen’s University Belfast, or (ii) who wish to follow a undergraduate course at another university.


    Entry to all undergraduate degrees at Queen's University is highly competitive and students hoping to study at undergraduate level must maintain high standards throughout their International Foundation programme.

    Whilst grades in the International Foundation programme do not count towards your undergraduate degree, your performance will be used to determine whether you meet the criteria for entry to your chosen undergraduate degree programme at the University.

    • Candidates complete formative assessments which include homework or class based exercises which do not count towards final grades, but which aim to help students monitor their learning and improve skills in particular areas, and to give practice for summative assessment.
    • Summative assessments are those that contribute to the final score of a module. English, Maths and Politics will have summative assessments by examination (60%) and coursework (40%) assessments. Coursework assessment may take different forms e.g. essays, case study work, written class tests, group work, presentations, portfolios or oral tests. There may be one or more continuous assessment components for any module.
    • The Art and Architecture modules are 100% coursework assessed modules and the assessment portfolios for these modules are compiled by the students from coursework they submit at given times during the course.


    Students are given feedback on formative coursework that assists them with their learning.

    • Students can expect to receive a provisional grade and an overview of their performance in all summative assessed coursework.


    During this Foundation programme, students will study at the INTO Queen’s Study Centre – located on the University’s inspiring campus. Students will benefit from excellent facilities, a dedicated support team and university-style teaching to prepare them for university.

    There are excellent facilities at the INTO centre, including:

    - Modern classrooms with the latest technology
    - Lots of spaces for quiet reading, studying and group work
    - The student support team, who can help you with any problems
    - The Learning Resource Centre
    - Cafe Carberry, for snacks and refreshments.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entrance requirements

    Selection Criteria

    International Students

    For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for

    If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.

    • Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
    • Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.

    International Students - Foundation and International Year One Programmes

    INTO Queen's offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare international students for undergraduate study at Queen's University. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre on campus, and will have full access to the University's world-class facilities.

    These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry.

    INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

  • Careers

    Career Prospects

    Students on the IFPA programme develop their understanding of what it means to be an architect by attending a variety of events organised by both INTO and the School of Architecture at Queen's. Off site visits and tours contribute to the learning experience of the students.

    Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

    Prizes and Awards

    Students who successfully complete the INTO Foundation in Architecture are eligible for scholarships and cash prizes.

    Degree plus award for extra-curricular skills

    In addition to your degree programme, at Queen's you can have the opportunity to gain wider life, academic and employability skills. For example, placements, voluntary work, clubs, societies, sports and lots more. So not only do you graduate with a degree recognised from a world leading university, you'll have practical national and international experience plus a wider exposure to life overall. We call this Degree Plus. It's what makes studying at Queen's University Belfast special.

  • Fees and Funding

    Tuition Fees

    Northern Ireland (NI) 1 Commissioned - no fee / Non-commissioned £9,215**
    Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 TBC**
    England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £9,250**
    EU Other 3 TBC**
    International £17,400**

    **All fee payers (non-commissioned students) must pay an additional clinical placement charge of £3,000 in each year of study.


    1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.

    3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.

    All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    Tuition fee rates are calculated based on a student’s tuition fee status and generally increase annually by inflation. How tuition fees are determined is set out in the Student Finance Framework.

    Additional course costs

    All Students

    Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

    Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library.

    If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. A programme may have up to 6 modules per year, each with a recommended text.  

    Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.  

    Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.

    If a final year includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.

    Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.

    There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.

    IFY Architecture costs

    Additional Costs:

    Other Fees:
    (Lab, Book, Insurance etc)

    Enrolment Fee: £150.00
    Textbooks (3 term): £280.00
    Textbooks (4 term): £360.00
    Textbooks (5 term): £440.00

    How do I fund my study?

    There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union.

    Information on funding options and financial assistance for undergraduate students is available at


    Each year, we offer a range of scholarships and prizes for new students. Information on scholarships available.

    International Scholarships

    Information on scholarships for international students, is available at



  • Apply

    How and when to Apply

    How to Apply
    Application for admission to full-time undergraduate and sandwich courses at the University should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).  Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:

    When to Apply
    UCAS will start processing applications for entry in autumn 2021 from 1 September 2020.

    Advisory closing date: 15 January 2021 (18:00). This is the 'equal consideration' deadline for this course.

    Applications from UK and EU students after this date are, in practice, considered by Queen’s for entry to this course throughout the remainder of the application cycle (30 June 2021) subject to the availability of places.

    Applications from International (non-UK/EU) students are normally considered by Queen’s for entry to this course until 30 June 2021. If you apply for 2021 entry after this deadline, you will automatically be entered into Clearing.

    Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

    The Institution code name for Queen's is QBELF and the institution code is Q75.

    Further information on applying to study at Queen's is available at:

    Apply via UCAS

    Terms and Conditions

    The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study. Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.

    Additional Information for International (non-EU) Students

    1. Applying through UCAS
      Most students make their applications through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for full-time undergraduate degree programmes at Queen's. The UCAS application deadline for international students is 30 June 2021.
    2. Applying direct
      The Direct Entry Application form is to be used by international applicants who wish to apply directly, and only, to Queen's or who have been asked to provide information in advance of submitting a formal UCAS application. Find out more.
    3. Applying through agents and partners
      The University’s in-country representatives can assist you to submit a UCAS application or a direct application. Please consult the Agent List to find an agent in your country who will help you with your application to Queen’s University.

    Download a prospectus




Register your interest
Course location


Can't find something?

We're here to help with any questions or queries you may have about this course

Ask a question