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International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Sciences

| Undergraduate

IFY Business, Humanities and Social Science

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

    The International Foundation Programme in Business, Humanities and Social Sciences is intended to allow students from countries where 12 years of education is the norm to complete their 13th year of education in a university environment with the language and pastoral support that is necessary to ensure wellbeing and success, and where the work is focused specifically on preparation for university study. The programme has been designed to meet the specific needs of full fee overseas students whose first language is not English and to prepare students for progression to undergraduate degree programmes within the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

    The Foundation programme 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.

    Progression degree highlights:

    Students studying the International Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Sciences can progress to 1 of 16 different degree programmes at Queen’s University Belfast. For specific information on rankings, please visit your relative course page of proposed study route:

    IFY Business, Humanities and Social Science Degree highlights

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

    Global Opportunities

    Professional Accreditations

    Professional Exemptions

    Career Development

    • "Big gratitude to the lecturers and my friends at Queen's University Belfast. I learned many new things and met good friends from all over the world. Having had the chance to study at Queen's did indeed help me to secure an internship at HSBC.

      I remember my journey from starting with INTO Queen's until graduating from my bachelor's degree in Finance, it can be challenging but once you reach the end goal, you will find it worthwhile. Be bold and never give up, be your best when studying at Queen's and you never know how much you will gain at the end of the journey."

      Yoke Ming Wong, graduated from BSc Finance. She has since secured a job as intern at HSBC Global Markets in Malaysia.

    Student Experience

    • On the IFPBHSS course at INTO QUB, students experience University life in full. They are fully registered as QUB students and have access to all that the University offers in terms of extracurricular activities and support services.
      Teaching on the IFPBHSS course is delivered by INTO staff and takes place at the INTO campus which is in close proximity to Queen's University. This allows frequent visits to the University facilities and helps to familiarise students with what it will be like to be an undergraduate student at QUB. Students enjoy living in Northern Ireland with easy access to Britain, Europe and America. They find Belfast affordable and safe, and they engage in outdoor activities.
    "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 4 modules (30 credits each). The one core module they must study is English Language and Study Skills.
    Optional ModulesStudents must choose THREE of the following optional yet specialist modules to complete their required 120 credits for the Foundation programme:

    - Foundation Business Studies (30 credits)
    - Foundation Economics (30 credits)
    - Foundation Mathematics (30 credits)
    - Foundation Further Mathematics (30 credits)
    - Foundation Politics & International Relations (30 credits)

    People teaching you

    IFPBHSS Teachers

    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 Teaching12 (hours maximum)
    Typically 12 hours of lectures
    Medium Group Teaching6 (hours maximum)
    Typically 6 hours
    Personal Study20 (hours maximum)
    Approximately 20 hours of personal study a week
    Small Group Teaching/Personal Tutorial2 (hours maximum)
    Typically 2 hours

    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 Undergraduate Degrees at Queen’s University Belfast.
    • 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. All modules 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.


    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

    Employment after the Course
    Yoke from Malaysia studied IFPBHSS to BSc Finance, now working at HSBC Global Markets.

    Additional Awards Gained(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)

    Prizes and Awards

    Students who successfully complete the INTO Foundation in Business, Humanities and Social Sciences 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 Business, Humanities and Social Science costs

    Additional Costs:

    Other Fees:
    (Lab, Book, Insurance etc)

    Enrolment Fee: £150.00
    Textbooks (2 and 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

    1. How to Apply
    INTO Contact details:
    Email: or call UK application enquiries: +44 (0)1273 876 040

    To apply please email: or apply online:

    Download a prospectus






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