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International Foundation Programme January Intake: Social Sciences and Humanities (SS&H)

January Intake Social Sciences and Humanities students have the potential to progress onto a Single or Joint Honours degree within the Faculty of Arts.

With an intake in early January each year, this intensive, multi-discipline programme enables students to complete their studies in time to enter university in September of the same year. We aim to produce students with the knowledge, competence and skills to cope with the demands of the University’s degree programmes.

Jan Intake 2015

The aim of the Foundation Programme is to prepare students for undergraduate study in St Andrews, with a particular focus on developing the linguistic skills to write effectively. This in turn requires reading and research skills, and learning from lectures. The aim of the academic input is to broaden students’ general academic knowledge and develop critical thinking.

Students take three academic courses in each of the two semesters. Students taking the Management, Economics and Finance route will study subjects such as Management, Fundamental Maths, Economics, Finance and Coding. Those taking the Arts/Humanities route will choose from subjects such as International Relations, Philosophy, History, Management, Art History and Literature. The choice of subjects depends on timetabling, so some combinations may not be possible.

The programme is comprised of 6 modules:

  • Academic Reading and Writing
  • Research, Presenting and Seminar Skills 1
  • Academic  Subjects 1
  • Integrated Skills
  • Research, Presenting and Seminar Skills 2
  • Academic Subjects 2

In the first semester (S2) we concentrate on the key study skills required of an undergraduate student. These include reading for essay writing, advanced language and vocabulary for academic writing, and developing confidence in searching for information and using it in presentations and seminars. You will work together with other students to organise a conference, giving you the opportunity to work in groups. You will also take classes in Social Studies where you will be given guidance on how to approach studying an academic subject at undergraduate level. You are then expected to apply these skills and strategies to your lectures and tutorials in three core subjects. These will include subjects such as Management, Economics, Maths, International Relations, Philosophy, History and Art History. Combinations of subjects will depend on availability and timetabling. These sessions will introduce you to many of the key theories and concepts in the arts, humanities and social sciences. 

In the second semester (Summer) you will be encouraged to become a more independent learner and you will read and research for the purpose of completing a range of written assessments. The main written task will be an essay in one of your academic subjects, for which you will receive guidance from both academic writing tutors and subject lecturers. You will further develop your research skills through presentations on topics chosen in consultation with your tutors. Depending on the route you have chosen, you will study either subjects such as Management, Economics, Maths and Finance, or Management, IR, History, Art history or Philosophy.

Academic evidence

You should have good school leaving qualifications from your home country with an A grade average, or more than 85%, or a GPA of at least 3.2 (depending on country). Please contact us for specific details about the grades needed from your high school system.

Our typical academic requirements (PDF, 544 KB) are listed alphabetically by country. If your qualification is not shown here, please email for details about the grades needed from your high school system.

Please do not wait for all your evidence to be in place before you apply. You may apply before your results are available and we can make you a conditional offer, pending your results.

Language evidence

We require IELTS 6.0 with no lower than 5.0 in each component. If you require a visa, your IELTS must be for UKVI purposes. For an overview of language requirements please see our language requirements and pre-degree pages.

Please do not wait for all your evidence to be in place before you apply. You may apply before your results are available and we can make you a conditional offer, pending your results.


  • an academic reference (from your high school)
  • a personal statement. This should be about 400 words long, outlining why you wish to study at St Andrews and reflecting on your learning and life experience to suggest why you feel you would be successful on our Programme
  • All students are interviewed in person or on Skype, and you may also be asked to write an entrance test paper. 

Please do not wait for all your evidence to be in place before you apply.

A GPA of 14.0 from the foundation programme leads to an unconditional offer from the Faculty of Arts.

Students who successfully complete the International Foundation Programme for Social Sciences and Humanities (January Intake) will be able to study at the University of St Andrews on a degree programme related to their subject choices on the Foundation programme.

Students who pass the foundation programme but do not stay in St Andrews are advised and assisted with applications to other institutions in the UK.

The fee package for the Pathway to Medicine programme includes accommodation, which the University arranges on your behalf.

All foundation students are allocated a room in David Russell Apartments (DRA), just a 10-minute walk from the Centre for International Foundation Programmes. In each apartment, there are five study bedrooms, each with their own private shower and toilet, and a shared living space and fully equipped kitchen.

Bedding pack

A bedding pack will be delivered to each student’s bedroom before they arrive at David Russell Apartments. The bedding pack is for a standard double bed (UK size) and contains:

  • one duvet (10.5 tog)
  • one duvet cover
  • one flat sheet
  • two pillows
  • two pillowcases.


Pathway to Medicine students are on a catered meal plan that gives them 14 meals per week during the semester.

Breakfast and an evening meal are served every weekday; breakfast and lunch are served on Saturdays and Sundays.

See a sample menu for the 14-meal plan.


Applications for January 2020 will open in March 2019.

Semester dates:  

Accommodation opens: Wednesday 09 January 2019
Start date: Thursday 10 January 2019
End date: Friday 16 August 2019

Fees: The all-inclusive fee package for 2019 is £24,000. This includes tuition fees, accommodation and meals. For further information see our Fee Package.

CIFP undergraduate brochure (PDF, 8,523 KB)

Programme Director: Kerry Tavakoli

English Language Teaching
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews
KY16 9DJ
Scotland, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (1334) 462257
Fax:+44 (1334) 462270