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International Foundation Programme for Management, Economics and Finance

The International Foundation programme for Management, Economics and Finance is designed to facilitate the transition from high school to the first year of undergraduate study in a range of academic disciplines including Management, Economics, Financial Economics and Mathematics. It includes a blend of subject-related content in various related academic subjects and helps to develop the academic and language skills required for effective participation in undergraduate studies.

This course is for academically-able international students (not from the EU/UK) whose high school qualifications are not recognised for application to an undergraduate degree at St Andrews. Applicants should be due to leave school soon or have left school within the past 12 to 24 months and not yet have studied at university.

Candidates aiming at a degree in Economics should have grades in Mathematics or related subjects that demonstrate a secure grasp of numeracy. 

Student wearing red gown in the Quad

This programme will introduce you to Business, Management, Economics and Finance, giving you an opportunity to explore your strengths and interests in these fields.

The content of lessons is based on business-related subject material as well as a range of issues relating to social sciences. Students will gain the knowledge, experience and confidence to cope with the demands of the University’s highly competitive degree programmes. In particular, this programme offers:

  • a unique blend of communication skills and academic skills integrated with business-related topics
  • small group teaching with highly experienced teachers
  • an intensive and academic learning experience designed to help you develop the skills to succeed at undergraduate level.

Semester 1

All students will study the same three compulsory modules:

Integrated Academic Skills 1: focuses on developing the core reading, writing, listening and speaking skills required for academic success.

Critical Thinking and Research Skills for Management, Economics and Finance: develops greater familiarity with a wide range of primarily business-related topics as well as others relating to the subjects studied in the Academic Subjects 1 module.

Academic Subjects 1: focuses on three academic subjects - Introduction to Business, Psychology, and Introduction to Social Sciences and Humanities.

Semester 2

All students will study the same two compulsory modules and will be given the opportunity to choose themes or topics related to their own specific academic subjects.

Integrated Academic Skills 2: aims to further develop the skills studied in the Semester 1 Integrated Academic Skills 1 module, with an increasing emphasis on using these skills to enhance subject knowledge

Researching and Presenting for Management, Economics and Finance: builds on the key academic subject knowledge, skills and strategies covered in Integrated Academic Skills 1, but with increased focus on learner independence.

Academic Subjects 2: focuses on a combination of three compulsory and optional subjects.

By the end of the programme you will have a strong foundation on which to base your undergraduate degree studies. You will have a clear understanding of the key ideas that underpin many of the subjects you will be going on to study. You will also have knowledge of the university system and experience of different types of assessment.

Academic requirement

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.

You can demonstrate that you have met the academic requirements with a high school transcript from your final year at school. Any high school qualification you use as evidence of your academic ability should be dated within the previous two years.

You should apply before your final results are available, as the University can make you a conditional offer based on your past exam performance and predicted grades.

English language requirement

An IELTS (Academic) test report form with a minimum of 5.5 overall and no component score below 5.0.

If you require a visa, your IELTS test must be for UKVI purposes. For an overview of the English language requirements for foundation applicants, please see the pre-degree page.

Other requirements

  • an academic reference from your high school and on their letterhead
  • a personal statement outlining why you wish to study Management, Economics and Finance at St Andrews and reflecting on your life and learning experiences to explain why you feel you would be successful on this programme.

All applicants who are made an offer will be invited for interview, either by video call or in person (in the UK or their home country).

In order to progress onto a degree at the University of St Andrews, students must achieve a final overall grade of 14.0 or above on the University’s 20-point scale. Other specific progression requirements are provided in the course handbook at the start of the programme.

There are many degree and post-study options available to successful foundation students. Popular degree subjects include:

  • Economics and Finance
  • International Relations
  • Management
  • Mathematics
  • Psychology.

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. 

Accommodation is included in the International Foundation Programme’s fee package.

Foundation students are allocated a room in a David Russell Apartments (DRA), just a 10-15 minute walk from the Centre for International Foundation Programmes. In each apartment there is a shared kitchen and living space and 5 bedrooms (typically same gender, all foundation students), each with a study area and private toilet and shower.

Bedding pack

A bedding pack is available for collection at David Russell Apartments when students check-in. The bedding pack contains:

  • One duvet (10.5 tog)
  • One duvet cover
  • One flat sheet
  • Two pillows
  • Two pillowcases.


Foundation programme students have a meal plan giving them 14 meals per week during semester (i.e. not during University vacations).

  • Monday to Friday: students are provided with breakfast and an evening meal.
  • Saturday and Sunday: Students are served breakfast and lunch.

See sample menus for the 14-meal plan at David Russell Apartments.

Apply for 2019-20

Apply for the Management, Economics and Finance programme starting in September 2019.

Deadline for applications: 30 June 2019.


Start date: Monday 09 September 2019
End date: Friday 29 May 2020

Fees: The all-inclusive fee package for 2019-20 is £27,300. This includes tuition fees, accommodation and meals. For further information see our Fee Package.

Meet us in your country

Programme director: Alan Duncan

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

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