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International Foundation Programme for Management, Economics and Finance

With an intake in September each year, this intensive programme combines a unique blend of communication skills and academic skills integrated with business-related topics.

Students are encouraged to be active and reflective learners with a strong emphasis on developing critical thinking skills and knowledge of a range of subjects to ensure that they will succeed on their chosen university degree.

We aim to produce students with the knowledge, experience and confidence to cope with the demands of the University’s highly competitive degree programmes.

Students studying

Successful students have the potential to progress onto a degree in Management, Economics or Financial Economics at the University of St Andrews.

There is considerable flexibility in the potential structure of your degree. Please refer to the schools on the University's website to explore the opportunities available.


There are two main elements of the programme:

  1. Academic study skills
  2. Academic lecture courses

Study Skills encompasses the language and study skills you will need to be a successful student. This part of the timetable includes academic writing, academic reading, oral presentations and listening, as well as other complementary micro-skills.

Students develop the skills to read and interpret academic texts and develop the language and techniques to structure arguments so that they become more skilled at writing assignments and presenting in seminars. Projects to develop research skills and our integrated approach to language and academic subjects help students to develop a more analytical approach to study.

The aim of the academic lecture courses is to boost your knowledge to a level appropriate for undergraduate studies. By the end of the programme you will have knowledge of the subject that you plan to study as an undergraduate and be confident when talking and writing about your subject's key points and issues. Semester 1 courses include introductory courses to Business, Psychology and Social Studies.

These subjects provide an extremely useful basis for your future field of academic discipline, and allow you to understand some of the underlying theoretical principles and practical issues which underpin many of the subjects which you will study in semester two.

During semester 2 students study three academic subjects from Economics, Management & Organisations, Finance, Marketing, Mathematics and Statistics, which typically involve combinations of lectures, tutorials and seminars. Students will also produce an extended 2000 word essay on one of their chosen subjects.


There are two semesters in the programme. You will have regular coursework assignments throughout each semester, and some of these will contribute towards your final grade. In addition, you will have two sets of examinations, one set at the end of each semester.

We use a variety of types of assessments, to give you experience of different ways of being examined - essays, multiple choice tests, short paragraphs, interviews, presentations and so on.

Entrance Requirements

You need to complete high school in your own country and graduate with good grades.  Because we accept students from a wide range of countries, we look at each application on an individual basis (as school systems vary greatly from country to country). 

You can contact us for specific details about the grades needed from your high school system.

You may apply before your results are available and we can make you a conditional offer. We also require a minimum IELTS for UKVI 5.5.

For an overview of language requirements please see our language requirements and pre-degree pages.


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 shower-room and study area.

Undergraduate students have a meal plan giving them 14 meals per week during semester (i.e. not during University vacations). On weekdays (Monday-Friday) students are provided with breakfast and an evening meal, on Saturday and Sunday they are served breakfast and lunch. View sample menus for the 14-meal plan at David Russell Apartments.


Apply for 2018-19

Applications for 2018-19 entry will open in October 2017.

Semester dates: 

Start date: Monday 11 September 2017
Christmas vacation: Saturday 16 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018
Spring vacation: Saturday 17 March 2018 to Sunday 01 April 2018
End date: Friday 08 June 2018

Fees: The all-inclusive fee package for 2017 is £24,000. This includes tuition fees, accommodation and meals. For further information see our Fee Package.

Stats 2015/16: 

88% of students were successfully placed on degree programmes

76% of those students progressed onto a degree at the University

CIFP undergraduate brochure (PDF, 8,523 KB)

Programme director: Alan Duncan

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

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