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International Foundation Programme January Intake: Science

The January Science International Foundation programme is an intensive, multi-discipline programme which enables students to complete their studies in time to enter university in September of the same year. The programme welcomes students in early January each year and students have the potential to progress onto a Single or Joint Honours degree within the Faculty of Science.

January Intake - Science

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.

Applicants must have studied sciences at school and be able to offer strong grades in any subjects that are relevant to their intended degree. For example, Maths if you wish to study Computer Science, or Physics if you plan to study Astronomy.


This is the University’s own pre-degree January Science programme which prepares international students for undergraduate study in the UK, and at the University of St Andrews in particular.

In the first semester, students will concentrate on raising their awareness of how to approach the range of tasks that university students are required to complete for assessment purposes, as well as experiment with new techniques and strategies that will enhance their academic performance. Students will be introduced to academic register and concepts relevant to their chosen degree intention.

In the second semester, students will continue to develop their academic and linguistic skills with increasing subtlety and precision. Students will be expected to be more autonomous and able to make decisions on their own about how to present information.

In Semester 1, students must take the following three modules:

  • Exploring Academic Identities: focuses on the topics of sustainability and identity. Students will host a conference on sustainability and complete summative pieces of work.
  • Researched Writing 1: students will extend their vocabulary, learn how to evaluate the reliability of texts and know how to incorporate other people's ideas within academic writing whilst developing their own voice.
  • Discipline-specific subjects: students are given the opportunity to choose a fixed combination of subjects depending on their degree intention. Subjects include: Mathematics and Statistics, Biology, Psychology, Chemistry, Coding, and Physics.

In Semester 2, students will look at the following three modules:

  • Communicative literacy: students will broaden their understanding of the world around them and develop a global mindset through developing presentations and attending seminars.
  • Researched Writing 2: students re-engage with their work during their first semester. Critical thinking skills underpin this module. 
  • Discipline-specific subjects: students are given the opportunity to continue expanding their knowledge on their chosen subjects in semester 1, based on their degree intention. 

See January Science discipline-specific subjects 2018-2019 (PDF, 155 KB) for more details.

GPA of 14.0 from the January Science foundation programme leads to an unconditional offer from the Faculty of Science. Mathematics students with a GPA of 14.0 overall and 14.0 in Shadow MT1002 Mathematics and MT1007 Statistics in Practice will be considered for second year entry for single honours in the School of Mathematics.

Students who successfully complete the January Science foundation programme will be able to study at the University of St Andrews on a degree programme related to their subject choices on their 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.

Academic requirement

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). 

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 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 6.0 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 our English language requirements for foundation applicants, please see our 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 Science at St Andrews and reflecting on your life and learning experiences to explain why you feel you would be successful on this programme.
  • you may be asked to write an entrance test paper.

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).

The fee package for the International Foundation 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.


Foundation programme 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 £25,000. This includes tuition fees, accommodation and meals. For further information see our Fee Package.

CIFP undergraduate brochure (PDF, 8,523 KB)

Programme Director: John Hughes

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

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