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International Foundation Programme for Science (September Intake)

Students on the International Foundation for Science Programme (IFPS) experience university teaching and research from the first day of their studies. They attend lectures and practical laboratory sessions in the Science Schools combined with special academic, personal and language support from the staff of the CIFP.  The programme has a high success rate, and graduates of the programme have gone on to study for degrees at St Andrews and other top UK universities. 

Students in laboratory


By the end of the programme, the students should have proved that their science, language, and academic skills are good enough for them to succeed in a university environment. This will then support them to be successful on their university degree.

Progression to an undergraduate degree programme at the University of St Andrews is dependent on successful completion of the foundation programme and is usually to year 2 of a four-year honours programme.

Former students who have studied science have gone on to take postgraduate Masters and Doctorate courses, or have gone to work in research, industry or business.


There are several study routes on the Science programme and students will be advised on the appropriate route based on their intended degree subject.

During the first semester students start their studies by understanding the principles of an undergraduate programme of studies, and how modules in science are organised. They attend lectures and practicals in the Science Schools and learn how to structure written texts and how to read and analyse information from textbooks and scientific articles and to listen to lectures for facts and opinions.

In Semester 2 students need to show that they can work independently to produce longer pieces of work. They learn how to incorporate and reference data, facts and opinions. They write a long literature review or alternative task and give an oral presentation.

Entrance requirements

Academic evidence: you should have good school leaving qualifications from your home country with a minimum of a B+ grade average or more than 75%, or a GPA of at least 3.0. Please contact us for specific details about the grades needed from your high school system.

Language evidence: we require IELTS 6.0. 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.


  • an academic reference (from your high school)
  • a personal statement. This should be about 400 words long, outlining why you wish to study Medicine at St Andrews and reflecting on your learning and life experience to suggest why you feel you would be successful on our Programme.
  • All applicants who meet these minimum requirements will be interviewed by the Programme Director, usually on Skype.

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. 

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 2017-18

Applications for 17-18 entry will close on Monday 31 July 2017. Apply now to start this September.


Start date: Monday 11 September 2017
Christmas vacation: Saturday 23 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 £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: Ally Malcolm-Smith

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

Tel: +44 (1334) 462255
Fax:+44 (1334) 462270