Business - Management, Economics and Finance (International Year Zero)

September 2023 entry

This programme 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, and financial economics.

This multi-discipline programme 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.

The programme has a high success rate with 100% of students completing the programme successfully in 2022. Graduates have gone on to study for single and joint Honours degrees at St Andrews and other top UK universities.

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Course type

International Year Zero

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

Course duration

Nine months, full time

Course dates

Start date: 4 September 2023
End date: 10 May 2024

The schedule for this programme differs slightly from the standard University semester dates. All weeks from the programme start date to end date are teaching, in-class revision or assessment weeks, other than the following:

  • independent learning week: 16 to 20 October 2023
  • winter vacation and inter-semester weeks: 20 December 2023 to 12 January 2024.
  • February vacation: 19 to 23 February 2024.

Vacation dates may be subject to change.

This course is for:

International students who are academically able, but whose high school qualification is not recognised for application to an undergraduate degree at St Andrews. International Foundation students typically use English as an additional language.  

Who can apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No, but candidates aiming at a degree in economics should have grades in mathematics or related subjects that demonstrate a secure grasp of numeracy.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements 

See typical academic requirements for an International Year Zero programme. If your qualification is not shown, please email 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 from the last year you attended high school and dated within the previous three 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

All International Foundation applicants must submit a Secure English Test (SELT) as evidence of their English language ability, unless they have a UK passport.

See a list of approved English language tests and required scores for this programme.

You do not need to have your result when you apply, as this can be a condition of an offer made by the University.

Application requirements

The University will ask you to provide the following documents as part of your application:

  • your most recent high school transcript
  • a personal statement outlining why you wish to study Business - 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
  • an academic reference from your high school on their letterhead or from a school email
  • your official English language test result.

Application deadline

The deadline for applications is Monday 31 July 2023. You only need to provide your high school transcript and personal statement when you first apply so that the University can consider your application. Your academic reference and your English language evidence can be provided later.

How to apply

Course information

This programme will introduce you to business, management and economics, giving you an opportunity to explore your strengths and interests in these fields.

The content of lessons is based on specific academic subject material relating to business and 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.

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 and philosophies 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.

By the end of the programme, students will:

  • demonstrate an overall appreciation of the body of philosophies related to the study of business
  • demonstrate knowledge that is embedded in the main theories, concepts and principles of the philosophies related to the study of business and apply that knowledge in practical contexts
  • using a variety of written or spoken texts, undertake critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues that are within the common understandings of business.
  • communicate complex information in a range of written or spoken formats within a business context.


In Semester 1, all students will study the same five compulsory modules:

  • Communicating in Academic Contexts 1: helps you develop and practise productive and receptive academic spoken communication skills to use within the International Foundation programme and in your undergraduate programme. 

  • Research and Writing for Business 1: develops greater familiarity with a wide range of primarily business-related topics. You will learn how to organise your writing, structure correct sentences, use formal academic vocabulary, and use correct academic style.  
  • Foundation Academic Thought in Arts and Science: enhances understanding of the key philosophical and analytical principles underpinning academic study. 

  • Foundation Psychology 1: gives a brief overview of different approaches to psychology and covers the many different ways in which mind and behaviour can be studied.

  • Foundation Business: provides an introduction to a broad range of business concepts and theories; it analyses the goals, processes, and operations of business enterprises. 

All students will study the same two compulsory modules:

  • Communicating in Academic Contexts 2: helps you further develop and practise productive and receptive academic oral communication skills that you will need to draw on in your degree programme.

  • Research and Writing for Business 2: builds on the key academic subject knowledge, skills and strategies covered in 'Research and Writing for Business 1', but with an increased focus on learner independence.

In addition, you will take two introductory academic modules from the following list:

  • Foundation Economics
  • Foundation International Relations
  • Foundation Mathematics
  • Foundation Medieval History
  • Foundation Philosophy

Plus two introductory academic modules from the following list:

  • Foundation Art History
  • Foundation English Literature
  • Foundation Management
  • Foundation Psychology 2
  • Foundation Statistics

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2023 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.


Teaching format

Classes take place Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm (UK time). You will spend approximately 16 hours per week on focused learning activities. During this time, you will experience a mixture of live lectures, and seminars or tutorials. Seminar classes are typically scheduled in groups of no more than 16 students.

As well as your timetabled classes, you will be expected to complete approximately 20 to 25 hours of independent study each week. As a fully matriculated student, you have access to the University’s libraries and study areas, but you will also work with the University's online learning tools (Moodle and Microsoft Teams).

Students are expected to do the following to prepare for classes and consolidate their learning:

  • read and take notes from online or hard copy textbooks, articles, and other sources as required
  • undertake additional research and self-study through the University library and online
  • complete a range of homework tasks, individually and in groups
  • engage with feedback on both formative and summative assessments.

The University’s student services team can help students who have additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.


The programme includes a variety of types of assessment to give you the experience of different ways of being examined, such as:

  • academic essays
  • end-of-module examinations (in-person or online)
  • multiple-choice tests
  • presentations
  • group projects
  • leading and participating in seminars
  • research report.

You will have regular coursework assignments throughout both semesters, and some of these will contribute towards your final grade. You will also have two sets of examinations, one set at the end of each semester. You will receive feedback on practice tasks and tests to help you prepare for the assessments. 

Meet us in your country

Staff of the University of St Andrews are always pleased to meet prospective students in person. We visit many schools, colleges and higher education fairs to talk about the University and provide support and information for those thinking about applying.

Meet us in your country

Join us for one of our information events where you can find out about different levels of study and specific courses we run. 

Online information events


Tuition fees 

The tuition fee for 2023 entry is £22,840. This fee includes:

  • access to all University facilities 
  • a transfer from Edinburgh or Glasgow airport, or Leuchars train station, when you first arrive
  • the use of course books, handouts and other course materials.

See further information on how to pay your International Foundation fees

Accommodation fees

The International Education Institute recommends that you request an en suite single room with either a self-catered or catered package as this ensures you have a place close to your classes and with other International Foundation students. 

University accommodation is guaranteed for International Foundation students.

See fees and further information on the International Foundation accommodation web page

Funding and scholarships

IFP September scholarship

If you are an offer-holder for a University of St Andrews International Foundation programme starting in September 2023, and you submitted your completed application before Wednesday 1 March 2023, you can apply for this scholarship.

Successful candidates receive £2,000 towards the cost of tuition fees.

The deadline for scholarship applications is Thursday 30 March 2023. Find out more about applying to the IFP September scholarship.

Kinnessburn Scholarship

Students who successfully complete an International Foundation programme and move onto a degree at the University of St Andrews are eligible to apply for the Kinnessburn Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to two students annually in July. It provides a partial fee waiver for each year of study on an undergraduate programme at the University of St Andrews, and an Ambassador's role.

Your future

Studying your degree at the University of St Andrews

There are many degree and post-study options available to successful International Foundation students.

In order to progress onto a degree at the University of St Andrews, students must achieve a final overall grade of 11.0 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.

Students have the potential to progress onto a single or joint (two subjects) Honours degree programme. Previous International Foundation students have stayed at St Andrews to study subjects such as:

Your undergraduate offer

Students entering the Business - Management, Economics and Finance (International Year Zero) programme in September 2023 will receive a conditional offer in Semester 1 for a place on their intended degree programme at the University of St Andrews starting in September 2024.

When you successfully complete the programme with the required grade listed above, your offer to enter the degree programme at St Andrews will become unconditional.

Studying your degree at another university

Previous International Foundation students have used their International Foundation qualification to study degrees at other universities, in subjects such as:

  • accountancy
  • business studies
  • finance 
  • marketing.

Join a live question and answer session

The International Education Institute offers question and answer sessions (Q&A) to prospective International Foundation students who would like more information about St Andrews, university life and the application process at the University.


International Foundation programmes

International Education Institute
University of St Andrews
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews 
KY16 9DJ

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2255

International Education Institute


Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our admissions policy.

Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Curriculum development

As a research-intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online.

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online.