Business - Management, Economics and Finance (International Year Zero) September 2024 entry

Studying business can prepare you for a wide range of future careers in the modern business world, including management, consultancy, marketing, and financial services.

This programme introduces you to university teaching and research, with the aim of preparing you for an undergraduate degree in economics, financial economics or management. 

You will be introduced to a broad range of business concepts and theories, as well as areas like psychology and research skills that are vital for a future business career. You will also be able to select from a wide range of optional modules in economics, international relations, statistics, philosophy, and medieval history, allowing you to gain a wider breadth of knowledge.

Between the 2019-2020 and the 2020-2021 academic years, an average of 94.9% of International Foundation students passed their programme at the University of St Andrews, and an average of 81.3% started an undergraduate degree at the University.

Start date
9 September 2024
End date
May 2025
Nine months, full time
International Education Institute

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.

Additional information on course dates

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 weeks:
    • Semester 1: Monday 21 October 2024 to Friday 25 October 2024
    • Semester 2: Monday 7 April 2025 to Friday 11 April 2025
  • winter vacation and inter-semester weeks: Tuesday 24 December 2024 to Friday 24 January 2025. Please note that January-entry IFP orientation starts on Thursday 23 January 2025.
  • February vacation: Monday 3 March 2025 to Friday 7 March 2025

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 the University of St Andrews.

Who can apply

“I was a bit apprehensive at the thought of going to university in a foreign country. My experience with the IFP programmes' wonderful teachers, staff and students, eased my concerns about living abroad. The most important thing I must commend the programme for is its ability to prepare students for the rigorous expectation of university life. I found the Business programme extremely helpful while preparing to take my first-year modules. I genuinely do not believe I would have similarly excelled academically if had opted to go straight into university.”
- Uganda

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 do not require a student visa to study in the UK.

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.

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

No, but strong grades in mathematics or related subjects that demonstrate a secure grasp of numeracy would make your application more competitive.

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
  • 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 15 July 2024. You only need to provide your high school transcript and personal statement when you submit your application. You can provide your academic reference and your English language evidence later.

How to apply

Course details

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.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2024 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

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

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

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 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 Academic Thought in Arts and Science: enhances understanding of the key philosophical and analytical principles underpinning academic study.

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. 

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2024 entry. Module content is subject to change.

Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

All students will study the same two compulsory modules:

  • 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.
  • 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.

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 2024 entry. Module content is subject to change.

Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.


Classes take place Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm. 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.

There are assessments as part of each module. These may include:

  • 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 in 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. 

The University’s Student Services team can help students with 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 tuition fee for 2024 entry is £25,120. 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


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


Kinnessburn Scholarship

Students who successfully complete their International Foundation programme (IFP) at the University, with the required merit grade, and who move onto a degree at the University of St Andrews, will be 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 to support future IFP students.

Undergraduate scholarships

During their first semester, students on the International Foundation programme will receive a conditional offer for a degree programme at the University of St Andrews. With this offer, students can apply to any of the undergraduate scholarships for which they are eligible.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to students each year.

Your future

Studying your degree at the University of St Andrews

Students on this programme can progress onto the following degrees:

To progress onto a degree at the University of St Andrews, students must achieve the required grades for their chosen subject.

The requirements are:

  • an overall GPA of 11.0

Results are graded on the University's 20 point-scale.

Your undergraduate offer

Students entering the Business - Management, Economics and Finance (International Year Zero) programme in September 2024 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 2025.

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.

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.

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.

Find out how you can meet us in your country.

Online information events

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

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Contact us

International Education Institute

University of St Andrews
Kennedy Gardens
St Andrews 
KY16 9DJ

International Education Institute website