School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

What our students say

Karim Jivani (2014-2015 September-start IFP Student) talks about his experience on the IFP:
The IFP at Queen Mary is perhaps the best and most well-rounded programme a student can undertake to prepare for undergraduate studies. Not only are we able choose a combination of modules that is tailored specifically to develop the skills we need for our chosen undergraduate course, we are also guided and given support along the way by experienced lecturers and members of staff who are able to provide valuable advice and insight regarding anything we may have questions about, from university choices to the structure of a written piece of work. The teachers and lecturers on the IFP are extremely supportive, assisting us with anything we may need help with. The modules compliment and build on one another and also alloallows for in-depth studies into areas one may be fascinated by.

The IFP student body is truly international. I have never before been in a class with students from such a wide range of countries and backgrounds before. Everyone has a lot of knowledge and information to share, and we do not learn from the teachers alone but from our fellow students as well.  Everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming, making the process of settling in very easy and relaxed. 

The style of teaching is the same as what is done at undergraduate level. We attend a lecture and a seminar for each module every week just as undergraduate students do. I feel has played a crucial role in helping me prepare for next year. I will already be acquainted with the way in which material is delivered and unlike students who have not undergone the IFP, I will not have to face the problem of adapting to the style of teaching at university.

I have seen, over the course of my time on the IFP, that there are students with a very broad range of academic abilities on the programme. It caters to students of all levels of academic skill and ability. Skills which need to be worked on are paid special attention to and developed over the course of the programme. One thing I would say is that the IFP is not too easy or too difficult. Whether your academic skills are highly advanced or rudimentary, you will find the course intellectually demanding. When I look back to myself at the start of the IFP, it is very clear that I my abilities and knowledge has increased by leaps and bounds.

I can say with great conviction that having done the IFP has put me at a very significant advantage for my undergraduate studies. It has also been a phenomenal experience. I am happy I chose to be part of it and would recommend it to everyone. 

Every year Queen Mary University of London IFP students go on to continue their studies at Queen Mary and other prestigious universities. Find out about how they did on their degrees and their plans for the future.

IFP Alumni Graduating in 2017

Mahnoor Ali Khose BSc Business Management (2:1) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2017

From a seventeen-year-old clueless teenager to a somewhat-sorted, independent twenty-one year old is what Queen Mary has made me as I graduate today with a Second Class Honors (upper division) in BSc Business Management. It all started with the International Foundation Programme that gave me confidence, motivation and direction to actually undertake this particular course.

The IFP can rightly be called a university experience before actually starting university. This is the extent to which it prepares you for your degree next year. Even though I had been a part of the British education system all my life back in Pakistan, I was unaware of the very basics that are of utmost importance in university education like Harvard Referencing in essays or the correct structure of answers in exams. The IFP taught me ideas and concepts that can be used in all spheres of life, in all career paths and every life situation. These included discipline, social values and general knowledge through our weekly meetings in Bancroft Building, trips to London Museums and informative talks and seminars. The English and Study Skills classes formed the foundation of any degree and I consider myself very lucky to be one of the few to have access to those classes.

The IFP made me realize business was my strength when I chose three distinct modules; Human Geography, International Relations and Politics and Business Studies. Each module kept me interested but Business was something my mind related to the most and it brought out my creativity which is why I decided to pursue Business Management as my line of higher studies here at Queen Mary.

Lastly, the people. I have no words too describe the amazing friends I made from so many different countries and cultures. They opened my eyes, mind and heart and I wish to always be around them in life as we move on to adulthood and work lives.  IFP is a program that holds a special place in my life and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wishes to come to the UK to pursue their Bachelors, even to my own siblings. It is a year of training, exposure and character building that I feel is essential for anyone who is unsure about their degree choices, have had a different education system or are simply new to the country. I am currently taking some time off and searching for the perfect job as a Marketing Consultant.

Anna Popova LLB Law Bachelor of Laws (2:1) Queen Mary University of London Graduated July 2017

The International Foundation Programme was an unforgettable experience for me for a number of reasons. I feel that it not only gave me a solid academic background to pursue my further legal studies, but also helped me find friends for a lifetime.

The modules that I undertook: History, Politics, Literature, Art and Film, although weren’t directly law-related, helped me acquire necessary analytical skills, which were of vital importance for my LLB Bachelor of Laws degree. Most importantly, they taught me about distinct academic approaches and requirements of the higher education system in Britain (that are rather different from those in my home country). For instance, British universities put greater emphasis on independent studying, an ability to choose a topic and conduct research, gather relevant information and critically analyse it. Saying that, the amazing team of teaching staff was always there to facilitate a learning process. Everyone was a leading expert in their field, very friendly and approachable. Whenever in doubt, I always felt free to ask questions on matters ranging from IFP module selection to the progression to the law school. I am genuinely extremely grateful for all their hard work and dedication.

Currently, I am applying for Training Contracts and planning to qualify as a solicitor in England and Wales. Wherever my career takes me, I will always remember my time at QMUL as the best years of my life.

IFP Alumni Graduating in 2016

Bartosz Slota BSc Economics (1st) Queen Mary University of London Graduated July 2016

The last four years at Queen Mary University of London have been an amazing journey. I commenced the International Foundation Programme in 2012, because my English language skills were not good enough to begin a degree in the UK. This programme not only enabled me to improve my language skills but also prepared me for studying Economics on Bachelors level and, in general, helped me with the transition from high school in Poland to university in the UK.

During the IFP, I took the following subjects: Mathematics for Economics, Economics, Business Studies and English Language and Study Skills. All these subjects have taken my personal development to another level. For instance, I have learned many useful concepts in Economics and Statistics and practised writing academic essays and business reports. The latter ones came in handy in my work experience. Secondly, I made a lot of friends at Queen Mary and I believe that they will remain with me for the rest of my life. Finally, I was discussing all my careers and academic dilemmas with excellent lecturers and staff at QM both throughout my time at IFP and at the School of Economics and Finance. I successfully graduated this summer and I have just started an MSc in Economics and Policy of Energy and the Environment at University College London.

To sum up, the International Foundation Programme was an amazing opportunity in my life that transformed me into a more confident and better-organised student.

Bogdana Kurylo BA History and Politics  (1st) Queen Mary University of London Graduated October 2016

Coming to London only a few weeks after I reached 17 was an unforgettable experience in my life. Firstly, because of the confusion that stems from communicating in a foreign language, a new lifestyle and just the sheer size of the city of London. Secondly, because of the extent to which studying on the IFP helped me adjust to the new learning environment. Remembering back to the IFP days, I am especially grateful to all the tutors who truly inspired me in my studies. The modules that I selected – Introduction to Politics and International Relations, Human Geography and History – made a perfect combination in giving me a comprehensive understanding across Humanities and Social Sciences.

On the basis of that, I decided to study History and Politics, which did not greatly differ from International Relations that I originally intended to study, but was a much more well-thought choice. Thus, even before starting an undergraduate programme in the UK, I already knew what it involved. In all honesty, it gave me a significant advantage even compared to my English peers. It also provided me with confidence and superior learning skills, setting a high bar for my subsequent studies.

Today, having graduated with a First Honours degree from Queen Mary, I am looking forward to the new academic challenges that studying a Masters degree in one of the highest-ranked universities in the UK holds. I wish to thank Queen Mary, and the IFP in particular, for opening the world of opportunities for me and my fellow students.

Leith Gouta  LLB English and European Law (2:1) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2016

Let me be clear, I was not initially convinced of the need to take the IFP. However, after settling down in London and desperately trying to put up two or three words together to make up a decent sentence, the need to engage with the programme felt quite obvious. Because yes, I could barely speak English when I first arrived.

The IFP was a tremendous experience and admittedly, although some may find this thought rather funny, my most difficult experience to date. However, the experience laid down a solid linguistic and cultural foundation which enabled me to fully engage with what London has to offer. Additional perks include successfully completing law school and waltzing out with a job offer.

Although law school was very pleasant and challenging, I acquired a methodology of work at the IFP which I never abandoned and which made my work at law school considerably manageable. In addition, you will meet great people who will end up doing great things and who will still be keen to help several years down the lines. Moreover, your tutors are incredibly well learned and will support you throughout your studies and post-IFP. 

I am currently taking a year off to focus on other projects, but will start my training contract at Eversheds LLP in September 2018. 

Joel Tan  LLB Law Bachelor of Laws (2:1) University of Leeds  Graduated July 2016

Even though I graduated from the IFP back in 2013 and went to Leeds to complete my law degree, I still look back fondly on my time there and the indelible memories made. I came from an engineering background which I found to not be my cup of tea and decided to pursue law via the IFP route. I genuinely feel it is one of the best decisions of my life.

I remember the modules that I took in the IFP were intellectually challenging but the lecturers were on hand to provide constructive feedback to improve and further our potentials. Looking back now, those modules, especially English and History have equipped me with the skills necessary for a law degree at university such as critical thinking and the ability to think and work under pressure.

What I really appreciate most in the IFP was that it not only concentrates on the academic potential of the students but the lecturers and staff work in tandem with students in developing transferrable life skills, such as communication, time management amongst others with extra-curricular activities. In addition to that, the opportunity to learn alongside peers from a vast array of countries was an unparalleled experience as every individual was exposed to different ideas and perspectives in learning.

Currently, I am training to be a barrister in City, University of London and thereafter plan to do a L.L.M in Commercial and Company Law. However, I will always look back on my time in Queen Mary IFP as the first step to my legal career.

Grongjaporn Saosaovaphak  LLB Law Bachelor of Laws (2:1) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2016

After having successfully completed my Bachelor of Laws degree at Queen Mary, looking back at how far I have come I am tremendously grateful for Queen Mary's International Foundation Programme (IFP). Having been told how demanding a three-year law degree can be, I have admittedly doubted myself several times whether to pursue this career path. However, the IFP has proved to be an invaluable educational experience that has prepared me to take on a higher level of intellectual challenges. The advice given by the IFP tutors, which are tailored to each individual student, was something I will always be thankful for. This is not something that can always be expected in an undergraduate degree, or anywhere else. The selection of modules provided were challenging but satisfying – particularly, the English, History and Politics modules, which have promptly prepared me for the law degree.

Despite being the only Thai student in the IFP, Queen Mary’s unique campus-based university, diversity and prime location in London made me feel at home. After successful completion of the IFP, studying law at Queen Mary has given me many privileges including securing an internship at the Bangkok branch of Rajah & Tann LLP, one of the Singapore Big Four and the largest law firm in Southeast Asia.

At present, I am starting a Master of Laws degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Queen Mary has certainly set a foundation for me to further commit and dedicate my career in law.

Sara Kotsani BA International Relations (2:1) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2016

My journey in London started with the International Foundation programme back in 2012. It was the initiation of an amazing experience which provided me with all the educational requirements for pursuing my higher education in International Relations. I owe an incredible amount of gratitude to the exceptional staff of professors who became our mentors and were always willing to give us advice in every aspect of that year which would determine our future. I remember being totally undecided for the route that I was about to take. I came to London with the vague idea of wanting to study Law. I do not forget one of my meetings with my personal tutor when he asked me of the reasons why I wanted to study Law and I could not think of anything. He told me that since I couldn't give him any answers it would be a mistake if I decided to pursue a law degree and prepared me for the consequences of a decision I was not passionate of taking. Monitoring my progress he instead suggested that he could easily picture me in the field of International Relations. That moment remains of a particular importance to me even today, as I realised that it was exactly what I could see myself doing in the future. 

It might seem like it is only one year which cannot make that much of a difference in your life, but for me it was a life changing year as I not only attained the required educational skills but also improved my personality and became ready to survive in the fast, competitive and of course amazing London life.

Now I am an International Relations graduate having completed my degree with a 2:1 and am currently looking for job opportunities. I am confident that Queen Mary has provided me with a solid educational background in order to expand my work experience and achieve what I always wanted to.   

Sang Song BA History and Politics (2:1) Queen Mary University of London Graduated July 2016

Having spent the last four years at QMUL it was nice to reflect back on the impact the IFP and QM had on my life. I had joined the IFP straight after my military service and contrary to my worries, it proved to be a decent challenge that allowed me to ease back into academics. The level of support from the tutors in the IFP was something that I genuinely missed over the last three years, as tutors in undergraduate level are just not the same. I had the privilege to speak with many tutors from a variety of fields, whose collective input helped me find the right path in pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in History and Politics, a degree that I hadn’t even considered when I first began the IFP (I was initially planning to pursue a degree in Marketing).

The transition to the undergraduate programme was seamless. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the History and Politics modules which I took in the IFP had prepared me well for the first year modules in undergraduate level, as in many cases, the IFP modules dived deeper into the subjects, giving me confidence for the degree.

During my years in QMUL, I found time to work for several startups, which is thanks to the lovely location of the university at the heart of London. With the startup hotspot of Moorgate being within 20 minutes of travel, it is very easy to find employment and earn valuable experience at one of the world’s most exciting locations for entrepreneurs. The QMUL careers team has also been very supportive in encouraging students to engage in entrepreneurial activities and explore their dreams of starting a company of their own. This vast experience of working in info-sec, fin-tech and web analytics companies helped me understand that I would like to pursue a further Master’s degree in computer sciences.

Now, having graduated with a 2:1 in BA(Hons) History and Politics, my doors are fairly open and I am now set to begin my MSc in Web Sciences and Big Data Analytics at UCL where I hope to combine the humanities background earned through my BA with data analysis to help put the power of technology towards enriching the human experience. All in all, the past four years at QMUL have been valuable in opening my eyes to endless possibilities and guiding me through the path each step of the way.

IFP Alumni Graduating in 2015

Tornike Liparteliani BA Politics (2:1) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2015

I completed the IFP in 2012 after doing modules in International Relations & Politics, History, Geography and English Language & Study Skills and I went on to do a degree in Politics at Queen Mary, which was a great experience. The IFP really helped me as it meant that I was not new to university and it gave me a very strong foundation on how university study differs from school education. In particular, it helped be appreciate the importance of self-study and the need to be organised.

I’ve just graduated with a 2:1 in Politics from Queen Mary and I’m planning to do a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at City Law School. This is a law conversion course which is the first step towards qualifying as a solicitor. Qualifying in English Law will enable me to work around the world and I hope that in the future I will be able to find a job with a multinational company.  

[Find out more about Tornike's experiences here]

Bader Aldehani BA Politics (2:1) SOAS Graduated July 2015

Queen Mary's International Foundation Programme (IFP) has not only managed to open wide doors of opportunity for me but has, more importantly, set the foundational floorings for the opportunities to take place. Queen Mary's IFP set the platform that I truly needed to broaden my understandings in the vast discipline of politics; it is precisely for this that I am genuinely thankful to have studied at Queen Mary University of London. I advise all students at Queen Mary's IFP to take advantage of not only their prestigious university and the great facilities it offers but also the IFP's knowledgable lecturers and useful tutors. Indeed, as I progress onto a Master's in Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics (LSE), after graduating BA Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), I am forever grateful and thankful to have studied at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). All the very best of luck in your studies. 

Xhesika Caushi BSc Economics (2:1) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2015

My name is Xhesika Caushi and I recently graduated from the School of Economics and Finance at Queen Mary. I obtained a Foundation certificate from Queen Mary in 2012 and then I decided to continue my studies in Economics at Queen Mary. I owe this University four of the most amazing years of my life, as it has provided me with the best education and friends whom I will cherish for the rest of my life. The graduation ceremony was a perfect end to a perfect experience, with an outstanding organization followed by an amazing time had with the people attending.  

Being a Queen Mary graduate has given me many privileges. After graduation at Queen Mary, I started an internship with one of the most prestigious companies in the world,  PWC Albania. It has been a great experience and it has taught me a lot about the working environment. I need to thank Queen Mary for the education it provided me with since on those bases I am able now to pursue further my academic career. After I finish my internship, I have decided to move to Brussels, Belgium where I will be obtaining my master’s degree at the Catholique University of Leuven. I am really excited about my new experience, as it will give me a more diversified look not only on the social life, but also on the academic one. It’s thrilling to see the similarities and differences that two amazing countries like Belgium and England have, and I think that this new experience will help me grow as a person. I look forward to visiting the UK whenever I have the chance. 

Xiying Liang BSc Economics and Finance (2:2) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2015

I am planning to do a Master's degree next academic year and stay in the UK if I can. I have decided to change field for my Master's degree, so now I am going to study computer science. Hopefully I will be able to get an internship during my postgraduate degree. I am looking forward to studying something different. When I finish my Master's, I think I will go back to China.

IFP Alumni Graduating in 2014

Roksana Sologub MSc International Financial Management (Merit) Queen Mary University of London Graduated December 2014  BSc Business Management (2:1) Queen Mary University of London Graduated July 2013

Before coming to England I spent lots of time choosing a university to study in. The reason I preferred Queen Mary is that it is one of the top universities in the UK. Also, it offers variety of courses from engineering to drama as well as having good learning facilities. At Queen Mary I have studied the one-year International Foundation Programme in Humanities and Social Science. It is difficult to say that some skills which I have developed are more valuable than the others. I strongly believe that they all are very important and essential. Hence, in my view the International Foundation Programme at Queen Mary is an excellent kick-start for further studying.

I consider Queen Mary to be one of the leading British universities with its innovative approach to the learning process. Therefore, I completed a BSc in Business Management at Queen Mary, University of London as my undergraduate degree. The nature of my Bachelor degree offered me the opportunity to acquire a solid foundation of the financial world and associated industries.Throughout the course and particularly toward the latter stages of my Bachelor degree I realized that I am extremely passionate about finance. And I would like to build on a solid educational background in finance. In order to take a further step towards this goal I completed an MSc in International Financial Management. It was a particularly intensive course that covered a narrower range of topics compared with my undergraduate degree.

I would like to say that studying at Queen Mary strikes me as the most effective way to gain the required knowledge and skills for a successful career. The strong international aspect of the university, networking opportunities and the possibility of gaining the knowledge in the capital of business and finance made me feel both inspired and confident it would contribute greatly to my future success.

Cuong Nhu Nguyen MSc Econometrics and Finance (Merit) Queen Mary University of London Graduated December 2014  BSc Economics & Finance (1st) Queen Mary University of London Graduated July 2013

In my opinion, studying IFP at Queen Mary University is the best choice I have made. It was the stepping stone to my higher education and provided me a clear career path for my future.

I completed the IFP in 2010 with a prize from the Economics lecturer. This encouraged me to continue pushing myself to the limit. Hence, I studied BSc Economics & Finance (1st) and MSc Econometrics & Finance (2:1) at QMUL. After I graduated, I did a 6-month internship in the Finance department of QMUL. I assert that the experience and knowledge, which I gained from QMUL, are significant in order to have a good preparation for my career. Nevertheless, the relationships with QMUL’s lecturers, tutor and professors are what I treasure the most. They did not only teach my theories but they also provided me guidance and caring during my university life.

At present, I am in the Management Trainee programme of the largest steel producer in Vietnam. I am happy with my work and feel thankful to the wonderful experience at QMUL.

Miriam El Ofir LLB Law (2:1) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2014

I am applying to become a lawyer in Canada, and am applying for training contracts here in London, and am excited to enter this new stage in my life. My experience at Queen Mary has allowed me to have a competitive resume; through Queen Mary only, I was able to take part in the free Legal Advice Center we have at Queen Mary, travelled to Singapore to intern at the Singapore Law Society as one of the representatives of the Queen Mary Pro Bono Society members, improved my oratory skills by taking part in the Queen Mary George Hinde Mooting Competition to which I finished in the quarter finals, and finally took part in various internships, advertised to us extensively.  


Zaina Arshad BSc Business Management (2:1) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2014

Being a small town girl from Pakistan, coming to UK for the higher studies was one of the biggest decision of my life that i took some 4 years ago.Now when I have graduated from Queen Mary Business School I can proudly say that coming to Queen Mary and doing an IFP course followed by my undergraduate degree Bsc hons in Business Management was actually one of my wisest decision. Having done a foundation course at Queen Mary not just helped me in broadening my academic knowledge, but also prepared me well for my undergraduate degree.This is the reason that I have managed to do really well in my undergraduate degree. And I am now heading to do my Masters at London School of Economics after which I plan to start my own Business.


Yelyzaveta Byelkova BA International Relations (2:1) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2014

I have received a conditional offer for an MA programme in Modern and Contemporary literature at Birkbeck University of London, now that I have met the conditions of the offer, I am planning to start the course in September 2014. Also, I am currently seeking a part-time, as it would be nice to gain more work experience, and something to do in my spare time, considering my Master's programme would be part-time.


Boris Polyakov BSc Business Management (2:2) Queen Mary Univeristy of London Graduated July 2014

I have applied for MSc FT Management and Organisational Innovation at  QM and I have also applied for the MSc Human Resource Management at Edinburgh University.

I intend to get a decent job. Once I do that (and I certainly will, trust me!), I will use the experience, relationships and funds to form a business of my own, just as my father did. But first things first, as they say, and to me that means to enroll on an  MSc programme. So as you can see, I have some nice plans for my near future. My QM foundation and BSc Business Management programmes have laid the first bricks in my success. I reckon that these are some of the sturdiest bricks you can find out there. I do not have a single doubt in the usefulness of my experience in QM and I would certainly recommend it to any potential newcomers.