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Science and Engineering Foundation Programme (Mathematical Sciences 4 year)

GGX1 BSc (Hons) 4 years


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The Science and Engineering Foundation Programme (SEFP) at Queen Mary is one of the longest established and most highly-regarded foundation programmes in the UK. It is open to both home and international students and is taught entirely on the Mile End campus by university staff. Foundation students have access to all Queen Mary's facilities and are full-time students of the University.
GGX1 is a four-year BSc programme consisting of the SEFP followed by any of our three-year Mathematical Sciences BSc programmes apart from GL11.
Why study the Science and Engineering Foundation Programme at Queen Mary?
The Science and Engineering Foundation Programme (SEFP) is administered by the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences on behalf of all the participating Schools and the main office is on the Mile End campus. Most students entering onto the SEFP at Queen Mary do so with the intention of proceeding onto a BSc or BEng degree course (or, in some cases, an MSci/MEng course) here at Queen Mary.
Students on the SEFP at Queen Mary benefit from:

  • studying at a campus university, located within easy reach of all London's main attractions, yet still having a wide-range of modern accommodation located on an attractive campus;
  • a teaching programme which is based on the main campus, permitting students to have full-access to all the normal student facilities (academic, welfare, IT, library, social, sport, etc.);
  • experienced and enthusiastic teaching staff, many of whom are also involved in teaching other undergraduate and postgraduate courses at Queen Mary.


Foundation year (Year 0)

You are required to study eight modules in each Semester of your Foundation year.

The modules that you will take in the foundation year are determined partly by the requirements for the degree course that you want to go on to study, and partly by your own educational background (i.e. what subjects you have studied before).
A typical programme of study would be as follows:

Semester 1 (4 modules)


SEF026 Essential Foundation Mathematics
SEF001 Mathematics I

One from:

SEF009 English Language I
SEF030 Communication in Science & Technology
One from:
SEF038 Introduction to Modern Physics
SEF034 Computing

Semester 2 (4 modules)


SEF015 Discrete Maths
SEF002 Mathematics II
SEF006 Physics – Fields and Waves

*For students taking English Language I in Semester 1:

SEF030 Communication in Science and Technology

Other options:

SEF024 Introduction to Engineering

Please note: this information is provided for guidance only, and is based on the modules offered at the time of writing. The range of available modules may vary slightly from year to year, and those that you are required to take will depend upon the degree programme that you intend to follow after the foundation year.

Subsequent years (Year 1 onwards)

The programme for subsequent years is the same as for the degree programme you intend to follow after the foundation year.

It is important for you to appreciate that (as well as meeting the minimum overall SEFP requirements for progression) you must pass all the core modules for your particular programme and also meet the School of Mathematical Sciences progression requirements in order to progress onto your chosen degree course.

We also realise that some students may rethink what they want to do once they start at university, and it may be possible to change your choice of degree programme once you have started the SEFP. To do this, you would need to talk to the Academic Director as soon as possible as this is likely to affect the modules that you must take during the foundation year.

We cannot, however, guarantee that such transfers will always be possible and before a transfer to another School would be permitted you would need the agreement of both Schools.

Progression criteria:

BSc programmes:

A. Pass a minimum of 7 modules (105 credits) including SEF030, SEF002, SEF015, SEF026
B. Achieve overall average of ≥60%, including ≥60% in each of SEF001, SEF002, SEF015 and SEF026

MSci Programmes:

A. Pass a minimum of 7 modules (105 credits) including SEF030, SEF002, SEF015, SEF026
B. Achieve overall average of ≥ 70%, including ≥ 70% in each of SEF001, SEF002, SEF015 and SEF036

Note: GL11 BSc Mathematics, Statistics and Economics is not available as a progression route.

If you complete the Foundation Year without meeting the progression requirements, you will be offered the Foundation Certificate (FdCert) as an exit award, providing you pass 105 credits (7 modules) including SEF030.

Entry requirements

UK/EU applicants
UK/EU applicants must typically have passes in three relevant subjects at A2-level at grades BBC, including a C in Mathematics, to be considered for entry. However, conditional offers for admission onto the SEFP do vary, according to the degree that candidates wish to study after their foundation year and the subjects an applicant has studied previously. Applications from mature students will be considered on an individual basis, taking account of both educational background and other relevant experience. For further details, please see the School of Mathematical Sciences web site.

International applicants
International students should have completed high school studies, with good grades. A-levels or the IB certificate/diploma may also be considered as admissions qualifications. Qualifications must include the study of science and the advanced study of mathematics in the final year of study.

Students are required to have passed a UKBA Secure English Language Test such as IELTS or TOEFL. The minimum requirements for admission to the SEFP are: IELTS overall minimum of 6.0 with minimum 5.5 in all elements; TOEFL overall minimum of 180 (CB TOEFL) or 64 (IB TOEFL).

References are also important. However, each application is assessed individually and international applicants are welcome to contact the School of Mathematical Sciences to discuss their own particular situation before applying.

Further information

For any other enquiries relating to our entry requirements, please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office:
Freephone 0800 376 1800 (UK callers only)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 5511
email: admissions@qmul.ac.uk

Learning and teaching

The information below relates primarily to the foundation year. For information about later years, please see the appropriate degree programme.
Learning and teaching
The academic year, starting in September, is divided into two 12-week teaching semesters followed by a 6-week examination period in May and early June.
Each student in the foundation year is registered for eight modules, taken over the two teaching semesters. Your choice of modules will be determined partly by the requirements for the degree course that you want to go on to study, and partly by your own educational background. The SEFP Academic Director and your adviser in the School of Mathematical Sciences will help you choose the modules best suited to you.
Independent study
At university you will also be expected to undertake a large amount of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on, formal study sessions; reading; assessing data from experiments; completing lab reports; and revising for examinations.
The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study and laboratory sessions you attend, along with your reading and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability. Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.
In order to pass a module you must achieve an overall mark of 40% or above. The overall mark in most modules is based on your performance in both the examination and coursework; the weighting of these two components typically being 70% for the examination and 30% for the coursework.
Past experience shows that those students who fully engage with the foundation programme (i.e. attend all classes, and complete all the coursework assignments) are much more likely to make the transition from the foundation year into the first year of a degree course successfully. We therefore insist that students on the programme attend a minimum of 75% of all scheduled classes (and submit a corresponding level of coursework assignments) in each module. Failure to meet these requirements can result in deregistration and termination of enrolment as a student at Queen Mary.
You must complete and pass a minimum of six modules, including the Communication in Science & Technology module, in order to be considered for progression from the foundation year into the first year of a Queen Mary degree programme. You must also pass anycore modules for the specific programme on which you are registered (for more details, see the list of core modules).
In order to progress to a particular degree programme you will normally also be required to achieve specific levels of performance in those modules which are regarded as essential for this chosen degree programme. Details of these progression criteria are provided in the SEFP Student Handbook, which is issued to all students at the start of the programme.
Any student who fails to meet the progression hurdles at the first attempt is offered the opportunity to resit examinations in August, before the start of the next academic session.
Advice and support
SEFP students are allocated an academic adviser, who is a member of Mathematical Sciences academic staff. Your adviser is there not only to monitor your progress, but also to support you and help with any worries or concerns about the programme and any personal problems that may affect your study. Further support mechanisms are in place to provide assistance and advice to international students who are living and studying in the UK for the first time.
The Academic Director's primary responsibility is to ensure the quality of academic provision on the programme, but he is also available to discuss any problems encountered by individual students during their studies.
As a member of Queen Mary you also have free access to a wide range of additional central support services, including those provided by the

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full-time £9,250

Tuition fees for International students

2018/19 Academic Year
Full-time £16,950

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
email: fees@qmul.ac.uk


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

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