International Science and Engineering Foundation Programme

Entry Year: 2019

Key information

1 years
September 2019
UCAS code
Institution code
Entry Requirements
Full entry requirements
UK/EU fees
International fees
Funding information
International Science and Engineering Foundation Programme


Get the skills and experience you need to study an undergraduate degree in science or engineering.

This one-year foundation programme offers international students – who may not have had the chance to study A-level-equivalent qualifications – the chance to achieve the right academic level, as well as English language and academic skills, to study an undergraduate degree.

Our foundation year offers a pathway to a range of undergraduate degrees in science (biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, neuroscience and psychology) and engineering (aerospace, electronic, mechanical and sustainable energy).

You are guaranteed a place on an undergraduate programme at Queen Mary if you pass the foundation year, subject to submitting a UCAS application.

As a foundation student you’ll have full access to all student facilities, including welfare, library, social and sport. You’ll be taught on our Mile End campus by experienced university staff who also teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.


Year 1


  • Communication in Science and Technology
  • English Language I (if you have IELTS score of 5.5 or lower)
  • Mathematics (streamed according to entry level)

Depending on which route you choose, your modules will be tailored from the following

  • A Closer Look at Chemistry
  • An Introduction to Modern Physics
  • Biology – Diversity and Ecology
  • Biology  Molecules to Cells
  • Computing
  • Digital Electronics and Computer Systems
  • Discrete Mathematics
  • Essential Foundation Mathematics
  • Form and Function in Biology
  • Introduction to Business Information Systems
  • Introduction to Engineering
  • Introductory Chemistry
  • Physics  Electricity and Atomic Physics
  • Physics  Fields and Waves
  • Physics  Mechanics and Materials

Please note that all modules are subject to change.

Teaching and Facilities

Teaching and learning

We use a mixture of teaching styles – lectures, tutorials, classroom activities and laboratory work.

A typical weekly workload is six to eight lectures and four to five hours of practical laboratories or workshops.

Outside of classes, you’ll need to spend 20–25 hours per week preparing, writing and reading.


Each module is assessed by written examinations (typically 70% of the final mark) and coursework (practical reports, essays, problem sheets, online exercises and tests). 

Resources and facilities

You will have access to excellent on-campus resources to aid your studies, including:

  • newly refurbished lecture theatres
  • up-to-date IT facilities
  • modern, well-equipped labs.

Entry requirements

The International Science and Engineering Foundation programme (ISEFP) is aimed at international students with qualifications up to AS-level/Year 12 or equivalent, i.e. students who have not studied to A-level standard in their home countries.

If you have A-levels or equivalent, consider the Science and Engineering Foundation Programme.

To discuss your individual situation, email the ISEFP Director Dr Priscilla Cunnan at

Entry requirements

You will need to provide transcripts (official report/certificate of grades or percentages) from one of the following:

  • International High School Diploma, or an equivalent diploma for the final year of schooling in your country, including mathematics in your final year.
  • Five International GCSE subjects at grade B and above, including at least a grade B in mathematics and grade A in double science or grade B in triple science.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB), including at least a level 3 in mathematics and science subjects.
  • AS- and A-levels in mathematics and science subjects will be considered in conjunction with IGCSE or high school diploma.

Progression onto undergraduate degree

When you apply for the ISEFP you must tell us the subject you plan to study after completing the foundation year.

On successfully completing the ISEFP, you are guaranteed a place on a relevant degree programme at Queen Mary (you will need to apply via UCAS). You can also use the ISEFP to apply to another university.

Non-UK students

We accept a wide range of European and international qualifications in addition to A-levels, the International Baccalaureate and BTEC qualifications. Please visit International Admissions for full details.

If your qualifications are not accepted for direct entry onto this degree, consider applying for a foundation programme.

English language

Find out more about our English language entry requirements, including the types of test we accept and the scores needed for entry to the programme.

You may also be able to meet the English language requirement for your programme by joining a summer pre-sessional programme before starting your degree.

Further information

See our general undergraduate entry requirements.


Loans and grants

UK students accepted onto this course are eligible to apply for tuition fee and maintenance loans from Student Finance England or other government bodies.

Scholarships and bursaries

Queen Mary offers a generous package of scholarships and bursaries, which currently benefits around 50 per cent of our undergraduates.

Scholarships are available for home, EU and international students. Specific funding is also available for students from the local area. International students may be eligible for a fee reduction. We offer means-tested funding, as well as subject-specific funding for many degrees.

Find out what scholarships and bursaries are available to you.

Support from Queen Mary

We offer 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.

Take a look at our Student Advice Guides which cover ways to finance your degree, including:

  • additional sources of funding
  • planning your budget and cutting costs
  • part-time and vacation work
  • money for lone parents.

Career opportunities


You are guaranteed a place on a science or engineering programme at Queen Mary if you pass the foundation year, provided you submit a UCAS application within the deadline. You can also use your foundation qualification to study at other UK or overseas universities. Progression requirements vary depending on the course.

Career support

You will receive a high level of academic and pastoral support on this programme. Your personal tutor can help you with any personal or academic issues and advise you on your degree choices after the foundation year.

The Queen Mary careers team can also offer:

  • specialist advice on choosing a career path
  • support with finding work experience, internships and graduate jobs
  • feedback on CVs, cover letters and application forms
  • interview coaching.

Learn more about career support and development at Queen Mary.

About the School

The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences is a large and dynamic school with strong links to industry. We offer a stimulating and supportive learning experience.

You’ll experience inspirational teaching from high-calibre staff who are leaders in their field. According to the Research Excellence Framework, 87 per cent of our chemistry and 82 per cent of our biology research is either world-leading or internationally excellent. You’ll stay up to date with weekly departmental seminars on new research findings.

Thanks to our close teaching and research links, students have special opportunities for original investigative work with the Natural History Museum, ZSL London Zoo, Forest Enterprise and University of London’s Marine Biological Station at Millport in Scotland.

Why Queen Mary?

Fifth in the UK for percentage of research ranked 4* and 3* (REF 2014)

5th in the UK

Fifth in the UK for percentage of research ranked 4* and 3* (REF 2014)

Russell Group

Member of the Russell Group of leading UK universities

Global top 50

Global top 50

English, drama, and law ranked in the global top 50 (QS Subject rankings 2018)