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International Foundation Programme in Science (Access to Higher Education Diploma)

International Foundation Courses

Course outline

The International Foundation Programmes are designed for students whose school leaving qualifications gained in their home country are not suitable for direct entry to a British university undergraduate degree.

Our Foundation Programmes are accredited by CAVA - Access to Higher Education Diplomas.

Nottingham College is one of England’s largest government-funded colleges, with over 30 years experience of delivering International Foundation Programmes and has successfully helped many to achieve their dreams of gaining a place at one of the top British universities. 

Accredited by the British Council for teaching English as a Foreign Language, which means students can be sure of a high standard of teaching and welfare support.

Course structure:

This course prepares students for successful study on a wide range of science related degree programmes.

  • 15 hrs per week teaching 
  • 1 hr per week tutorial 
  • 8 hrs per week English Language support 

Total - 24 hrs per week

Next steps

Find out how to apply for an international course.

Want to find out more first?

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Location Course code


Chaucer Street, Nottingham, NG1 5LP

Course code:


Level 3 - Access to Higher Education Diploma in Science (Equivalent to NQF Level 3)

Validated by CAVA


September 3.0 terms - 36 weeks

Level Level 3
Entry requirements

The general entry requirements for our Foundation Programmes are as follows:

  • To have completed 12 years of high school with good school leaving qualifications, including relevant subjects (please ask for the specific entry requirements for your country)
  • September start: English language at IELTS 5.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.0 in Writing and Reading; 4.5 in Listening and Speaking

English language qualifications that are on the UK Border Agency list of approved Secure English Language Tests are accepted.

Teaching & assessment

Each module subject and core subject is assessed by examination or coursework or a combination of both. 


  • HE Study Skills
  • Physics* (Linear Motion, Principles of Physics, Electricity, Introduction to Waves, Forces and Waves, Natural Strength)
  • Chemistry* (Physical, Organic & Inorganic)
  • Business Information Technology Skills
  • Biology* (Immune System, Genetics, Heart Circulation and Gas Exchange, Metabolic Pathways, Communication and Homeostasis , Cell Structure Function)
  • Maths & Pure Maths


Numbers of credits at specific levels which comprise the Access to HE Diploma:

60 credits, of which 45 must be at level 3 from graded units concerned with academic subject content, with the remaining 15 to be achieved at level 2 or level 3 from ungraded units.

Credit value and level of mandatory units:

Mandatory units must be achieved for a student to gain the Diploma. 60 credits at level 3 must be achieved through the units specified.

At the end of the course you will receive an overall grade of ‘Pass’, ‘Merit’ or ‘Distinction’, based on the percentage contribution of each subject.


To progress onto a university degree programme students are usually required to achieve 60 credits with 45 graded at level 3 and 15 ungraded at level 2 or 3. 

As a guide, most universities will require a Distinction grade and a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 for entry to their degrees.

Students could then progress on to an undergraduate degree in:

  • Genetics
  • Biologist
  • Nutritionist
  • Life Sciences
  • BioSciences
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Physiotherapy

Many students choose to apply to the University of Nottingham.

Our Foundation Programmes (CAVA Access to Higher Education Diploma) are accepted by most universities in the UK, including, Aston, Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Coventry, Durham, Edinburgh, Lancaster, Leeds, Lincoln, Loughborough, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham Trent, Oxford Brookes, Portsmouth, Sheffield Hallam, Southampton, UCL and York. 

Additional information

Hours per week 

24 hours per week. 

Taught between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.


Click here for information on Fees and Scholarships.

Additional costs:

In addition to course fees, students may have to pay for course books at around £20-£30 each. 

Standard IELTS tests (not SELT) are offered twice per year, at a cost of approximately £160 per test depending upon current IELTS rates. 

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