NCUK International Foundation Year

NCUK International Foundation Year

NCUK is unique in UK higher education. Established in 1987, NCUK is a consortium of leading universities dedicated to giving international students guaranteed access to universities worldwide and helping them succeed when they get there. The NCUK main office is located in Manchester, UK with other key staff members being located in China and the wider Asia region.

With a diverse set of qualifications available as well as opportunities for qualified students to progress directly to university, NCUK supports thousands of students each year on their academic journeys. NCUK qualifications are recognised by universities from within the NCUK Global Network and beyond, giving
students the best start and guaranteed access to an NCUK University upon successful completion of their
NCUK qualifications.

NCUK qualifications are designed in collaboration with NCUK universities and combine high academic standards, with language, study, social and cultural skills. Taught by quality assured partners, students can study at NCUK Study Centres located around the world including APIIT. These qualifications are backed by fantastic levels of service and support, and an outstanding track record with over 35,000 students progressing to university since inception.

Students who progress to NCUK Universities have a choice to study one of thousands of different degree courses, and enables them to progress to enriching careers following graduation or obtaining further degrees.

Teaching and Learning

A qualification designed with NCUK university partners to prepare you for first year entry to undergraduate degree courses. Studying in small classes with NCUK and APIIT before you start your degree will give you the confidence you need before you start your degree course.

Quality is at the heart of everything that we do so our qualifications meet the highest academic standards set by our university partners. As well as subject knowledge, the NCUK International Foundation Year will give you specialist English language, study and cultural skills that are an essential part of your degree course. This unique combination will help you to get in to the University of your choice and get on with your future career.



  • EAP (English for Academic Purposes)
  • Economics
  • Sociology
  • Global Studies
  • Business Studies
  • Math (Business/ Engineering)
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

Admission Requirements

Successful completion of 5 modules at the GCSE O/Levels with grades of 4 or above (normally including Math and English)
Successful completion of 5 subjects at the GCE O/Levels with grades of C or above (normally including Math and English)

Normally students entering the NCUK IFY after studying the GCE (O/L) in a medium other than English, should be able to demonstrate an English language competence level to follow the programme.

Academic Progression

Why should you study the NCUK International Foundation Year?

A foundation qualification is normally required by students who have completed high school outside of the UK education system and/or in an language other than English.

If you have applied directly to university and were not eligible, the IFY qualification may be able to help you bridge the gap between your current qualification and university study. If you’re not sure, please speak to one of our counsellors here at APIIT.

NCUK always acts in your best interests, helping you to realise your dreams and ambitions both at university and afterwards, in your life and career. That’s why upon successfully completing the NCUK International Foundation Year, you are guaranteed* a place on a suitable course at an NCUK University.

The NCUK Guarantee means you have an excellent choice of leading universities who will offer you a suitable place based on your grades and area of interest. NCUK gives you that offer on results day and takes the stress out of the application process.

*For full terms and conditions regarding the NCUK Guarantee, please visit

Structure of programme

3 modules + EAP (all students must take this)

Assessment Structure

70% Examination and 30% coursework


Awarding body and recognition

Northern Consortium UK Ltd (NCUK) is an awarding body which delivers a range of qualifications that prepare international students for higher education.

UK ENIC which is the UK National Information Centre for the recognition and evaluation of international qualifications and skills, has independently evaluated the NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) and found it comparable to:

  • GCE A Level standard, UK
  • Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) standard, Hong Kong
  • Advanced Placement standard, US
  • Senior Secondary School Certificate of Education standard, Australia
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