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Course overview

Do you want to study engineering, computer science, mathematical sciences, or physics and astonomy in the UK, but need English language support? Or do your current qualifications prevent you from studying at undergraduate level?

Nottingham's foundation certificate is for international students from outside the UK and EU only. It will give you the opportunity to improve your English and bring your engineering and physical sciences knowledge up to the required level.

This course is taught in exactly the same way as the H100 course for UK and EU students, and all students are taught together.

You will study a range of modules in maths, computer methods, electricity and magnetism, mechanics and physics. The degree you choose will depend on the modules you select to study, but you won’t have to make this decision until your second term.

Students who successfully complete this course will have the opportunity to progress onto one of a number of BEng/MEng/BSc degrees in the following departments/schools.


Physical sciences

* Progression onto K100, K240 and K230 courses is subject to submission of a successful portfolio in addition to meeting the normal foundation progression criteria

** Progression to degrees in the School of Mathematical Sciences is subject to additional requirements in mathematics modules.

All students receive tutorial support and international students also have the opportunity to improve their written and spoken English skills at the University's Centre for English Language Education.

Read more about our foundation year programmes

Why choose this course?

  • Study alongside students from the UK and around the world
  • English language support 
  • Learn the study skills necessary to succeed at a UK university
  • Over 80 degrees to choose from
  • Receive one-to-one support with a personal tutor and mentor
  • You can get involved with the student community from the start

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2021 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level offer Entry requirements for this course are country specific – search our international qualifications database to find requirements for your country
Required subjects




Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • Group study
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Examinations

Contact time and study hours

On average, you will have around 20 contact hours a week. Combined with coursework and self-study, you may spend over 40 hours a week on your studies.

What is it like studying Foundation Engineering and Physical Sciences at UoN?

Hear what Feroz and Jolene have to say about studying Foundation Engineering and Physical Sciences at UoN.


You will experience a wide range of teaching and learning styles with some core (compulsory) modules such as computing and mathematics that all students study. There are also optional modules which vary from year to year.


Computer Methods (10 credits – core)

This module involves the use of a software environment (MATLAB) to help solve engineering and mathematical problems. MATLAB is a powerful mathematical modelling tool used heavily in industry. Topics include; data structures and formats, plotting of graphical data and programming.

Foundation Mathematics 1 and 2

You will develop your mathematical knowledge and understanding of mathematical processes to help solve basic problems in engineering and science. These modules provide you with techniques in basic and advanced algebra, complex numbers, coordinate geometry and trigonometry, and calculus.

The Universe/Molecules on the Move (10 credits – core)

An introduction to astronomy, covering general physical principles including cosmology, gravitational fields and orbits, observational techniques in astronomy, and stellar evolution. Molecules on the Move explores the thermal and mechanical properties of matter.

Study Skills (10 credits – core)

This module develops study skills, improving your awareness of research and communication methods, referencing, and presentation skills. 

English for Engineering and Science (20 credits)

International students who require English language support will study these modules. Topics covered include essay writing, laboratory reports and presentation skills.


Electricity and Magnetism/Electrical Circuit Principles (10 credits each)

Providing a basic knowledge of electricity and magnetism, these modules look at a range of component technologies, from inductors and capacitors through to simple semiconductors. In the second semester, topics include; AC circuits, circuit analysis techniques and electrical resonance.

Foundation Mechanics/Further Mechanics (10 credits each)

These two modules will introduce you to the concept of scalars and vectors, and give you a broad grounding in the basic response of rigid structures to imposed forces and to linear and circular motion.

Vibration and Waves/Properties of Matter (10 credits each)

These engineering physics modules provide a  grounding in the physical explanations of vibrations and waves. This will cover the analysis of simple engineering and physical systems. You will also study the atom, atomic structures and behaviour.

The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules may change or be updated over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for the latest information on available modules.

Fees and funding

UK students

International students

To be confirmed in 2020*
Keep checking back for more information
*For full details including fees for part-time students and reduced fees during your time studying abroad or on placement (where applicable), see our fees page.

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland starting your course in the 2021/22 academic year, you will pay international tuition fees.

This does not apply to Irish students, who will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our Brexit information for future students.

Scholarships and bursaries

There are bursaries and scholarships available to students which can contribute towards the cost of studying at the University of Nottingham.

International/EU students

We offer a range of Undergraduate Excellence Awards for high-achieving international and EU scholars from countries around the world, who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers. This includes our European Union Undergraduate Excellence Award for EU students and our UK International Undergraduate Excellence Award for international students based in the UK.

These scholarships cover a contribution towards tuition fees in the first year of your course. Candidates must apply for an undergraduate degree course and receive an offer before applying for scholarships. Check the links above for full scholarship details, application deadlines and how to apply.


Average starting salary and career progression

The average starting salary for undergraduates in the departments you will join were:

  • £22,000 in the Department of Architecture and Built Environment, with the highest being £32,000
  • £27,011 in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, with the highest being £50,000
  • £24,500 in the Department of Civil Engineering, with the highest being £30,000
  • £24,500 in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, with the highest being £30,000
  • £26,000 in the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, with the highest being £43,000
  • £27,500 in the School of Computer Science, with the highest being £60,000
  • £24,500 in the School of Mathematical Sciences, with the highest being £50,000
  • £25,000 in the School of Physics and Astronomy, with the highest being £46,800

Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates who were available for employment, 2016/17. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Studying for a degree at the University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take.

Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers (Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2020, High Fliers Research).

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" My foundation year has made me feel more confident and more prepared to tackle my first year at university. "
Marie Ribeiro, Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate

Related courses

The University has been awarded Gold for outstanding teaching and learning

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2017-18


This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.