Course overview

Want to study a science undergraduate degree but don't yet meet the entry requirements? This course is designed to give you all the knowledge you need to progress on to one of our science undergraduate courses* and is ideal for students who have good English skills already, though some support is given through the optional English language module.

You will benefit from an accelerated study, meaning you will only be taught the information you will need to succeed in your chosen undergraduate degree. You will also be able to have the "university experience" from day one, allowing you to join societies, clubs, and social events alongside your peers.

*Provided you meet the progression requirements

Students from the UK should apply for either Science with Foundation Year CFG0 (BSc) or CGF0 (MSci)

Why choose this course?

  • Guaranteed progression on to your chosen undergrad course on successful completion of the foundation year - this is subject to VISA acquisition
  • Choice of over 35 BSc and integrated masters (MSci) courses
  • Learn through practical work, field work, theoretical work and tutorials
  • Start your BSc or MSci with greater confidence and improved skills from experiencing a year of university already

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

UK entry requirements
A level BBB
IB score 30

Students with other qualifications including IB and international qualifications with a strong science element will be considered on an individual basis.

Those interested in progressing on to Pharmacy and Dietetics courses are required to also pass an interview.

A levels

BBB for students who have studied subjects which do not allow direct entry to a degree programme.

Additional A level requirements

If you have studied subjects which would allow direct entry to a degree programme, your application will only be considered if your predicted grades are below those needed for direct entry on to the degree you would like to study AND you are eligible for the university’s elite athletes programme.

Students who meet this criterion will be required to achieve grades BBC in their A Level subjects.


Five GCSEs at 5 (B) or above, including maths, biology and chemistry (or double science; core and applied science; science and additional science). Plus English language 4 (C) or above.

Additional GCSE requirements

GCSE requirements vary for progression on to specific science degrees taught at Nottingham:

  • Psychology and Pharmacy require 5 (B) in English

Mature Students

While mature students are encouraged to apply, we ask for evidence of recent study of a scientific subject.

Foundation progression options

Those who only meet the minimum IELTS requirement will be required to undertake the additional 20 credit English Language module AND will be expected to achieve 55% to 65% in each module.

We expect students to have an idea of the course they would like to progress on to before starting, however there is room to change your goal once here.

  • Biology, Biochemistry, and Neuroscience Courses (Including Genetics and Zoology)
  • Sport and Exercise Science
  • Biosciences Degrees (excluding Nutrition and Dietetics MNutr)
  • Chemistry Degrees (excluding physical chemistry courses)
  • Medical Physiology and Therapeutics
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychology
  • Cancer Sciences
  • Natural Sciences

A full list of course pass requirements can be found here.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

Teaching methods

  • eLearning
  • Field courses
  • Lab sessions
  • Lectures
  • Practical classes
  • Problem-based learning
  • Self-study
  • Seminars
  • Small group learning
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops

How you will be assessed

Typically, examinations count for around 50% of the module mark and coursework contributes the other 50%. All teaching is carried out on University Park Campus by the same academic staff who teach on the main degree programmes.

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Examinations
  • Formative assessments
  • Lab reports
  • Practical exams
  • Practical write-ups
  • Presentation
  • Short project

Contact time and study hours

17-21 hours per week of contact time with approximately one day a week of independent study. You will study in relatively small class sizes, including 1-1 tutorials, allowing your tutors to get to know you quickly.


Students who do not meet the IELTs criteria for their UG course will have to undertake the English Language module alongside the core modules AND will be expected to achieve 55% to 65% in each module.


Foundation Biological Sciences (40 credits)

This module will provide you with an introduction to life at the molecular, cellular, physiological organismal, population and community levels and provide the background to enable you to enter a range of degree programmes in biological and environmental sciences. You will gain practical experience in labs. Practical work is a vital component of foundation science and students have the opportunity to develop various lab techniques.

Foundation Year Chemistry (40 credits)

You will learn to use the periodic table to make predictions about elements, the basics of chemical bonding and the forces between molecules and their shapes. Experimental work will enhance understanding and skills development. You will learn quantitative aspects of chemistry based on laboratory activities, including appreciation of experimental error. In this module you will develop the knowledge and understanding of safe laboratory practice; familiarity with common techniques and equipment; an appreciation of physical, inorganic and organic chemistry; the need for careful recording of observation and measurements; an appreciation of sources of error; and conventional approaches to reporting experimental work.

Mathematics for Foundation Science (20 credits)

This module will provide you with the knowledge and competence of core mathematical topics, and experience of relevant quantitative aspects prior to embarking on a course in biological and chemical sciences. This module covers algebra and algebraic manipulation; linear algebra; functions and trigonometry; differential calculus; integral calculus; simple modelling; elementary probability; and statistics.

Studying Science at University (20 credits)

This module introduces students to the nature and processes of studying science at University. It will address the transition into university study and the qualities necessary to be a successful scientist. Skills developed will include finding, evaluating and summarising sources on the internet and in the library, strategies for reading efficiently, making notes effectively and writing scientifically, time management, teamwork and exam techniques, and making enquiries using the scientific method. Students will develop these academic skills whilst studying topics as diverse as genetics, animal behaviour, environmental issues, psychology and human health.

English Language (20 credits)

International students who require extra support for English language during the foundation programme will study these modules. Topics covered include essay writing, laboratory reports and presentation skills.

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 (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, 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 information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 01 April 2021.

Fees and funding

UK students

International students

To be confirmed in 2021*
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 2022/23 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.

Additional costs

£5-£10 in transport costs for the field trip.

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

International students

We offer a range of international undergraduate scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

International scholarships


Please refer to the careers section on the course you wish to progress on to e.g Biology, Pharmacology, Environmental Science.

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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" I owe my academic progression to all the science foundation staff as they equipped me with various skills which were proven to be more than valuable. "
Nasia Kafa, Biology BSc

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Important information

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.