Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate


Fact file - 2019 entry

Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate | international student route
UCAS code
Direct application should be made through the University of Nottingham International College
1 year full-time
A level offer
Entry requirements to the course are country specific. Please visit the international qualifications database to find requirements for your country.
Required subjects
Grade 5 (B) GCSE maths and relevant science subject, or equivalent
IB score
Course location
University Park Campus
Course places
This course is still available for 2016 entry
UCAS code:Qualification:Entry requirements:Required subjects:English language requirements:Course places:Campus:School:Type and duration:
Available part-time:
Qualification name:


This foundation pathway enables international applicants to gain the subject-specific knowledge and skills required to study engineering and physical sciences at degree-level.
Read full overview
This course is for International (non-EU) students only. Home and EU students should apply for our H100 Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation (integrated honours programme).

The Engineering Foundation Certificate is a one-year, full-time course, designed for international students  whose first language is not English and whose school-leaving qualifications do not allow immediate admission to year one of undergraduate engineering, physics, mathematics and computer science degree programmes in Britain. This course is taught in exactly the same way as the H100 course for UK and EU students, and all students are taught together.

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

Students who successfully complete the Foundation Programme 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

** No progression onto GL11

Progression is subject to you having passed to the appropriate level during the Foundation Programme.

You will study mathematics and engineering subjects, which are appropriate for your chosen undergraduate degree. Options in Computer Science may also be included. This will provide you with an appropriate background to enter the first year of a degree programme in engineering or computer science.

Students benefit from a wide range of teaching and learning styles – from traditional seminars, lectures and tutorials to state-of-the-art multimedia and electronic learning systems.

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 (CELE).

Read more about our foundation year programmes or have a question about studying a foundation year? Visit our frequently asked questions.


Entry requirements

International applicants

EU citizens and international students (non UK) should visit our international office pages for accepted qualifications from your country. You will also need to possess the equivalent of a GCSE level, at grade 4 (C), English qualification.

English language requirements

IELTS* 5.5 (with no less than 5.0 in any element)

* International students who need a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK must have an UKVI approved IELTS/Secure English Language Test (SELT) from the new SELT list to make a visa application.

For details of other English language tests and qualifications we accept, please see our entry requirements page.

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

How to apply

International students should visit The University of Nottingham International College website to find out further information about applying. 

Applicants from UK and EU countries should apply for the H100 Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation (integrated honours programme).



The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication 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. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.

There are certain core (compulsory) modules such as computing and mathematics that all students study. The optional modules vary from year to year. Typical modules may include:

Foundation Mathematics 1 and 2 (20 credits each – core) 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.

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.

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 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.



Engineering and physical sciences can lead to a very varied and rewarding career – please see the degrees you are interested in completing after your foundation year for more information.

The average starting salary for 2016 first-degree graduates in the departments you will join are:

  • Department of Architecture and Built Environment was £21,458 (highest £28,000)
  • Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, £26,071 (highest £31,500)
  • Department of Civil Engineering, £24,941 (highest £30,000)
  • Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, £25,969 (highest £34,000)
  • Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, £26,892 (highest £33,000)
  • School of Computer Science, £28,172 (highest £55,000)
  • School of Mathematical Sciences, £25,619 (highest £53,000)
  • School of Physics and Astronomy, £24,386 (highest £55,000)

(Figures above based on known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK).

Careers support and advice

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 and Employability Service for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.

According to The Graduate Market 2014, High Fliers Research found Nottingham ranked first in a survey of universities targeted by top employers with recent graduates currently working in over 36 countries worldwide.


Fees and funding

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.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.

Scholarships and bursaries

The top five Foundation Programme students will receive a BP scholarship of £1,000. For details of this and other funding opportunities offered to engineering students, visit our scholarships page.

The University of Nottingham offers international students a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help.

The University of Nottingham provides information and advice on financing your degree and managing your finances as an international student. The International Office offers a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees.  

Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.

How to use the data

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.


a course which fully integrates you into a Faculty of Engineering from day one
+44 (0)115 951 5559 Make an enquiry


Foundation Programme Manager

Student Recruitment Enquiries Centre

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

t: +44 (0) 115 951 5559
w: Frequently asked questions
Make an enquiry