Science with Foundation Year BSc


Fact file - 2019 entry

BSc Hons Science with Foundation Year
UCAS code
4 years full-time 
A level offer
Required subjects
Five GCSEs at grade 5 (B) or above, including maths plus biology and chemistry or science (double) or science and additional science or core and applied science plus English language, grade 4 (C) or above*. Applicants must not have qualifications that would normally permit entry to a science degree.

*Grade 5 (B) is needed in English language if you wish to progress to medical physiology and therapeutics, physiotherapy, sport rehabilitation, or pharmacy.
IB score
Course location
University Park Campus
Course places
This course is still available for 2016 entry


This foundation pathway enables UK and EU applicants to gain the subject-specific knowledge and skills required to study science at degree-level.
Read full overview
International students from non EU countries should apply for CFGZ Science with Foundation Year

Highlights of Foundation Science at Nottingham

  • Have a guaranteed place on an undergraduate degree if you meet all the requirements
  • Be part of the University’s student community from day one, studying on the same beautiful campus with access to all the student facilities
  • Join a course with a high progression record of over 80%
  • Gain laboratory skills and experience fieldwork, preparing you for your future course

With over 50 degrees to progress to, this foundation course will provide you with the best possible background to enter the first year of your chosen degree programme. It’s aimed at students whose school leaving qualifications are at a high level but do not meet the subject admissions requirements for direct entry. Mature applicants or those holding non-standard qualifications are encouraged to apply.    

Taught on the main University campus by academics who contribute to science teaching in different schools, we ensure the foundation course is integrated into your degree programme. The topics you cover are matched to subsequent stages of your course. For this reason, the success rate for students progressing from this pathway is very high.

Choose this course if you’d like to progress to a three-year BSc degree. 

Teaching and assessment

You will benefit from a range of teaching and learning styles, including:

  • field work
  • laboratory activities
  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials
  • multimedia and internet-based systems

Typically, examinations count for around 60% of the module mark and coursework contributes 40%. All teaching is carried out on University Park Campus by the same academic staff who teach on the main degree programmes. 


Which degrees can I progress to?

School of Biosciences
School of Chemistry
School of Health Sciences
School of Life Sciences
School of Medicine
School of Pharmacy

*These courses have some extra requirements and/or restrictions. Details can be found on our progression requirements page.


What our students say

I have really enjoyed studying at Nottingham and would recommend anyone considering the foundation year to come and visit the University, you will be glad you did.
Emma Cooper
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
I really appreciated the practical sections as they provided me with essential skills and knowledge to work in a laboratory.
Trang Phan
The independent nature of the foundation year allowed me to get a sense of what would be required of me during my actual degree - something that cannot always be said when coming directly from a school environment.
Simon Tarr

Have a question about studying a foundation year? Visit our frequently asked questions.


Entry requirements

A levels: BBB but in subjects that do not allow direct entry to a degree programme. Some may only have one science subject, rather than two.

GCSEs: Five GCSEs at grade 5 (B) or above, including maths plus biology and chemistry or science (double) or science and additional science or core and applied science plus English language, grade 4 (C) or above*. Applicants must not have qualifications that would normally permit entry to a science degree.

*Grade 5 (B) is needed in English language if you wish to progress to medical physiology and therapeutics, physiotherapy, sport rehabilitation, or pharmacy.

Students with other qualifications including BTEC and Access courses will be considered on an individual basis.

English language requirements 

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

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

*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.

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.

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, the University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.

Notes for applicants

If you are a UK or EU applicant, you will need to apply via UCAS in accordance with deadlines set by UCAS.



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.

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.



Please check the skills and careers tab on the course you wish to progress to after the foundation year.

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


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.


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.


studying a preparatory year which involves a significant amount of laboratory and project work
+44 (0)115 951 3422 Make an enquiry


Course Director and Admissions Tutor



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
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