International Foundation Year

Studying at ESE means learning for life.
The ESE International Foundation Year prepares you for University.


starting price

per week

Level 3 International Foundation Year / Diploma for Higher Education Studies in Business, Computing or Engineering.

If you want to further your academic studies in an English-speaking country such as the UK, Canada, the US, Malta or Australia, you can fast track your progression onto an undergraduate course by following the International Foundation Year. ESE is offering this course in partnership with NCC Education, UK.
The International Foundation Year (IFY) is recognised by over 30 universities worldwide. Students who successfully complete the International Foundation Year (IFY) qualifications are guaranteed entry on to a selection of University courses at Bangor University (UK), Birmingham City University (UK), Carroll University, CQU University and University Centre Croydon (UK).


  • speak more fluently
  • read and write
  • understand different accents
  • expand your vocabulary

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Fast Facts

Entry level

Standard Programme: 4.5 IELTS or equivalent

Intensive Programme: 5.5 IELTS or equivalent,

High School certificate

Minimum Age

17 years



Length of Course

Standard Programme: 9 months

Intensive Programme: 6 months

Start date

Intensive Programme: January 2024
Standard Programme: September 2024

Class size

Maximum 12 students

What is the International Foundation Year?

In brief, the International Foundation Year is a long-term academic programme which helps you develop your level of English proficiency. It also allows you to develop the skills necessary for academic success in the Business, IT or Engineering sector.

When you enrol on the International Foundation Year, you benefit from the following:

  • Regular tutorials with a member of our academic staff to discuss your language development
  • Ongoing guidance from the Programme Director with your choice of University course
  • Assistance with your university application and writing of your personal statement (if required)
  • ESE daily student support group
  • Access to NCC Education Campus where you can download all of your module materials and assessment information, programme handbook and booklist
  • Participation on the Student Discussion Board platform through NCC Education Campus to ask questions;
  • Use of the ESE Self-Access Centre and Computer Labs.

Successful completion of the International Foundation Year means that you can apply for an undergraduate degree course in a range of business, IT or engineering subjects. Typical degree courses include courses in: 

  • Accountancy & Finance
  • Accounting & Management
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Business Administration
  • Business Management with Sport
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Games
  • Computing
  • Development 
  • Economics
  • Human Resource Management
  • Information Systems
  • Marketing Management
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Multimedia Computing
  • Software Engineering
  • Tourism and Hospitality Management
  • Web and Mobile Application Technology

Successful International Foundation Year candidates can apply at any of the following universities which recognise the NCC Education IFY certificate or to any other university through UCAS:

  • Abertay University, Dundee
  • Bangor University, Wales
  • Birmingham City University
  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • De Montfort University
  • University of Essex
  • Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland
  • Heriot Watt University
  • The University Of Huddersfield International Study Centre
  • Keele University International Study Centre
  • Kingston University London
  • University of Leeds
  • Leeds Metropolitan University
  • The University Of Lincoln International Study Centre
  • University of Liverpool
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Middlesex University
  • University of Northampton
  • Northumbria University
  • University of Nottingham
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • University of York
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Staffordshire University
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • The University Of Sussex International Study Centre
  • University Centre, Croydon College
  • UCLan – University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Westminster
  • UWS London – University of West London
  • University of Worcester
  • University of Malta
  • Middlesex University – Malta Campus
  • Heidelberg University
  • Humboldt State University
  • University of Idaho
  • UNA – University Of North Alabama
  • Southern Oregon University
  • Carroll University
  • Thompson Rivers University

For the latest list of articulations or progression routes after following the International Foundation Year, visit the NCC Education website by clicking here.



What will you study when following the International Foundation Year?


Course content includes core modules in: 

  • English language (Developing English Language Skills  – 30 credits
  • Advanced English Language Skills – 20 credits
  • English for Academic Purposes – 10 credits) 
  • Study and Communication Skills (20 credits) 
  • Foundation Mathematics (10 credits) 
  • Culture Studies (10 credits) 

In addition, students must take any two of the following elective modules:


Introduction to:

  • Computing (10 credits)
  • Programming (10 credits)
  • Business (10 credits)
  • Accounting and Economics (10 credits)
Course Entry Requirements

To be admitted on the course, you need to:

  • be 17+ years of age
  • have a 4.5 IELTS or equivalent certificate for the Standard IFY (September start) or 5.5 IELTS or equivalent for the Intensive IFY (January start)*
  • be in possession of a High School certificate

*If you have not reached this level, you can join our Pre-Sessional IFY course in Malta until you reach the required level.



How long is the course?

For successful completion of the programme you must follow the Standard Programme of 3 terms (30 weeks) in Malta. Students who join with an exceptionally high level of English (IELTS 5.5 or better) may be allowed to follow the Intensive Programme of 24 weeks only starting in January.

The total number of hours of study per week is 25 – 28 hours per week including research and self-study.



What certificate will I receive at the end of my International Foundation Year?

At the end of your course you will receive an International Foundation Year Certificate issued by NCC Education as well as an Academic Transcript giving details of your performance on the individual programme modules (Pass, Merit, Distinction) that you followed during your International Foundation Year.



How will I be assessed on the International Foundation Year?

Global examination, global assignment and local examination are the assessment measures used. All assessment is carried out by NCC Education examiners and assessment sessions are held throughout the year.



Higher Education Advisory Service

You benefit from academic counselling and support throughout your course. This will include individual guidance to help you choose the right subjects and university course for you and support with the application process and writing of your personal statement.


You can choose to download the International Foundation Year application form or else contact us on [email protected]

What else is included in your course?

Course materials icon

Course materials

Book icon

Personal Notebook

Certificate icon

Course certificate

Wi-Fi Icon

Free WiFi at residences

Welcome evening icon

Welcome evening

What is your level of English?​

Don’t worry – we’ll figure that out for you.

Before arrival you must do the ESE online placement test, which must be submitted at least 7 days before you start your course.  If you do not manage to do your test from home, then you will be will asked to sit for a short placement test on your first day at school.

Our academic staff will ensure that you follow your course at the right language level for you.

English levels chart

Are you interested in this course?

Register now to benefit from a 10% Introductory Offer on the International Foundation Year Tuition prices for following start dates: January 2024 (Intensive Programme), September 2023 (Standard Programme).