Business, Economics, Law and Social Sciences International Foundation Year
About this route
The Business, Economics, Law and Social Sciences International Foundation Year provides the subject knowledge, language proficiency and study skills you need to progress to degree study at the University of Surrey in a related field.
During the International Foundation Year you will study a core unit of general subject skills, subject-specific units and elective units, which are carefully designed for your academic development.
If you need to improve your English language to reach the required level for your International Foundation Year, you can take our Online English Language Preparation programme.
Academic English Skills
Academic English Skills aims to provide thorough training in the language and related academic skills which will enable international students to best achieve their academic potential at university. Our Academic English programme is validated by UK ENIC, the UK government agency responsible for providing information and expert opinion on qualifications and skills worldwide.
You will develop awareness and competency in a range of language-related academic skills, including the processes of academic writing, effective and extensive reading strategies, effective participation in seminars and delivery of presentations, and listening to and recording information effectively from lectures. You will also develop the accuracy and range of written and spoken language required to use language effectively and appropriately, with clarity and confidence in an academic context.
Alongside your classes, your studies will be supported by an online learning platform, providing you with a range of tasks and activities specifically designed to develop and extend your language and academic skills outside the classroom and to give you more control over your own learning.
Sustainable Innovation for Emerging Futures
On this Sustainable Innovation for Emerging Futures module you will learn the skills to tackle key global sustainability issues head on in areas including food, transport, technology and healthcare. The module positions you as a key actor and helps you explore how you might respond to these generational challenges through your career and life. The module will help you see yourself as capable and responsible as you work in interdisciplinary teams to design solutions and communicate your ideas to a wider audience. This is a central part of the Learn to Innovate Curriculum and focuses on leveraging and applying disciplinary understanding to solve real-world problems. Indicative content includes sustainable solution design, project work, interdisciplinary collaboration, leveraging disciplinary understanding, using data to make informed decisions, and reflection as a key driver of development.
All students also take part in Personal Tutorials, the Student Leadership Programme and are eligible to enter the Sustainable Enterprise Competition.
Subject specific units
Route: Business, Accounting & Economics
Fundamentals of Business Management
In the Fundamentals of Business Management module you will learn about the main activities relating starting a successful business.
You will develop business management, problem-solving and research skills and learn how to deploy these to meet the needs of society.
You will be inspired by applications of your subject that have changed the world and explore real world case studies such as how the discipline evolved through interactions and oppositions between key theorists including Max Webber, Elton Mayo and Clay Christensen.
Indicative module content includes entrepreneurship, business forms and structures, financial objectives, understanding and setting HR objectives, leadership styles and analysing business performance.
Microeconomics for Decision Making
In the Microeconomics for Decision Making module you will learn economic concepts, principles and models of analysis.
You will develop basic mathematical, graphical and analytical skills and learn how to deploy them to make economic and business decisions, as well as formulating coherent economic arguments.
You will be inspired by applications of your subject that have changed the world and explore real world case studies such as contemporary challenges and controversies in response to the pandemic (R&D policies, private investment incentives, patent system and monopoly power).
Principles of Accounting
In the Principles of Accounting module you will learn about the role of accounting and the accounting equation in the world of business and finance, and the accounting standards that accountants must adhere to.
You will develop accuracy and data analysis skills and learn how to deploy to produce and adjust ledger accounts and trial balances.
You will be inspired by applications of your subject that have changed the world of business and explore real world case studies relating to figures such as John Pierpont Morgan, namesake of J.P. Morgan who decisively bailed out the American banking system in the 1890s.
Route: Social Science/Social Science with Psychology
Introduction to Sociological Theory
In the Introduction to Sociological Theory module you will learn core sociological concepts and knowledge of sociological theories, as well as being introduced to range of sociological issues which affect contemporary society.
You will develop sociological research and critical thinking skills and learn how to deploy them to design strategies for research into specific sociological problems.
You will be inspired by applications of your subject that have changed the world and explore real world case studies such as Karl Marx’s work on the interaction between class, hierarchy and economy that may be said to have shaped the 20th century more than the work of any other thinker.
Indicative module content includes sociological theory and key sociologists, key concepts and research methods.
Law of Rights and Responsibilities
In the Law of Rights and Responsibilities module you will learn key legal concepts and principles as they relate to the operation and application of law for the benefit of society and define concepts as they relate to duty of care and negligence.
You will develop interrogatory, evaluative and research skills in legal context and learn how to deploy them to conduct research and reach well-reasoned conclusions, including for the purposes of considering the needs of society.
You will be inspired by applications of your subject that have changed the world and explore real world case studies such as those relating to Baroness Hale of Richmond, who redefined the face of family law in the UK.
Indicative module content includes English legal process, precedent and the judiciary, negligence and nuisance.
Principles in Politics
In the Principles in Politics module you will learn about political theory and ideas lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of how politics affects broader society.
You will develop analytical critical thinking and research skills in a political context and learn how to deploy them to evaluate academic arguments.
You will be inspired by applications of your subject that have changed the world and explore real world case studies such as the Brexit referendum in the UK.
Indicative module content includes ideas in democracy, development of the political order, comparative politics, political power and parliamentary studies.
Route: Business, Accounting & Economics
Contemporary Business Issues
In the Contemporary Business Issues module you will learn about marketing function within organisations and the impact of its execution on business objectives.
You will develop business decision-making and business communication skills and learn how to deploy them in real-world scenarios.
You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of business management and learn to innovate collaboratively as part of a group to develop and present your own business idea or opportunity.
Indicative module content includes Porter’s 5 Forces, business performance analysis (quantitative/qualitative), business ethics and corporate social responsibility, international location, competition, globalisation and emerging economies.
Accounting and Analysis in Business
In the Accounting and Analysis module you will learn about how accounting is vital for monitoring and controlling business performance and as an aid to planning and decision making.
You will develop financial communication, evaluation and decision-making skills and learn how to deploy them in real-world scenarios with professionals from all areas of business.
You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of how accounting is applied to economics, marketing, HR, and production with the aim of producing your own recommendations for future business planning and improvements.
Indicative module content includes the dual aspect concept, classification of expenditure, depreciation and possible causes, bad and doubtful debts and estimating the provision for doubtful debts.
Macroeconomics in Action
In the Macroeconomics in Action module you will learn about basic macroeconomic principals, models and theories and show how governments can use macroeconomic policies to achieve the macroeconomic objectives of a country and address macroeconomic conflicts.
You will develop analytical thinking and problem solving skills and learn how to deploy them in the diagnostic analysis of key macroeconomic problems and the assessment of macroeconomic government policy impacts.
You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the impact of economic policy, for this module in the context of macroeconomics with the aim of producing your own recommendations for adapting to uncertainty and future challenges in an increasingly competitive world.
Indicative module content includes government macroeconomics objectives and their trade-offs, economic growth, business cycles, unemployment, inflation, balance of payments, current account deficit, foreign exchange rate and the Keynesian model.
Route: Social Science/ Social Science with Psychology
Social Issues in Contemporary Society
In the Social Issues in Contemporary Society module you will learn about sociological concepts relating to education, youth crime and the criminal justice system.
You will develop interdisciplinary source analysis and debating skills and learn how to deploy them to present arguments and draw well-reasoned conclusions.
You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of social differentiation and stratification in terms of inequality and distribution of power with the aim of producing your own recommendations for changes to sociological policies and approaches.
Indicative module content includes neoliberalism, marketization and higher education, social inequalities and education, youth crime and the criminal justice system.
Contemporary Issues in Politics
In the Contemporary Issues in Politics module you will learn about contemporary political issues, relate knowledge of conceptual frameworks to empirical political research and discuss dominant political ideologies and their origins.
You will develop self-analysis and critical thinking skills in relation to political research and learn how to deploy them to better understand the world view of peers and others.
You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of political ideologies and issues with the aim of working collaboratively to present a shared vision for change in relation to a current domestic or international political issue.
Indicative module content includes introduction to contemporary politics, ideologies, identity and politics, Brexit and globalisation.
Law of Obligation and Commerce
In the Law of Obligations and Commerce module you will learn about key legal concepts and principles relating to forming a legally binding agreement and the discharge of a contract.
You will develop analysis, evaluation and legal writing skills and learn how to deploy them to present arguments and draw well-reasoned conclusions in a discipline-appropriate format.
You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of the principles of legal research with the aim of producing extended independent judgements relating to legal transactions.
Indicative module content includes offer, acceptance, consideration, discharge of contract, misrepresentation, sale of goods, partnerships and limited companies.
Statistics and Analysis
In the Statistics and Analysis module you will learn how to analyse and interpret data using a variety of statistical approaches and then communicate your conclusions and reasoning.
You will develop the confidence to justify the suitability of a statistical approach to a problem and explain any limitations using terminology and notation required in a UK University context.
As a semester two module within this curriculum arc, the module includes a focus on applications, problem solving and innovation within statistics. You will be encouraged to employ critical thinking and creativity as you make links between curriculum elements and apply your learning to simplified real-world scenarios.
Indicative module content includes analysing and presenting data, statistical modelling, probability and distributions, sampling and hypothesis testing.
Psychology for Life
In the Psychology for Life module you will learn the nature of psychological theories and processes and the basic psychological terms to discuss key concepts.
You will develop analytical, investigative and statistical analysis skills and learn how to deploy them to apply to problems and situations in social psychology, including personality, learning and cognitive psychology.
You will deepen your knowledge and understanding of psychological theories through psychological studies, with the aim of presenting findings from your own research project and being able to identify how this knowledge will assist you in your future studies and careers.
Indicative module content includes social psychology, learning theory, personality, cognitive psychology and applied psychology.
Join us in November 2023. Get a head start on your studies with our 3-week Enhanced Induction programme, designed to help you settle into your new home before starting your programme in January 2024 – all offered at no extra cost.Find out more
September, November (Enhanced Induction) and January
BVMSci Veterinary Medicine and Science and Health Care-related degrees (e.g. Nursing) are only available for progression from the September intake.
Age: you must be at least 17 years old to study at the International Study Centre and progress to the University.
Visit our entry requirements page for a list of academic, English language and country-specific entry requirements.
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Prepare for Success
Join our online preparation course at no extra cost, so that you are ready to begin your academic pathway programme.Discover more
This programme can lead to one of the undergraduate degrees in the table below. Grades and progression degrees are guidelines and subject to change. All degrees listed include the option to undertake the Professional Training Year programme in year two of a four year degree.
Please note, for English Grades: W stands for Writing, R is Reading, L is Listening and S is Speaking
|Degree Programme Name||Award||Overall Grade||English Grade|
There may be additional entry criteria and/or an audition or interview may be required for entry onto the following programmes:
- Creative Music Technology
- English Literature programmes
- Language programmes
For progression to degrees which include a language (French, German or Spanish) students will need previous experience of the language to A-level standard (Grade B or above) before joining the ISC:
- DELF (B2) can be accepted in place of A-level French to demonstrate language proficiency
- TestDaf (TDN3) or Goethe-Zertifikat (B2) can be accepted in place of A-level German to demonstrate language proficiency
- DELE (B2) can be accepted in place of A-level Spanish to demonstrate language proficiency
Three A-levels or equivalent academic qualifications is still required.
An ab initio pathway may be available where the language has not been taken at A-Level. It is provided for those who have A-level grade B in a different non-native language.
Grade 5 theory or equivalent qualification required for the Creative Music Technology BMus and Music BMus at Surrey Foundation either before starting the International Foundation Year, or this test can be done online during the International Foundation Year. It is a requirement for progression to the degree.