Engineering student in class

Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences International Foundation Year

About this route

The Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences International Foundation Year leads to a wide range of degrees in computing, engineering, science and mathematics-related subjects at the University of Surrey.

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 English Language Preparation programme.

Why study Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences with us?

A range of specialisms

With the foundation of knowledge you'll gain on the International Foundation Year, you’ll be prepared to find your specialism once you progress to the University of Surrey. Engineering students can discover everything from aerospace and biomedical engineering to civil and electronic engineering. Whilst science students can find their passion with everything ranging from computing to physics. 

International research opportunities

The University of Surrey is at the forefront of research in a whole range of industries. As part of your studies you’ll have access to cutting edge research facilities to ensure you’re learning as new developments happen. 

Practical work experience

The International Foundation Year in Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences introduces you to both the academic and career skills you’ll need in the graduate job market. To build on this, once you progress to the University you’ll be able to join a Professional Training Year to practice your skills in a real working environment.

Core units

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.

Mathematics and Computing for Problem Solving 

In the Maths and Computing for Problem Solving module you will learn the basic principles of computation and the impact this has on our lives. You will develop mathematical and computational thinking skills and learn how to deploy these to solve mathematical problems using specialist software like MATLAB . You will be inspired by applications of your subject that have changed the world and explore real world case studies such as how Alan Turing helped crack the Enigma code during WW2 using computation and cryptography techniques. Indicative module content includes computational thinking, algorithms, conditionals, loops, using computers to solve mathematical problems, data analysis, applications in AI, machine learning, neural networks.

Pure Mathematics

In the module you will learn how to accurately define, explain and use the Mathematical terminology and concepts you need to succeed in a UK University. You will learn how to apply theories, methods and models to real world situations and analyse problems through mathematical models. You will be inspired by applications of maths, such as calculus, that have changed the world and explore how fundamental algebra is to your life. Indicative module content includes algebra, graphs, differentiation, trigonometry and integration.

Further Pure Mathematics

In this Further Pure Mathematics module, you will continue to develop their abstract mathematical understanding and problem solving abilities which are critical to a solid foundation in engineering and physical science. You will learn how a real-world problem can be broken down into subsequent parts and be solved using the tools developed during the course. As a semester two module within this curriculum arc, the module includes a focus on applications, problem solving and innovation within pure mathematics. 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. The Further Pure Mathematics module continues to develop learners understanding in the key topics such as differentiation, integration and trigonometry which were first introduced in the Pure Mathematics semester one module. Learners will also be introduced to other key topics such as differential equations, numerical methods and complex numbers.

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

Routes: Computer Science and Engineering 

Fundamentals in Physics

In the Fundamentals in Physics module you will build a broad foundation in the fundamentals in physics, develop problem-solving skills needed to apply physics concepts to scenarios in various engineering and science disciplines, and develop observational, interpretive and analysis skills through practical laboratories. You will be inspired by applications of your subject that have changed the world and explore real world case studies such as how information from satellites helps us understand changes to the urban and natural environment due to urbanization and climate change. In the forces and waves units we will understand the physics behind launching satellites into orbit, and how data from satellites is collected, used and analysed. In the solid materials unit we will examine the strength and thermal properties of engineered structures. Further indicative module content includes forces and energy, waves, solid materials, gases, thermodynamics, and fluid flow.

Route: Chemical Engineering

Core Chemistry

In the Core Chemistry module you will learn to solve problems and explain phenomena in chemistry drawing on the knowledge and using the accurate terminology you need for success on UK science degrees. You will build confidence communicating fundamentals scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures in chemistry. You will be inspired by applications of your subject that have changed the world and explore real world case studies such as the Haber-Bosch process for nitrogen fertiliser production without which the world's population could only be sustained at just over half its current level, or the PCR, which allows forensic science, genetic sequencing and innumerable medical applications. Indicative module content includes formulae, equations and moles; bonding and forces; redox; transition metals and thermodynamics.

Route: Computer Science

Computer Science

In the Computer Science module you will cover the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science and learn how to use, analyse and evaluate quantitative and qualitative information to make reasoned judgements and find solutions. You will build the skills for solution design and innovation, for example by designing and testing through simulators your own assembly language solutions. This approach seeks to motivate and build confidence through problem solving such that students come to see how deepening their understanding of computing might enable them to meaningfully innovate as key actors, scholars and leaders of tomorrow. Indicative module content includes computer system components, data representation, programming, operating systems, algorithms and data structures.

Physics for Engineering

In the Physics for Engineering module you will develop the understanding and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in an engineering degree including experimental techniques, data analysis and laboratory log-book keeping . You will learn to use, analyse and evaluate quantitative and qualitative information to make reasoned judgements and find solutions. You will explore the development of physics including how the word "electricity" is derived from the Greek "elektron," meaning "amber," as they discovered amber produces sparks when rubbed and how this led to deeper knowledge of atoms and matter. You will then explore modern and future applications of physics including electronics, electromagnetic induction, atomic physics, energy, photon theory of light, X-ray generation & application, and radioactivity.

Route: Engineering

Mechanics for Engineering

In the Mechanics for Engineering module you will learn how to use the methods and models of mechanics to describe the motion of objects, and how to use mechanics to provide solutions to the kinds of problem engineers face. The module will leave you with the skills to address challenges such as how much fuel does a rocket needs to travel to Mars or to calculate how many calories a cyclist uses to complete the Tour de France. Indicative module content includes vectors, kinematics, forces, energy, work and linear momentum.

Physics for Engineering

In the Physics for Engineering module you will develop the understanding and problem-solving skills needed to succeed in an engineering degree including experimental techniques, data analysis and laboratory log-book keeping . You will learn to use, analyse and evaluate quantitative and qualitative information to make reasoned judgements and find solutions. You will explore the development of physics including how the word "electricity" is derived from the Greek "elektron," meaning "amber," as they discovered amber produces sparks when rubbed and how this led to deeper knowledge of atoms and matter. You will then explore modern and future applications of physics including electronics, electromagnetic induction, atomic physics, energy, photon theory of light, X-ray generation & application, and radioactivity.

Route: Chemical Engineering

Mechanics for Engineering

In the Mechanics for Engineering module you will learn how to use the methods and models of mechanics to describe the motion of objects, and how to use mechanics to provide solutions to the kinds of problem engineers face. The module will leave you with the skills to address challenges such as how much fuel does a rocket needs to travel to Mars or to calculate how many calories a cyclist uses to complete the Tour de France. Indicative module content includes vectors, kinematics, forces, energy, work and linear momentum.

Chemistry Applied

In the Chemistry Applied module you will learn to transfer knowledge of chemistry to real-world situations with a strong fundamental understanding of how science works. You will build confidence analysing and evaluating quantitative and qualitative information to make reasoned judgements, find solutions and draw conclusions.. 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 chemical equilibria, environmental chemistry, reaction kinetics, techniques such as mass spectrometry, and reaction kinetics.

Study plans

September intake

International Foundation Year study plan

January intake

International Foundation Year study plan

Why join this November?

Join us in November and stay on track to progress to your degree in September 2023.

By starting the 3-term International Foundation Year in November, you will benefit from three additional weeks of study and life skills before commencing your main pathway programme in January 2023. There will be no additional tuition fee for this period, and this will provide you with a great opportunity for an enhanced student experience focusing on three key areas: orientation; practical support and academic and digital skills. Topics will include a digital skills health check; managing your money; practical tips on finding study and life balance; and an introduction to assessments in UK higher education.

What will I study in the additional three weeks?  

You’ll benefit from a 15-hour per week face-to-face classes, allowing you to:

  • feel more confident and better prepared for the start of your January programme of study
  • practice your English by interacting with the fellow students and build friendships
  • assess your own digital skills proficiency
  • meet the key Centre staff who will provide advice for success
  • familiarise yourselves with the support available
  • apply a range of academic study skills to meet your individual needs
  • have more time to adapt to the UK life and settle in before you begin your January programme.

Are there any additional cost or fees?

There will be no additional tuition fee, as November starts will have the same tuition fee as the respective January programme. However, there will be additional costs to consider, as expected with being in the UK for a longer period (i.e. accommodation). If you request accommodation on your application form, our Central Student Support Team will contact you directly in October regarding the options available.

Progression degrees 

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. You will be able to select the option before you progress to the University. The University of Surrey will provide guidance and support in year one and two in helping you to find the right placement.

Degree Programme NameAwardOverall GradeEnglish Grade
No Results

Please note:

There may be additional entry criteria and an interview may be required for entry onto Music and Sound recording (Tonmeister) BSc.

Rankings

18th in the World for Engineering – Petroleum
(QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022)

Key facts

Course length:
Two semesters

Entry points:
November, January and September

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.

Term dates

September 2022
25/9/2022 - 2/2/2023
5/2/2023 - 1/6/2023
November 2022
27/11/2022 - 18/5/2023
21/5/2023 - 17/8/2023
January 2023
29/1/2023 - 18/5/2023
21/5/2023 - 17/8/2023
September 2023
24/9/2023 - 1/2/2024
4/2/2024 - 30/5/2024

Student success

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Prepare for Success

5 weeks before your selected course you will be automatically enrolled in our Prepare for Success online programme in order to help you get everything you need.

Discover more

New November start

If you want to be better prepared for the start of your January programme of study, join us in November.

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