Regulations for the International Foundation Certificate (IFC)

These Regulations govern the award of the International Foundation Certificate at Aberystwyth University, henceforth the University.


A candidate for the International Foundation Certificate (IFC) awarded by the University shall normally be a pre-University applicant, who has completed or is still in the Sixth Form or equivalent, or is seeking a University entrance qualification.

Students should normally have successfully completed secondary education in their own country at a level equivalent to 12th grade before starting a foundation course at Aberystwyth University. Applications from students who have not completed their education to this standard will be considered on a case by case basis.

There are three routes through the Certificate and the International English Centre (IEC) will determine on application the most appropriate route for each candidate according to the standard of prior qualifications.

Criteria for the Award

The International Foundation Certificate is a formal Aberystwyth University qualification at Level 0 (CQFW Level 3) that prepares candidates for entry to University undergraduate degrees. Courses will normally develop knowledge of academic disciplines, and competence in English Language and academic skills.

The qualification would normally be a full-time, one-year scheme, although variations may occur that can demonstrate robust equivalence in delivery and standards.

Full-time candidates shall normally be required to pursue the equivalent of 120 credits at Level 0 within one academic year according to the approved programme structure. Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) may be awarded to students who can provide evidence of sufficient prior learning.

Candidates must satisfy the Examination Board that they have developed the competencies expected of applicants for a degree at the University. This will depend upon candidates satisfying the Examination Board in both their academic subjects and in their competence in the English Language and academic skills.

Successful candidates must pass the equivalent of 120 credits on the course.

The award of a Certificate will be upon the basis of a Pass or Fail. The threshold for a Pass will be established by the IEC for every iteration of the award.


A candidate who fails may, on the recommendation of the Examination Board, be re-presented for examination on not more than two further occasions. Re-examination shall take place within a period of two years from the date of the original examination.

At the discretion of the Examining Board such candidates may:

(a) be required to repeat either the whole or part of the scheme of study and be re-examined in the examination as a whole or in those parts of the examination which they have failed;


(b) be required to be re-examined in the examination as a whole or in those parts of the examination which they have failed.

Descriptor for qualifications at FHEQ/CQFW Level 3: Foundation Certificate

Holders of a Foundation Certificate will have a basic knowledge of the concepts of a particular area of academic subject, and a range of transferable and academic study skills. They will be able to communicate their knowledge clearly in oral and in written form. The Certificate will facilitate entry to higher education at FHEQ/CQFW Level 4.

Foundation Certificates are awarded to students who have demonstrated:

o knowledge and understanding of underlying concepts, theories and principles associated with their area(s) of study
o an ability to present and analyse qualitative and/or quantitative data and, in order to develop lines of argument and make sound judgements in accordance with basic theories and concepts of their subject(s) of study
o in the case of the International Foundation Certificate, English language competence at the appropriate level for higher education entry

Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

  • employ a range of responses to well defined problems
  • access and evaluate information
  • engage in self-directed activity with guidance/evaluation
  • communicate the results of their study/work in a clear and structured manner

Holders will also have:

  • the qualities and transferable skills necessary for university study including the exercise of personal responsibility



Updated: Sept 2021