International Foundation Certificate in Computing

  • UCAS
    Not applicable – you apply directly to Goldsmiths
  • Length
    1 year full-time
  • Department
    English Language Centre, Computing

Course overview

This one-year programme gives you the opportunity to develop your English language, become familiar with UK academic culture, and prepare to study for a BSc degree in Computer Science, or Creative Computing.

This programme combines relevant content modules with the development of language and study skills. You will develop the ability to:

  • reason critically
  • develop an argument
  • analyse and interpret a range of text types
  • work cross-culturally
  • structure and communicate ideas effectively, both orally and in writing
  • participate constructively in groups
  • manage time
  • work independently
  • find information and use IT

Half of the programme will focus on the four core modules of language development:

  • Academic Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking

The other half of the programme will be taught in the Department of Computing and will focus on ‘Foundations of Problem Solving and Programming’.

You will have a personal tutor, who you meet in small groups or on a one-to-one basis to discuss progress on the course, general approaches to study, and ways of maximising language learning. Tutors will also support you in finalising your plans for future study. 

You are encouraged throughout the programme to work independently and in particular to use the resources available in the Goldsmiths Library.

Guaranteed progression

If you pass the programme at the required level (a pass in all modules with an overall score of 50% or more), you will be guaranteed a place on a related Goldsmiths degree programme:

Alternatively you may choose to continue your studies at another university. 

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor, Timothy Chapman

Modules & structure


The programme is made up of the following modules: 

  • English for Academic Purposes (2 x 30 credits)
  • Interdisciplinary module – choose one of two offered (30 credits)
  • Option modules – choose two modules offered by academic departments (2 x 15 credits)

English for Academic Purposes modules (30 credits each)

Students on all IFC Pathways take both of these core modules, designed to develop your ability and confidence in the four key areas of writing, reading, listening and speaking.


English for Academic Purposes modules Module title Credits
  Academic Reading and Writing -
  Academic Listening and Speaking -

Interdisciplinary modules (30 credits each) 

All students on the Arts and HumanitiesSocial Sciences, and Media, Culture and SocietyPathways select one of these modules. The interdisciplinary modules introduce some basic ideas and theories that are important within many of Goldsmiths’ academic subjects, and integrate study skills and language development.

Interdisciplinary modules Module title Credits
  Images and Representation -
  Globalisation -

Department of Computing foundation modules (30 credits each)

All students take the Foundations of Computer Programming module. Those who do not have recent basic mathematics experience study on the Foundations of Mathematics module, while all other students take the Foundations of Problem Solving module.

Computing foundation modules Module title Credits
  Foundations of Computer Programming 30 credits
  Foundations of Mathematics for Computing 30 credits
  Foundations of Problem Solving with Programming 30 credits


All modules of the programme are assessed by a mixture of coursework, written examination and presentations.

Successful completion at the required level will guarantee you a place on a relevant Goldsmiths degree programme.

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for the International Foundation Certificate in Computing are:


A good high school leaving certificate or equivalent academic study with some evidence of learning in relevant subjects. 

You should also demonstrate numeracy skills at, or equivalent to, grade C in GCSE Mathematics. 


Evidence of English language proficiency:

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) IELTS 5.0 (with no individual score lower than 5.0)

If you have a lower English language score you may be accepted after successfully completing one of our Pre-sessional English courses

Age You must normally be 17 years of age or above. 
Country of residence and nationality Only international students can apply. Applications from home/EU students will not be accepted.

If you are not sure which type of IELTS test you need to take, contact our Immigration Advisory Service (

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of qualifications equivalent to the ones listed above.

If your qualifications are from another country, find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us. 

For this programme we require:

UKVI IELTS 5.0 (with no individual score lower than 5.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Read more about our general entrance requirements


The English Language Centre
specialises in teaching English language and academic writing

English Language Centre

Come and learn from a dedicated team of specialists. Some of our team have worked in this area for over 20 years.

We offer courses for:

  • students with English as a second language
  • native English speakers who are keen to develop their skills in academic writing

These courses range from standalone foundation years and pre-sessional courses right through to in-sessional courses that you complete during your degree programme.

It’s also possible to book an appointment with our resident Royal Literary Fund Fellows – professional writers who can help you improve your essay-writing skills.

Find out more about the English Language Centre.

Computing at Goldsmiths is ranked: 2nd in London for this subject area** 17th in the UK for the quality of our research***


The Department of Computing offers a creative, contemporary and pioneering approach to the discipline.

From developing computers that can compose music and paint pictures, to defining and implementing new social media tools and applications, we aim to invigorate computing and the world around it.

Learn by doing

We place a great emphasis on creativity, independence and ‘learning by doing’. You’ll focus on practical work in real-world situations, carrying out projects in ways that mirror industry practice.

Interdisciplinary approach

We also promote an interdisciplinary approach to the subject: from business to digital arts, and from games programming to learning Mandarin.

Industry experts

You’ll be taught by industry experts – our academics are deeply engaged in current research, with many applying their knowledge and skills to developing cutting-edge technology. And we have close links with industry, too, regularly inviting leading professionals to deliver lectures and talks.

Find out more about the Department of Computing.

**Guardian University League Tables 2017

***Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings

Student work

Students from the International Foundation Certificate programme made this film about studying at Goldsmiths

Student profiles


"The best part of the course and the big difference from other schools is that we use the same buildings and attend the lectures as the undergraduate students do."

"All tutors are very professional and respectful, they know exactly what foreign students need as they are experienced. Although I had been at language school to learn English, writing in a proper academic style was totally different from what I used to do in my country. Yet, the tutors lead us step by step and I could see that I am actually improved in many ways. I’ve learnt a lot – not only English language, but general background of arts and specific theories that we would study at undergraduate level.

The best part of the course and the big difference from other schools is that we use the same buildings and attend the lectures as the undergraduate students do. It really helps to get a sense of the real university life."

Fees & funding

How to apply

As part of your application you'll need to include: 

  • A reference
  • English Language certificates
  • Transcript or student record

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