Course information


1 year full-time

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 BA degree in Art History, Drama, English Literature or History.

The International Foundation Certificate (IFC) programme is aimed at undergraduate students who need a year to:

  • develop or consolidate their language skills in academic English
  • undertake preliminary study in the subject areas they would like to study at BA level
  • familiarise themselves both with ways of working in British academic culture and in the standards required at undergraduate degree level

It is useful for students who may not have a clear idea of exactly which subject they want to study. The programme enables you to attend lectures or choose modules in which you have a broad general interest and, with the help of the tutorial support, clarify your future area of study.

Two compulsory modules concentrate on different areas of language development:

  • Academic Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking

A further module integrates inter-disciplinary content with language and study skills development, and you will also select two option modules offered by various academic departments across Goldsmiths, including the Departments of Politics, Anthropology, Sociology, Educational Studies and History. The option modules will give you a taste of undergraduate study at Goldsmiths.

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), then you will be able to progress on to the following degree programmes:

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

Contact the department

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

What you'll study


The programme is made up of the following modules: 

  • English for Academic Purposes (2 x 30 credits)
  • Interdisciplinary modules (2 x 15 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 compulsory modules, designed to develop their ability and confidence in the four key areas of writing, reading, listening and speaking. Depending on your English language proficiency, you can choose between either Collaborative Research or Academic Listening and Speaking.

Module title Credits
Academic Reading and Writing 30 credits
Academic Listening and Speaking 30 credits
Collaborative Research 30 credits

Interdisciplinary modules (30 credits each) 

All students on the Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Media, Culture and Society Pathways 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.

Module title Credits
Globalising Cultures 15 credits
Understanding Images 15 credits
London: Arts Capital 15 credits
Contemporary Art Worlds 15 credits


The two compulsory English for Academic Purposes units are assessed by coursework, written examination and an oral examination. The remaining module units are assessed via a variety of methods which include, for example, essays and reflective journals. 

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

Download the programme specification. 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.

Between 2020 and 2022 we needed to make some changes to how programmes were delivered due to Covid-19 restrictions. For more information about past programme changes please visit our programme changes information page.

What our students say


"I wanted to have wider experience not only of studying, but also of new cultures and meeting people."

"I decided to come and study at Goldsmiths because I wanted to have wider experience not only of studying, but also of new cultures and meeting people. And I feel Goldsmiths is the perfect place to fulfil my desire as there are a large number of international students from all around the world, and secondly it is located in London, which is a highly cosmopolitan city.
To start to study my undergraduate degree, I had to take International Foundation Course first. Taking the IFC course was so helpful for me to have an idea of doing academic study in English, which is not my first language. Over the last course, I could learn all the foundations such as academic writing style, referencing, discussion skills and the basic knowledge of my studying area as well as British cultures and history. Now, I really look forward to continuing my study here and exploring more about London as well as any other new experiences."

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for the International Foundation Certificate in the Arts and Humanities are:


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


Evidence of English language proficiency:

UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) IELTS 5.0 overall with no element 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. 


You must normally be 17 years of age or above. 

Country of residence and nationality

All non-native English speakers will be considered. However, please be aware that all students will be subject to the International rate of fees.

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

International qualifications

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of UKVI IELTS 5.0 (with no individual score lower than 5.0) to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.

Fees & funding

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2023/2024 academic year.

  • International - full-time: £15800

Find out about our undergraduate tuition fees and funding opportunities.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

How to apply

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

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

Student work

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

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