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 BMus/BSc in Music Computing.

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 undergraduate level
  • familiarise themselves both with ways of working in British academic culture and in the standards required at degree level

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

  • Academic Writing
  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking

The other half of the programme will introduce you to the historical and cultural context of music studies and the foundations of computing 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 are 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.

What you'll study


The programme is made up of the following modules: 

  • English for Academic Purposes (2 x 30 credits)
  • Department of Music foundation modules (2 x 15 credits)
  • Department of Computing foundation module (1 x 30 credits)

English for Academic Purposes modules (30 credits each)

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

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

The Music Computing Pathway

You take all three of the following modules – two in the Department of Music and one in the Department of Computing.

Western Art Music in Context (15 credits)

The module introduces you to the development of Western art music in historical and cultural context. It presents a general survey of music from the late Renaissance to the present day. It focuses on the stylistic/formal changes, and particular attention is given to the establishment, transformation and disintegration of tonality.

As part of the module you will be expected to develop your understanding and aural perception of musical style, and to develop your ability to read various types of scores.

Topics in Music Studies (15 credits)

This module will develop your understanding of music studies, and introduce you to a series of established musical works that have acquired importance in Western culture. The works will be chosen to demonstrate a variety of forms, performance forces, styles and cultural functions. You will reflect on why these works have become accepted in the way they have, and whether things might have been different.

As an integrated part of this module, you will be expected to develop your English skills to the standard appropriate for entry to the BMus course by writing and speaking about music in a coherent, informed way. At the end of the module, you are expected to hand in a research project on a topic of your choice as the result of the learning process.

Foundations of Programming (30 credits)

The module provides you with the background you need to use a computer to develop and execute simple software programs in a manner that will prepare you for the programming modules in the first year of a computing degree programme. This module is appropriate for everyone, including those with no knowledge of programming.


The English for Academic Purposes and the computing modules of the programme are assessed by a mixture of coursework, written examination and presentation. The music modules will include a research project and a listening assessment. 

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

Download the programme specification, for the 2019-20 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.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for the International Foundation Certificate in Music 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 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 2022/2023 academic year.

  • International - full-time: £15040

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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