University Foundation course
• choose English and Business
• 28 or 35 week course
Your pathway to university
We guarantee entry to university if you successfully complete the University Foundation Course. You can choose to study:
English + Business
English + International Affairs
|Business Studies||+||Mathematics for business||+||Economics|
|International Affairs Subjects|
|Philosophy||+||Politics||+||20th Century History|
Why should you choose St Clare’s?
- we have expert teachers, many of whom teach at the University of Oxford
- we provide expert careers advice — we help you find the best course for you
- you will improve your IELTS score
- if you start in September, for the first seven weeks you will study 21 hours per week of intensive English
- if you start in November you will study 10 hours of English per week
- we have great accommodation in college houses or homestay
- you will enjoy a great social programme with lively international students
- There are two start dates:
- early September for 35 weeks where minimum entry level is IELTS 5.0
- late October for 28 weeks where minimum entry level is IELTS 5.5
Both courses follow a combination of English Language and academic subjects:
|English for IELTS|
|From early September to late October|
|Duration: 7 weeks||Lessons: 21 per week|
|English for Academic
|From late October to December|
|Lessons: 10 per week||Lessons: 9-11 per week|
|English for Academic
|From January to mid-June|
|Duration: 21 weeks||Duration: 21 weeks|
|Lessons: 10 per week||Lessons: 12-14 per week|
One lesson = 55 minutes
English for IELTS
From September to October, the primary focus is on improving your score at IELTS (the International English Language Testing System).
This examination is recognised worldwide by more than 4,500 institutions in 120 countries, including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It is the single most important requirement for non-native speakers who wish to enter a university in the UK or other English-speaking country.
Our teachers have many years’ experience in preparing students for IELTS and success rates are extremely high.
English for Academic Purposes
Your lessons explore contemporary, cross-course themes through the medium of English and develop high-level English Language and study skills.
You concentrate on more advanced English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and the study skills required at university including:
- researching, evaluating source material, note-taking, referencing, avoiding plagiarism
- analysing essay questions, paragraphing, developing arguments
- developing reading strategies, building academic vocabulary, presentation skills and strategies
There are a number of formal assessments during the course:
- formal and informal writing activities
- an extended essay based on your own research and
- academic oral presentations
The academic element of the University Foundation Course takes place over 28 weeks. You must select one of the following academic streams:
|Business Stream Subjects|
|Business Studies||+||Mathematics for business||+||Economics|
|International Affairs Stream Subjects|
|Philosophy||+||Politics||+||20th Century History|
These academic subjects are taught at pre-university level by specialists who bring the benefits of the latest research in their own areas of expertise. Each subject requires background reading and research and is assessed through:
- extended essay
- final examination, which is externally-moderated
You receive comprehensive advice and support with your applications to university from our Helen Forey our Careers and Higher Education adviser.
Contact the Department
Highlights of the Adult Summer Courses at the International College, including study visits, excursions and social activities.
View a list of events taking place at our International College this Autumn, for students attending our English Language or University Pathways courses.
Students receive a warm welcome to the International College with lots of social events and a proper introduction to Oxford. Read more.
The programme consists of two broad streams — you choose either the Business Studies or International Affairs stream. These subjects are taught at pre-university level by subject specialists who bring the benefits of the latest research in their own areas of expertise.
- Microeconomics: Theories of supply and demand; Distribution, Market structures
- Macroeconomics: Political economy and economic theories, government policy objectives, consumption, saving and investment; fiscal and and monetary policy; balance of payments; the Global Economy.
- Business ethics
- Human resources
- Operations management
- Establishing, building and managing the business
- European Union and small to medium-sized enterprises
Maths for Business
- Statistics and probability
World History of the 20th Century
- The Cold War and its aftermath
- The state, religion, minorities
- Causes, practices and effects of war
- Nationalist and independence movements
- The rise and rule of one party states
- Decolonisation and challenges facing new states
- Peace and cooperation: international organisations and multiparty states
- Political ideologies
- Contemporary global issues
- Theories of international relations
- International political economy
- Regime types and machinery of government
- Parties, interests and social movements
- Modern state: domestic and international politics
- Problem of evil
- Free will
- Mind-body problem
- Self and personal identity
- Moral philosophy / ethical theory
- The nature of philosophical enquiry
- Causation, induction and the scientific method
|Lesson 1||Language development Global issues in the media||English Teacher|
|Lesson 2||Discussion and report||English Teacher|
|Lunch||Meet friends in the College dining room|
|Lesson 3||Academic Subject Saving and investment or Parties and interest groups||Subject Teacher|
|Activities||Join the the regular activities|
You will be assessed at the end of each module using a combination of coursework, project work, presentations,extended essays and examinations. Your final assessment includes:
- end of semester and final examinations in each academic course
- a presentation and extended essay in English language
Our Foundation Course prepares international students for university study worldwide. You will receive personalised careers advice from specialist staff who will help you apply for any university in the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
The Business Stream can lead to a university course in:
- Travel and Tourism
- Hotel Management and related areas
The International Affairs Stream can lead to a university course in:
- International Relations
- Social Anthropology
- Philosophy and many others
These are just some of the universities that our graduates have chosen for their future studies.
UK University destinations
- University of St. Andrew’s
- University of Sussex
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Glasgow
- University of Manchester
- Imperial College London
- SOAS, University of London
- City University London
- Oxford Brookes University
- University of York
- New College of the Humanities
Europe and worldwide University destinations
- Utrecht University
- Maastricht University
- Bocconi University
- Munich Business School
- University of Seoul
- University of Oregon
- Université catholique de Louvain
- École hôtelière de Lausanne
IELTS is the International English Language Testing System. It measures your ability to communicate in English across the four language skills — listening, speaking, reading and writing — and is for people who intend to study or work where English is the language of communication.
It is recognised worldwide in more than 4,500 institutions in 120 countries including the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Not surprisingly, therefore, it is the most popular examination for St Clare’s students.
IELTS is regarded as the single most important requirement for non-native speakers who wish to enter a university in the UK. Tests can be taken in Oxford every month and the results are available within three weeks. You will normally need a score of 6.0 or higher to join a university in the UK.
The team at St Clare’s is very experienced and successful in preparing students for IELTS. We can help you in the following ways:
- Entry test: we give you a number of tests on arrival to help assess your level on entry.
- Setting goals: your teacher discusses your needs and agrees “learning milestones”.
- Classroom tasks: small classes provide a supportive learning environment.
- After-class: teachers set homework tasks which extend your classroom learning.
- Self-Access: you are given guidance on computer-aided learning and test packages.
- Regular tests: you take internal tests in class to help decide the date of your examination.
Success at IELTS
During the classes you practise the skills required for success at IELTS:
- Examination strategies
- Practice tests
- Speaking and listening tasks
- “Against the clock” activities
- Top tips from the examiners
Careers and Higher Education
An additional lesson each week focuses on Careers and Higher Education during the first term. This allows students to spend time considering their strengths, exploring potential educational and career opportunities and learning about university applications.
Helen Forey, our Careers and Higher Education Adviser is always on hand to help you with:
- advice on courses and careers throughout your stay
- guidance with the draft of your personal statement, and
- support in selecting the right university for you
Students can visit the Careers Library at any time or sign up for an appointment with our specialist adviser.
Three rigorous Inspection Visits and three outstanding Inspection Reports confirm that St Clare’s is truly a “centre of excellence” for all of our adult courses.
Every part of the college (academic, pastoral and legal) has been carefully monitored by the independent inspection regimes below:
- The British Council Inspection: with the focus on teaching and course design for English Language classes. Read the Report here
- The British Accreditation Council: with the focus on teaching and course design for Academic Subject classes. Read the Report here
- The Independent Schools Inspectorate (Private Further Education): with the focus on teaching and course design for both English Language and Academic Subject classes. Read the full Report here
University endorsement for the course
Extract from External Examinator’s Report 2014
The programme is clearly of a high quality and provides excellent preparation for Higher Education. The curriculum is well-planned, coherent and current. I feel that the inclusion of the IT and Global Issues modules provide added value to the overall programme.
I was very impressed by the quality of the students as evidenced by the work I reviewed and by the University offers received by current students. In comparison to the levels of performance achieved by other International Foundation Programmes with which I am familiar, the St Clare’s UFC has students of a very good level. I saw work reflecting a range of abilities/performance, including some of very high quality.
The range of grades was reasonable and in general grades were quite high. Furthermore, students with lower marks had clearly been given a high level of support in order to provide them with every chance to succeed. There is substantial evidence of very careful monitoring of student progress and staff involvement in this process.
Dr Elizabeth Wilding
External Examinator – University of Reading
Students wishing to enrol on the University Foundation Course must:
- have successfully completed secondary school in their own country
- be 17 years or over
- have a knowledge of English at or above the following:
- for entry in September; IELTS score 5.0 or equivalent CEFR B1
- for entry in November; IELTS score 5.5 or equivalent CEFR B2
- Complete this online registration form and pay the £100 registration fee
- Send your high school leaving certificate and / or most recent transcript of grades
- Show proof of English level, either by:
- sending an official English language test certificate or
- by completing the St Clare’s grading test and have an interview via SKYPE
Dates and fees
Students can choose to study for 28 or 35 weeks. Each student’s level of English will be tested before a place is offered on the course. Those students with a specific IELTS score will be given the choice of starting the course in late October and follow a 28 week course. Those students who need to improve their IELTS score will need to start the course in early September and follow a 35 week course; the first 6 weeks will be intensive English preparation.
Students may register for the course if they have the correct standard of school qualification and if they turn 18 in the first term of the course (ie. before the end of December). Students who are still age 17 when they start the course will be required to live in homestay until they turn 18.
Course dates and fees
|Sunday 3 September 2017 – to Saturday 16 June 2018||35 weeks||£18,795|
|Sunday 29 October 2017 – to Saturday 16 June 2018||28 weeks||£15,036|
|Autumn||22 October – 28 October 2017|
|Christmas||17 December 2017 – 6 January 2018|
|Spring||25 March – 7 April 2018|
|Type of Accommodation||36 weeks||28 weeks|
|Self catering — room only|
|Twin Superior (ensuite)||£10,008||£7,784|
|Single Superior (ensuite)||£13,032||£10,136|
|Homestay (includes breakfast and dinner)|
|Single Superior (ensuite)||£10,872||£8,456|
|Meals — lunch Monday – Friday £44 per week|
Some course elements may incur additional costs:
Personal Language Training
Students can add one-to-one lessons to their language classes. Lessons last 55 minutes and are charged at £55 per lesson.
Fees for the following examinations are currently between approximately £30-£150. Please contact Manuela Williams, Admissions Registrar, for more details. Cambridge examinations (may be taken each term except CPE and CAE). Entry and fees are due about three months before the exam date.
- FCE First Certificate in English
- CAE Certificate in Advanced English
- CPE Certificate of Proficiency in English
- TOEIC, TOEFL (for further study in USA) SAT I, SAT II, (3 sets)
- IELTS (for further study in the UK)
Optional college weekend trips / theatre visits / excursions, etc.
- Day excursions at weekends — free to £40
- Theatre tickets and transport — £25 to £45
- Weekend trip with overnight stay (two nights) — £70 to £300
- Additional sports and other activities — £10 to £15 per week
- Stationery/book purchase (loan of books is included in fees)
- General spending money — allow around £80 per week
- Remember, key deposit, police registration (for students from countries outside the EU) and book purchase all need to be paid for in the first week
|Deposit||£500||Refundable after the end of the course less any
|To confirm acceptance of an offered place. The deposit is forfeit if a place is accepted but subsequently not taken up. The deposit is refundable after the second semester when all charges have been met, including the cost of avoidable loss or damage to the College and its property. In case of withdrawal without due notice the deposit is forfeit.|
|Balance of fees||The balance of your tuition and accommodation fees are due for payment not less than three weeks before your course begins. You will not be able to attend classes or take up residence in St Clare’s accommodation if there is any outstanding balance.|
What the Accommodation fees include
- Accommodation from the day of arrival to the morning after the last day of the course; bed linen and towels; room cleaning (weekdays); heating and lighting.
- Accommodation fees include your stay in your house during the mid-semester breaks but not the two week spring break.
- If you have chosen to include meals you are entitled to lunch Monday to Friday (excluding the semester breaks)
- Fees include accommodation as a guest with a local host (appraised and inspected regularly by our Student Services Officer), single room, bed linen and towels, laundry facilities, breakfast and dinner every day (lunches can be bought in college Monday to Friday) and support provided by the Student Services Officer in college. Some of our hosts offer a single superior option (ensuite facilities).
All students studying on our academic year courses are covered by our travel insurance. This insurance policy covers, for example, medical expenses, personal accident, cancellation expenses, personal belongings and travel delay. This detailed Travel Insurance policy document lists those items that are covered. There is no extra charge for this insurance. All students are advised to take out personal possessions insurance for items such as laptops, cameras, mobile devices, and phones.