Key Information

Level: Level 3
Tuition fee (21/22): 2-term- £10,500; 3-term- £13,000
Leads to: Undergraduate degrees in Computing at the University of South Wales
Entry requirements: GCSE/IGCSE 5 Passes at A-C or equivalent
English language requirements: From IELTS 4.5 (with no single element below 4.0)
Minimum age requirement: 17 (must turn 18 within 3 months of starting the programme)
Duration: 2-term (8 months) or 3-term (10 months)
Contact hours per week: 16 – 20
Assessment methods: Coursework, presentations, portfolios, projects and in-class tests
Scholarships and bursaries: Available
Location: University of South Wales, Pontypridd, Treforest Campus
Average class size: 16
Maximum class size: 18
Starts: October and January
Next application deadline: 6 September 2021

*Subject to validation

The International Foundation Programme (IFP) Computer Science prepares you for university study in the UK. It helps you develop your academic skills and improve your ability to use English in an academic context, together with building your subject knowledge.

By studying an International Foundation Programme – Computer Science you will have the opportunity to:

  • Study in a friendly environment alongside other international students
  • Develop subject knowledge in the Computer Science field
  • Discover and develop the core skills that are expected at the University
  • Prepare you to manage your time and learn independently
  • Gradually adjust to academic study at University and life here in the UK
  • Explore and learn subject knowledge relevant for your chosen degree and future career
  • Experience academic assessments helping you to prepare for undergraduate study

The Pathway College is a partnership between the University of South Wales and QA Higher Education – a UK pathway provider. The pathway programmes are validated by the University and taught by QA Higher Education. The courses are designed to prepare you for the seamless transition to an undergraduate degree.

What will I study?

Studying on the International Foundation Programme – Computer Science Pathway will allow you to explore the subject area which you have chosen for your studies at undergraduate degree level.

English term

For those of you who require additional English language support, you will study a 3-term International Foundation Programme that includes a term of English language preparation. This aims to improve your English language skills with a focus on the development of reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. You will also study vocabulary, grammatical accuracy and oral fluency.

Studying a term of English allows you to:

  • Improve your English language skills so that you are better prepared for the modules and assessments you will need to study on the foundation programme
  • Develop your self-confidence and team-working skills by working on a group video project based around a current UK issue
  • Become accustomed to how English is applied in a University context
  • Make friends with other international students from all over the world whilst improving your English

The term of English is also applicable for those of you who have had little opportunity to study in an English institution or are looking for a more gradual introduction into studying at University.

How will I learn?

You will be taught in larger groups for lectures and smaller groups for seminars and workshops. You will also meet with your tutors individually for additional academic support.

To prepare for your lectures and seminars, you will have access to our online learning platform, where you can access course information, content and your weekly reading lists.

In addition to lectures, seminars and workshops, you are expected to spend approximately 15-20 hours per week on self-study.

Independent study activities can include preparatory reading for seminars, research for your assessments, revision quizzes, practice writing tasks, discussions with your classmates in preparation for group presentations.

Contact hours

  • 16-20 hours of lectures, seminars and workshops per week
  • 20-30 minutes of 1-1 tutorials with your Academic English and/or your Pathway subject tutor per week

Self-study hours

  • 15-20 hours per week


  • Coursework, presentations, portfolios, projects and in-class tests

All modules are core and worth 20 credits unless stated.

This module aims to develop the core language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) you need to demonstrate for academic study at the undergraduate level.

The module has been designed to help you develop the type of language used in an academic context and help you engage effectively with the teaching environments you will experience at the undergraduate level, together with the types of materials and sources you will be expected to use.

Module content will include: listening to lectures and note-taking; critical reading of semi-academic and academic texts: production of a variety of writing genres; participation in various speaking tasks. You will also enhance your academic vocabulary and grammatical accuracy.

This module has been designed to help you develop your English language and academic skills in the context of your area of undergraduate study.

You will be introduced to academic reading and listening resources linked to some of the topics covered in the related pathway subject modules. Tasks will focus on developing language and vocabulary related specifically to your subject area.

A team-based learning approach will be adopted in this module and you will work on a group project during the module.

The main aim of this module is to help you gradually develop as an independent learner so the scope of the content is wide and varied. A combination of practical and interactive sessions and independent tasks will help you gain and practice skills in:

  • Personal and study skills (e.g. time management, assessment planning)
  • Digital literacy – basic IT skills including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, email communication, etc
  • Academic seminar discussions
  • The importance of good academic conduct – referencing, citation and avoiding plagiarism
  • Preparation for assessment

By completing this module, you will have enhanced your existing ICT skills, developed competence in research and study skills, the ability to work independently and with others and you will have learned how to maximise your opportunities as a student at a UK university.

The module provides you with an opportunity to select an area of interest related to your target degree and explore this in the context of academic study. You will be given several tasks, which help to guide you through each step of the process of developing an academic essay.

During this process, you will develop the key knowledge and skills you will need in your undergraduate degree, such as research skills, essay planning, organising ideas in a written format, and using academic sources.

You will also have an opportunity to enhance your presentation skills by delivering a presentation on the topic of your essay.

This module has been designed to introduce you to the fundamental mathematical concepts that have applications in STEM subjects. You will develop a practical understanding of several concepts through solving mathematical problems that relate to STEM subjects.

The module aims to develop your mathematical confidence by illustrating how solving problems using a maths toolkit will provide useful information for decision making in the contexts of STEM subjects.

The module has a practical approach, presenting problems in a variety of contexts relevant to your destination degree.

This module is designed to develop your computing knowledge and give you an understanding of how information technology has changed businesses and society. This includes knowledge of what information is and how it is created, stored and processed.

Using hands-on practical sessions, you will be introduced to the latest technologies underlying the Internet of Things and wrangling your code, to prepare you for a world where coding is embedded in most aspects of life.

You will be challenged to find your solutions to some of the classic problems of computing and develop key problem-solving skills. Successful completion of this module will give you a strong foundation of knowledge and skills relevant to computing-related degrees at the undergraduate level.

Applicants should have the following:

Academic requirements

  • GCSE/iGCSE – 5 Passes at A-C
  • Where UCAS tariff is applicable or relevant, applicants should have an equivalent of 30 UCAS tariff points from either 1 A Level and 1 AS or a minimum of 2 AS Level qualifications.

For country-specific entry requirements, please contact our team, who will be happy to assist.

English language entry requirements

  • IELTS 5.0 (with no single element below 4.5) or equivalent from a UKVI Approved Centre – you can join the International Foundation Programme (2-term IFP)
  • IELTS 4.5 (with no single element below 4.0) or equivalent from a UKVI Approved Centre – you will need to complete an additional term of English before joining the International Foundation Programme (3-term IFP)

If you have the equivalent of IELTS 5.5 overall with no sub-score below 5.5, you will be able to apply for a joint CAS for the whole of your foundation and undergraduate study at the University of South Wales. This means you will only need to apply for your Student route visa once for your entire UK study, with no additional English language testing requirements.

Minimum age requirements

  • 17 – must turn 18 within 3 of your pathway programme

Tuition fee 2021/22

  • 2-term – £10,500
  • 3-term – £13,000

Scholarships and bursaries are available, subject to eligibility, contact us for more information.

Additional costs of your course can include the following:

You will need a laptop or PC (with the Microsoft Office package installed) to prepare your assignments.

You should be prepared to buy any stationery (pens, pencils, notebooks, folders, etc.) you need for your classes as well as specialist materials you may need for your pathway projects. This figure is very dependent on the type of project you decide to complete.

There may occasionally be trips organised, which may form part of your course requirements.

We would suggest allowing an additional £250 to cover these costs.

Following the successful completion of your programme, with a pass mark of at least 40% in each module, you will progress on to the undergraduate degree programme you applied for at the University of South Wales.

You can apply online to study this programme by clicking on the Apply Online button for your chosen duration (2- or 3- term).

Next application deadline: 6 September 2021

IELTS level October 2021 January 2022
IELTS 5.0 Apply for October (2-term) Apply for January (2-term)
IELTS 4.5  Apply for October (3-term) Not available


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