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What is NCUK?

NCUK, which stands for Northern Consortium UK, was set up by the Universities of Bradford, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan, Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores, Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan, Salford, Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam to provide pre-university programmes for international students who wish to undertake further studies in NCUK partner universities or affiliated institutions.

In addidtion to the owner universities listed above, NCUK has many partner universities across the U.K. which accept the IFY qualification.

NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY)

The IFY programme lasts for one academic year and prepares international students for degree courses in a range of subjects, covering Humanities, Business, Science and Engineering.  It provides four modules for students to study, comprising three subject modules and the Research and Communication Skills module which develops essential academic study, language and computer skills.

The subject modules include:

Mathematics Economics
Further Mathematics Business Studies
Biology Society & Politics
Chemistry International Relations
Physics Research & Communication Skills (for all students)


The IFY is designed to assist international students in meeting admission requirements in NCUK universities. It emphasises the development of independent learning, personal research, critical thinking and the academic skills required for further studies.

The final NCUK IFY grade is based on a combination of coursework contributing 30% and the examination 70%. Once students successfully complete the IFY, NCUK guarantees them a place on an appropriate degree course at a partner university.