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Engineering Foundation Year (Foundation programme)

  • H101

4 years (full-time) / n/a (part-time) / n/a (distance / e-Learning)

Are you one of the many people who would like to become an engineer but do not have the right qualifications? If so, at the Cardiff School of Engineering we have a course which might suit your needs. The course is called the Foundation Year and is specially designed to give you the necessary basic knowledge to enable you to cope with an engineering degree scheme.

Students walking from Main Building

Although the Foundation scheme lasts for one year, it must be considered as an entry route to one of our degree schemes. It is not a stand alone year, but the initial part of a programme of study leading towards a BEng or MEng degree. Once you successfully complete the Foundation Year you will progress to the first year of your chosen degree scheme.

Key Facts

UCAS Code H101
Duration 4 years
How to apply
Typical places available The School admits c350 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes
Typical applications received 1,900
Scholarships & Bursaries
Typical A-level offer AAB, excluding Maths
Admissions Tutors Dr Richard Perks
Tel Number 029 2087 4656
Email address
School website

Course Structure

The course is designed to expose students to a broad spectrum of engineering through modules consisting of lectures, tutorials and case studies. These include aspects of mathematics, physics and information technology that are relevant to engineering but omit many of the subjects taught at A level. The practical nature of the course contrasts with the way such subjects may have been presented at school. Assessment is by project work, continuous assessment and end of semester examinations.

Please click here for further details of module or course structure.

Entry Requirements

The course is aimed at a wide range of potential applicants. For instance, if you have a GCSE pass in Mathematics and good A level passes in subjects that are not recognised for direct entry to our degree schemes, (eg. no Maths A level), the Foundation Year would be an ideal route for you to enter engineering. Likewise, if you have a BTEC or a similar vocational qualification in a non-engineering subject, an overseas Baccalaureate or School Leaving Certificate that is not recognised for direct entry, then why not consider the Foundation Year?

Special consideration is afforded to students with alternative experience who show the drive, commitment and potential necessary to complete the course and continue further to gain a degree. In these cases, formal qualifications may be waived after consideration of vocational experience, although some evidence of mathematical and scientific ability would need to be evident.

Further information about our Engineering degrees can also be found on Course Finder.

The Cardiff School of Engineering is an integrated School with a reputation for providing education of the highest quality. The School is renowned for its up-to-date teaching and research facilities and its strong links with industry. The School’s graduate students are in great demand from industry and the public sector across the UK, and internationally.

No matter which degree programme you choose, you will be taught the fundamental aspects of engineering through a combination of lectures and tutorials, supplemented by the practical aspects of engineering which are taught through laboratory and project-based work. On average, you will have 20 hours of timetabled lectures, laboratory classes and tutorials each week and will be expected to supplement this with your own private study. Our teaching is organised into modules and you will take twelve modules per year, normally six in each of the two semesters. Each semester consists of eleven teaching weeks, one revision week and an examination period. Staff are always happy to clarify any material or answer any of your questions and help with specific aspects of a module can be directly obtained from your lecturers.

Your progress in each module is usually assessed mid-way through each semester (through a one hour test) to give you feedback on your progress, then finally at the end of the appropriate semester. Assessment is undertaken using a variety of different methods including formal written examinations, case studies, assignments and project work.

Your first year of academic life will expose you to a broad range of new and exciting experiences. To help you through this transitional period in your life, upon starting your studies at Cardiff, you will be assigned a personal tutor who is a member of the academic staff associated with your degree programme. Your tutor will be there to advise you on academic, non-academic and personal matters in a confidential and informal manner as and when you need some guidance. We aim to help you overcome any problem, however big or small, as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Typical A-level Offer  AAB
Typical WBQ Offer  Pass in the advanced diploma AA/AB at A-level
Typical Int Bacc Offer  34 points
Other Applications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome. Please see detailed admissions and selection criteria for more information.

A list of commonly accepted alternative entry qualifications and admissions and selection criteria for this degree programme can be read here.

In 2010, 89% of the School’s graduates were in employment or engaged in further study within six months of graduation. Our graduates occupy key positions in leading firms where engineering skills are required, such as Halcrow, Atkins, BP, RWE npower, Mott McDonald, Network Rail, Tata Steel, and beyond. Our graduates have also moved on to work within local and national governments, UK and international utility companies and organisations such as Climate Energy and GlaxoSmithKline.

Being at the forefront of engineering research means that Cardiff has excellent links with industry and the School is scrutinised by a panel of top industrialists on a regular basis. In addition, numerous links have been developed with companies, both in the UK and overseas, through our Year in Industry programmes and through consultancy and advisory work by staff. You can be confident therefore that Cardiff’s School of Engineering has an ethos which is entirely focused on providing you with the knowledge, experience and connections to succeed in your chosen career.

Next intake:

School Contact

Name: Dr Richard Perks  

Telephone: 029 2087 4656 

Fax: 029 2087 5902 


School Website:

More information

School of Engineering