Engineering Foundation Year

London, Stratford (UCL East)
Engineering Foundation Year (2023)

At UCL, we welcome students who want to become engineers and require the qualifications needed to apply to our undergraduate engineering degrees. This is an exciting, new opportunity for talented and enthusiastic students from UK state schools, and with a fully-integrated support package in place, this programme is designed to enable you to succeed.

UK students International students
Study mode
1 academic year
1+3 academic years (BEng) or 1+4 academic years (MEng)
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2024
Application deadline
31 Jan 2024
UCAS course code
The UCAS codes for the integrated Engineering foundation degrees you can apply to are listed in the Next steps section (below).

Entry requirements

In order to apply for the Engineering Foundation Year, applicants need to fulfil a mixture of academic criteria and eligibility criteria. 

All applicants must meet the following Academic Criteria:

100 UCAS points

We require 100 UCAS points from the list of acceptable educational qualifications below, with no specific subject requirements from a UK State School: 

  • A levels, which can be combined with other qualifications from this list
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • Access to HE Diploma
  • BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
  • Scottish Advanced Highers
  • Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects
  • Welsh Baccalaureate
  • T levels


  • Applicants must have a minimum of grade 5 or C in English Language and Mathematics.

2024/25 Eligibility criteria

As well as fulfilling the academic requirements, applicants must either meet one criterion from the following:

  • Care experienced - A care experienced applicant, aged under twenty-five on their first day at UCL
  • Forced Migrant - You have refugee status or Humanitarian Protection in the UK or you are currently an asylum seeker in the UK
  • Mature student - Those who are 21 years or older on the day they start their first undergraduate degree.

Or two criteria from the following:

  • Young Carer - someone who provides unpaid care to a family member who they live with and who is unable to manage without this support
  • Estranged - Applicants that no longer have a relationship with any family members. You must be under 25 on your first day at UCL
  • Educational Gap - Applicants who have experienced a gap of more than one year
  • Eligible for Free School Meals - Applicants who were eligible for free school meals during year 11 (the final year of their GCSEs)
  • Postcode Eligibility - Applicants live in an area that has a high level of financial, social or economic deprivation, or low progression to higher education.

The above criteria is a summary. For full definitions, please review our Eligibility Criteria on our website.

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

Our Engineering Foundation Year is designed for students who do not meet the standard requirements for entry at UCL and want to spend one year developing professional and personal skills alongside core academic content.

This is an opportunity to become a future engineer. This course will help you to develop confidence, academic and study skills and gain subject specific knowledge. The Engineering Foundation Year enables you to take hold of your potential and will prepare you for one of our specialist Engineering undergraduate programmes.

For students wanting to stretch themselves intellectually while needing to gain, or refresh, their fundamental skills before entering into an Engineering degree, this programme is ideal. It is designed to support your individual needs to enable long-term development and success rather than focussing on short-term achievement.

The Engineering Foundation Year offers a preparation ground for you to enter one of our Faculty of Engineering programmes and provides you with the best chance of success in your studies. Students taking this programme are also interested in looking at things from multiple perspectives and enjoy making links between different Engineering disciplines and problem-solving. You will have an enthusiasm for engineering, but perhaps you have either been away from education for a while or explored subjects or qualifications that do not typically allow entry to engineering programmes.

You may be well-suited to this programme if you have other responsibilities such as financial and/or family and you're interested in a programme which can work around these.

What this course will give you

If you have aspirations to become an engineer, but do not have the qualifications for direct entry at UCL, this is an opportunity to transform your future. As a student you can gain access to this unique pre-degree programme that can enable you to continue onto study an undergraduate degree at UCL.

If you achieve at least a 60% pass at the end of this programme, you will be able to embark on one of the participating engineering undergraduate programmes at UCL. We’ll provide significant extra support to help you reach this pass mark. If you don’t reach the pass mark, we’re in touch with other prestigious universities in London and the South East where you may be able to continue your studies. For those who want to go straight to work at the end of this programme, our careers service will support you.

You will gain an education from a world renowned, Russell Group university. UCL is ranked 8th in the world, 4th in both Europe and the UK (QS World University Rankings 2023). This programme is based at the brand new, purpose-built UCL East campus, providing cutting edge facilities and a focus on using knowledge to bring about real world impact.

Teaching and learning

During the foundation year, you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

Upon successful completion of the foundation year, you can progress to your chosen undergraduate Engineering programme at UCL.


Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

The programme is not designed to replicate any of the material taught in the first year of engineering degrees, rather it is designed to prepare you for university learning experiences, to instil academic confidence, boost academic and study skills and provide you with a strong set of base knowledge to allow you to thrive in the programme of your choice. Hence, a core element is the supportive environment created including wraparound support which may include peer-to-peer mentorship or an academic counsellor to support with particular challenges e.g. academic writing.

In this programme, students will cover relevant A level material with a strong emphasis on developing professional and personal skills that are necessary for a university course and beyond. The core science content will be taught using problem-based learning (PBL) – an approach that has been shown to enhance student engagement with the material, leading to improved learning. The programme will consist of taught strands that connect with project-based activities.

Your learning

The foundation year develops the fundamental knowledge necessary for studying engineering at degree level while at the same time developing academic and professional skills to give you a flying start. It uses small group and problem-based teaching to support student learning. The modules are blended by design to provide flexibility with a high level of tutorial and pastoral support to ensure the best chances of success.

Typical contact hours and hours of self-directed study include:

  • Engineering Design Project: 60 UCL credits = 30 ECTS, 600 learning hours of which 170 contact/ laboratory hours, 430 study hours
  • Engineering Design and Professional Skills 30 UCL credits = 15 ECTS and 300 learning hours, of which 130 contact/ laboratory hours, and 180 study hours
  • Introduction to Engineering Mathematics and Science (300 hours) 30 UCL credits = 15 ECTS and 300 learning hours, of which 100 contact/ laboratory hours, and 200 study hours


The material on this programme is taught by a variety of methods, including group work, project-based learning, activities and workshops. Assessment is done by exams, work portfolios, quizzes, peer grading and other activities.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

The foundation of your career

The Engineering Foundation Year is your first step towards an exciting future career in engineering. UCL engineering graduates are recognised as some of the most talented globally, and go onto a range of workplaces. The diverse nature of engineering means careers are possible in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), designing structures such as skyscrapers and bridges, developing new materials for building or clothing, creating spacecraft and satellites, plus much more.

A career-focused programme that has the potential to turn you into a sought-after, well-paid professional engineer, the Engineering Foundation Year is an opportunity for you to reshape your future.


Gaining an education in engineering is about teaching you how to think, not what to think, and this ethos is engrained in the Engineering Foundation Year. This means that you will gain plenty of hands-on experience to shape your real world problem solving skills, through our Integrated Engineering Programme model. Ultimately, this programme is about giving you the right knowledge and study skills to be able to confidently embark on an undergraduate degree by the end of the year. On achieving the pass mark for this programme (60%), you will continue to one of our participating engineering degrees. Even if you do not continue your studies at UCL, you will walk away with a range of new skills essential for future employment in a range of fields.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £6,000
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

For UK students, the Foundation Year is £6,000 and fees for the Undergraduate programme are £9,250 per year.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

There are no additional programme-specific costs for this programme.

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding your studies

Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.


The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Next steps

Your application

The Engineering Foundation Year is designed to address education disadvantage and we will consider a broad range of possible educational backgrounds. All applications for the Engineering Foundation Year will be reviewed and assessed carefully against academic and eligibility criteria. You may be asked to indicate which category your education or experience falls into, from the list under ‘Entry requirements’. In addition, please include why you would like to study Engineering and what your future ambitions are.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

You should apply for the relevant Engineering programme you wish to progress to after you’ve successfully completed the foundation year. The list of options are:

  • Biochemical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year BEng - FY01
  • Biochemical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year MEng - FY03
  • Biomedical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year BEng - FY24
  • Biomedical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year MEng - FY23
  • Chemical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year BEng - FY04
  • Chemical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year MEng - FY06
  • Civil Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year BEng - FY09
  • Civil Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year MEng - FY10
  • Computer Science with Integrated Foundation Year BSc - FY12
  • Computer Science with Integrated Foundation Year MEng - FY13
  • Electronic and Electrical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year BEng - FY17
  • Electronic and Electrical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year MEng - FY18
  • Mechanical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year BEng - FY21
  • Mechanical Engineering with Integrated Foundation Year MEng - FY22
  • Mechanical Engineering with Business Finance with Integrated Foundation Year MEng - FY25


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

After your application has been reviewed, you may be invited to an assessment day where you will meet members of the Engineering Foundation Year team at UCL. You won’t be tested on knowledge, but rather on how you approach a challenge. Attendance is required in order to receive an offer for study.

Got questions? Get in touch

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