Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc

Year of entry

2024 course information

Open Days 2024

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UCAS code
CFG0
Start date
September 2025
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
4 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
CDD or above excluding Critical Thinking and General Studies. Applicants taking a science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
Full entry requirements
Available to UK residents only
Yes
Contact
isf@leeds.ac.uk

Course overview

Electronic Engineering UG

This course is for UK students only. International students should apply for the International Foundation Year.

This extended four-year degree provides intensive, well-structured support, to enable your progression onto a degree in science, such as engineering, healthcare, Earth sciences or mathematics. If you’re looking to progress onto Medicine and Surgery BMChB or Dental Surgery MChD/BChD the degree will be six years.

The foundation year is taught by expert academics, who are specialist foundation year practitioners based in the Lifelong Learning Centre (home to the University’s specialist teaching and support for mature, part-time and foundation year students). The Lifelong Learning Centre has extensive expertise in supporting learners with diverse learning and life experience. On successful completion of the foundation year, subject to meeting the specific requirements for progression, you'll advance onto your pre-agreed degree course at the University of Leeds.

During the foundation year, you’ll receive an intensive introduction to the academic and life skills, qualities and techniques that are necessary for success as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduates.

Our curriculum has a focus on digital literacy, ethics and diversity. Compulsory modules in mathematics and a choice of sciences are taken to develop interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of facts and principles across each of the scientific disciplines. You’ll also gain skills for scientific inquiry in practical, laboratory and field work.

There's a strong emphasis during the foundation year on helping you achieve your full potential and development as an independent, self-directed learner. Teaching is inclusive and supportive to make sure you’re intellectually stretched. As a foundation year student you'll be part of the University from day one with all the experiences and opportunities that this offers.

Group sizes vary based on module choices, allowing you to engage actively and develop team-working skills with your peers. Methods of assessment during the foundation year will ensure you’re prepared for further study onto your degree.

This course is for UK students from a widening participation background (who meet our additional entry criteria) who don’t currently meet the typical entry requirements for direct entry to a degree. This course does not accept students with previous higher education experience, including other foundation years or international students.

Lifelong Learning Centre support

The Lifelong Learning Centre provides a supportive environment to enable you to progress to degree-level study. We’ll work with you during your foundation year to provide guidance and help to identify the degree pathway most appropriate for you.

Specialist facilities

As part of the BSc Interdisciplinary Sciences course, you'll have access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. In your foundation year, you’ll have several laboratory experiences where you’ll use some of the facilities within the schools you may progress onto.

As an LLC student, you’ll have access to dedicated study and social spaces. The areas in Beech Grove House and the Marjorie and Arnold Ziff Building (pictured below) offer computer access, reference books and the space to socialise and work with your peers.Students sit around two circular wooden tables. They are engaging in conversation and working on laptops.Staff and student interacting at a reception desk

Course details

The foundation year is structured to provide interdisciplinary understanding and depth. You’ll take compulsory modules in maths, nature of science and chemistry, alongside either biology or physics (depending on your chosen degree course). These are taken together with a selection of other sciences to provide the required broad understanding for successful progression onto your degree.

You'll also gain skills for academic and scientific enquiry in practical, laboratory, and fieldwork.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Nature of Science and Scientific Thinking 20
Introduction to Chemistry 10
Introduction to Mathematics 20

Compulsory modules

Nature of Science and Scientific Thinking (20 credits) - The aim of this module is to enable you to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the nature of science. Using contemporary science topics, you’ll recognise your own experience of learning and participate in reflective practices to inform future learning, and to further develop academic study and research skills.

Introduction to Mathematics (20 credits) - This module aims to develop your understanding of fundamental mathematical techniques required for progression onto your chosen degree programme. It aims to develop your understanding, skills and techniques of basic mathematics to a level at which you can confidently and independently apply these concepts within a scientific context.

Introduction to Chemistry (10 credits) - This module requires no prior knowledge of chemistry. It intends to teach the introductory principles of bonding, electronic structure, basic reactions as well as unusual chemical properties. During this module you’ll be expected to apply knowledge gained from sessions to build a reasonable mental model of the atomic world based on direct observation and abstract concepts.

Other modules (dependant on your degree progression pathway)

Biochemistry (10 credits) - In this module you’ll look at the chemical structures of common biological molecules and discuss how their structure influences their function. You'll explore common analytical techniques used in biology to determine the chemistry of the cell and look at simple chemical mechanisms to understand how chemical change occurs.

The Environment (10 credits) - This module requires prior knowledge of science and intends to apply basic principles of properties to the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. During this module you'll be expected to apply knowledge gained from lectures, in workshops and in the laboratory to build a reasonable mental model of how the Earth and environment is formed based on direct observation and abstract concepts.

Industrial Chemistry (10 credits) - In this module you’ll become familiar with the scope of chemical principles involved in physical chemical processes on an industrial scale and to apply this knowledge to new scenarios.

Waves and Particles (10 credits) - This module aims to develop your understanding of the physical properties of waves and the phenomenon which led to the current model of the atom and modern physics, using theoretical descriptions, demonstrations and worked examples.

Sustainability Chemistry (10 credits) - In this module you’ll apply a mental chemical model of the world, appreciating the application of chemical phenomena to environmental examples in order to develop an understanding of the concept of sustainability as it applies to the Earth and human behaviours.

Applied Biology (10 credits) - The aim of this module is to enable you to develop a theoretical and practical understanding of selected topics of biology, such as disease and treatment, as well as inspiring and enabling you to apply your biological knowledge to solve real world problems as the next generation of scientists, doctors and healthcare workers.

Biology of Populations (10 credits) - This module incorporates aspects of genetics, evolution and ecology. You'll gain an understanding of how organisms interact with each other and their environment, both currently and through evolutionary history. Within workshop styled sessions, you'll have the opportunity to manipulate data sets, make conclusions from evidence and work through scenarios as way of understanding the underpinning science.

Organisms: Form and Function (20 credits) - This module will introduce you to the basic principles of biology at the organismal and cellular level. It will also teach you to integrate, interrogate and interpret biological information, in preparation for your undergraduate studies in the biosciences, medical sciences and food and earth sciences. No prior knowledge of biology is required; topics will be introduced at a basic level before building a more detailed understanding.

Introduction to Physics (20 credits) - This module will introduce you to concepts in mechanics and core physics concepts. You'll gain familiarity with the mathematical toolbox and methods needed to study physics and applied mathematical scenarios at different levels, as well as with the scientific method that can be exported to different disciplines in science. This module will introduce you to fundamental concepts in physics that will be used in other modules and can be found in real world applications.

Electromagnetism and Thermal Physics (10 credits) - This module aims to develop your understanding of several core topics in electricity, magnetism and thermal physics, using theoretical descriptions, demonstrations and worked examples.

Introduction to Calculus (10 credits) - This module will introduce you to the essential calculus concepts required for success on your progression degree. Calculus is an essential tool in many areas of mathematics and science. This module will introduce the fundamental concepts and link the abstract concepts to real world applications.

Introduction to Statistics (10 credits) - This module will introduce you to the essential statistical concepts required for success on your degree. Throughout this module you'll be given lots of opportunities to develop your own problem-solving skills and learn how to apply the statistical theories introduced to simple real-life situations. This module will also look to introduce concepts and techniques that are crucial for future research.

Introduction to Pure Mathematics (10 credits) - This module will introduce you to the essential pure and discrete mathematical concepts required for success on your degree. You’ll consider topics that underpin fundamental theorems of mathematics which can be applied to a variety of areas such as geometry, physics, computer science and philosophy.

Course pathways

These are based on a general degree progression and their essential topics.

  • If you wish to progress onto degrees within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Science you must take an engineer or chemistry-based pathway.
  • If you wish to progress onto degrees within the Faculty of Biological Science or Medicine and Health you must take a biology pathway.
  • If you wish to progress onto degrees within the Faculty of Environment you must take a combined biology and earth science pathway.

You will take 50 credits of compulsory modules, 50 credits of pathway-specific compulsory modules and 20 credits of pathway optional modules.

Learning and teaching

There is a strong emphasis during the foundation year on helping you achieve your full potential. Teaching is imaginative, interactive and supportive to make sure you’re intellectually stretched.

You'll learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops, group tutorials and hands-on practicals, complemented by e-learning, simulation and problem-based learning.

Group sizes are small, enabling you to engage actively and be supported by your peers. A focus on your ongoing development as a learner at university is integrated within all modules. This includes embedded support and activities across all modules to enable you to develop academic and digital skills central to undergraduate study.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

Methods of assessment during the foundation year reflect those that you'll find later in your degree to ensure that you're well prepared for continuing study. Assessment is a key way of enabling you to learn by doing and feedback from tutors supports this process.

You’ll be assessed through a variety of different types of assessment methods, such as examinations, presentations, problem-based learning assessments and writing up experiments.

Entry requirements

A-level: CDD or above excluding Critical Thinking and General Studies. Applicants taking a science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement. T Levels will be considered on a case by case basis. We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications.

GCSE: English, mathematics and science at grade C/4 or above or equivalent. Applicants wanting to progress on to degree courses offered by the Schools of Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computing, Electronic & Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering and Physics & Astronomy will need GCSE mathematics at grade B/6 or above, or equivalent.

Other course specific tests:

Due to the competitive nature of many of the Interdisciplinary Science progression pathways, the admissions team takes into account a wide variety of factors which include, but are not limited to, actual academic performance to date and predicted results for qualifications currently being studied.

Mature applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Competitive progression pathways (Healthcare, Medicine, Dental Surgery, and Engineering degrees) may be closed earlier in the year.

Applicants wishing to progress onto the courses below have specific GCSE requirements:

  • Medicine and Surgery MBChB – GCSE English Language and mathematics at grade C/4 or above (this progression is available to mature applicants only).

  • Dental Surgery BChD and Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy BSc – GCSE English and mathematics at grade C/4 or above.

  • Nursing (Adult) BSc, Nursing (Child) BSc and Nursing (Mental Health) BSc – normally five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English, mathematics, and a science subject.

  • Midwifery BSc – normally five GCSEs; including English, mathematics, and science at grade B/5 plus two others at grade C/4.

  • Audiology BSc, Healthcare Science (Cardiac Physiology) BSc and Diagnostic Radiography BSc – five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above to include English Language, mathematics, and science.

For mature applicants wishing to progress onto Nursing (Adult) BSc, Nursing (Child) BSc, Nursing (Mental Health) BSc, and Midwifery (BSc), please contact the Lifelong Learning Centre for further information.

Additional entry criteria

As well as the academic requirements above, you must live permanently in the UK and meet at least one of the following:

  • your permanent address is in a neighbourhood with low progression to higher education (we use the OfS postcode checker)

  • you attended a school that achieved less than the national average of five grade A*-C or 9-4 passes (including English and Maths) at GCSE or attainment 8 score in a state school. We use the All England State-funded attainment 8 score, excluding applicants from selective and/or independent schools

  • you grew up in public care

We actively encourage applications from mature students. Further consideration will be given to the life experience of mature applicants and the circumstances in which they gained prior qualifications.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

60 credits overall, with 45 graded credits at Level 3 of which 30 must be at Merit and 15 at Pass.

BTEC

Merit, Merit, Pass in National Extended Diploma.

Cambridge Pre-U

P1, P2, P3

International Baccalaureate

24 overall (12 higher)

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

Please contact the Lifelong Learning Admissions Team

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Please contact the Lifelong Learning Admissions Team

Welsh Baccalaureate

Please contact the Lifelong Learning Admissions Team

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants

If you are a mature applicant and you don’t have the required A Levels or GCSE English and Math qualifications, you can complete our Alternative Entry Scheme (subject to meeting the eligibility criteria for the scheme). As part of this, you may be asked to take tests in English and maths and to write an essay.

Contact the Lifelong Learning Centre for more information.

Fees

UK: To be confirmed

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Additional cost information

£10 or less for scientific research project costs in skills module.

Only basic scientific calculators are allowed to be used in University examinations. The recommended approved model is Casio fx-85GT X, which is widely available.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Depending on your circumstances, non-repayable financial support including a fee discount is available from the Leeds Financial Support scheme.

Undergraduate scholarships

Learn more about the means-tested undergraduate scholarship.

Applying

Apply to this Course though UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23.

Admission Guidance

Please mention on your personal statement the subject area you want to progress to.

Please note that the application closing date for progression onto healthcare-related courses, except Midwifery and Nursing (Adult, Child and Mental Health), is 16 October of the year before the year of entry.

Check our admissions guidance page for more information on applying to healthcare-related courses.

Admissions process

Your application will be reviewed by the admissions team. Due to the competitive nature of many of the Interdisciplinary Science progression pathways, the admissions team, when making offer decisions take into account a wide variety of factors, which include, but are not limited to, actual performance to date and predicted results for qualifications currently being studied, contextual information and personal statement. In some cases, you may be invited to an interview if it will help inform whether or not an offer should be made.

Competitive progression pathways (Healthcare, Medicine, Dental Surgery, Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy and Engineering degrees) may be closed earlier in the year. Please contact us for further information.

Mature applicants are encouraged to apply early.

Applicants applying for progression onto healthcare-related courses will be asked to complete the Lifelong Learning Centre’s Supplementary Form. The criteria for assessment include:

• evidence of a sustained interest in the degree you aim to progress onto
• examples of work or voluntary experience you have gained, relating to your degree choice
• evidence of your mathematical and problem-solving experiences

Shortlisted Healthcare applicants will be invited to an interview. Please visit our Admissions Guidance page for more information about the interview process.

If you’re entering through the Alternative Entry Scheme, you’ll be sent details once you have been made an offer.

If you’re made an offer, you’ll be asked to engage with KickStart. This is a pre-entry programme designed to ease your move into studying at the University of Leeds. You’re welcome to contact us for further information.

Admissions policy

Lifelong Learning Centre Admissions Policy 2023

This course is taught by

Lifelong Learning Centre

Contact us

LLC Foundation Year Science Admissions

Email: isf@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

On successful completion of the foundation year, and subject to meeting requirements for progression, you will advance onto year one of your chosen degree courses in biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics, environmental science, food science and nutrition, physics, or psychology.

For more information about specific career opportunities, please check the relevant course information.

A qualification from the University of Leeds counts: our graduates are highly valued by employers. When you complete your degree programme, you will also become part of a network of highly employable graduates.

Careers support

The Lifelong Learning Centre (LLC) has a strong commitment to enhancing opportunity with its own dedicated expert guidance team. Enhancing employability and opportunity are embedded into the LLC, so our students can get dedicated support, as well as the excellent wider university provision.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons University of Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

The study abroad option is part of the progression degree after the foundation year. All opportunities available within the specific progression degree are available to foundation year students.

Work placement opportunities are part of the progression degree after the foundation year. All opportunities available within the specific progression degree are available to foundation year students.

For more information about specific opportunities, please check the relevant course information.

Student profile: Emily Fairbairn

"I was always told that I wasn't good enough in Maths but the foundation year helped me to prove to myself that I was good enough."
Emily Fairbairn, Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year
Find out more about Emily Fairbairn's time at Leeds