International Relations Foundation Programme


Program Description

International Foundation Programme (IFP)

This one-year (3 term) programme offers successful students guaranteed progression* to Coventry University. You will study your Foundation programme at our state-of-the-art Centre located at the heart of the Coventry University campus.

This programme gives guaranteed progression* to Year 1 of a wide range of undergraduate degrees or the International Year One in Business & Management.

Who is this programme designed for?

This programme is designed to prepare international students, who have completed senior secondary education, for entry to undergraduate studies at Coventry University. If you successfully complete the IFP you are guaranteed placement on a suitable programme of undergraduate study at Coventry University. The IFP is set at level 3, which is equivalent to A-level standard in the UK.

How long will I study for?

This programme lasts one academic year (nine months). The year is divided into three terms of seven to eight teaching weeks and one reading week. You will undertake up to 25 hours of classroom-based study per week.

What will I study?

This programme includes English and three academic subject modules. English will be integrated into the teaching of academic subjects, as well as being taught separately if you need additional support to develop your English language.

There are five academic pathways to choose from and you will study the pathway most suited to your chosen progression degree. Academic skills relevant to the specific subject area will be taught to fully prepare you for university study. The pathways are: Business, Economics, Finance and Management, Engineering and Sciences, Humanities, Law and Social Sciences, Life Sciences and Art and Design.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed at regular intervals throughout the programme to ensure you are making the progress required to successfully complete the programme. Full assessment of the programme will take place in the final term. Assessment methodologies are aligned to those that will be experienced in the University environment, and include project work, essays, presentations and unseen examinations

Humanities and Social Sciences

At the end of the programme you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate familiarity with the main International Relations theory: Realism and Liberalism and how they affect international politics
  • Describe key theoretical concepts – Marxist critique – World System theory – Core Periphery – Constructivism
  • Show knowledge of the significance of the nation state in the modern world
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the concept of humanitarian intervention
  • Describe how significant natural resources are in development and the problems they create
  • Describe human rights issues round the world as well as the role of NGOs in championing them
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the different meanings of the concept of globalisation
  • Analyse the competing views of scholars regarding the role of China as a rising hegemony
  • Describe the key international institutions of development particularly the role of the IMF
  • Understand the political causes behind the rise of political Islam
  • Describe how the key financial institutions of the world function- why the World Bank operated as it did before 1991 and how it operates now
  • Describe cultural identity, religion as a global issue, and its impact on global politics
  • Understand some of the major environmental issues in the global context: global warming; pollution; diseases; deforestation
  • Identify the causes of environmental problems
  • Understand ways by which the International Community aimed to prevent and resolve global
  • environmental problems
  • Demonstrate knowledge of current geopolitical tensions over the new energy crisis
  • Show knowledge and understanding of the evolution of world energy consumption
  • Provide some assessment of debates over the nature of EU-Russia relations: geopolitical tensions over Ukraine: the Crimea Crisis 2014
  • Understand the economic, sociological and political causes behind the rise of ethnic and religious diversity in fragmented societies
Globalisation and Internationalisation

The module is organised thematically and chronologically. The module starts with an introductory session on the discipline of International Relations and how it was developed and then it looks in more detail at political events and economic developments such as the rise of globalisation; the emergence and transformation of the nation-state; the main causes of social tensions, specifically, the module considers ethnic and religious conflict in fragmented societies; capitalism and uneven development. In later sessions, the module looks in more detail at concepts and practices such as the concept of humanitarian intervention and its legality; the rise of a new type of war - virtual terrorism; the rise of China; environmental degradation; the political economy of oil; geopolitical tensions and nuclear proliferation.

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of major political and global issues which dominate contemporary world politics.
  • Show knowledge and understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives and concepts accounting for these global issues
  • Identify and discuss the role of state and non-state actors ordering the contemporary
  • global political environment
  • Show knowledge of key political and economic developments taking place on a global scale
  • Critically analyse and debate about key concepts and practices in contemporary International Relations

Human Interactions

This module seeks to explain human interactions by combining study of a variety of academic disciplines such as, economics, sociology, psychology, media and the environment. This interdisciplinary module aims to introduce you to different theoretical perspectives and provides materials by which we can better understand the workings of human interactions. Among the topics to be covered are income inequality, unemployment, economic growth, education and development, economic reforms, trade and FDI, urbanisation, environmental management and sustainability, media influences. Economic topics will familiarise you with key developments in economic analysis mainly from a macroeconomics perspective and will also investigate the relations of some core economic topics (corruption and institutions) with sociology. The module will also stimulate your knowledge with some of the most up to date and crucial topics of the economic policy agenda, such as the effects of the recent global economic crisis and the associated reforms in the public sector.

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:


  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the role of supply: i.e. side policies in the long run-education; human capital; R&D; institutions
  • Account for the role of research and development in generating new knowledge i.e. appropriability and fertility of research
  • Show knowledge and understanding of the role of capital accumulation in economic growth i.e. capital deepening vs. technological progress
  • The role of institutions in economic growth i.e. property rights, the rule of law, political stability


  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the returns to education i.e. education and earnings (does it to pay to go to University?)
  • Show knowledge and understanding of public education and knowledge spillovers i.e. impact of tuition fees in the UK Universities
  • Account for the significance of educational reforms and human capital
  • Describe private education vs. public knowledge spillovers i.e. the new tuition fees regime in the UK and its fiscal effects


  • Understand the concept of unemployment
  • Describe and account for types of unemployment i.e. frictional; structural; seasonal; demand efficient
  • Show knowledge and understanding of policies and labour market adjustments i.e. minimum wage policies and unemployment benefits
  • Demonstrate knowledge of decomposition of unemployment across geographical regions, genders, and age groups i.e. youth unemployment vs. middle age unemployment); female vs. male unemployment


  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of measurements of inequality: such as Gini coefficient, poverty line
  • Describe changes in the pattern of inequality overtime: such as policies of income redistribution; different types of taxation; and wealth; the role of the state
  • Identifying inequality across countries-geographical differences: Scandinavian model vs. The Anglo-Saxon model
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of policies to reduce inequality: such as progressive taxation, welfare state, social security, provision of public goods


  • Demonstrate familiarity with the sources of corruption i.e. the nature of the political system; lack of meritocracy; clientelism
  • Understand the impact of corruption on economic outcomes i.e. corruption and national efficiency
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the relationship between corruption and political instability- i.e. the rise of social pathologies such as crime
  • Discuss the concept of corruption in relation to democracy with special emphasis on the role of the state


  • Show knowledge and understanding of the sources of the 2008 global financial crisis i.e the collapse of Lehman Brothers; the accumulation of public debt; the Euro crisis (the Greek case); Memorandum, Troika and the role of IMF
  • Demonstrate familiarity with the role of the state and sovereign debt i.e. a new era of austerity and the debt recession vicious cycle
  • Identify and discuss structural reforms and debt i.e. the IMF consensus; product and labour market liberalisation policies
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding with the aftermath of the financial crisis i.e. widening in the income inequality gap


  • Understand the process of urbanisation
  • Describe Implications of growing urban areas
  • Demonstrate knowledge of managing sustainable urbanisation i.e. economic sustainability, environmental social justice and inclusion, good governance
  • Account for the conflict between urban growth and environmental sustainability


  • Demonstrate knowledge of environmental management: water, coastal and Island resources, agriculture, land degradation; atmospheric issues, urban environments and industrial pollution issues
  • Show familiarity with environmental management methods, tools and techniques

Skills for Humanities and Social Sciences

This module aims to equip you with successful skills and strategies required within the Humanities and Social Sciences programme. Academic study is not only associated with learning concepts and subject knowledge but involves developing many transferable skills ranging from academic and professional writing, critical thinking, referencing, editing proofreading, to making effective presentations and working independently and/or as part of a group, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management.

Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

  • Use successfully the skills and strategies required within the Humanities and Social Sciences programme
  • Use practical skills successfully (note taking, academic writing, referencing, exam and revision techniques)
  • Use research skills as preparation for assessed written work i.e. data collation and analysis (surveys, basic statistical techniques used in sociology and demographic studies)
  • Absorb and filter information in the planning of assessed work
  • Read a range of materials, critically evaluating the strength of different arguments
  • Communicate information, arguments, ideas and issues effectively and appropriately, both in writing and orally
  • Work independently and as part of a group, demonstrating initiative, self-organisation and time management

English Requirements

from 4.5 IELTS or equivalent, with no single element less than 4.0, for 3-term IFP*

  • Extended programmes are available if you do not have the required English language level. These programmes last 4 terms and include an English language module (ELM) followed by the 3 terms of Foundation required to apply for entry to the first year of your undergraduate degree. If your language level is below 4.0 IELTS or equivalent then we offer the English Language Preparation Programme (ELPP)

Sample Timetable

Cost & Fees

Last updated Dec 2018

About the School

ABOUT ONCAMPUS ONCAMPUS teach pre-university and first-year programmes leading to a wide range of undergraduate and Master's degrees at leading universities across the UK, USA and mainland Europe.

ABOUT ONCAMPUS ONCAMPUS teach pre-university and first-year programmes leading to a wide range of undergraduate and Master's degrees at leading universities across the UK, USA and mainland Europe. Read less