The University of Southampton

Foundation Year Engineering/Physics/Maths/Geophysics

The Foundation Year provides an introduction to mathematics, mechanics, computer programming, electricity and electronics, and engineering principles and provides the skills required to study successfully for an undergraduate degree.

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Introducing your degree

If you want to study for a degree in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or Geophysics but you did not choose mathematics and physics at A level, our Foundation Year is the ideal choice for you. This intensive year of study includes both theoretical and practical activities and attracts highly motivated students who want to make a change of direction in their studies. Successful completion of the Foundation Year can lead you to a place on any one of 17 different integrated undergraduate degree disciplines.


In this preliminary year of study you will learn the core principles of mathematics, mechanical science, engineering principles and electricity and electronics. You will also undertake laboratory work and a variety of assignments to develop your critical thinking and problem solving.

During your Foundation Year, you will receive full support from subject tutors and feedback to progress your academic development.

Engineering/Physics/Maths/Geophysics Foundation Year description

Engineering/Physics/Maths/Geophysics Foundation Year description (Language Pathway A)

Engineering/Physics/Maths/Geophysics Foundation Year description (Language Pathway B)

To Apply

Applications should be made through UCAS using the relevant UCAS code for your discipline:


Engineering courses:

BEng Acoustical Engineering with Foundation Year (H340)

MEng Acoustical Engineering with Foundation Year (H016)

BEng Aeronautics and Astronautics with Foundation Year (H420)

MEng Aeronautics and Astronautics with Foundation Year (H410)

BEng Aerospace Electronic Engineering (H46H)

MEng Aerospace Electronic Engineering (HH40)

BEng Biomedical Electronic Engineering (H1H6)

MEng Biomedical Electronic Engineering (HH16)

BEng Civil Engineering with Foundation Year (H220)

MEng Civil Engineering with Foundation Year (H413)

MEng Civil Engineering with Architecture with Foundation Year (H2K1)

MEng Civil and Environmental Engineering with Foundation Year (H209)

BSc Computer Science with Foundation Year (I100)

MEng Computer Science with Foundation Year (I101)

BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H604)

MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H605)

BEng Electrical Engineering with Foundation Year (H621)

MEng Electrical Engineering with Foundation Year (H622)

BEng Electronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H612)

MEng Electronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H613)

BEng Mechanical Engineering with Foundation Year (H421)

MEng Mechanical Engineering with Foundation Year (J512)

BEng Mechatronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H360)

MEng Mechatronic Engineering with Foundation Year (H631)

BEng Ship Science with Foundation Year (H518)

MEng Ship Science with Foundation Year (H510)

BEng Software Engineering with Foundation Year (I300)

MEng Software Engineering with Foundation Year (I303)


Geophysics courses:

BSc Geophysics with Foundation Year (F662)


Maths courses:

BSc Mathematics with Foundation Year (DG1R)

MMath Mathematics with Foundation Year (BG1M)


Physics courses:

BSc Physics with Foundation Year (F301)

MPhys Physics with Foundation Year (F305)


For more information, contact the Engineering, Physics, Maths and Geophysics Foundation Year Admissions Team:

Phone: +44 (0)23 8059 3113


Programme Structure

The Engineering/Physics/Maths/Geophysics Foundation Year is a one-year full-time course integrated with a further three or four-year degree course.

Key Facts

  • Guaranteed progression onto chosen undergraduate degree (providing you achieve minimum progression grades)
  • Our engineering and physics courses are ranked in the top ten in a variety of UK league tables
  • Choice of 17 undergraduate degree disciplines on completion
Thumbnail photo of Michael Raven

“I chose the course at Southampton as the Foundation Year is a well-established and recognised pathway onto world-renowned undergraduate degrees.”

Michael Raven - Engineering/Physics/Geophysics/Maths Foundation Year
Our Malaysia Campus

Study in Malaysia

The Engineering Foundation Year is also taught at our Malaysia Campus.

Find out more

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:
GCE A-level

If you have not taken both mathematics and physics at A-Level then you will usually need a Foundation Year. Our offer for students who have studied A-Levels is typically ABB. Please note that we cannot accept subjects that make you eligible for direct entry (for example holding A-Levels in both mathematics and physics). All applicants need Grade B in GCSE mathematics and Grade C in GCSE English language.

International BaccalaureateA typical offer for the IB is 32 points overall, including 5 in Standard Level / 4 in Higher Level Mathematics. Please note that we cannot accept subjects that make you eligible for direct entry (for example both Mathematics and Physics at Higher Level).
BTEC Extended Diploma

Typical offer for Extended Diploma (18 Units) in an engineering subject is DDD, to include Distinctions in Mathematics for Technicians and Further Mathematics for Technicians units.

Other qualifications

If you have UK qualifications not listed above, your application will be considered on an individual basis. Visit our International Office pages for more information in entry requirements for international students.

If you can show a proven ability in mathematics and science, but you come from a region or country where an A-Level equivalent qualification is not available, you may be considered for the Foundation Year.

Mature applicants:

We welcome applications from mature applicants (aged over 21). Applicants will need to demonstrate recent study (in the last two years) or work experience relevant to your preferred subject area. Study could include for example an A level, a relevant Level 3 Access course, or a 60 Credit Level 1 Open University module. You will also need to demonstrate an aptitude for mathematics; applicants may be required to take our own maths test. Applicants may also be invited to an individual interview. Please contact us for more information before applying.

English language

If English is not your first language, we ask you to obtain a recognised language qualification. If you can demonstrate that you have achieved IELTS 6.5 with at least 5.5 in each band, or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University, you will be able to join the course without the need for additional English language classes.

If you have achieved IELTS 5.5 with at least 5.5 in each band, or a recognised equivalent, you can take the Language Pathway option. This gives you the specialist extra language tuition to help you succeed in your degree.

If you have not yet achieved IELTS 5.5, you may wish to consider our Presessional English courses.

Selection process:
Average applications per place:

Each application is considered individually. However, you need to demonstrate an aptitude for maths, either through recent study or by taking our maths test.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Whatever degree you are aiming for, you will take all of the modules listed below. In addition you will be expected to complete coursework in all subjects. The year is divided into two semesters, each lasting 15 weeks. Modules last for two semesters.

Year 1

Semester One
Semester Two

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

Course fees for 2017/18 full-time UK and EU undergraduate students are typically £9,250 per year. Tuition fees for international students differ between each course. Most part-time courses cost 50% of the full-time fee.

View the full list of course fees

Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at


You will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.


Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.


Students may wish to purchase additional laboratory notebooks. Cost varies depending on personal choice.

IT: Computers suitable for completing all assessed tasks for this course are provided in the University computing suites, but students may wish to purchase their own laptop to enable them to study more effectively away from the campus.

Printing and copying

In some cases, coursework and/or projects may be submitted electronically. Where it is not possible to submit electronically students will be liable for printing costs.

Career Opportunities

Successfully completing the Foundation Year gives you guaranteed entry to the majority of our engineering, physics, maths and geophysics courses. Our engineering courses carry professional accreditation and offer excellent career prospects.

Graduates who have entered our degrees through the Foundation Year have progressed to a variety of exciting engineering, science and technology roles in the private and public sectors, as well as to self employment and consultancy, both in the UK and overseas.

Learning & Assessment

Teaching and learning

Our students acquire knowledge and understanding through a combination of lectures, tutorials, laboratory experiments, coursework and individual and group assignments. You will develop the transferable skills for degree success.

Ground-breaking research

The University has an excellent reputation for research in engineering and science. You will be taught by staff at the cutting edge of their research fields in an environment that promotes and values independent enquiry and helps you to develop these skills for yourselves.

Assessment and examinations

You will be assessed through unseen written exams, short tests, assessed coursework in the form of laboratory log books and reports, problems and other set assignments.

Study Locations

Boldrewood Innovation Campus

Boldrewood Innovation Campus

Burgess Road, Southampton, S016 7QFFind out more

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