Engineering and the Environment

H008 BEng/MEng Engineering/ Physics / Geophysics Foundation Year

The University of Southampton Engineering, Physics and Geophysics (EPG FY) Foundation Year is designed to provide you with a route onto an engineering science based degree. If you do not yet have sufficient mathematical or scientific experience with your existing qualifications, the EPG FY will provide you with the necessary grounding to progress onto one of our many science based degree programmes.

This programme may suit you if you are studying for A Levels in subjects different to those normally required for these degrees. It may also interest you if you are a mature applicant, with skills and experience from employment, or if you come from a part of the world where the education system differs from that of the British A Level system.

Students registered on our programme are full-time members of the University of Southampton student community with access to accommodation, within halls of residence, and full use of recreational, sports, library and IT facilities.

Programme Overview

The foundation year is the preliminary year (often called Year 0) of a four or five year programme. By applying for this course you are expressing an interest in pursuing one of the following engineering subjects, leading to either BEng or MEng awards.

  • Acoustical Engineering
  • Aerospace (Aeronautics and Astronautics)
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Electromenchanical Engineering
  • Electronic Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Ship Science

Successful completion of our Foundation Year will guarantee you a place on one of our engineering programmes.

This EPG Foundation Year also qualifies you for entry to a range of degrees in other branches of engineering, and in the fields of physics and geophysics at the University of Southampton. However, if you are interested in either environmental sciences or audiology, you should explore the separate Environmental Sciences with Foundation Year programme.

To Apply

You should normally apply through UCAS, quoting course code H008, and stating which sector of engineering you are interested in.

The University's Admissions Tutor for all Engineering, Physics and Geophysics Foundation Year applicants is Dr Anna Barney, who is based on the Highfield Campus, Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 3113, Email:


The majority of our degree courses carry professional accreditation.

Key facts

  • A route to a degree in a science based subjects for students without the traditional entry qualifications.

  • Designed to build up your competence in mathematics and physics.

  • Approximately half of EPG Foundation students are from overseas, and up to a third are mature students (over 21).

  • Taught on the University's Highfield Campus.

Meet our students

Alistair Bailey

Thumbnail photo of Alistair Bailey

“Southampton was both the friendliest and most realistic in the advice they offered me: my interviewers recommended I did the Foundation Year here prior to my undergraduate degree, which turned out to be very good advice. I also wanted to have a more unified University experience of the type available here, rather than to be at a London university with their scattered campuses.”

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

A Levels:

A Levels: BBB. Applicants taking both Mathematics and Physics as full A Levels are not normally eligible for this programme. General Studies, Critical Thinking and Use of Mathematics are not accepted.


38 points, 18 at higher level to include 6 in Mathematics and 6 in Physics; standard level 5 English

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 6.5 in each band, or recognised equivalent, you will be able to join the course without the need for additional English Language classes.

If you have achieved IELTS 5.5 with 5.5 in each band, or recognised equivalent, you can take the Language Pathway A option. This provides you with additional language tuition to help you succeed with your degree studies.

If you have not yet reached IELTS 5.5 but plan to be based in Southampton, you could consider taking a separate Preparatory Language course.

Selection process:

Intake: 140 (overall intake for Engineering, Physics and Geophysics Foundation)
Average applicants per place: 12

Each application is considered on an individual basis. You will need to demonstrate an aptitude for maths, either through recent study, or by taking our Mathematics test. For mature applicants we look for recent study (for example, completed Open University modules) or relevant work experience.

More details about entry and selection can be found on the University of Southampton's Engineering, Physics and Geophysics Foundation Year pages.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

Subjects include mathematics, mechanical science, electronics and engineering principles. It is assessed by a mix of written examinations and coursework.

On the Pathway A option, you will also have specialist English language tuition.

You can find full details on the Engineering, Physics and Geophysics Foundation Year programme and module specifications page.

Learning and assessment

Knowledge and Understanding:

Having successfully completed this programme you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Mathematical methods of algebra, trigonometry, vectors, differential and integral calculus and differential equations
  • The scientific principles relevant to mechanics 

Teaching and learning methods:

You will acquire knowledge and understanding through a mixture of small group teaching, supported problem solving, tutorials, laboratory work, private study and (non-assessed) coursework. 

Assessment methods:

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. 

Subject Specific Intellectual Skills:

Having successfully completed this programme you will be able to:

  • Select and apply appropriate mathematical models to solve abstract and real-world problems
  • Use scientific principles in the development of solutions to simple realworld problems
  • Select and use appropriate computer based methods to analyse and present data, reports and other information 

Teaching and learning methods:

Intellectual skills are developed through the teaching and learning programme outlined above. Each course will help you to develop problem solving skills and the ability to apply your knowledge through discussion, example and practice. Students will be given individual feedback and advice on their progress in these areas throughout the programme. 

Assessment methods:

The assessment methods described above place emphasis on your ability to demonstrate the intellectual skills listed here through the production of coherent answers to problems, suitable choices of methods and assumptions.

Computing skills are assessed through computing assignments set throughout the year.

Transferable/General Skills:

Having successfully completed this programme you will be able to:

  • Manage your own learning
  • Solve problems
  • Record, analyse and evaluate data
  • Apply mathematics 

Teaching and learning methods:

These skills are developed in classes and tutorials through discussion and interaction as well as individual work. Managing own learning is learnt, rather than taught, through the requirement to organise your private study and to meet the deadlines for submission of work; problem solving is a theme you will find running throughout the course as is application of mathematics. Data recording, analysis and evaluation is developed through practical laboratory and computing sessions.

Assessment methods:

Assessment of these skills is generally integrated into the coursework for the programme. Effective communication, and data recording, analysis and evaluation are important in presenting the outcomes of laboratory work; application of mathematics and problem solving are generally assessed through unseen written examinations and coursework assignments. Managing own learning is not formally assessed. 

Subject Specific Practical Skills:

Having successfully completed this programme you will be able to:


  • Manipulate mathematics
  • Communicate effectively through graphical means
  • Use and understand mathematical, scientific and technical language
  • Find and correct errors in your work
  • Use SI units
  • Make realistic estimates of the answers to problems
  • Plan and undertake experimental work, explain results and identify potential errors and their likely effect
  • Use common IT tools 

Teaching and learning methods:

These skills are developed as part of the teaching and learning programme and are integrated into the courses, tutorials and individual work. Individual feedback on progress in developing these skills may be given during personal tutorials and problem solving classes.


The assessment of these skills is integrated into the coursework and examinations you will be required to complete.

Career Opportunities

Successfully completing the foundation year gives you guaranteed entry to many of our engineering and other science programmes, most of which carry professional accreditation and offer excellent career prospects.

Graduates who have come through the foundation route often progress to exciting science, technology and engineering roles in the private and public sectors, both in the UK and overseas.

Career Opportunities

This EPG Foundation Year also qualifies you for entry to a range of degrees in other branches of engineering, and in the fields of physics and geophysics at the University of Southampton. However, if you are interested in either environmental sciences or audiology, you should explore the separate Environmental Sciences with Foundation Year programme.

Our Foundation Year graduates often progress onto successful science, technology and engineering roles within the public and private sector, both in the UK and overseas.