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Engineering Foundation Year

Start date
1 year
UCAS code
Course Type
Undergraduate, Foundation, Single Honours

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2024/25 are £9,250
Further fee information

Our inspiring Engineering Foundation Year is an integrated foundation degree, giving you access to our highly ranked engineering undergraduate courses. If you do not have the qualifications necessary to apply directly for first-year entry, this could be the course for you.

The Engineering Foundation Year can lead to Bachelors degrees in aerospace engineering, civil engineering, electronic and electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, mechatronic and robotic engineering,  and railway engineering.

Once you’ve completed the course successfully and have meet the subject-specific progression criteria, you will automatically join your chosen first-year course.

The foundation year is multidisciplinary and offers a broad programme of study, providing a solid level of knowledge across science, engineering and mathematics. Mathematics is essential for all students to succeed within Engineering and Physical Sciences and as such we place a great emphasis on this subject in the Foundation Year. The skills you learn here will allow you to enter the first year on an equal footing to those who have taken A level Mathematics.

The foundation year provides an excellent opportunity to study at a leading research-focused university without the required qualifications needed for first-year entry. All teaching takes place on the main Birmingham Edgbaston campus, the home of the majority of our undergraduate degrees. As such, you will have access to the same excellent facilities as other students, for example, the state-of-the-art library, sports centre and the stunning new outdoor space: the Green Heart.

Why study the Engineering Foundation Year Programme

  • Teaching on the Foundation Year is provided by the same academic staff who are involved in our accredited degree programmes across the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. They are global experts in their field and provide teaching in leading edge facilities and laboratories.
  • A broad programme of study providing a solid level of knowledge across science and mathematics
  • Academic contact and support, each student is allocated a personal tutor
  • Builds confidence in mathematics, team-work, computer literacy and communication skills
  • We produce graduates ready for the fast-changing marketplace.

Meet our Student Bloggers

The best way to find out what life is really like as a student in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham is to hear from our students. Our students study a range of programmes from across our college – from Mathematics to Mechanical Engineering. Get some great tips and a real insight into what life is really like if you choose to study with us.

Read our blogs >> 


You will take the following modules as part of the Foundation Year:

Core modules

Optional modules

Choose 60 credits. Example modules:

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2024. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Annual tuition fees 2024/25

UK students - £9,250

Visit our tuition fees page for more information.


The University offers a range of additional financial support for students studying at Birmingham in the form of other bursaries, grants and scholarships.

How To Apply

Apply through the UCAS website using code HFJ0.

Important information: When completing your UCAS application, please indicate the degree you intend to follow after the Foundation Year. You must include this under ‘Further details’ in the ‘choices’ section of the application by using the relevant code from the following:

  • For all Civil Engineering programmes: Civil
  • For all Electronic and Electrical Engineering programmes: Elec & Elec
  • For all Mechanical Engineering programmes: Mechanical
  • For all Metallurgy and Materials Science/Engineering programmes: Materials 

UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

View advice on how to apply for undergraduate courses.

A Levels

BBB. Students taking Mathematics are not considered, General Studies not considered

T Levels

Merit overall, with core grade B from one of the following T Level courses:

  • Maintenance, Installation and Repair for Engineering & Manufacturing
  • Engineering, Manufacturing, Processing and Control
  • Design and Development for Engineering & manufacturing

Other T Levels are not considered


Minimum 6/B in GCSE Mathematics

Access to Higher Education

In Engineering, Combined Sciences (with at least 12 credits in either Chemistry or Physics), Chemical Sciences or Physical Sciences with 60 credits overall with at least 45 at Level 3 out of which 30 are at Distinction.

International Baccalaureate

32 overall with 555 at Higher Level, Mathematics not considered.

BTEC and Cambridge Technical

BTEC and Cambridge Technical  Extended Diplomas are considered on a case-by-case basis dependent on syllabus. A science-based subject is required.

DDD Extended Diploma in Engineering, Applied Science or Computing with entry test.
Others accepted alongside A Levels as above.

Applicants taking these qualifications are advised to contact the University before making an application.

Alternative offers through our Pathways to Birmingham programmes and our Contextual Offer scheme

Students who are eligible and successfully complete a Pathways to Birmingham programme will receive special consideration from admissions tutors and an alternative offer (typically two grades below the standard offer). In addition, our Contextual Offer Scheme recognises the potential of students whose personal circumstances may have restricted achievement in school or college. If you are eligible to benefit from the contextual offer scheme, you will receive an offer which is one grade lower than the standard offer.

International Students

Please note this course is only open to UK students. Overseas students may apply to one of our foundation pathways, which offer specially structured programmes for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on Birmingham International Academy web pages

You will be taught by a mixture of professors, doctors and postgraduates, thereby receiving a rich diversity of academic knowledge and experience. You can find out more about the members of staff in the School of Engineering where you can read about their qualifications, publication history and specific areas of interest.

What can you expect

Depending on the modules you select, each week you will have 16-18 hours of lectures and  classes/labs per week, plus possible timetabled extra support classes for some students.

As a Birmingham student you are part of an academic elite and will learn from world-leading experts. We advocate an enquiry-based learning approach and from the outset you will be encouraged to become an independent and self motivated learner, qualities that are highly sought after by employers.

Your learning will take place in a range of different settings, from scheduled teaching in lectures and small group tutorials, to self-study and peer group learning (for example preparing and delivering presentations with your classmates). To begin with you may find this way of working challenging but rest assured we will enable you to make this transition. You will have access to a comprehensive support systems that will assist and encourage you.

Contact Hours

Depending on the modules you select, each week you will have 16-18 hours of lectures and  classes/labs per week, plus possible timetabled extra support classes for some students.

Assessment Methods

You will be assessed in a variety of ways, and these may be different with each module you take. You will be assessed through coursework, which may take the form of essays, group or individual presentations and formal examinations. Each module is assessed independently.

We place a strong emphasis on providing prompt and informative feedback on all piece of work that you submit during your studies.

Which career path you eventually take will be influenced by which discipline you elect to study.

Please view the employability tab on the following courses to see examples of the possibilities open to you after graduation:

Careers Network

We provide a wealth of opportunities to develop your career. From your first day at Birmingham to after you graduate, the Careers Network  is here to help you identify and achieve your individual career aspirations through its wide range of services.

Our dedicated careers team brings you information, advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs. Careers advisers offer one-to-one advice appointments where you can discuss your career plans and explore your options. In addition, our employer-endorsed award-winning Personal Skills Award (PSA) recognises your extra-curricular activities, and provides an accredited employability programme designed to improve your career prospects.

Visit the Careers Network website for more details