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International Foundation in Healthcare

Key Information

This course is for international students only, UK students are advised to apply for Public Health.

Key information

Undergraduate course


  • Three Trimesters


  • September


  • Cambridge


Entry Requirements
English – UKVI IELTS overall 5.5 (minimum 5.0 in each band) (or equivalent)
Academic – 5 GCSE at grade 3 or above (or equivalent)

International Foundation in Healthcare Flyer

International Foundation in Healthcare Overview

This International Foundation in Healthcare course has been developed for international students to provide a broad base of skills that can be useful to students as they progress through higher education. As a student, you will study across a broad base of transferable knowledge and skills areas, becoming skilled in critical analysis and problem-solving, supporting you to understand how to manage, support and drive forward healthcare services, organisations and communities.

Students will also be introduced to the core skills necessary to succeed in higher education, including thinking critically, researching and referencing appropriately, demonstrating appropriate numeracy and ICT skills.  In addition to these fundamental study skills, students will be given an introduction to the various scientific disciplines underpinning the life sciences, including the social sciences. Fundamental mathematical skills will be covered in order to support students’ other subjects and give them confidence in manipulating data.

Pathway progression

This is a standalone NQF level 3 foundation.

Provided you meet the requirements, you will be granted a visa for the duration of the Foundation. During this Foundation, you will be supported through the process of applying to BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult). Please be aware that entry to ARU’s degree course is not guaranteed and the admissions process will be competitive and include an interview, however, you will receive support throughout your Foundation to prepare for the interview.

During the NQF level 3 foundation, students will only be able to work 10 hours per week and will need compulsory 85% attendance otherwise visa and right to remain in the UK will be withdrawn.

Students who are successful in receiving an offer for

will be issued an NQF level 6 visa for the duration of their nursing degree. Support for the visa application will be available.

For students not eligible for BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult), but who successfully pass the International Foundation in Healthcare, we can guarantee you a place on Public Health BSc (Hons). 

Course Structure

Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC)

Interactive Learning Skills and Communication (ILSC) will help you to develop your academic, research, communication, and literacy skills in preparation for your undergraduate degree. ILSC covers reading, writing, speaking, and listening and will give you an understanding of institutional culture, practices, norms, and expectations of UK higher education. You will develop transferable skills such as effective communication to support ongoing study, career, and professional development skills.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Information Communication Technology (ICT) provides you with the practical computer skills needed for university. In this module, you will cover fundamental topics surrounding the use of technology and discuss these together with societal and ethical perspectives. This will allow you to reflect on and discuss the main challenges facing society and consider the implications of your technology use. This module requires no previous technical experience and will introduce you to practical ICT skills that will be needed for academic success across many areas of higher education. By the end, you should have sufficient proficiency in the Microsoft Office productivity suite for planning and producing presentations, using functions, and writing formula to display, formatting and analysing quantitative data, and producing written assignments to a standard appropriate to higher education.

Core Maths

Core Maths has been designed to ensure you will have the necessary basic numeracy skills needed for university. Within this module, you will practice various mathematical manipulations and apply these concepts to real-life situations, to indicate the importance and applicability of mathematics to your future degrees. You will study a wide range of core mathematics including arithmetic skills, algebra, solving equations, probability, and basic statistics, all of which will be extremely beneficial for supporting you in your studies.

Introduction to Academic Language

Introduction to Academic Language is vital for aiding your understanding and use of academic vocabulary and grammar. This module will give you the knowledge and skills required for successful academic writing, in order to facilitate your productive and receptive skills at undergraduate level. You will cover lexis, grammar, and paraphrasing and will undertake a variety of activities to improve your linguistic appropriateness and accuracy.

Preparing for a Career in Caring

Preparing for a Career in Caring has been designed to do just that! This module provides you with a current snapshot of UK health and social care services and will help to prepare you for your future in the health and social care sector, whether this be in nursing, cancer care, mental health, or other caring professions. You will address current events and common situations in the healthcare sector and learn about the structure and types of healthcare provision in the United Kingdom. You will develop knowledge and understanding of the core values of the National Health Service (NHS), the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), and Social Work England (SWE). You will also develop your communication skills, especially as they apply to interviews or professional presentations that you will encounter later in your studies and professional life.

Biology – Physiology

Biology is the study of living organisms and Physiology is an aspect of this which looks closely at the functions and mechanisms in a living system. In this module, you will study the science of body function and its relation to the structure, or anatomy, or the organism (physiology). You will learn how the main organ and regulatory systems work to enable the body to function and respond to change, whilst maintaining a constant internal environment. You will also gain foundation knowledge of organ systems and different regulatory systems, as well as learning to classify organisms and their major components. You will also be introduced to classification and the basic principles of genetic inheritance and consider this in the context of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

Critical Thinking

This module aims to enable you to participate in and practice independent learning tasks for deeper thought and investigation as needed for Higher Academic pursuits. You will participate in a Socratic Discussion based around Conspiracy Theories and Source Checking to encourage presentation and debating skills. You will be encouraged to invest in strategies that will deepen understanding and interpretation of processes, motives, argument, rationale, credibility, and possibilities which will then be applicable to a range of studies. You will also undertake research, based on an issue related to your degree programme, to review the main points of examining an argument in depth. You will then learn to create a personal response that analyses the content of the issue under study.

Introduction to Academic Genres (non-credit bearing)

In this module, you will be introduced to some of the most common academic genres and related terminology including process, cause and effect, compare and contrast, and argument and persuasion. You will also put into practice key writing conventions, including punctuation, grammar, cohesion and paraphrasing.


Ethics is all about making decisions based on what you consider to be correct and not correct which is a discipline that is fundamental for students in higher education. Within this module, you will discuss the complexity of ethical theory and will investigate the status of several major ethical theories and claims and consider some practical ethical issues which are impacted by these theories. You will be encouraged to use critical thinking and research to discuss descriptive, normative, and analytic approaches to ethical problems and you will also look at how ethics is applied within the humanities, technology, business, medical and legal contexts.


Psychology will teach you about the brain and psychosocial contexts within the humanities and sciences. Within this module, you will look at how research has informed theories about how we think and behave, and how this applies in a variety of contexts. You will learn about the main psychological approaches (cognitive and behavioural; psychodynamic; developmental, social and biological) which will be discussed in relation to current psychological theory. You will also be given an introduction to psychopathology through the discussion of mental health disorders. By applying psychological principles to current events and common situations, you will gain a greater understanding of human actions and motivations.

Research Reports

This module is fundamental for facilitating further studies as it will give you hands on experience in analysing qualitative and quantitative data for research purposes. You will combine language skills and academic skills to enhance your research abilities and learn how to report your results. For this module, you will choose a topic you wish to research, carry out a questionnaire, and analyse and report on the data you have collected. When carrying out the research, you will have to consider key features of communication, including clarity, accuracy, and appropriateness. In the data analysis stage, you will need to identify trends and use critical thinking skills to provide possible reasons for the results and in the report writing stage you will work on structure, lexis, and grammar, as well as basic strategies to avoid plagiarism.

How do I progress onto BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult) after successfully completing my International Foundation in Healthcare?

Step 1

UCAS Application

Submit your UCAS application by the deadline.

Step 2


Once you have applied, you will be invited to an interview with ARU.  The interview will follow the Multiple Mini Interview Process.

Step 3


You will need to complete an ELPT test to fulfil the English language requirements for ARU’s entry requirements.

Step 4

Accept your offer with ARU through UCAS

Providing you have successfully completed the International Foundation in Healthcare pathway and ARU have offered you a place on one of their registered nursing courses, you can now accept your offer.

Step 5

DBS and Occupational Health Check

You will need to undertake a DBS and Occupational Health checks before starting your degree.

Step 6

Start your Degree

Begin studying on BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult).


What makes a great nurse?

There is not one mould that fits all when it comes to nursing, but great nurses are competent and responsible professionals who strive for excellence in patient care. They embody the NHS Constitution and the 6 C’s: care, compassion, courage, confidence, communication, and competence but most importantly, they exemplify emotional intelligence and are visionaries.

Great nurses inspire those around them – fellow nurses, doctors and patients. Their positive behaviour, practical mindset and compassion is what sets them out from the crowd and their determination and strength is what creates a long and passionate career.

When you graduate, you’ll be eligible to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Therefore, you must be aware of and uphold the NMC’s professional values and behaviours. Additionally, as you’ll be working with service users at a very vulnerable time in their lives from early on in your degree, and throughout your career, you’re expected to be familiar with and uphold the NHS Constitution and values.

Related links

For more information about intake semesters and campus location please see our course matrices.

Find out the academic entry requirements for our courses listed by country. Unless stated, requirements are standard across all courses.

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