Science, Engineering and Computing

Your pathway to an undergraduate degree

This three-term programme comprises core and subject-related modules designed to prepare you for undergraduate study in Holland. These modules will develop your academic skills, English language, employability skills and subject knowledge and prepare you for an English-taught degree in the field of science, engineering and computing.

Studying in small classes for 16 hours per week, plus 20 hours of self-study per week, you will be thoroughly prepared to enter your chosen degree at one of our partner universities.


Core modules

You will study three core modules throughout your programme. These are common to all students studying the International Foundation Year.

The Academic English Skills module provides thorough training in the English language and related academic skills to prepare you for degree-level study at university. You will develop your academic writing, effective reading strategies, presentation skills, note taking, essay writing and ability to contribute in group discussions. This module will ensure you reach the required level in reading, writing, listening and speaking in order to progress to your chosen university. 

You will have a personal tutor who supports your personal development and can help resolve any issues related to life away from home, preparation for the academic world, adapting to independent learning and making the most of extracurricular activities. You will have one-to-one meetings at least once a term to assess your attendance, academic performance and to generally support your experience at the Holland International Study Centre. 

You will study this module throughout your programme to develop the skills you need for university and your future career.

Route modules

You will study a selection of route modules (typically eight over three terms). The modules you study will depend on your chosen progression degree. These modules will introduce you to key topics related to your degree and prepare you for undergraduate study.

Engineering Route

  • Foundation Mathematics B
  • Mechanics
  • Calculus and Trigonometry
  • Thermal Physics, Waves and Electricity
  • Foundation Chemistry
  • Statistics and Vectors
  • Modern Physics
  • Introduction to Inorganic and Organic Chemistry

Computing Route

  • Foundation Mathematics B
  • Mechanics
  • Calculus and Trigonometry
  • Thermal Physics, Waves and Electricity
  • Introduction to Programming and Computing I
  • Statistics and Vectors
  • Modern Physics
  • Introduction to Programming and Computing II

Calculus and Trigonometry

To prepare you for science study, you will develop an understanding of trigonometry (relations in triangles), trigonometric functions (Sine, Cosine and periodicity) and vector algebra (linear algebra). 

Foundation Chemistry

You will learn how to understand formulae, equations, moles and volumetric analysis. You will also study atomic structure, properties of ions and molecules, molecular structure and bonding, states of matter, enthalpy, reaction kinetics, redox reactions, equilibria, acids and bases, and the periodic table.

Foundation Mathematics B

Learn how to apply mathematics to everyday situations and cover the basics in calculus, algebra, functions and derivatives.

Introduction to Programming and Computing I

This module develops an understanding of the key elements of modern computing with an introduction to Flowchart design, Systems Design and Object Oriented Programming upon on which you can further develop programming skills.

Introduction to Programming and Computing II

This module develops an understanding of the key elements of modern computing with an introduction to Systems Design, Programming, Databases, and Web Development. The module offers hands-on experience activities to develop your practical skills.

Introduction to Inorganic and Organic Chemistry

This module develops the basic principles of chemistry and will stimulate your appreciation of the social, environmental, economic and technological impact of chemistry on the community. You will study organic chemistry, electrochemistry, acids and bases, lab techniques, mass spectrometry, and more.


An introduction to vectors, linear and projectile motion and analysing and constructing graphs. You will gain an understanding of the physical principles that describe classical mechanics, circular motion and gravity. Concepts include forces in equilibrium as well as in motion, energy, power and momentum. The module concludes with a discussion on circular motion and Newton’s law of gravity. 

Modern Physics

You will develop an understanding of atomic, nuclear and quantum physics. You will also receive a short introduction to astronomy, Earth’s energy balance and energy production technologies. Topics include radioactivity, nuclear physics, energy production, energy transfer and energy balance, differential equations, Doppler effect, Hubble and astronomy, photoelectric effect, matter waves and Bohr model. 

Statistics and Vectors

In preparation for science study, this module teaches basic probability and basic vector algebra. You will look at statistical data, tree diagrams and Bayes’ Theorem, modelling and problem solving, and more.

Thermal Physics, Waves and Electricity

This module will develop your understanding of thermal dynamics with a focus on the kinetic theory of gases. You will then study simple harmonic motion and wave phenomena. The module concludes with the study of electricity and magnetism.


The programme is formed of modules. You'll be monitored through continuous coursework and end-of-term or end-of-module assessments to ensure you stay on track. Your continuous coursework includes a series of presentations and extended essays.
Key facts 

Start: September

Length: Three terms

Term dates:

Entry requirements


'This year is crucial'

International student Manh in classroom with windows showing Amsterdam in background
Holland International Study Centre student Daria

I am really grateful to my physics teacher. In Ukraine I didn’t do well in physics because I wasn't interested in it, but he helped me to fall in love with physics.

Daria from Ukraine
Studied International Foundation Year in Science, Engineering and Computing
Now studying BSc Economics at Tilburg University

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.