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Northumbria University - QA Higher Education

United Kingdom


Northumbria University Pathway (NUP) provides a supportive and inclusive learning environment, preparing students for life post-education and teaching skills that will last a lifetime. The college is in partnership with QA Higher Education, and is based at the Newcastle campus, granting students access to all university facilities.

The university has recently invested GBP 200 million, to ensure the campuses are places where students enjoy spending time, studying or socialising. Students also receive expert guidance to improve their English language and academic abilities. They develop skills which lead to future study and employment.

The Pathway College offers three international pathway programmes. The International Foundation Programme is for students who need to improve their English and academic skills and develop awareness of academic culture in the UK. This programme allows progression onto year one of an undergraduate degree at Northumbria.

The International Year One – Business facilitates progression onto year two of an undergraduate degree, and the Graduate Certificate allows progression to progress onto a master's degree. Completing the Pre-Master's programme can lead to studying a master's programme in business, mass communication, or computing and information technology at the Newcastle or London campuses.

Northumbria University has an impressive five-star overall rating for teaching and employability (QS Stars Rated for Excellence 2019). With over 32,000 students from 125 nationalities studying at Northumbria, the university is ranked 41st in the UK (2022 Guardian University Guide).

Newcastle is regularly voted one of the top UK student cities (Top Universities, 2019). The city is full of activities, a thriving nightlife scene and friendly locals. It also has great transport links to other destinations in the UK and offers a low cost of living.

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What's new

What's new

Northumbria University's focus is on providing a safe and welcoming learning environment for students. The Pathway College plans for the pathway programmes to be taught through a mix of face-to-face on-campus and online learning activities. International students who are unsure of their travel plans are encouraged to contact the admissions team, who will be able to help discuss the available options to minimise any impact to studies.

The International Foundation Programme includes six pathway options. These are Applied Science, Art, Design and Media, Business and Law, Computing, Engineering and Humanities and Social Science. The International Year One Programme is now offering both 12-month and nine-month study options for prospective students.

The university is continuously reviewing the current situation and updating applicants and students where possible.

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Teaching quality

Teaching quality

Northumbria's three pathway programmes offer international students with the chance to progress to UK degree-level study. Pathway programmes offer the skills and confidence required to enter a course of study at a UK university. Students receive expert guidance from Pathway College's highly experienced team of professional instructors, who prepare them for the next stage of education. Students are assigned a tutor who leads weekly teaching tutorials and workshops. The tutors also provide extra academic support for students with aspirations to study further in specific subject areas.

Teaching takes place at the university's main campus, which is close to Newcastle city centre. International students are taught on-campus sharing study facilities with degree students, which helps them to feel integrated into the wider university community. Tutors are experienced with teaching students from all over the world. They help students develop the qualities they need to meet the expectations of future employers. Students who successfully complete their pathway programmes can progress onto studying an undergraduate degree at Northumbria University.

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International Foundation

International Foundation

The International Foundation Programme is a pathway to undergraduate education at Northumbria University. The programme has been specially designed to support international students who wish to study an undergraduate degree at Northumbria University. The International Foundation Programme can lead to almost any undergraduate degree offered by Northumbria University. There are six pathways students can choose from:

  • Art, Design and Media
  • Business and Law
  • Engineering
  • Computing
  • Applied Science
  • Humanities and Social Science

Courses are available in six, nine and 12-month options, depending on the level of IELTS a student has attained. There are 22-24 hours of classes per week and starting dates for these courses are in January, March, July and October.

Academic entry requirements are five GCSEs at grade A-C, or equivalent. English language requirements are an IELTS score of 5.5, with no band lower than 5.5, or equivalent from a UKVI Approved Centre. Programme content centres around the chosen subject area. Students who successfully complete the programme have a guaranteed place on their desired undergraduate degree course at Northumbria.

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The Pre-Master's programme is for those who don't quite meet the entry requirements for a postgraduate degree. This programme has been designed to help students meet these requirements. Upon successfully completing the Graduate Certificate, students are eligible for entry onto a master's degrees course at Northumbria University in the following subject areas.

  • Business
  • Computing and information technology

The courses last three months, or one semester. There are up to 10 hours of classes per week and starting dates for these courses are in September (January and May only available in London). Academic entry requirements are a pass, third class or ordinary UK undergraduate degree, or equivalent. English language requirements are an IELTS score of 6.5, with no band lower than 5.5, or equivalent. The fee for international students for the 2021/22 academic year is GBP 6,750, and applicants must be over 21 years old to apply.

A 50 per cent pass rate must be achieved for progression to postgraduate study.

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Northumbria University was ranked 10th for student facilities in the UK in 2017 (The Student Experience survey). With GBP 200 million recently invested into developing its academic facilities and social spaces, the university ensures a high-quality environment in which students are able to thrive.

Top class amenities and a lively campus atmosphere help international students feel at home in no time. The Newcastle campus has everything needed for students from all backgrounds to thrive as a Northumbria student, both in and out of the classroom. Facilities provided include:

  • Sports facilities
  • Food vendors
  • Libraries
  • Accommodation
  • Laboratories
  • Support services

The campus is also home to an award-winning Students' Union and more than 130 societies which are available for all students to join.

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Scholarships & funding

Scholarships & funding

Northumbria University Pathway has funding in place for international students. Eligible students may receive a scholarship or bursary to support their studies. The amount available depends on their chosen programme, nationality and previous academic qualifications.

Scholarships are awarded on a case-by-case basis. Students do not need to apply for a scholarship or bursary, if they are eligible then they will automatically be given the award. Students can find full details online and can get in touch with the admissions team for more information. Currently, there are no scholarships or bursaries for Graduate Certificate programmes.

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To find out more about the information shown here – read about How we collect and display course information. IDP assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. We always recommend that you speak to an IDP counsellor to get the latest and most accurate advice.

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