International Study Centre

Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Life Sciences

Those with a scientific mind can experience everything from biology to psychology with our Life Sciences pathway, before progressing to a unique and flexible science degree at the University of Aberdeen.

Student walking past campus

Discover the science degree for you

By studying our Undergraduate Foundation Programme in Life Sciences, you can choose to follow the scientific pathway which appeals most to your career ambitions and interests. You will follow your chosen subject route for one year at the International Study Centre before transitioning to the University starting with the second year of your degree.

What will I study?

This three-term programme is equivalent to the first year of your undergraduate degree. The course modules have been designed to complement your university studies, whilst supporting you in both English language learning, settling into UK life and adjusting to a new education system. Taking part in lessons taught in the same style as the University, you will study a mix of core modules - as well as those relating to your chosen subject route.

Term 1

This module covers:

  • health and safety in the lab
  • computing for science
  • experimental procedure tutorial
  • statistics and data handling workshop
  • literature review tutorial
  • laboratory

This module covers:

  • an introduction to the terminology and technical language of chemistry
  • basic principles of organic chemistry
  • solving chemical problems
  • manipulating and using the ideal gas equation to solve gas-law problems
  • the “rules” of chemistry including kinetics, thermodynamics and Hess' law
  • quantitative calculations involving masses, moles, volumes, stoichiometry, balancing equations and pH calculations

Term 2

This module covers:

  • chemistry in the laboratory
  • the principles of chemical equilibrium and the Second Law of thermodynamics
  • analytical techniques used to identify molecules and quantify samples
  • solving complex chemical problems

This module covers:

  • descriptive statistics
  • probability and probability distributions
  • significance testing within an SPC context of control charts
  • building regression models
  • designing and analysing experiments

This module covers:

  • the patterns and processes of evolution
  • the evolution of diversity
  • flowering plants: form and function

This module covers:

  • learning theory
  • personality
  • biological psychology
  • psychological research methods: experimental methods (laboratory, field and natural experiments)
  • non-experimental methods (interviews, observations and correlations)
  • advantages and disadvantages of these methods

Term 3

This module covers:

  • how the world works
  • data analysis
  • causes & consequences of biodiversity
  • scientific writing
  • the global waste problem
  • sustainable food production
  • bioethics
  • ecosystem services
  • estimating population size
  • ecological footprints

This module covers:

  • the beginnings of life and the cell as a functional unit
  • diversity of cells
  • prokaryotes v eukaryotes
  • gene expression
  • cytoskeletons
  • the cell as a factory
  • macromolecules in cells
  • brain and nervous system

This module covers:

  • introduction to sociology
  • theories of crime and deviance
  • the organisation of social life
  • crime and deviance in contemporary society
  • crime control, prevention and punishment
  • crime, deviance and ethnicity
  • crime, deviance and gender
  • criminal justice and the victims of crime
  • social policy

This module covers:

  • social psychology
  • cognitive psychology
  • developmental psychology
  • general research methods (with application to psychology)

Progress to your degree

After you have completed your Undergraduate Foundation Year and achieved the required grades to progress to the University, you can join the second year of your chosen degree. Depending on your career ambitions, you may progress on to a BSc degree or an MA degree. A Scottish MA, or Master of Arts, is an undergraduate degree equivalent to a BA. By studying this pathway, you can study any of the following degrees:

Degree Programme NameAwardOverall GradeEnglish GradeGrade Module
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