Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the University Foundation College?

University Foundation College is new in Qatar and managed by academic professionals. It offers an opportunity to students who have successfully completed their High School qualifications to study for recognised UK university foundation preparation programmes in Doha, Qatar.

What are the programmes offered in Doha, Qatar?

  • Pre-IFY; constitutes of mainly English language and Mathematic skills.
  • NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY), validated by the Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK); Business, Humanities, Engineering & Sciences pathways will be available (evening programme is available for the Business & Humanities pathway).
  • English language course in General English (evening programme is available).
  • IELTS Preparation courses (short to long courses).

Is the University Foundation College licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar?

University Foundation College is licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

What is NCUK?

NCUK stands for ‘The Northern Consortium of UK universities’, an educational charity established in 1987 by 11 of leading UK universities. NCUK has over 30 Study Centres across the globe, with the objective of preparing International students for university degree programmes worldwide.

Is NCUK recognised?

NCUK Qualifications are recognised by universities in the UK and worldwide. The procedures are based on those commonly in use for collaborative provision in UK universities and conform to the indicators of sound practice set out by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) in its Quality Code. The NCUK International Foundation Year is deemed comparable to GCE A Levels by UK NARIC. The NCUK Universities are as follows:

  • Aston University
  • The University of Birmingham
  • The University of Bradford
  • The University of Bristol
  • The University of Huddersfield
  • The University of Kent
  • Kingston University
  • The University of Leeds
  • Leeds Beckett University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • The University of Manchester
  • Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Queen Mary University of London
  • The University of Salford
  • The University of Sheffield
  • Sheffield Hallam University

Outside of the NCUK Universities, successful students are accepted on to a wide range of programmes by universities worldwide.

For more information about NCUK, please visit the links below:

About NCUK


What is the NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY)?

The NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) will prepare you for first-year entry to undergraduate degree courses. NCUK offer students a choice of streams in Business, Humanities, Engineering and Science; where you can study a combination of modules that fit in with your degree destination. The NCUK IFY is now recognised by UK NARIC as equivalent to GCE A level for entry to universities.

What if I do not meet the entry requirements for the NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY)?

The University Foundation College has developed a Pre-IFY programme for students unable to get admission to NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY). If you complete the Pre-IFY programme successfully it allows you a guaranteed progression to the IFY.

College Admissions

When does the admission process start?

The College accepts applications throughout the year. You are requested to apply early and the final decision on admissions will be determined once you have submitted all required documents:

  • Completed application form
  • Copies of your qualifications, certificates and transcript of marks or ‘Predicted Grades’
  • One passport size photo, copy of passport and residency permit
  • Proof of English proficiency if required: IELTS or TOEFL and should be valid for two years
  • Valid email address

Is there an entry test for NCUK and College programmes?

Yes, you will be required to sit for the University Foundation College numeracy and communication test so we can make a decision on which course to enroll you on. We will interview all students who wish to join the college. There is a fee payable of QR300 for administrating the test, marking and providing results.

What are the minimum academic requirements for NCUK admissions?

NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY):

  • Minimum age 16.5 years
  • IELTS 5.0 or 62 TOEFL or equivalent (students without IELTS or equivalent can sit our communication and numeracy test*)

  • Evidence of Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al Aama (general Secondary Education Certificate) or Qatar Senior School Certificate with 60% and above

  • 5 IGCSE minimum C grades, with 2 x E grades or above at UK A2 level

  • Successful completion of the Pre-IFY

What are the entry requirements if I have lower scores on my high school certificate?


  • Minimum age 16 years
  • IELTS 4.0 or 51 TOEFL or equivalent (students without IELTS can sit our communications & numeracy test*)


  • Evidence of Shahadat Al-Thanawaya Al Aama (general Secondary Education Certificate) or Qatar Senior School Certificate with 50% and above

    Can I be admitted to the NCUK programme with a non-standard qualification?

    If you have relevant background for the NCUK programme, but do not meet NCUK entry requirements, you can be considered for 'Non-Standard Entry', in which case you should complete the normal NCUK Application form and your case will be considered by NCUK.

    Can I be admitted if I have a lower high school GPA than what NCUK programme requires, but I have a higher IELTS/TOEFL than is required?

    Yes, you will be allowed to study for the Pre-IFY modules (English, Maths and IT). If you successfully pass the Pre-IFY then you will be guaranteed progression to the NCUK International Foundation Year.

    Do I have to submit my final high school certificate?

    Yes, and your grade transcript.

    If I have attended a high school that follows a British curriculum, what grades do I need for admission to the College?

    If you have attended a high school that follows a British curriculum:

    • You must submit AS level final grades or a letter from your school stating your predicted grades.
    • You must have passed in 2 or more AS subjects.
    • These scores must be in subjects other than Arabic.
    • Passing A-Level scores for the college admission purposes are an “A” “B” or “C” grade. “D”, “E” and “U” are not considered passing grades for admission purposes.
    • 5 IGCSE/GCSE scores sufficient for admission, including English and Mathematics.

    If I have grades/marks from an American, International Baccalaureate, or other international school, what grades/marks do I need for admission to the College?

    You should have grades/marks that are equivalent to a ‘C’ or 55% average. You can seek advice from the admissions team.

    How many times a year does the NCUK offer admissions?

    Currently there is ONLY ONE admission a year, starting in September.

    The application process is throughout the year but you should apply early and secure your place.

    How many times a year is Pre-IFY intake?

    Currently there is ONLY ONE admission a year, starting in September.

    The application process is throughout the year but you should apply early and secure your place.

    When does the academic year end?

    NCUK full time courses will start in September and end in June with a formal NCUK examination.

    The Pre-IFY is for 24 weeks duration and ends in April with a formal NCUK examination.

    How does NCUK guarantee my place at a NCUK partnering University?

    NCUK guarantees TWO conditional offers from within the group of NCUK Universities and on successful completion of the course you can decide which offer to take.

    Note that for top universities, you will be required to demonstrate good grades and ability to cope with higher studies in demanding top universities.

    When will I know if I have gained admission to NCUK International Foundation Year?

    The programme will have ONE intake a year. If you apply for September admission, you will generally be notified by the first week of August or earlier if you have been accepted. Notification is usually by email and/or phone call. In normal circumstances we will notify you within 14 days of receiving the application and after an interview has taken place.

    May I choose my teachers or the timings of the classes I want to take?

    No. The timing of classes and the teachers who teach you are selected by the College.

    Will the College help me with university applications?

    Yes, both NCUK and the University Application Centre will provide assistance, guidance, information and help you to apply to NCUK partnering universities in the first instance. The College will also help you to explore universities in other countries if required.

    If I am not enrolled at the College can I still get assistance through the University Application Centre?

    Yes, through our University Application Centre you will be able to come and see our counsellors who can provide ‘Free Guidance’ on universities, courses and the application process. The service is FREE but if you require specialist help, then there is a charge for the service.

    Can I gain admission to one of Qatar Foundation’s partner universities at the end of NCUK programmes?

    Currently NCUK does not have any articulation arrangements with local universities, but this can be explored on an individual basis with Qatar University and Qatar Foundation partnering universities.

    Can I start a course in a UK University if I am only 17?

    Most UK universities will accept students whose 17th birthday is during the academic year in which they enroll on the 1st year of an undergraduate degree. A few will not. Therefore, we can accept you onto the NCUK IFY if you are 16 or above in the September of the year that you enroll.

    Fee Structure

    What is the fee structure for NCUK programmes?

    NCUK International Foundation Year fee in Qatar will be QR 65,000 which includes application fee, testing fee, materials and support (please click here for more details or contact the admissions team). If you study in Qatar you will make a big savings (estimated QR 75,000-100,000) in the cost of living, visa application, accommodation, flights etc. in one year.

    What is the fee structure for the Pre-IFY programme?

    Pre-IFY fee in Qatar will be QR 47,000 which includes application fee, testing fee, materials and support (please click here for more details or contact the admissions team).

    What is the fee structure for the IELTS programme?

    The IELTS fees will be determined by the number of weeks you decide to study at the College. The College offers 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 week programmes. It includes all materials and support. The University Foundation College is a British Council IELTS Registration Centre and you can pay for the English language testing fee at the college. Note the examinations will be at a nominated British Council venue.

    Can I give the fee in instalments?

    As per our policy you will need to pay the fee for a full semester before starting the programme. Instalments may be considered upon the approval of the admissions unit on a case to case basis.

    Are there any scholarships or discounts offered?

    Yes, there is assistance available and you can also apply for partial scholarship and bursaries. Please check with the admissions unit.

    Can the fee payment be made online?

    Yes, there are several methods of paying your fees to the College. Please check with the admissions unit.

    If I drop out of the course, is there any refund available for me?

    The refund policy is accordance to the College rules and regulation. Please be sure to read the tuition fee terms & conditions here before making the initial fee payment.

    NCUK Programmes

    If I am unable to continue with my studies after a year, will I be awarded any certification?

    You will receive a certificate and a transcript on successful completion of the NCUK international Foundation Programme (IFY) which is acceptable internationally.

    Are NCUK Qualifications external?

    NCUK Qualifications are internal, acceptable to the NCUK Universities. The programmes taught at the college in Qatar are the same as those studied by students in the UK, assessed by both course work and examinations. Marking is done both in Qatar and in the UK.

    Can I still apply if I want to apply for a course that is not in the Course Finder?

    NCUK’s Course Finder does not list all courses in which NCUK students have been placed in the past. If you want to apply for a course that is not listed in the Course Finder you should contact the admissions unit.

    Where can I find descriptions of NCUK courses and details of NCUK universities?

    Details of all the NCUK Qualifications are available here.

    Do NCUK Universities visit Qatar?

    Yes, there will be many NCUK Universities visiting Qatar on a regular basis to give guidance on the application process, courses available, facilities and much more. Besides NCUK Universities there will be many more other universities who will be visiting the University Application Centre.

    Who marks the exams?

    The exams are set by NCUK to ensure standards are set at the right level. However, college teaching staff will mark all the examination scripts. This is 70% of the mark.

    30% is through continuous assessments internally and the assessments are set and marked by the college teaching staff. The examinations are moderated externally by NCUK.

    This is in effect second marking for consistency and fairness.

    Is there a re-sit exam if I fail?

    Yes, re-sit examination schedules are available (please enquire with Student Services).

    How do I find out my exam results?

    There is an announced date for releasing exam results. You will be given certificates and transcripts on or after this date (please check with Student Services).

    How does NCUK ensure teaching standards in Qatar?

    NCUK Qualifications comply with the UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Regular NCUK audits are carried out to ensure academic quality. NCUK take the proficiency of their approved centres very seriously. All college tutors are highly qualified and mainly from the UK who understand the methodology and learning styles adopted by the UK Higher Education institutions. All will have teaching qualifications and many with postgraduate qualifications.

    What is the Mobile Phone policy at the College?

    The College allows the use of mobile phone in specific places at specific times. However, we do not allow mobile usage in the classroom, corridors or during teaching times. Some tutors will allow phones for instructional use and they will let you know if this is allowed (see student handbook for more details).

    What extra-curricular activities do you have at the College?

    Our NCUK Qualifications are very intensive and most of the time at the College will be spent on developing your academic and communication skills. However, students will have access to social facilities.

    What is the success rate of NCUK students?

    Overall success rate of students passing NCUK is extremely good: over 80% of NCUK students progress to their preferred university, and achieve a 1st/2nd class degree there. Like with everything else, if you put the effort into your work and attend classes, we at the College will push you to your full potential to achieve your goals and ambitions.

    What kind of facilities does the College have?

    Our facilities will be functional with modern classrooms and equipment to get you through our programmes comfortably:

    • Computer labs
    • Lecture halls
    • Modern classrooms
    • Science labs
    • Library
    • Cafeteria
    • Quiet working areas
    • Recreational common area
    • Prayer rooms
    • On-site University Application Centre

    It’s not our facilities but our staff that will make you learn, achieve and succeed. So our focus is knowledge development at the outset.

    Do I have to wear uniform?

    No, but we expect you to wear smart and respectable clothing whilst at the College.

    How do I apply for a programme?

    Please view our admissions page.

    Is there an age limit for applicants?

    You have to be at least 16 years of age and over to study for the Pre-IFY and IELTS preparation programme. For NCUK International Foundation Year programme you should be 16.5 years of age and over.

    What is the average class size at the academy?

    Average class size for NCUK Qualifications will be 20-24 students.

    The IELTS or English for Academic Purposes (EAP) class size will be maximum 16 students.

    Does the College offer programmes to help me prepare for challenges I may face?

    We are preparing you to be productive in an international setting. This entails much more than purely academic prowess. We offer the following under our ‘Raising Aspirations Programme’:

    • Tutorial and pastoral programme
    • Character counts programme
    • Personal development skills programme
    • UK culture and expectations
    • Life skills programme