International Foundation Programme leading to BSc Finance and Investment Banking

The International Foundation Programme (IFP) at the University of Reading is an intensive access course especially designed for international students without British A level qualifications or the equivalent. The IFP will provide you with the academic training, language and study skills to start undergraduate studies in most degrees at the University of Reading. Nearly 100% of IFP students pass the programme. More than 70% successfully qualify for a degree programme at Reading. IFP students have been accepted at many other top-ranking universities in the UK and around the world

What modules do I need to choose to progress to a degree in Finance?

All students must take a 20 credit module in Academic Skills. In addition, all students must take three 40 credit modules. This gives a student a total of 140 credits. Students whose English is below a specified level must take International English as one of their 40 credit modules.

If your intended degree programme is BSc Finance and Investment Banking you must take the Economics module and the Mathematics for Finance, Economics and Business module. In addition we would suggest that you choose further modules from Introduction to Business and Management, Information Systems and Statistics, Politics, Sociology, Law, Environmental Science, Psychology.

What would I study if I chose Economics as an IFP module?

Aims

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of basic economic principles, theories and models which they can use and apply in their future studies.

Intended learning outcomes

Assessable outcomes

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to: –

  • identify and explain the basic principles of macro and micro economic theory
  • locate and assemble information from a variety of sources
  • organise their material and present arguments effectively in writing both under timed conditions and in prepared essays.

Additional outcomes

The module aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills. Students will also develop IT skills by using relevant web resources and by word-processing assignments.

Outline content

The Economics syllabus focuses on micro and macro economics but also covers some policy issues of management and competition. Micro economic topics include consumer theory, theory of the firm, industrial structure and welfare issues. National income accounting, the demand and supply of money, Keynesian analysis, unemployment and inflation and key issues in international trade form the content of the macro economics section of the syllabus.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods

Lectures and small group tutorials. Work is also done from work sheets and work books.

What would I study if I chose Mathematics for Finance, Economics and Business as an IFP module?

Aims

To provide a solid grounding in the key elements of pure mathematics and statistics to a good A-level standard for students approaching a degree in economics, finance or management.

Intended learning outcomes

Assessable outcomes

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • handle with confidence and accuracy the techniques of algebra required for the solution of equations, differentiation and integration
  • interpret a range of problems, selecting the relevant procedure needed for solution
  • find a graphical solution to linear programming and economic questions
  • recognise Normal and Binomial distributions and be able to calculate probabilities associated with them.

Additional outcomes

Students are expected to learn to work independently under pressure of time and present their solutions orally in a small group context. They should grow in confidence in the oral as well as written explanation of problems and group discussions should encourage lateral thinking. They should improve their ability to assess the essential elements of a solution and to think and express themselves clearly.

Outline content

The syllabus for Mathematics for Finance, Economics and Business normally covers a total of 15 or 16 topics each of which takes between one and three weeks to complete. We start with the basic concepts of algebra and number theory moving on to set theory and inequalities. A study of functions and mappings, including composite and inverse functions, leads on to linear analysis and linear programming. This is followed by the calculus needed for maximisation and minimisation applications of the economic model. Permutations and combinations, together with probability theory usually complete this term.

During the second term, calculations with matrices are introduced. Graphical representation of curves is studied where differential calculus is applied to the theory of curve sketching. Methods of integration are also studied at this point, and the binomial distribution is introduced. We then study arithmetic and geometric progressions which lead on to compound interest applications. The module is completed in the Summer term by a study of the Normal distribution and the principles of hypothesis testing.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods

Lectures, group seminars and small group tutorials.

Do I have to apply through UCAS for my degree programme at Reading?

No. Your offer of a place on the foundation programme guarantees you a place on your degree programme providing that you gain the necessary grades in the final foundation year examinations.

Click here to see the progression requirements