Medicine and Life Sciences

Medicine and Life Sciences

The Medicine and Life Sciences university foundation course enables students to apply for university degree courses in a variety of subjects including Medicine, Genetics, Biomedical Science, and Life Sciences.

Start dates: January and September Location: International Study Centre, Yarnton Manor, Oxford Duration: 2-3 terms (6-9 months)
Price: £13,995 per term (£14,995 per term from September 2017) This course is ideal for: 17s – 25s Entry requirement: A-Levels, IB or equivalent plus IELTS 5.5

“Learning in great depth about the intricacies of the nerves in the brain and spinal cord, learning and watching real life cases of brain diseases, i.e. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease and finding our own heart rates using stethoscopes only make up a small percentage of we learn in class.” (Dumebi – Medicine and Life Sciences University Foundation Year)

Why take the Medicine and Life Sciences foundation year?

Our Medicine and Life Sciences course allows students to develop a strong grounding in medical sciences, including opportunities to develop their practical and technical skills.  The course offers the opportunity to study Human Anatomy, Physiology, Biochemistry, Immunology, Microbiology and Pharmacology as well as options to explore Neuro-anatomy and the relationship between brain and behaviour.

Taking a foundation year is one of the best ways to gain the knowledge and skills that will help you stand out from the crowd when you go to university. Studying within ORA’s Oxbridge-style tutorials, our dedication to small class sizes means that students receive regular, personalised feedback from their expert tutors.


After successfully taking the Medicine and Life Sciences foundation year:

  • You will be ready to start university in the UK or another English-speaking country
  • You will have made UK university applications and received assistance in getting offers
  • You will have improved your IELTS score ready for university entry
  • You will have improved your study skills, including exam technique and ICT skills
  • You will have gained an understanding of subjects allied to medicine appropriate to your choice of undergraduate degree


In each foundation course, students spend 17 hours of contact time per week.  There is, in addition, timetabled and supervised guided study time, when students are expected to be completing coursework or revising for exams, as well as timetabled self-study time. All students study compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Medicine and Life Sciences
  • EFL for Academic Purposes (introductory) *
  • EFL for Academic Purposes (advanced)

*(Students on the six-month fast-track programme do not take the introductory EFL course)

Academic modules

Having studied the introductory module, students then choose three more module options from the following:

  • The Human Body
  • Genetics
  • Mind, Brain and Behaviour
  • Maths
  • Ethics
  • Research Methods

(Please note that additional modules may become available during the year, and that not all modules run every year; to check that your chosen modules will be on offer, please contact us).

English Language Modules

These modules cover all the core skills in the study of English as a foreign or second language. They enable students to improve their language skills rapidly, while incorporating the study of English grammar to ensure that standards of accuracy are maintained as students progress. Additionally, exam preparation classes help students achieve the highest IELTS level of which they are capable when they come to sit the exam. The ORA approach to English language teaching on the University Foundation programme is to make sure students become familiar with the requirements of an academic degree course.  The modules cover not only the spoken language competencies that universities require, but also teach students the norms of essay, report, and other document writing in Anglophone universities, which may be different from those in their home countries, so that students are prepared for every aspect of the writing skills that they will need at university.

Additional Support

Our dedicated team advises students on the often complicated process of getting a place at a UK university, from choosing which universities to apply to, all the way up to admission. For students who are unfamiliar with the UCAS system and with UK universities generally, this advice is invaluable in simplifying and explaining the process so that students can get the offers they need and deserve.

We cover the following:

  • Choosing your university
  • Writing a personal statement
  • University entrance exams (e.g. BMAT, LNAT)
  • Interview practice
  • Academic writing skills
  • English presentation skills
  • Debate and discussion
  • Academic research skills
  • Note-taking and note-making
  • Examination technique