What’s in the Maths test?

The Maths test is only for students who wish to take Economics, and we would prefer students NOT to revise: it’s just a diagnostic test to work out what everyone has and hasn’t covered in their previous education.  It’s not unusual for us to have over 30 nationalities on the IFP, so that’s a lot of different educational backgrounds!

The test consists of 20 multiple choice questions; no calculator is allowed.  If a student who wanted to study Economics scored poorly on this test (i.e. under 50%) I would speak to them about whether or not Economics is the best subject for them, but if the student really wants to take Economics regardless, we would just make sure that they are well supported with Maths, particularly in the first semester.

There’s nothing complicated like this in the diagnostic Maths test!

Advice from former students


Every year we ask IFP students what advice they would give to the next cohort.  Over the years we have received some excellent advice, but this is about at succinct as it gets:

Kristina Advice.png

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Choosing your modules

You may receive emails from the university inviting you to select your modules online, but your modules will not be confirmed until you arrive and enrol in person.  This is because:

  1. we want you to make informed decisions about your module choices
  2. we want to make sure that your module choices are correct for the pathway(s) you wish to pursue


Attending induction on the Thursday the 3rd of January is really important for your module choices.  After Mark’s welcome talk in the morning, a brief overview will be provided of the various modules that you can choose from.

After you have heard all of the module overviews, you will be well placed to make your choices.  You will be given a form to indicate your choices, and your form will be checked and signed by one of the IFP team.  If you wish to discuss your choices with us you will have opportunities to do so, and it is even possible to try out a couple of different subjects in the first week of classes before making your decisions.

In the first two weeks, if you want to make any changes to your modules choices, you just need to fill in a form and get your request signed off by Mark.  The same form even enables you to switch between the IFP Business and Management and the IFP Humanities and Social Sciences, if this is what you want to do.  The 18th of January is the deadline for finalising your module and programme choices.

If you arrive late and miss the induction talks on the 3rd of January, all of the information given out on that day will be made available to you via this website, and you will have the chance to discuss your choices by email and / or in person when you arrive and enrol.

Please post any questions about the process in the comments box below, as it is likely that at least one other student shares your concerns and would benefit from seeing an answer.


IFP Pathways

Most students use the IFP at Queen Mary as a pathway to a degree programme here, and it is possible to progress to any degree within the faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as degrees in Global Health and Maths.  A typical Humanities and Social Sciences pathway looks like this:

Pathway infographic

For most pathways, there is one pathway subject and two electives. Obviously, the pathway subject for the History pathway is History, and Politics it’s Politics, but some pathways are a little different.  Law students, for instance, must take History, Politics and International Relations, and one other essay-based subject (so Literature, Film, Business Management, or Human Geography).    For Economics, two pathway subjects are requires – Economics and Maths for Economics, while on the IFP in Business and Management, rather than having two Pathway subjects, students take four Business modules, with a choice of either Accounting or Marketing to complement Introduction to Business Management, Management, and Maths for Business.

In order to progress to a degree at Queen Mary, IFP students must complete a UCAS application in semester one – for which we give you lots of support and assistance – and achieve the grades required for their specific choice.

For more details about the programme structure of each pathway and the progression requirements, visit qmul.ac.uk/foundation.  You can see pathways listed in the menu on the left, and information in the main body of the page under headings like PROGRAMME STRUCTURE and OPPORTUNITIES.  See the screenshot below for an example of this.

Pathways picture

What to read before you arrive

LibraryStudents often ask what they should read before starting the IFP and what books they need to buy.  Actually there are no books that you NEED to buy, since you will have access to everything you need via the library on campus, but lecturers will tell you about anything you need to buy after you have have enrolled on their modules.

In your first semester you will be developing your ability to read critically and to think analytically about what you are reading.  For this reason it’s not a good idea to try to read “ahead”, since you risk gaining a simplistic understanding of texts that we want you to dig deeper into later in the semester.  For now, then, we recommend a small number of texts for you to start exploring, and you can read about these here on the WHAT TO READ page of this blog.  

Other than this, any reading that you enjoy or that makes you better informed about the modern world is good.  Feel free to use the comments on this post to write about what you’ve read and to ask any questions you have about reading.

Life on the IFP at QMUL

This video was made by John Choong while on the January-start foundation programme.  John is now doing a BSc in Business Management at Queen Mary and during the summer he helps out future IFP students via the university’s Unibuddy scheme.  Click here to view his profile and contact him.



The purpose of this site is to share information with students ahead of their foundation year at Queen Mary University of London.  If you have come with a question and cannot find the answer, please use the comments function to ask.

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