The Foundation Programme is a generic two-year training scheme where doctors complete a broad programme covering both medical and surgical specialities. The Foundation Programme is not pre-training for Specialty and should not be viewed as such. It is designed to teach a broad range of skills that will help doctors in whatever career they decide to pursue.

How to apply


General foundation programmes

North West Thames Foundation School (NWTFS) has 237 two-year Foundation Training Programmes and 27 Academic Foundation Training Programmes spanning two LETBs.  Recruitment is run annually in October through the UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO). All recruitment details are on the UKFPO website

Applicants from UK Medical Schools
Students at UK Medical Schools will be informed by their school when and how to apply.

Applicants from non-UK Medical Schools
Applicants from non-UK Medical Schools should refer to the UKFPO Eligibility website. All inquiries from non-UK Medical graduates should be directed to the UKFPO.


Academic foundation programmes

Academic recruitment is managed via the national online recruitment system and Foundation Schools have joined together to form units of application. The four Thames Foundation Schools have joined to become the Thames Academic Unit of Application (AUoA) for academic recruitment purposes. All details on how to apply are in the Academic Foundation Programme section of the UKFPO website.

NWTFS offers 27 academic places comprising different specialty-based academic programmes. The full range of competences required by the Foundation Programme Curriculum will be delivered by these two-year programmes.  The F2 programmes each include a placement in a centre of academic and research excellence. During their F2 year all Academic trainees will have :

  • a 4-month academic placement as part of their 12-month F2.
  • a mentor (Academic Clinical Supervisor) throughout the year.
  • a core teaching programme run throughout the year designed to develop academic skills.

The UKFPO has published the Rough Guide to the academic Foundation Programme and the Compendium of Academic Competences containing essential information on all aspects of an Academic Foundation Programme.