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Foundation Programmes in the UK – Bridging your Dreams


Foundation-level study creates a passage between the qualifications you have and those you need to enter onto a full undergraduate degree course in the UK. Our student editor, Umar will steer through this much sought-after course for international as well as domestic (UK) students

A foundation degree gives you the basic qualifications and understanding needed to be accepted onto an undergraduate course. There are hundreds of Foundation Degree courses available in almost every college, institution or university and they cover a wide range of subjects - from engineering and e-commerce to health and social care or veterinary nursing.

Why Study a Foundation Programme in the UK?

Studying the foundation course in your own country can reduce accommodation costs but there are additional benefits of studying in the UK:

  1. Route to acceptance in a degree course – Repeating Higher Studies (A ‘levels) is avoided
  2. English language is improved – ideal for International Students having language difficulties
  3. Settling in the area is made much easier – this will help you make a positive start to the first year of the undergraduate course
  4. The foundation degree is a compulsory University entrance criteria in science, engineering, and the humanities

How does it work?

Both UK and international students can undertake this degree - which is usually one academic year in duration (between 30 and 34 weeks) - and the assessment is usually done throughout the course e.g. by essay, presentation etc. and sometimes with end of term exams.

At the end of the year, the result will be given; examination and grading is similar to the A-levels in the form of credits or 4 grades – this means that just the attending the foundation course will not grant you a place in the undergraduate degree course; you must also pass.

Entrance Requirements

Entry qualifications for foundation and pathway courses vary throughout the UK. Typically, international students are expected to have completed at least 12 years of school-level education in their home country beforehand. Some institutions require the students to have covered the basic high school syllabus (e.g. if choosing Science Foundation Year, the student must have studied science subjects previously).

Foundation programmes require an IELTS score of 4.5 to 6.0. Contact the local British Council office  for details about when and where the IELTS test should be given. English skills can be improved by attending a summer school or English Language course before the foundation programme begins.

Keeping an eye on the latest immigration laws is also important as it is not allowed to extend your permission to stay in the UK for more than two years on courses that are below degree level and are of less than one year's duration. Make sure to check it with the institution.

How to Apply

The ideal way to apply for the foundation programme is through UCAS after selecting the course and making sure to complete the application form by the closing date usually in June for the September term.  

Another straightforward procedure to apply would be through Hotcourses in just 3 steps,

Direct applications can also be sent to the universities.

There is also a Clearing process carried out through UCAS in August and September where certain universities have some places left out and they take in students with even low grades so it’s always important not to lose hope.

Feel free to leave any comment below : )

Useful Links

You can also read more from Umar by going to the Hotcourses Pakistan Blog section.


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