What is a Foundation Year?
A Foundation Year is designed for international students who are looking to study at a UK University, but do not have the right qualifications. As foundation courses are often run by the universities themselves, they also provide successful students with the opportunity to progress onto one of their undergraduate degrees. A Foundation Year can therefore offer international students an alternative route into those UK universities that accept the qualification.The course enables pupils to study for their TS3 qualification, equivalent to A Levels or the International Baccalaureate (IB), which is required in order to be accepted onto an undergraduate course. Students taking this pre-university course will specialise in a particular area, preparing them for their undergraduate studies. A Foundation Year is usually aimed at vocational subject areas such as Business, Law, Engineering and Science.
The entry requirements for a Foundation Year are a pass at GCSE Maths and English. If a student does not have any GCSEs, they need reports, transcripts and an IELTS score of at least five. The teaching and assessment style of a Foundation Year is similar to that of a university degree course and typically includes lectures, tutorials, coursework and exams.
Who should take a Foundation Year?
If a student does not meet the entry criteria for their undergraduate degree course, they may choose to take a Foundation Year. For example, if a student does not have the A Level subjects necessary for their chosen degree, a Foundation Year will give them the opportunity to gain these qualifications. Or, if a student needs additional English language support, they could take the course and benefit from the compulsory modules in academic English and IELTS tests, preparing them for the standard expected from undergraduates.
A Foundation Year is not suitable for all students and it is important to note that the qualification it provides is not as well respected in the UK as A Levels or the IB and it may be harder to be accepted onto a degree course at a different university. For example, Oxford and Cambridge Universities do not run Foundation Year courses and will not consider applications from students with this qualification.
What are the benefits of a Foundation Year?
A Foundation Year aims to help international students get into their chosen university, enabling them to improve and specialise academically, in preparation for a degree course.
In addition, if the Foundation Year is run by a university, all students who meet the progression criteria, are guaranteed a place on an undergraduate course at the university. This is the case at many institutions, including leading university King’s College London, which saw 91% of their 2015-2016 foundation students go on to a UK university. King’s International Foundation offers 11 full-time courses and provides students with access to the university’s wider facilities, societies and accommodation.
Some UK schools, such as MPW in London, also offer Foundation Year courses. The benefit of this is that the school will also help you with your university selection and the progression of your application.
A Foundation Year can also be regarded as an opportunity for a student to get to know a particular UK university and decide whether it is the right environment for their degree studies.
For more information and to help decide if a Foundation Year is the correct choice for you or your child, please contact our Education Consultancy team on 020 7034 0800.
About Holland Park
Established in London in 2004, and now with offices in Dubai (2013) and Hong Kong (2017), Holland Park Tuition & Education Consultants helps hundreds of pupils prepare for and enter British schools and universities. Holland Park work with over 800 families per year and in 2017 students have won places at schools such as Westminster, Eton and Cheltenham Ladies College, and universities including LSE, Oxford and Cambridge. Holland Park have over 300 highly experienced and trained British teachers. Through our online school, the Holland Park eAcademy, we handle students’ complete education with full A Level and GCSE courses, as well as enabling our teachers to prepare students anywhere in the world.