Foundation courses, also known as 'access' or 'bridging courses', are an alternative to A-levels, the regular high-school qualification used to gain entry into a UK university. These one-year courses combine academic study in a variety of areas such as business, law and communications with academic English. There are also foundation courses available in Art and Design.
Why should I enrol in a foundation course?
Some students outside the United Kingdom do not qualify for direct entry into a UK university because their highschool education systems are so different and the English-language requirements for A-Levels can prove to be a challenge for some. One good solution to this problem is a foundation course and this path gives you the added advantage of one year of study, versus two years for A-Levels.
What kinds of institutions offer foundation courses?
A variety of institutions ranging from universities themselves, to tutorial colleges (small, private institutions specialising in preparing international students for university study) and Further Education colleges. These colleges are government maintained and offer a wide range of vocational and academic courses to UK and international students.
Will A-Levels get me into a better university than a foundation course?
Not necessarily. A high score in your A-Levels would help, but there's a catch. A-level courses are very strenuous, they are designed for native speakers of English and make no accommodation for international students. Attempting A-levels without the right level of English will result in lower grades and will harm your chances of getting into the university that you want. One major advantage of foundation courses is that they are designed for international students and there is a lot of language support included.
How do I find out some more about these courses?
All of our offices have information on the many foundation courses available in the UK and our experienced counselors will be able to assist you in finding the one most suitable for you.
What are the entrance requirements?
Senior highschool diploma and transcript.
IELTS range between 4.5 and 5.5 depending on the institution.
One academic reference. We can help you out with this if you're unsure.
A personal statement. A what? Relax, we'll show you what you need to do.
Art and design applicants will need a portfolio of original work, normally ten pieces in either slide or CD-ROM format.