In the British educational system, foundation degrees are equivalent to qualifications at level 5. Their study curriculum is a combination of academic and vocational modules designed to provide students with knowledge and skills to succeed in a particular profession.
That in mind, British students who don’t aspire to get a complete Bachelor degree, but are rather interested in being equipped with applicable skills in a particular subject, a foundation degree is an ideal choice.
The best thing about foundation degrees is that allows you to keep your future options open. Many British students who are not sure about their future career decide to study for a foundation degree because that gives them time to evaluate their talents, desires and career options.
If during the process of getting your foundation degree, you change your mind you can go on to study at university. A foundation degree corresponds to two-thirds of an undergraduate degree, therefore you can decide to top-up your degree afterwards. If that is the case, you will attend an additional year at university and get a full-degree.
Note that foundation degrees and foundation courses are not the same thing. The former leads to a qualification, hence the name, while the latter is designed to help students measure up their academic capacities with the university’s demands.
Since we’ve noted some students lack an understanding of the difference between foundation degrees and foundation courses for international students, we spared some space in this article to talk about foundation courses.
Foundation Courses for International Students
Let’s face it; unless you have an outstanding education background, studying in the UK is hard. For many international students measuring up to the expected academic performance is a bit difficult in the beginning. But this should not be the end of your dream to study in the UK.
Being aware that many overseas students head toward them each year, UK universities provide a wide variety of preparatory courses. These courses are designed to help students to achieve the knowledge required to succeed in their regular aimed course.
Foundation courses in the UK are preparatory courses designed to help international students match the academic standards required by UK universities. If you have attained a foreign qualification which is not recognized in the UK and you still want to study there, it is likely your university will ask you to attend one before commencing your regular studies.
For many international students who come from countries with different education systems, properly understanding foundation degrees seems a bit confusing. If you find yourself in this group of foreign students, we highly recommend you read this information carefully.
How to find a foundation degree?
There’s unfortunately not a single database of all foundation degrees available in the UK. You need to do an online research on your own. However, keep in mind that a foundation degree is offered by different institutions, including universities and further education colleges.
If you’re considering any of them in advance, you must check their course offerings and see what fits your desire. Usually, university websites have a course search tool which makes it a lot easier for you to find your favourite foundation degree course.
What are the requirements?
In contrast to full degrees, there are no specific entry requirements for foundation degree courses. Accredited institutions which provide such courses accept applications from students with a lot of different educational and professional backgrounds. Quite often formal qualifications are not even necessary. Relevant work experience might work as well for your application.
That said, always check the institution where you have applied to and see what entry requirements are applied.
On the other hand, if you want to undertake a foundation year for entering university, you shall not expect a uniform list of documents required to apply for a foundation degree in the UK. It entirely depends on the university or the institution you’re applying to.
Most likely the following documents will be required for you to submit
- High School Certificate
- Certificate of Grades
- Language Proficiency
- Personal Statement
Note that courses are taught in English and if you don’t possess excellent knowledge and skills you won’t be admitted. The university of your choice will ask you to submit scores from a standardized test in order to assess that you fulfill these criteria. Typically, IELTS and TOEFL scores are required, but there are several other scores accepted in the UK. It changes from depending on the institution so you have to check it by yourself.
How to apply?
Once you complete your application folder you apply for your foundation degree in the UK. Fortunately, you can make your submission online, either directly at your university or through an intermediary platform.
The majority of universities in the UK support applications through a mutual online application platform known as UCAS. All it takes to apply through UCAS is to open your personal account and upload your documents in the specified format. Don’t forget to see what particular number is associated with your desired course, because that tells the platform what you want to apply for.
On the other hand, there may be some universities which run individual online application systems which work almost the same as UCAS.
How long does it take to complete a foundation degree in the UK?
Typically, a foundation degree course lasts for 2 academic years. The curriculum of foundation degrees is mostly a combination of academic and vocational study modules, therefore you will spend a large part of your course practising your knowledge and skills in a real-life workplace or lab facilities.
If you attend a part-time study program then it may take longer than two academic years to complete.
On the other hand, foundation courses for international students typically take two regular academic semesters to complete. In some occasions, students with excellent performance can sit an examination due to the end of the first semester and pass into the regular course right away.
How much does it cost to get a foundation degree in the UK?
International fees for foundation courses vary according to the university. It also depends on the course of your choice. As you’d expect study programs where there are regular lab sessions additional costs will apply.
Overall, the range of international fees for foundation degrees in the UK can extend from £4,000 to £15,000.
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