Students who wish to study in the UK may first take a preparatory course, known as a foundation studies or pathway program, to gain the academic or English language skills they need for admission in higher education courses. Foundation courses are offered by British universities and colleges, as well by private study centers with university partnerships, and help students easily transition into their degree course.
English Language Programs
Students can strengthen their English skills by taking a pre-sessional English language course. The courses can range from a few weeks to a term or a year depending on the student’s level of English proficiency. These courses also help students gain exposure to the British culture, helping them overcome culture shock and settle into life in the UK more easily.
Academic Pathway Program
Academic pathway programs help students gain the academic skills and subject-specific knowledge they need to enrol and be successful in their desired degree course. English language training is also incorporated into these programs.
Undergraduate foundation programs are usually divided into streams such as business studies, science and arts/social studies, and offer both compulsory and elective subjects. Many institutions also offer Pre-Masters preparation programs to help prospective students meet the requirements for direct entry to a Master's degree.
International Foundation Year
In many parts of the world, students complete their secondary education after Grade 12 or Year 12. British students, on the other hand, do not begin undergraduate studies until after Year 13. As a result, many international students begin their British education with a one-year pre-university program known as International Foundation Year. It is equivalent in standard to qualifications studied in Year 13 (i.e. A-levels), and includes academic subjects, study skills and English language training. Students build the skills and knowledge needed to successfully transition into the first year of their chosen undergraduate degree.
International Year One
The International Year One is an intensive, 2-3 term program which is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree. It is intended for international students who show academic potential but do not meet the requirements for direct entry into a degree program. Students enrolled in this program typically already have their A-levels (or equivalent). They study undergraduate first-year level subjects, while receiving a higher level of academic and English language support. After completing this program, students are ready to advance into the second year of their chosen undergraduate degree course and earn their degree at the same time as their local peers.