Foundation degrees were first offered in 2001. They are benchmarked at level I (Intermediate) on the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ) and correspond to level 5 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). A full-time course will generally take 1 year to complete.
Foundation courses provide an entry route into many of the undergraduate courses at UK universities. A foundation course is the first step on the way to successfully obtaining your degree. Foundation degrees are available at universities and at colleges of further or higher education.
If you would like to study for your first degree in the UK, you will need to do a foundation course at a UK college or University. As well as studying, courses are not only designed to bridge academic gaps, but also help you improve your English and learn about UK life and culture in preparation for university.
One of the key aspects of the foundation degree is its flexibility. This enables students from a variety of backgrounds to study for a foundation degree. There are no formal entry requirements for foundation degrees, and students may enter with any of a range of traditional and non-traditional qualifications. Entry requirements are set by individual colleges and most are keen to recruit students with practical work experience as well as those with appropriate academic and vocational qualifications, typically they consider each application individually. Foundation courses are designed for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not meet the current admission requirements for direct entry to their chosen undergraduate programme in the UK.
If you do not have the appropriate subject background for direct entry to first year, or you have not studied the appropriate subjects in the required depth, (which may be the case if you have followed a 12-year education system), you might need to undertake a foundation year course to bring you up to the right level for first year entry.
Foundation year courses are bridging courses designed to provide you with the appropriate academic background for study at Bachelor degree level. Some of these courses also offer additional English language teaching if you need to improve your proficiency. There are a variety of foundation courses on offer in the UK, which cover a wide range of subjects such as:
If English is not your first language, you will be required to provide evidence of English language ability for entry onto the above foundation year courses.
Entry requirements to UK universities and colleges are a competitive process and no student in the UK is guaranteed acceptance on qualifications alone. The foundation course will, however, provide you with the opportunity to achieve qualifications and develop skills, which you will need to be accepted. If you want to take an undergraduate degree at a different university or college from the one where you are studying your foundation course, you must check beforehand that they will accept the foundation course qualification as part entry on to your degree course.
Students who do not hold any formal English language qualification may have to attend an English language course prior to joining the foundation course. Alternatively Fast Student Services can help you achieve the required English level prior to applying for the course.