Why Take a Foundation Year?

Why Take a Foundation Year?

Uploaded on
Aug 26, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
Uploaded on
Aug 26, 2022
Last updated on
Mar 13, 2023
Students studying
A Ladder up the Graduation Slope!

Going to world-class universities and making a living can be a tough life decision for students. For teenagers who have only known their primitive education background and how things work back in their country, it might get a little overwhelming for them to adapt to another country's education system. 

Sometimes, students are also confused if the courses offered by the university are really for them or not. For all this, universities have opened doors in the form of foundation year courses. But what are they, and how can you take them? Don’t worry, because, in this blog, we have covered you. By the end of this blog, you will be well aware of making a decision. 

What is a Foundation Year?

The decision to take a foundation year is easier said than done. Foundation year is also a preparatory year because it helps you bridge the gap between your current level of education and the level needed to be admitted to a bachelor's or a master's program. 

Students from overseas, like Asia, Australia, Europe, and Middle-Eastern countries, benefit hugely from this. You must be wondering why. This is because different countries have different years of degree or education qualifications. To get themselves enrolled in their dream country, students need to take a foundation year. 

Not just this, taking a foundation year opens up new opportunities for you as a student with little knowledge about the future degree you are about to study. The foundation year will equip you with the knowledge and skills needed for further education. Students can learn a plethora of subjects during the foundation year. These include biological sciences, business, education, social studies, and sports. However, the foundation year's subjects usually depend on the university and its programs.

What is the Difference Between a Foundation Year and a Foundation Degree?

As is mentioned above, a foundation year usually lasts for 12 months and it is taken right before you are about to start studying your main degree of interest. Whereas a foundation degree is a full-fledged degree of usually two or three years that prepares you for a even higher degree. 

Foundation year is not a qualification that shows up on your curriculum vitae. Whereas a foundation degree does show up on your educational qualifications. After a foundation year it is important to follow it up with the same course. But after a foundation degree it is up to you if you want to pursue a higher degree. 

Who Can Take a Foundation Year?

A foundation year is a stepping stone in the world of higher education. Students who are nervous about embarking on a new journey of studying in a different country can take up this course. This will be like a warm-up, preparing them for further educational qualifications. Other students who have doubts about taking up a particular subject or degree in a university can also take a foundation year. These doubts can usually arise when you are a mature student, and you are worried that you will be the only one taking the course. 

Foundation courses usually don’t award students academic degrees upon completion but act like a safety net for them. It’s pretty simple- having doubts about your field of study, just take a foundation year. 

Why Should I Take a Foundation Year?

Foundation year is essential for students to take for the following reasons. 

Increase your chances of getting university admissions

With a foundation year, you will be fully qualified to begin your undergraduate or graduate degree in your dream university. Foundation year usually gives you an advantage over the students who haven’t taken it up. Taking a foundation year is proof for any university that you will be an asset to their institution too. It is seen that every year, students who take up a foundation year have higher chances of getting into prestigious universities abroad. 

The presence of diverse cultures won’t surprise you

Any renowned university is a cultural hub for students. Students who come from all corners of the world to realise their dreams. It might not be possible for you to go and socialise with every single one of them because of cultural differences. One year of foundation course helps you ease in and mingle with the people around you. That way, the official beginning of your undergraduate or graduate will be much more comfortable. 

Knowledge and skills to make future decisions about subjects

Sometimes students are hesitant about taking up a particular degree or specialisation subject. The insights from the university’s official site, the university counsellor and information from previous students, are not enough for them to make a clear decision. Hence, they choose to take foundation year. Nothing can arm you better with the knowledge to take a specific field of study than taking a foundation year. 

Ease in the environment of the university

You might have gotten into your dream university and met all the requirements for a bachelor’s or master’s requirements. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take a foundation year. Many students take up foundation years to prepare themselves mentally for what’s in store—knowing what to expect from the faculty and their peers. Moreover, it becomes even better when you already know some of your faculty colleagues and faculty members. Building connections with them always goes a long way. 

Improve socialisation skills

Some people take a longer time to open up than others. Socialising is not every student’s cup of tea, but they have to do it anyway. Taking up a foundation year also buys you time to slowly make your way into the university environment and socialise with your peers. 

Assessment of the Foundation Year Programme

The evaluation of foundation years is very similar to any other study programme. However, it may vary slightly from university to university. The basic pattern consists of- 

  • Exams
  • Presentations
  • Projects
  • Assignments 
  • Final Evaluation

The foundation year is generally based on the university's country or can be taught in the student’s local country by an institution that has an agreement with the university. It works as usual. Complete the various presentations, assignments and projects of the course, earn credit points and evaluate the annual performance of the pupil. 

What are the Duration, Format and Start Dates of the Foundation Year Courses? 

For the foundation year, the university makes the course length around one year. These preparatory courses are divided into three semesters with a designated number of modules and assessments. These help students get credit points. 

The modules are further bifurcated into minor and major subjects, more specialised for the students. Typically, students start their foundation year in September, graduating just in time to begin their degree in October. 

Sometimes, the duration of this course is reduced to 6 months for students who want to complete their course faster. Many international foundation courses have flexible start dates. This means that you can start your foundation year at your time to align with the beginning of your bachelor’s or master’s programme. 

How Much Does It Cost To Take a Foundation Year? 

The cost you have to pay for an international foundation course is less than what you have to pay for the full degree. On average, your tuition fees for the foundation year will range from 2500 to 25000 EUR. It depends on the institution, the degree of study(generic vs specialisation degree), the city and several other factors. Scholarships are also available for foundation year students. Many reviews by students indicate that taking a foundation is an investment and can prepare you for the university atmosphere. 

What Are the Eligibility Criteria to be Accepted in a Foundation Programme? 

Most students take up the foundation year as its eligibility criteria are not that difficult to meet. You will need these things to work-

  • Completion of 12 years of primary education anywhere in the world.
  • Good language proficiency based on university requirements.
  • Documents proving your study in specific high school subjects relevant for the foundation year course. 
  • IELTS and TOEFL minimum score of 4-5 bands and iBT >=60, respectively. 

Q1. Is a foundation year necessary?

When you are an international student finishing high school and you have completed less than 13 years of education in your home country, you might need to take up a foundation year to fill up that education gap until you move on to pursuing the university degree. For this a foundation year becomes extremely important. 

Q2. Do job providing industries really care if you have take up  a foundation degree ?

Foundation degrees usually focus on specific fields of studies and professions. Moreover, a foundation degree provides you with vocational training and practical skills that you can bring in the industry. So the employers will consider you before others if you have a foundation degree. 

Q3. Is foundation year hard?

Foundation year is generally easier than an A-level course. This is because it is supposed to arm you with basic knowledge of the course you are about to do further ahead. 

Q4. Is it tough to get into a foundation year?

You don’t normally need to be the brightest student of the lot in order to be eligible to get entry into a foundation year. It is okay if you don’t have high grades. It won’t be a hurdle between you and a foundation year. 

Q5. Can I take a transfer from universities after foundation year?

Yes, that is possible. But in order for that to happen, you usually require both the universities to mutually agree on it and you should ideally have that in ink. 

Q6. Can I get UCAS points after I am done with my foundation year?

Qualifications that are university level such as an honours degree or a foundation year will not carry UCAS points. 

Q7. What if I fail in my foundation year? 

The way you are trained in a foundation year, the chances of you flunking it reduce drastically. Although if you still do, most universities can reassess you and mark you accordingly. 

Q8. Is it worth it to take up a foundation year?

If you want to get in an university but don’t meet some requirements, foundation years are excellent opportunities to get you there. 

Frequently Asked Questions