A foundation course is a one year preparatory course offered by a large number of UK universities. This course is meant for those students who are either unable to meet the entry requirements for admission into 1st year or who want to acclimatize themselves in the UK way of teaching and learning before going into the 1st year.
There are three types of Foundation courses.
1. Foundation Certificate: This entails one extra year of study before progressing into undergraduate study. This would make your degree 1+3 years. This is also advantageous for students who are looking to pursue their masters in the United States.
2. Foundation Diploma: This is usually not offered by very many universities. Students study the Foundation Diploma for a year and then progress into 2nd year at the undergraduate level. This maintains the duration of the degree to 3 years.
3. In-built Pathway: Several universities have in-built pathways in their courses primarily for students who are falling short of direct entry into 1st year. These courses are of 4 year duration and the student has to complete all 4 years in the same university.
A foundation course usually requires the student to achieve a minimum passing grade to progress to the next level. Most UK universities recognise foundation courses of other universities. This means that the student doesn’t necessarily have to join the undergraduate degree at the same university as the foundation course, but can also apply to a variety of other universities.
Some of the better known foundation degrees in the UK are:
Ø INTO UK: http://www.intohigher.com/uk/en-gb/home.aspx
Ø Warwick International Foundation Programme: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/study/ifp/
Ø University of Bath International Foundation Year: http://www.chichester.ac.uk/International/University-of-Bath/
UCAS offers an extensive list of universities offering foundation courses within its course search tool.
University Options assists students with the entire application process from choosing universities to guidance on essays as well as post application follow up.