The United Kingdom is one of the world’s top higher education provider, and possibly the most popular international student destination. Although many ambitious and capable students can’t wait to start their undergraduate or graduate study experience in promising English universities, not all of them can meet enrolment requirements right away.
This may be due to insufficient academic grades, but most of the time is just because the education system they come from is not 100% compatible with the British education system, or they’re English speaking skills aren’t high enough.
International UK universities lend a helping hand to motivated international students by offering foundation degrees, be they pre-Bachelors or pre-Masters, to help integrate newcomers as well as increase their chances of being admitted to a degree abroad.
UK universities preparation course focus
All international students who want to study a Bachelor or Master at UK universities are welcome to attend a foundation degree. Some of the most popular choices in the United Kingdom but also worldwide include preparation programmes targeting specific disciplines in the fields of:
But what makes these programmes unique and why are they so highly regarded compared to international learning standards? Here’s what students who graduated a foundation course in the UK think are the greatest benefits provided by university preparation in the UK.
Best advantages of preparation programmes in the UK
Most students are impressed with the outcomes of the foundation studies they took to be admitted to British degree courses. Some of the most popular benefits include:
- Great start to a prestigious academic life in the United Kingdom
- Emphasis on academic skills development such as essay writing, presentation skills and introductions to academic subjects
- Qualified teachers ready to adapt to class needs
- Basis for building confidence and guidance to realise their potential
- Supportive academic advisers offering relevant and personalised answers
- Argumentation and debating skills on diverse topics
- Teaching students to think for themselves and to question what they are told
- Ground in the rich historical context of the chosen subject
- Unforgettable experiences in a multicultural study environment
What you’ll learn as a UK pre-Bachelor or pre-Master student
Most universities in the UK providing foundation pathway education follow three major study directions to help future students integrate into the British academic system:
1. Intensive academic English
To be able to successfully start your higher education experience abroad you’ll first need to speak the same language as your colleagues and teachers. English language preparation makes sure you advance your knowledge to the appropriate level. You’ll benefit from:
- Academic English essay writing and oral skills training
- Critically analysing and evaluating texts and providing examples to support your opinions
- Delivering academic presentations and participating in class discussions
2. Specialisation subject tracks depending on future degree focus
Universities providing foundation degree programmes have their own study offer. However, in most cases, they either offer an individual foundation course focus, depending on the particular subject students are interested in, or they may provide the option of selecting two or more focus tracks, during the international one-year experience. Here are a few popular examples of tracks students can pursue or mix during their preparation course experience in the UK:
- Pre-Business studies – understanding of different aspects of the business world: marketing, HRM or organisational structure
- Economics – an introduction to the principles of economics, like pricing, market dynamics and regulations, international trade, globalisation, and more
- Applied mathematics – develop numeracy and analytic skills with applications in finance and statistics
- Communications – understand the influence of media on behaviour analysing dynamics related to news, public opinion, advertising, cinema, TV, and the internet
- Law – an understanding of legal issues in the context of globalisation, international relations, how laws are made, the UN, criminal law and human rights
- History – Insights into the events, people and cultures that have shaped the modern world
3. Cultural context integration
In addition to gaining a specialised introduction to a subject close to your heart and career goals, UK universities also place significant emphasis on the knowledge and cultural background of European and global society.
Part of your foundation preparation will explore conceptions about the development of the modern world and familiarise you with modern thought. By understanding the global culture and the highlights of Western thinking, you will have an easier time learning and living in the UK during your studies.
Significant topics that are approached from a perspective of discussion include:
- world politics, the global economy and liberal democracy
- historical outlook on political dynamics which play an important role today
- current cultural trends regarding faith, multiculturalism and the changing role of the family
- effects of globalisation on modern society
Easy foundation studies enrolment in the UK
It’s not very difficult to be admitted to a foundation degree at a UK university. Possibly one of the most important requirements will be meeting minimum English language skills (usually a 5.5 IELTS general score).
Some universities or graduates schools in the UK may require a minimum high school grade average while others mainly focus mainly on the English speaking. A personal motivation letter or an essay test may be required depending on the institution providing the preparation course.
You may not even need to take the IELTS or TOEFL tests to enrol. If you feel your level of English is up to the task, some universities in the UK provide entrance tests on location or in major countries abroad to test applicant language proficiency. Alternatively, you may be allowed to have a Skype interview to prove your English speaking skills.
If you need to improve your English, some schools offer intensive 6-week English preparation or longer pre-foundation pathways dedicated to learning the language for foundation degree admission.
A few more benefits for foundation degree students in the UK
If you’re still not convinced that a British international foundation year is for you here are a few more benefits to fully convince you:
- Academic advice services to offer guidance throughout the stages of the application procedure
- Consultations of the right subject that will fit your future career ambitions
- Help with accommodation arrangements in university halls of residence, private student halls, flats or homestays
- Help with getting the UK study visa
- Assigned personal tutor available for discussions and any difficulties
All these benefits, as well as your unforgettable British cultural experience, attest to the fact that the UK is one of the best study destinations abroad, and there are few places in the world to find better foundation degrees to get you started on the study path you have chosen.