If your dream is to become a great computer programmer in the UK, but you come from a country abroad that is not compatible with the A-level British education system, don’t give up! Plenty of top universities in the UK offer the perfect solution – an international foundation year in Computer Science.
These types of pre-Bachelors and pre-Masters are the perfect way to gain entry to a degree at a British university. Learn more about why international students take foundation degrees abroad.
How can foundation degrees in Computer Science help me?
Foundation degrees in Computer Science or Computer Engineering are part offer basic training for international students who want to follow a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in one of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. Computer science preparation courses go by many names in UK universities, such as foundation degree studies in computing, informatics, computer engineering, information communication technology, and more.
Students will be introduced to basic concepts related to operating systems, databases and software programming as the first step towards future advanced academic degrees. By completing a preparation course in Computer Science in the UK, international students are set on their way to pursue careers in game and app development, IT consultancy, system analysis, web design, and more, after finishing their university degree studies.
There are two major types of pre-Bachelor Computer Science foundation degrees offered in the UK:
- Integrated foundation years – one year to complete. Grants entry to Bachelor degree upon completion with sufficient grades.
- “Top up” foundation degrees – two years to complete. Offers the option to add one more year of studies to convert the preparation course to an honours Bachelor’s degree.
What is included in a Computer Science preparation class in the UK?
Pathway programmes in Computer Science in the UK are taught through a mix of lectures, practical tutorials, workshops, and regular classes. Laboratory work is a central part of IT preparation classes to build the relevant technical skills required. Lessons focus on developing international student academic self-awareness, learning through practice as well as cross-cultural integration. Participants build their analytical and critical thinking skills as well as procedural thinking (step-by-step) in order to be able to solve logical problems.
In addition to the regular contact hours (not more than 20 per week for a preparation course in the UK), students can further practice through independent study.
Classes a generally kept small, similar to high-school studies to encourage student interaction and building confidence through group practice. Additional English language learning classes are included in order to prepare students for meeting requirements for university admission after completing the foundation programme.
Students are assessed by traditional examinations, at the end of each semester. Classes may also include assignments, in-class tests, and group or individual project work.
Subjects covered by foundation degrees in Computer Science
Computer Science preparation programmes in the UK are split into core compulsory subjects and discipline-specific modules. Compulsory subjects focus on developing general learning skills and preparing students for degree level studies. Discipline-specific modules cover specific topics required for the selected Computer Science topic.
- Core subjects include classes in math, chemistry, physics, as well as academic writing, basic experimental techniques, and English speaking classes.
- Discipline-specific modules for Computer Science preparation include classes in: Computer architecture, Web development, Basic computer programming introductions, Business model development for IT firms.
Extra benefits of joining a Computer Science foundation year in Britain
There are other things to look forward to a Computer Science preparation course at a UK university or IT school. Some courses offered by top universities are taught by the same professors who teach degree classes.
All students also have access to regular meetings with an academic advisor who provides academic support and guidance. Teachers are also ready to answer any administrative questions you may have or direct you to staff who can help.
Pathway programmes in Computer Science at a top university in the United Kingdom also help you enjoy the student experience. You will be able to join leisure activities encouraging cultural exchange while benefitting from accommodation provided by the university.
Top universities in the UK providing foundation degrees in Computer Science and IT
Here are just some of the universities and schools in the UK, which offer great Computer Science preparation programmes:
- The University of Manchester
- University of Sussex
- City University London
- Glasgow Caledonian University
- Middlesex University
- Lancaster University
- Keele University
- Coventry University
- University of Leeds
- Teesside University
Applications for full-time foundation degrees in Computer Science should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Read more about application requirements for foundation degrees abroad.
University pathways in Computer Science such as pre-Bachelors or pre-Masters are the perfect first step for international students who don’t me academic degree requirements and dream of starting an IT career in the UK.