The United Kingdom is one of the world’s top higher education providers and, arguably, the most popular international student destination. Although many ambitious and capable students can’t wait to start their undergraduate or graduate study experience at promising English universities, not all of them can meet the enrolment requirements right away.
This may be due to academic grades, but most of the time it is just because the education system they come from is not 100% compatible with the British education system, or their English-speaking skills aren’t advanced enough.
UK universities lend a helping hand to motivated international students by offering foundation degrees — pre-Bachelors or pre-Masters — to help integrate newcomers and increase their chances of being admitted to a degree abroad.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best reasons to study a foundation or pathway programme in the UK:
1. Choose from a wide range of preparation courses
All international students who want to study a Bachelor’s or Master’s at UK universities can choose from various foundation degree specialisations. Some of the most popular choices include preparation programmes in the fields of:
Of course, these are only a few examples. You can find preparation courses in almost any major discipline you can think of. Make sure you do your research and don’t give up on your dream to study in the UK just because you don’t meet the admission requirements. A pre-Bachelor’s or pre-Master’s can quickly change that!
2. Easy to meet the admission requirements for pathway courses
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 the minimum English language skills (usually a 5.5 IELTS Academic score).
Some universities or graduate schools in the UK may require a minimum high school grade average, while others mainly focus on English abilities. A personal motivation letter or an essay may be required depending on the institution providing the preparation course.
You may not even need to take the IELTS or TOEFL test to enrol. If you feel your level of English is up to par, some universities in the UK provide their own tests on location or in major countries abroad to evaluate the applicants’ 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 (or longer) English preparation pre-foundation pathways.
3. Advance your English language skills
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
Learn more about IELTS vs TOEFL vs PTE Academic.
4. Highly specialised subject tracks are ideal for your future
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 to select two or more focus tracks/specialisations, during the one-year international experience.
Here are a few popular examples of tracks students can pursue or combine during their preparation course experience in the UK:
- Business – 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 by analysing dynamics related to news, public opinion, advertising, cinema, TV, and the internet
- Law – understand 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
5. Integrate faster by understanding the local culture
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 societies.
Part of your foundation preparation will explore concepts about the development of the modern world and will 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 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
All these benefits and an 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 where one can find better foundation degrees to get started on their higher education path.