Foundation Programme

Students in the UK complete their elementary and secondary courses from the ages of 5 to 18 years old so when they enter the university, they have completed 13 years of study; however many overseas students have only spent 12 years in education in their home countries by the time they reach the age of 18. Because of this difference in time spent at school, most UK universities will ask overseas students to follow a one year foundation or pathway course before they start the undergraduate degree course. In exceptional cases universities may allow direct entry. Your UKEAS counselor will be able to advise you more on this.


3 functions of foundation courses are:


  • To help students to improve their English for academic courses
  • To better prepare students for entry to a university in the UK and to allow students to get used to the way of teaching in the UK.
  • To help students to prepare for the subject they will study at undergraduate level so for example business students can take business related foundation courses, and engineering students can take engineering related foundation courses.

Note, some foundation or pathway courses are only for certain subjects.


For a full list of UK universities, click here.

Still have questions? Please contact your local UKEAS office to get the most up-to-date professional advice. Remember, its free!

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