What are they and where can they be studied?
The Foundation Year is designed for students who have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to apply for a full degree course.
There are thousands of degrees at a variety of universities that offer foundation years. Some courses can be studied at a local college which means you don’t have to stay away from home, saving on accommodation fees.
Once you have passed the Foundation Year you can progress onto Year 1 of a linked honours degree and if you are a full-time UK student you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course.
International students who are studying the foundation year can be placed on the Foundation Year International Route which offers additional English language study skills and tutor support through many universities.
Teaching is delivered through lectures, seminars, tutorials and where appropriate practical workshops or laboratory sessions. Some universities will offer online or distance learning. You will be expected to spend quite a lot of time on self-study. Teaching methods differ depending on your chosen degree.
Foundation year courses can be found listed on university and college websites.
A foundation degree combines academic study with work place learning. Designed in association with employers, they teach students the relevant skills and knowledge to gain a qualification as well as work place experience.
Foundation degrees focus on a particular job or profession. They are intended to increase the skills of current staff within a profession, or potential staff intending to go into that profession.
A foundation degree is the equivalent of two thirds of a full honours degree and allows students to study part-time or full-time to suit their lifestyle.
A full-time foundation degree will usually take about two years to complete. An honours degree, following on from a foundation degree, will normally take an extra year.
Formal qualifications are not always necessary for a foundation degree as appropriate industrial or commercial experience is often considered more relevant. All foundation degrees take into account work experience. It may also be possible to accredit existing company training received by an employee with foundation degree status – this is generally investigated on an individual company basis.
After your foundation degree you may decide to continue with your studies for a further year (more if part-time) to achieve a full honours degree. It may count towards further professional qualifications, or you could use your foundation degree to change careers or further your current career. Because a foundation degree is a nationally recognised qualification and has a value within the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS), the possibilities for progression are vast.