Foundation programmes are growing in popularity in the UK and are an ideal way to get into university if you don’t already have the right qualifications. There are lots of reasons people might not have the qualifications they need but that is no longer a bar to getting into university.
A foundation year is suitable for those who may have had a gap in education between school and university and need to revisit those qualifications. In addition, people who have been out of the education system for some time because they have been working or raising a family can benefit because it will provide them with the right basis for confident degree-level study. Foundation programmes also address the needs of foreign students who face unique challenges when studying in the UK.
Do a foundation degree without A-Levels
The whole point of a foundation programme is to get you ready for degree-level study and is a way into university for those who don’t have the traditional A-Levels. Many foundation programmes will expect you to have five GCSEs at grade C (grade 4) and above or the equivalent qualifications.
However, you can take the non-standard entry route if you don’t have them, but you do meet certain criteria. At GSM London, for example, you can still apply as long as you can show evidence of; a year’s full-time work experience on your CV, have a work reference or can undertake a standard or academic interview.
What are the benefits of a foundation programme?
As well as being accessible without A-Levels, there are a number of other benefits to taking a foundation course.
1. Prepares you for university study
Studying at degree level can be a challenge if you’ve been out of the game for a while. It’s not that anyone will doubt your commitment but rather that you might not have the necessary skills to complete a degree successfully. If you launch straight into a degree at this stage it can feel overwhelming which can s shake your self-confidence and career aspirations. A foundation programme can build on your core skills in English, maths and computing to boost your confidence in your abilities as a student keeping you on course.
2. Helps you discover your strengths
If you’re not sure where your strengths lie a foundation programme can help you find them. Not only that, it can help you to make the most of them and embark on an eventual degree course which will play to your strengths.
3. Lets you try your hand at different subjects before you pick your degree
Choosing your degree is a big consideration both for your future prospects and also financially, so it’s important you get it right. During a foundation year with GSM London you have the opportunity to study two different subjects before you choose your degree.
4. Gives you time to adjust
A foundation year may mean an extra year of study, but that extra year can give you a bit of breathing space to reflect on your decision making sure you’re happy with it. You’ll have more time to settle into both academic and university life, to get accustomed and to make the most of it.
5. Guaranteed place on a degree course
If you successfully complete all the modules of a foundation programme you will automatically be registered onto your chosen degree course. You won’t have to apply through UCAS and go through all the uncertainty, waiting and angst that can result because you know your place is already secure.
6. Can help you make up your mind if you’re undecided
If you’re not sure whether university is right for you a foundation year can help you find out for definite if you’re on the correct path. Last year, according to UCAS, 72, 550 applicants to university were aged 26 or older. If you are a mature student and have been out of education for a while it can be a worry wondering if you will fit back into education or have anything in common with the 18-year-olds who have gone straight in from A-Levels. But because of the higher numbers of mature students at GSM London you’ll fit right in and a foundation course can be a great way of testing the water before you jump into a full degree.
We would like to hear from you if you’re interested in taking a foundation programme. You can call us on 020 3797 4687 or you can find out more here.