The UK, home to many highly-ranked universities and dynamic culture, is a top study destination — but what if your qualifications do not meet the requirements of your dream degree here?
An international foundation programme is an excellent idea, especially for international students wanting to join a UK university undergraduate programme but need extra English language and academic preparation.
On top of these, students get to familiarise themselves with local life and culture during this one-year preparation programme. With a wide variety of subjects like finance, law, computing, media or even science, they get a headstart on their future subjects too. Plus, by being able to stay on campus, students can enjoy full university student status, with access to all facilities, such as libraries and sports venues.
If you´re looking for a dynamic transition from high school to your next big academic adventure, consider these UK universities:
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds – a world top 100 university and 15th in the UK (QS World Rankings 2022) – is well-known for its teaching quality and student satisfaction rate. It is also the 5th most targeted UK university by graduate recruiters (The Graduate Market in 2021 High Fliers Research. If you are from a non-English speaking country, have studied in a different education system from the UK’s and therefore do not yet meet the entry criteria for an undergraduate degree, this is the university for you.
The University of Leeds has a self-contained campus with beautiful country-side nearby, attracting international students to its well-established and successful pathway programme. The International Foundation Year programme is now integrated with a wide-range of university courses. You select which degree to progress onto at the point of application – there are over 150 courses to choose from.
This means, whichever degree you seek, the International Foundation Year is here to help you realise your ambition to study at the University of Leeds. You will learn from university academics in their respective schools. In your classes, you will take tailored subject-specific modules to help you prepare for your future undergraduate studies along with acquiring academic study skills, and improving your English.
From day one, you will be treated as a university student with access to all campus facilities. If you need support, it’s always available from your parent school, the International Pathways Centre, as well as via the university’s rich offering of academic and welfare support and through the Leeds University Union. Altogether, you can rest assured your future will be bright with the University of Leeds.
University of Reading
In the QS World University Rankings 2022, the University of Reading is ranked 27th among 90 UK universities. Their award-winning main Whiteknights campus is located just 30 minutes away from central London by train.
Run by the university, the International Foundation Programme has been taught for over 35 years, which means students can expect to receive the highest quality of preparation for undergraduate studies — 96% of graduates successfully met the requirements of the University of Reading degrees over the past two years (2019 to 2021).
Here, expert teaching is combined with a high level of support. Besides having a personal tutor who will monitor your progress throughout the year, they will also meet you twice a term and are available for help anytime you need it.
On top of access to all university facilities, you will have guaranteed university accommodation too, which includes modern study rooms with bathroom facilities.
At the same time, as students come from diverse cultures, you’ll have an opportunity to make friends and improve your English. The University of Reading hosts a great social programme to help you settle into campus life better too.
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick – ranked sixth in the UK (The Guardian 2022) – is named the University of the Year for Teaching Quality (The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2022). International students coming here can expect to have a superb teaching experience in one of the best universities in the UK.
Their International Foundation Programme – established in 1983 and one of the longest in the UK – has 10 academic courses, from Arts and Humanities to Maths and Statistics. Upon passing these courses, you will receive a guaranteed conditional offer to continue studying at the University of Warwick for your relevant undergraduate degree.
Not only will you be able to study what you want, but you also get intensive academic English tuition that is tailored to each specific discipline and your ability. On top of that, you will receive support for your undergraduate application whether at the University of Warwick or other competitive UK universities.
Fully-enrolled students can access all university facilities such as the Sports Hub and over 300 student-run clubs and associations. Besides being able to participate in university activities, students are eligible to apply for prioritised accommodation in the University of Warwick’s residences.
University of Liverpool
Liverpool, voted the fourth friendliest city in the world, has a diverse and rich student community that readily welcomes you no matter where you come from. The University of Liverpool – with 140 years of history – has a beautiful and easily accessible campus nearby all their departments and facilities.
Students get to live in the UK’s Best Student Halls, as voted in the National Student Housing Awards 2021. Besides that, students become immediate members of the Liverpool Guild of Students when they enrol, and can enjoy the university’s numerous clubs, societies, activities, volunteering and even skills training courses.
Students can choose from nine foundation programmes ranging from Biological Science, Geography to Psychology, run in conjunction with Carmel College in St Helens and Wirral Metropolitan College (for the 2+2 Psychology programme). The Foundation in Health and Veterinary Studies programme is designed as a pathway to the Health Science degrees, and is taken up either in Carmel College, St Helens or Birkenhead Sixth Form College.
Students will also be able to enjoy connections to employability experts and career coaches.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International