Is ucl foundation course waste of time and money?

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Mmasek1
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The best advertised and most hyped UK foundation course is UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE) and UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for the Humanities (UPCH) which cost a whopping £21,995.
In the past lots of students and parents are attracted to this course because of the reputation of UCL and hope to the progressing to UCL or other prestigious UNIS. However the reality is far divorced from claims made on their website.
I declined undergraduate offers from Durham, St Andrews, Kings College, Warwick and Edinburgh because I was hopeful of getting into medical science at UCL. I sat the course and passed successfully but was 1 point from getting a distinction. I know students who passed the course with distinction but were declined an offer by UCL
To make matters worst, there were hardly other universities who accept UCL foundation certificate. Even 4th tier universities refused to accept even a distinction in UCL foundation certificate.
Now Im glad to see they've increased the acceptance rate for UCL foundation students for 2019. Good luck to new and future students who take this course. Finally I got into medicine at UClan where I'm currently receiving excellent teaching. I found out that sometimes schools such as UClan with little reputation offer great but underrated teachings compare to some of the notable ones. I regret wasting my time and parents money at UCL foundation. Im so happy I came to UClan. Hoepfully as UClan continue to strive to equip their students with world class teaching, their reputation will go up deservedly.
Last edited by Mmasek1; 3 months ago
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Admit-One
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I’m glad things worked for you in the end.

Foundation courses are a big gamble. With A-Levels or equivalent you have a universally accepted qualification that can be retaken easily if required. With a foundation programme if you underperform for any reason, it’s potluck how the Uni will let you proceed. Retakes may be capped for example.

As you found, you may be left with a very expensive but underwhelming qualification which is not accepted elsewhere.

They obviously work for some people but the general guidance on TSR is to avoid if possible.
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Mmasek1
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(Original post by Admit-One)
I’m glad things worked for you in the end.

Foundation courses are a big gamble. With A-Levels or equivalent you have a universally accepted qualification that can be retaken easily if required. With a foundation programme if you underperform for any reason, it’s potluck how the Uni will let you proceed. Retakes may be capped for example.

As you found, you may be left with a very expensive but underwhelming qualification which is not accepted elsewhere.

They obviously work for some people but the general guidance on TSR is to avoid if possible.
Actually other foundations offer you a great chance to progress if you do well. UCL on the other hand lean heavily on the side of students who'rte applying directly to their undergraduate program but make the foundation student to believe they have a great chance. I believe the reason why they've increased their acceptance rate for progression because there's shortfall in direct undergraduate applications
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Admit-One
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(Original post by Mmasek1)
Actually other foundations offer you a great chance to progress if you do well.
I’m aware how progression typically works, I work at a Uni with multiple foundation routes. The point being if you underperform for any reason, you’re really at the whim of the Uni in terms of how they deal with it. At least with AL’s you can take a year out and retake anywhere which most uni’s will consider.
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Mmasek1
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(Original post by Admit-One)
I’m glad things worked for you in the end.

Foundation courses are a big gamble. With A-Levels or equivalent you have a universally accepted qualification that can be retaken easily if required. With a foundation programme if you underperform for any reason, it’s potluck how the Uni will let you proceed. Retakes may be capped for example.

As you found, you may be left with a very expensive but underwhelming qualification which is not accepted elsewhere.

They obviously work for some people but the general guidance on TSR is to avoid if possible.
Of course one shouldn't under perform and expect to be rewarded with offers. Thats not the point of this post. Until recently, its alleged that one the top 3 out of over 100 students paying fees equal to OXbridge education for a foundation course gets offers. I'm glad they've increased the offers for foundation students. Honestly I won't recommend the course and I'll advise prospective students to take a year to improve their grades to gain admission to their desired courses. The outrageous fees is what adds injury to insults.
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Realitysreflexx
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As a person who had success on a foundation course, I'll say it's appropriate if it's for the correct price and you've done the homework on progression. This is the murky bit, because not only do you need to do well... You need to assess whether the foundation your doing is a path to where you want to end up! And as ambitions of humans can be fluid this can make it stressful and difficult to research. I found my foundation to be brilliant, though it was pricey... And i could have moved to the UK and done an access course for less but would have had far less guidance and knowledge. Also got very lucky in my provider, that was extremely legitimate as it was attached to a very successful independent A level college.. Had ties to the government and was sort of a pioneer in it's operation, really leveraging ties with bringing Chinese kids to the UK for study and bringing them from a low level of english to out the door, which is very profitable for universities! But there are alot of dodgy providers that overpromise and under deliver! I had a marvelous time though and progressed to my chosen university, but not everyone is so lucky... But you could also do traditional A levels... And not get an offer to where you think you ought/want to go.
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by Mmasek1)
Of course one shouldn't under perform and expect to be rewarded with offers. Thats not the point of this post. Until recently, its alleged that one the top 3 out of over 100 students paying fees equal to OXbridge education for a foundation course gets offers. I'm glad they've increased the offers for foundation students. Honestly I won't recommend the course and I'll advise prospective students to take a year to improve their grades to gain admission to their desired courses. The outrageous fees is what adds injury to insults.
Funnily enough, the foundation I went to in London at Birkbeck (Oncampus London)... Used to be the UCL foundation. They changed it to become more for profit. But you need to realise, just because your doing a foundation, doesn't mean your not still competing on the rest. Class profiles, applicant potential, personal statements... It's not all washed away by doing foundation xxx. You still have to prove you belong there. That is no small order at university like UCL.
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Mmasek1
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(Original post by Realitysreflexx)
Funnily enough, the foundation I went to in London at Birkbeck (Oncampus London)... Used to be the UCL foundation. They changed it to become more for profit. But you need to realise, just because your doing a foundation, doesn't mean your not still competing on the rest. Class profiles, applicant potential, personal statements... It's not all washed away by doing foundation xxx. You still have to prove you belong there. That is no small order at university like UCL.
Of course one shouldn't under perform and expect to be rewarded with offers. Thats not the point of this post. Until recently, its alleged that one the top 3 out of over 100 students paying fees equal to OXbridge education for a foundation course gets offers. I'm glad they've increased the offers for foundation students. Honestly I won't recommend the course and I'll advise prospective students to take a year to improve their grades to gain admission to their desired courses. The outrageous fees is what adds injury to insults.
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Realitysreflexx
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(Original post by Mmasek1)
Of course one shouldn't under perform and expect to be rewarded with offers. Thats not the point of this post. Until recently, its alleged that one the top 3 out of over 100 students paying fees equal to OXbridge education for a foundation course gets offers. I'm glad they've increased the offers for foundation students. Honestly I won't recommend the course and I'll advise prospective students to take a year to improve their grades to gain admission to their desired courses. The outrageous fees is what adds injury to insults.
Yeah, you missed the point. You can perform well at traditional A levels and still not get an offer. It could just be you don't fit their criteria. The fees are irrelevant and not a fair way to assess your failure in securing an offer by not standing out as a candidate.
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