How are foundation years generally seen in the UK? Are they looked down upon, mainly for international or lousy students, or are they held in relatively high regard for their additional preparation? Do the top universities (Oxbridge, UCL, LSE, etc.) regularly accept students who have completed a foundation year?
I ask this because my high school here in the States does not offer enough Advanced Placement courses related to the humanities, which is what I want to study, and those that it does are already conflicting with my other APs. I've taken three so far but haven't gotten a 5 on any of them, which is unfortunately the requirement for many of the top unis in the UK. I have another two this year and a 5 on both will still not give me the requirements I need. What are my options?
EDIT: I am looking at this in particular. Thanks in advance for your help.
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American: Foundation years? watch
- Thread Starter
Last edited by I Kant Spall; 17-01-2010 at 05:14.
- 17-01-2010 05:07
- 17-01-2010 11:03
I'm not sure why they'd be looked down on particularly. They are not primarily for students who have failed beforehand in a lot of cases; they're usually aimed more at people who don't have the right subjects and mature students (and some are obviously aimed at international students). Some unis even state categorically they're not for people who have simply failed their A-levels.
It sounds like it would be a good option for you, as the US and UK education system can be very different, so it would essentially be a way to bridge the gap between the two. UCL's programme says you'd have to have less than 4 APs though and from this bit:
All University Preparatory Certificate students will receive individual help and advice on applying for their following degree programmes during their UPCH course.
- Thread Starter
(Original post by heidigirl)
- 17-01-2010 19:40
I guess a more accurate question would be "On what basis do Oxbridge, LSE, etc. judge international students at these foundation programs?" Because I do/will have 5 APs or more, I can jump right into a university in the UK. The problem is I'm not entirely certain what I want to study and would rather have a year of preparation to "figure things out," so to speak. According to this, there are a few graduates of the program who went on to Oxford and Cambridge.
I understand that their application deadlines are before Oct. 15th, or around there. I wonder what they go by if it is my first year in the UK...
EDIT: It appears that the site actually gives comparisons to A-levels, which I am familiar with after spending some time on this forum.
I guess I'll e-mail the principal and wait for some feedback. I just wish someone here had gone through with this... argh!
- 18-01-2010 10:19
US Student here, starting on a foundation course next year. :]
Your goals and my goals are slightly different but...
My high school didn't offer AP classes. I am also a mature student (technically anyway -- I'm only 22), so I've been applying for foundation years in my chosen course (Physics). I have very little formal background with math and none at all with Physics... I have spent months emailing admissions tutors, taking emailed tests, and answering questions. I have two interviews forthcoming and one offer already (York).
For me, taking a foundation year seemed to be ideal as it would give me the necessary background (since I obviously lack A-levels/AP) and a guaranteed spot on a Physics program at the end of the year. I was, however, planning on staying at whichever Uni I took the foundation year with... unless I was very unhappy there - but I'll cross that bridge when I get there, I suppose.
I'm sure if you get stellar marks during that foundation year and get an excellent reference and everything else, there wouldn't be a problem getting into a top Uni. This is purely conjecture on my part, but at least I can encourage you!
- 18-01-2010 10:19
PS: Nice to meet you, it's always nice reading about people in similar situations