What is a foundation degree, and do I need A levels? Watch

581371
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Hey, So in short I feel I've made a mess of my A Levels by picking the wrong choices and am therefore not performing to my best ability because I'm not enjoying what I've chosen.
My friend told me breifly about foundation degrees?
What are they and what do I need to get into one?
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Funkymonkey21
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(Original post by Zuki)
Hey, So in short I feel I've made a mess of my A Levels by picking the wrong choices and am therefore not performing to my best ability because I'm not enjoying what I've chosen.
My friend told me breifly about foundation degrees?
What are they and what do I need to get into one?
A foundation degree is usually for people who havent done as well as they wanted in their A-levels, changed their mind about what they wanted to do, or older people without appropriate qualifications to get straight onto a degree (this is what i found when i did one anyway).

i did a science foundation degree which brought me up to the same level as those who had A-levels, and it let me apply to most science subjects at the same uni (we were basically guaranteed a place as long as we passed the foundation year, although that might just be the uni i went to).

you just apply as usual through ucas, but id explain why you didnt do as well as you wanted to/picked the wrong subjects. i found it helpful because i knew i wanted to do a science degree, but i wasnt sure which one and i also didnt have the right qualifications. i found the extra year helpful as it let me consider which would be the best choice.

i think its well worth considering, but think about it properly before you jump in as its putting you back an extra year and also costing you more.
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Oaktree
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most foundation degrees do require some A Levels but it all depends on what course it is... ive looked at some courses who have requried grade BCC at A Level and others that only want GCSE Grade C in english and maths

If i were you i would just re-chose all my A Levels and start again, thats what my brother did, he was in his A2 year and hated every course he did (Spanish, Latin, Geography) so he finished A2 (Grades CCD) and then just re-chose his A Levels (Media, French, Maths) and got grade ABB!
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internet tough guy
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(Original post by Funkymonkey21)
A foundation degree is usually for people who havent done as well as they wanted in their A-levels, changed their mind about what they wanted to do, or older people without appropriate qualifications to get straight onto a degree (this is what i found when i did one anyway).

i did a science foundation degree which brought me up to the same level as those who had A-levels, and it let me apply to most science subjects at the same uni (we were basically guaranteed a place as long as we passed the foundation year, although that might just be the uni i went to).

you just apply as usual through ucas, but id explain why you didnt do as well as you wanted to/picked the wrong subjects. i found it helpful because i knew i wanted to do a science degree, but i wasnt sure which one and i also didnt have the right qualifications. i found the extra year helpful as it let me consider which would be the best choice.

i think its well worth considering, but think about it properly before you jump in as its putting you back an extra year and also costing you more.
If you have a good reason for not doing well as you wanted to, then surely this counts as mitigating circumstances and would allow for consideration on the straight science course without an additional foundation year. But if it isn't a good reason, I can't quite imagine what one would put as their explanation for why they didn't do as well (to gain entrance for the straight degrees), i.e should someone really put something like: I was lazy during my studies/didn't listen in class.
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internet tough guy
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(Original post by Oaktree)
If i were you i would just re-chose all my A Levels and start again, thats what my brother did, he was in his A2 year and hated every course he did (Spanish, Latin, Geography) so he finished A2 (Grades CCD) and then just re-chose his A Levels (Media, French, Maths) and got grade ABB!
Surely it would be easier and quicker to just go for a foundation year, all it requires is an additional year. Unless you're doing the new alevels all in one year OR you're looking to go to specific unis that don't offer a foundation route (many do though), I can't see why you would rather choose to start afresh with new Alevels instead.
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Oaktree
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Fair point... just saying it worked for my brother :L
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Joinedup
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Op there are 2 different but similarly named types of course.
Foundation Degree and Foundation Course/year.

A Foundation Degree is roughly equivalent to the first 2 years of a 3 year honours degree course (england and wales) and you could progress to a full honours degree with 1 year additional study.

Otoh

Foundation Course/year is one year and qualifies you to enter a degree course at year 1.
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581371
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Op there are 2 different but similarly named types of course.
Foundation Degree and Foundation Course/year.

A Foundation Degree is roughly equivalent to the first 2 years of a 3 year honours degree course (england and wales) and you could progress to a full honours degree with 1 year additional study.

Otoh

Foundation Course/year is one year and qualifies you to enter a degree course at year 1.
Thanks for the info, would you mind naming me a university which does either a degree or course?
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Zuki)
Thanks for the info, would you mind naming me a university which does either a degree or course?
Foundation Degree

Eg Oxford Brookes H690 E&E engineering

the qualification column on UCAS will look like 2FT Fdg FdSc
(or may say FdEng or FdA instead of FdSc)

Offers low but probably needs A levels to be in relevant subjects

---
Foundation Course

Eg Manchester H108 Engineering with an Integrated Foundation Year
Eg Derby H601 Electrical and Electronic Engineering Foundation

The qualification column on UCAS might look like
4FT/5SW Hon BEng (i.e. 1 Year longer than a BEng normally takes in England & Wales)
or
1FT FYr FYr

Offers typically on par with a honours degree but A levels may be in unrelated subjects
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littleone271
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You could always look into doing a BTEC? I totally flunked my AS's and I was fed up of being in school and getting treated like a child so I left and went to college and now I'm in my second year of a BTEC extended diploma in forensic science. Apparently sometimes people with A-levels have to do foundation years whereas people with a relevant BTEC wouldn't because BTECs are all about practical applications, you don't learn half as much useless bs as you do doing A-levels and they provide much more practical experience.
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another_member
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(Original post by littleone271)
You could always look into doing a BTEC? I totally flunked my AS's and I was fed up of being in school and getting treated like a child so I left and went to college and now I'm in my second year of a BTEC extended diploma in forensic science. Apparently sometimes people with A-levels have to do foundation years whereas people with a relevant BTEC wouldn't because BTECs are all about practical applications, you don't learn half as much useless bs as you do doing A-levels and they provide much more practical experience.
Yes its true
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Funkymonkey21
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(Original post by internet tough guy)
If you have a good reason for not doing well as you wanted to, then surely this counts as mitigating circumstances and would allow for consideration on the straight science course without an additional foundation year. But if it isn't a good reason, I can't quite imagine what one would put as their explanation for why they didn't do as well (to gain entrance for the straight degrees), i.e should someone really put something like: I was lazy during my studies/didn't listen in class.
i know what you mean, but im sure if you got an E in every A level you did, no matter what reason you come up with, they wouldnt accept you onto a degree course? i dont know what grades the person posting was expecting to get. and also, if they find a-levels too hard or havent got a good result, jumping straight into a degree isnt a good idea?
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username418231
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(Original post by Zuki)
Hey, So in short I feel I've made a mess of my A Levels by picking the wrong choices and am therefore not performing to my best ability because I'm not enjoying what I've chosen.
My friend told me breifly about foundation degrees?
What are they and what do I need to get into one?
Foundation degree or foundation year?

What A Levels are you studying?

What grades/points are you predicted?

What course do you want to study at university?

A foundation year (also known as year zero) is meant to prepare you for the course you want to study if you haven't got the right grades or A Level subjects. For myself, I had issues during A Levels (picked the wrong subjects in the beginning, problems at home) so I didn't do as well as I would like to have done. Because of this, I am applying for a social science course with a foundation year, in the hope that after I do the social science foundation year, I will get onto a Politics or International Relations course. You don't usually need many A Levels or high grades or high points to get onto a foundation year.

Just search for the subject you want with a foundation year on the UCAS course search (e.g. Science with a foundation year)
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username418231
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(Original post by Oaktree)
Fair point... just saying it worked for my brother :L
What subject does he study at degree level?
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Oaktree
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he didnt go onto degree level straight away, he re-chose his A Levels. But he has now moved on to a foundation degree in professional photography
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Marley109
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Hey guys,

I need urgent help.

Right now I am trying to find a university which offers foundation courses with no entry requirements or only wants GCSE's to enter the foundation course because I haven't done A-Levels and I have no intention of doing it as many students who did advised me not to take A-Levels.

Well I would be more than happy and well appreciate if you guys helped me out to find universities in London offering GCSE entry for foundation. I am interested in Business, Media and Marketing, I can't decide. I am 16 years old and I have 6A's and 2B's in my GCSE's.

I have had a lot of problems trying to find out universities with this specification as many need A-Levels, thanks to all those who gave info on A-Levels and BTEC's, and diff between foundation degrees and courses, it has really helped.

I really hope to hear from you guys soon,

Thank You,
Marlonne Mendonca
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Marley109)
Hey guys,

I need urgent help.

Right now I am trying to find a university which offers foundation courses with no entry requirements or only wants GCSE's to enter the foundation course because I haven't done A-Levels and I have no intention of doing it as many students who did advised me not to take A-Levels.

Well I would be more than happy and well appreciate if you guys helped me out to find universities in London offering GCSE entry for foundation. I am interested in Business, Media and Marketing, I can't decide. I am 16 years old and I have 6A's and 2B's in my GCSE's.

I have had a lot of problems trying to find out universities with this specification as many need A-Levels, thanks to all those who gave info on A-Levels and BTEC's, and diff between foundation degrees and courses, it has really helped.

I really hope to hear from you guys soon,

Thank You,
Marlonne Mendonca
I think you've been misadvised, you need level 3 qualifications of some sort to start a foundation course and GCSEs are level 2.

also worth noting that you'll build up student debt doing a foundation course whereas you could probably get A levels or Btec for free.
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Marley109
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(Original post by Joinedup)
I think you've been misadvised, you need level 3 qualifications of some sort to start a foundation course and GCSEs are level 2.

also worth noting that you'll build up student debt doing a foundation course whereas you could probably get A levels or Btec for free.
Yeah probably because from where I lived before, after GCSE's most of my classmates directly enrolled onto foundation years in English universities, so I always had that in mind but now I realise things work differently in UK.

Thanks for your reply, though, what would you recommend ? Because I really have no intention on joining A-Levels at all, and i was looking at Ealing, Hammersmith West London College on their courses and I don't know what I should do, are a year of BTEC's enough to get me to University ?
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Marley109)
Yeah probably because from where I lived before, after GCSE's most of my classmates directly enrolled onto foundation years in English universities, so I always had that in mind but now I realise things work differently in UK.

Thanks for your reply, though, what would you recommend ? Because I really have no intention on joining A-Levels at all, and i was looking at Ealing, Hammersmith West London College on their courses and I don't know what I should do, are a year of BTEC's enough to get me to University ?
level 3 btecs are 2 years long afaik with less prospect of finishing early due to all the coursework involved.

what's the problem with just doing A levels?
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Marley109
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(Original post by Joinedup)
level 3 btecs are 2 years long afaik with less prospect of finishing early due to all the coursework involved.

what's the problem with just doing A levels?
Well my brother did A-Levels and so did a lot of friends of mine, and they all recommended that I shouldn't do it because its a waste of time and money, if you do bad and that is most likely so I have made my decision and I am not gonna put myself through that pressure. This is why I have always wanted to do a foundation course in any university with the hopes to transfer credits but some want international students while others wants A-Levels to join them, although London Met and Goldsmiths don't.

So i just need some more universities to keep in mind but asap, which have foundation courses with GCSE entry, is there any other way I could just enter Uni without A-Levels ?
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