Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I've decided I might apply for a foundation course in physics at York. The requirement is BBB in any subject areas, I obtained AAA in totally unrelated courses. But still, I've given it some serious thought and it sounds like a good idea.

    I just have a few questions about foundation courses in general. What sort of numbers can I expect to be on the same course as me? and how are the exams done? - For the physics foundation course I understand its teaching of the relevant Maths/Physics required for degree level entry, but do they use traditional exam boards for testing or is it made up of internal examinations?

    Thanks

    Edit: How would it compare to actually studying the A levels over a 2 year period?
    • Wiki Support Team
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    I think the numbers depend solely on the uni - i wouldn't expect more than 30 - but you never know. It will be internal examinations (externally verified) but will be teaching to the same level as A-levels - so i would advise some knowledge of physics ie GCSE levels may be helpful.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Hi Naval,

    I'm applying for a Geophysics foundation year next year, so I have a lot of knowledge of how they work. I talked to three admissions tutors this summer while visiting universities concerning the functions of a foundation year.

    First, find out if the foundation is taught on campus or in a nearby college. If it's taught in a nearby college, although you'll get 'a personal tutor who you'll see regularly and be treated as a university student', you may feel like it's just going to be school all over again.

    Secondly, all foundation courses are competitive and very intensive. Luckily, you have AAA which may help you stand out, implying that your good grades will be enough of a motivation. However, you zoom through mathematics and physics in the course of 9 months. Normally you'll take two sets of exams at the end of semester one and two, and normally you need at least a 50 or 60% overall to pass.

    The nice thing is that if you pass with 65%, it doesn't affect anything. You have guaranteed entry, no matter what, no competition for your desired degree if you pass. According to admissions tutors, only 5% of foundation year students drop out. These tend to be the ones that got bad grades (e.g. CCC instead of ABB for example), and it makes sense, as they may have thought that they could get by it easily.

    The course content is not necessarily A-level. Yes, much of the stuff you will learn is similar to A-level content, however, it varies per university. I assume that this foundation year will make sure you are up to speed with calculus and then its applications to physics in around the second semester. These courses are designed for universities -- it is a known problem not only among A-levels, but IB courses as well, that physics courses are generally lacking the stepping stone between high school and university physics because high school physics uses elementary mathematical concepts.

    Remember, never assume foundation years are merely A-levels in 2 years... they are very intense, you have the same amount of working hours as a normal undergraduate student, and the course content is designed for the specific university course. In fact, according to statistics (as I've been told), candidates who successfully complete foundation years before entering their undergraduate major have a much higher chance of scoring a first or a 2:1. It just means that people who enter without a foundation year are less prepared because of the nature of A-level physics and maths, really.
    Offline

    10
    ReputationRep:
    Some fnd courses are very different to A-levels . Mainly becasue they are crap and have no bearing on University performance.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Every place is different. At Sussex there were about 15 that did physics on the foundation year. As it was a physical science foundation year there were also engineers and IT students. Some lectures were combined with those guys so there were about 50 of us, other times it was just lectures for the physics lot.

    The exams were just like end of year exams at uni and there were also some class test and coursework. It was exactly the same as any other year of my degree. The intensity went from about gcse standard maths and physics to just above a-levels in a year. So it would be tough if you hadn't done a-levels before, but still you could do it, you just have to keep up with the work. As I had done a-levels in maths and physics (but done very badly) I found it to be a really easy yet very useful year with lots of time for socialising. I thought the foundation year set me up really well for my degree, much better than a-levels had.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    You're probably going to find the maths very difficult, espicially since you have only taken it up to GCSE level. And considering physics is essiantially applied maths, you're going to have one hell of a time.
    • Wiki Support Team
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    If the uni is good - they may make it easier for you - extra support if you need it etc. Best to email the admissions tutor and ask.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: August 25, 2007

University open days

  • Heriot-Watt University
    School of Textiles and Design Undergraduate
    Fri, 16 Nov '18
  • University of Roehampton
    All departments Undergraduate
    Sat, 17 Nov '18
  • Edge Hill University
    Faculty of Health and Social Care Undergraduate
    Sat, 17 Nov '18
Poll
Have you ever experienced bullying?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.