foundation or access course

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Report Thread starter 5 months ago
I want to know if its better to do foundation or access to he course.
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Report 5 months ago
Not enough context to advise. What is the degree you hope to do eventually? Which uni(s) are you hoping to apply to? Do they offer a foundation year already or would you be trying to do the foundation year at one uni then transfer to another? Have you confirmed the uni(s) in question accepts the specific Access to HE course(s) you are considering? As not all unis do.

So really, hard to say. If the main uni you want to go to offers a foundation year for your course then it's probably most straightforward to do that - however doing a foundation year makes it harder to apply to other unis as there is no guarantee it will be accepted. Equally though, not all Access to HE courses will be accepted for all degree programmes by themselves and some may not provide suitable background for some courses. This is particularly the case for STEM courses which usually presuppose certain material has been covered to A-level or equivalent - often Access to HE courses do not cover the content in enough depth or breadth to be accepted (especially if A-level Maths is a requirement).

Finally also note that in the specific case of medicine, "medicine with foundation year" courses are very specific and normally only available to applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria/contextual flags. There are also "medicine with a gateway year" courses for those who have excellent results, but in the "wrong" subjects, that are "subject changers" as a result, but these are separate and presuppose a strong academic performance already. Also on the subject of medicine, not all Access to Medicine courses are accepted by all medical schools - usually medical schools have a list of specific providers from whom they will accept Access to Medicine applicants, so you should check the med schools websites or contact them to confirm.

There are also financial factors to consider; a foundation year will be funded by SFE with maintenance and tuition fee loans as any other year of uni provided you don't have any prior study at uni level. However if you change course this will count against your eligibility for funding from SFE, and if you have prior study at HE level this can make you ineligible for further funding for the foundation year etc. On the other hand an Access to HE course is only eligible for tuition fee loan funding from an Advanced Learner Loan (ALL), and you would need to pay your own living costs out of pocket. However, the benefit of the Access route is the ALL gets written off if you complete a degree afterwards.

I don't think there is an objective answer to this as it depends on a lot of factors.
Last edited by artful_lounger; 5 months ago
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Report 4 months ago
Personally, I did an Access Course and got 45 distinctions, but still applied for a Foundation Year. This is because I've been out of education for such a long time, I'd quite like to have a VERY solid foundation before being confident to move over to my undergraduate course.

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