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How exactly does one apply for international foundation?

Hey everyone.
I’m interested in studying chemistry in the UK, and have applied to the following universities for a Bsc:
UCL
King’s College
University of Manchester
Durham
Newcastle

Thing is, none of these schools (except Newcastle) recognise diplomas from my (Turkish) high school. As such, I must apply for international foundation at the other four. I was led to believe, by the agency who’re handling my application, that it was possible to do this via UCAS. However last monday my UCL application automatically changed from “foundation entry” to “1st year entry”, because turns out I have to apply to UCL directly if I want to study foundation there.

When I brought this up with the agency they told me that this was all normal and according to procedure, and that we would change remove the four foundation applications from UCAS and apply directly to them. This confused me because… what was the purpose of the UCAS application in the first place if they don’t handle foundation? I’m wondering if I should trust them or keep my UCAS applications as they are.

TLDR; tried to apply to UCL,KCL,Durham foundation through UCAS a week ago with help from an agency. But the agency now says UCAS won’t work and I should apply to all of them directly instead. Should I?
Original post by Horizoon
Hey everyone.
I’m interested in studying chemistry in the UK, and have applied to the following universities for a Bsc:
UCL
King’s College
University of Manchester
Durham
Newcastle

Thing is, none of these schools (except Newcastle) recognise diplomas from my (Turkish) high school. As such, I must apply for international foundation at the other four. I was led to believe, by the agency who’re handling my application, that it was possible to do this via UCAS. However last monday my UCL application automatically changed from “foundation entry” to “1st year entry”, because turns out I have to apply to UCL directly if I want to study foundation there.

When I brought this up with the agency they told me that this was all normal and according to procedure, and that we would change remove the four foundation applications from UCAS and apply directly to them. This confused me because… what was the purpose of the UCAS application in the first place if they don’t handle foundation? I’m wondering if I should trust them or keep my UCAS applications as they are.

TLDR; tried to apply to UCL,KCL,Durham foundation through UCAS a week ago with help from an agency. But the agency now says UCAS won’t work and I should apply to all of them directly instead. Should I?

I shouldn't be as confusing as it unfortunately is. Generally speaking, if you're applying for a full-time undergraduate degree, you'd do so via UCAS. However, for other (non-degree) courses, this isn't necessarily the case.

I'm going to assume that your statement above about most of these universities not accepting your high school diploma. However, given how the agency you have been using have got things wrong so far, I'd advise you to check yourself simply by visiting each universities web site or, if necessary, checking with their admissions team. (Is it a Devlet Lise Diplomasi, Lise Bitirme Diplomasi or Anadolu Lisesi, by the way?)

Assuming your high school diploma isn't acceptable for Chemistry at UCL (for example) you'd join their International Foundation programme (which they call UPC, Undergraduate Preparation Certificates). There are a few different UPC programmes, which focus on particular skills/knowledge, and there are also optional modules to consider. This page confirms that for Chemistry BSc, you want the Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE), and that you'd need one of the optional subjects within it to be Chemistry. (More details on the compulsory and optional subjects can be found here.)

The key piece of information (with regards to your question) can be found on their "How to apply" page, here. It says, "You should make your UPC application directly to the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE) via our online application form." So, for UCL at least, your agency are correct in that you'd apply to their International Foundation programme directly.

I would encourage to check the application process for the International Foundation programme at each of the other universities via their web sites.

Also check that you can't just join at Year 0 (a foundation year) of a "regular" BSc, like this one at Manchester. You may need to contact their admissions office to confirm whether or not your high school diploma is acceptable.
Most International Foundation programs are independent of UCAS - you apply direct to the University - ie. https://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/foundation-2023/university-of-bath-international-foundation-year/university-of-bath-international-foundation-year-course-licensed-to-bath-college/

If its a Year 0 Foundation course open to both UK and International applicants, and leads directly to a degree, then you would apply through UCAS.

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