What is a Foundation Year and why you should consider studying one?

As a year-long introductory program, the Foundation year also called the ‘gateway degrees’ or ‘year zero’ program, is outlined to aid learners to hone the skills, knowledge, and confidence required before they progress into a full-fledged three-year undergraduate. For instance, sessions that help you focus on career aspirations and opportunities, existing transferable skills, an introduction to your chosen subject, and writing essays.

Being usually integrated into degree programs, foundation degrees, lead to degree study with the same university, while it is also possible to transfer to a different university once the foundation year has been completed. Foundation programmes are also designed to cater to both local and international students from all across the Globe. Courses for foreign-based native-language students also include English language classes.

Foundation programs can prep students for a diverse range of subjects including business, finance and management, computing, law, art and design, engineering, social science, medicine, science and pharmacy, media, and humanities.

Who is a foundation year for?

A foundation year might be an ideal choice for you if:

  • You are keen on building the confidence to enroll in a university degree and would like to acquire study skills and some entry-level knowledge on your chosen subject.
  • You might have taken a break from education for a while and now feel the need for a refresher before pursuing a full university degree.
  • You have completed different subjects at A-Level to the course entry requirements.
  • You might have failed to get the required grades for the course.

Is a foundation year the same as a foundation degree? 

No, they aren’t. While a foundation year is designed to help secure a place on a degree course, a foundation degree is a stand-alone qualification in itself that is equivalent to the first two years of an undergraduate degree.

Students who have completed a foundation degree, are usually permitted to use this as credits to enter their undergraduate degree at the start of the second year. A foundation year, on the other hand, does not usually count toward an undergraduate degree.

What impact will a foundation year have on my career?

Meeting the needs of International Students: Tailored specifically to suit the likes of an international student, a Year (0) program is equipped to address the needs of students looking to study abroad. It prepares you with the right level of confidence required to succeed and tackle the unique challenges international students face, like adjusting to a new culture.

Bridging the Skill Gap: A foundation year provides you with a wide range of transferrable skills, such as communication, teamwork, and organization, that are exactly the kind of skills employers are in search of, besides qualifications. Learners who complete a foundation program are more likely to adapt and cope better in their first year of tertiary studies; students get a hang of completing assessment tasks and applying their specialized knowledge. This can specifically be useful to students that have had a break from education for a long time and are re-entering study after a long hiatus.

Enabling a smoother transition from high school to University: Completing a foundation year also prepares you to pursue a university degree, increasing your chances of success and your earning potential. This also involves building subject-specific knowledge. A foundation year degree comes with the added strength that allows you to explore similar areas of study to your chosen course.

Wide range of subjects: Gateway degrees now come with an increasing range of modules including ICT, interactive media, hospitality and tourism, retail management, engineering disciplines, leadership and management, construction, etc. 

Getting acquainted with the tertiary education environment: Whether you are transitioning from school or finding your way back from years of experience in the corporate field, a foundation and preparatory course gives you the chance to be comfortable within a tertiary study environment. Pursuing a degree at the tertiary level may be different in terms of the independent learning style and reduced contact hours often come across as a challenge for new students. Year (0) courses are delivered and facilitated in a university-style format with lectures, tutorials, and seminar-style sessions, helping you to better prepare for your future university studies.

What else do I need to know?

A foundation year is firmly linked to the degree you’ll progress into. You get to meet students from the degree year, so you get a better idea of what can you expect from a bachelor’s program. Typically, the tutors who teach you will be with you throughout your degree, and you’ll be well-versed with the type of assessment you’ll have to undertake in the subsequent years, helping you prepare for what the bachelor program has to offer.

As a foundation year student, you become a university student from day one and you can benefit fully from the facilities and opportunities available to all students. If you’ve understood the benefits of a Foundation year and are looking to join one, DeMont offers a Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Business that serves as an essential introductory program to prepare students for their undergraduate experience.

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