A foundation course prepares you for the university by building your subject knowledge if your qualifications aren’t at a level to allow you direct entry to university. For international students, it also effectively builds your English language skills while you learn the fundamentals of your area of study.
Foundation courses may also be studied by students who have an excellent academic record, but may not have studied the necessary subjects in enough depth. For example, a student wishing to study Medicine or Engineering who doesn’t have higher level qualifications in science can take a foundation year which will be considered as ‘year zero’ of the total length of their course.
Of course, if you’re looking to study at New College Manchester then you’ll be looking for a foundation course which both prepares you for the demands of university teaching and enhances your English language skills. This is precisely what our courses intend to do; an International Foundation Year Diploma with us successfully improves your language and study skills and additionally helps you integrate into a new country and city.
But if you’re still not sure whether a foundation course is right for you, then we’ve compiled a concise guide designed to answer your common questions and introduce you to our various subject-focused courses.
A foundation course is a really effective way of bridging the gap between mainstream schooling and university life. Many students can find that the transition to university is a bit of a shock and if you’re used to small class sizes and never challenging your teacher’s ideas then a university lecture theatre can seem intimidating!
At university, students are encouraged to debate with their lecturers and explore new ideas (we promise it isn’t considered disrespectful to pose an interesting debate!) and the focus is very much on independent learning. You may only have around 10 contact hours (lectures, seminars, workshops or labs) a week at university and for the rest of your study time, you will have to complete a lot of research in order to carry out your assignments to a high standard.
A foundation course is designed to fully support you whilst also encouraging you to be the type of ‘independent learner’ that thrives at a university. You should find yourself pleasantly challenged yet confident of your study skills, language skills and subject knowledge after studying a foundation course with our helpful tutors.
We offer two International Foundation Year Diplomas at NCM, the International Foundation Year in Information Technology (IT) and the International Foundation Year in Business and Management.
Both of our courses are designed to prepare you for your university course academically (i.e. for IT you will study modules on mathematics and computing) and you will additionally study modules designed to improve your English, equip you with English language skills for university and introduce you to UK culture. Our foundation courses are worth 120 credits (the same as each academic year at the undergraduate level) and focus strongly on English language education.
Although our courses are designed to improve your English language skills and prepare you for learning in English throughout your degree, we still have to ensure our students are at a basic level before beginning one of our foundation courses. We ask for an IELTS test score of 4.5 or equivalent (no element must be below 4.0) and proof that you have secured good grades throughout secondary education.
For more information about which courses you can progress onto, please see our ‘university progression’ pages for the IFY in IT and the IFY in Business and Management.
We hope that’s introduced you to the benefits of foundation courses and how they can help you progress onto your university of choice. Of course, if you have any questions then please contact our friendly team who’ll be happy to assist you with your foundation course application.