What is a university preparation course and why do I need one?

The question above is one of the most asked questions we get from students. In this blog we hope to give our readers a clearer understanding of what exactly a university preparation course is.

Many students choose to progress into Higher Education after they complete high school. Having good job prospects is increasingly dependent on individuals having an undergraduate or even postgraduate degree.  The UK is an attractive study destination for thousands of international students every year because of the quality of Higher Education in the UK.

As the standards of university education are high, so are the entry requirements.  UK students undertake A Level examinations to access their chosen university. UK universities therefore are looking for international applicants to have the same standard of academic achievement as UK students, and English Language level.

Some international students may find that they do not meet these entry requirements, and this is where preparation programmes are needed. A preparation programme lasts for one year and teaches students to improve both their English Language level and their academic knowledge. They also have slightly lower entry requirements, measured using IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson scores, allowing more students a chance to study at a university.

Typically preparation programmes are referred to as Foundation courses – for undergraduate degree entry or Pre-Masters – for postgraduate degree entry. These preparation programmes can also be described as pathway programmes as they provide a pathway from your high school education to a university education.

At the Study Group Fair we have over 20 International Study Centres confirmed to attend; these centres are located on the campuses of famous UK, Irish, and some US, universities. The International Study Centres offer a range of preparation courses. They teach subjects including: Accounting, Business, Computer Science, Design, Drama, Economics, Engineering, Finance, Law, Management, Mathematics, Media Studies, Music, Politics, Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and more.

International students select the preparation course subject that best suits the degree subject they want to study.  Preparation courses are taught on-campus with access to all the university facilities. At the end students take their exams and if they successfully pass them they can start their undergraduate or postgraduate degree at their chosen university.

Preparation or pathway programmes are often the quickest way into Higher Education for international students.

If you have any questions, please feel free to post them in the comments box below. For a full list of all the International Study Centres that will be at the fair, please visit the website.

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