If you are considering what's your next step after secondary school, here's what you need to know about the Foundation programme!
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Jaideep Patel
Publisher for the Malaysia and Singapore offices of GTI Media Asia


While exploring pre-u programmes, students are bound to come across foundation courses. Such courses are aplenty and prepare students for the next step in their tertiary education: the bachelor’s degree programme. Foundation courses are generally seen as preparatory courses that help students develop the right learning skills and acquire crucial knowledge before stepping into the degree programme.


The duration of a foundation course is approximately 12 months.


There are three intakes in a year with the entry requirements being SPM, UEC or GCE O level or similar qualification.

Structure & Assessment

Each foundation course is assessed by the university itself, unlike a central body (A levels, International Baccalaureate, etc). This means that every foundation programme differs from one another. However, two common threads exist: all foundation courses offer a combination of core and elective subjects; and all foundation courses take approximately 12 months to complete.

Many private institutions offer more than two foundation programmes, so it is best to check with university representatives on the types of foundation programmes offered, on top of any scholarships or funding.


Some of the more popular foundation courses are:

  • Foundation in Business
  • Foundation in Arts
  • Foundation in Science
  • Foundation in Engineering
  • Foundation in IT
  • Foundation in Law

Expert tips

  • Research on foundation courses because there are many!
  • Know which area of study interests you the most before picking one!
  • Compare as many foundation courses to pick the right one for you!

It is RIGHT for you if…

  • You are clear about the degree course you want to pursue
  • You want a quick entry into a degree course
  • You have financial restrictions and need an affordable option
  • You want to be assessed via a combination of coursework and exams 

 It is WRONG for you if…

  • You want to explore switching to another university after foundation
  • You want to complete your degree in an overseas university
  • You want to switch programmes later on