Student Info & Guide

Options After SPM: What Can I Study?

by StudyMalaysia.com on March 3, 2015 | Top Stories

After SPMSo SPM results are out, finally. And now that you have your results, the pressure is building up – what do you want to do now? Of course, you want to party a little with your friends but we are talking about after that. Do you want to further your studies? Find a job? Travel the world?

If your answer is to continue studying, then read on. Here's a compilation of options after SPM from our team at StudyMalaysia.com. Check out what the higher education institutions (HEIs) in Malaysia have to offer you.

Pre university programmes

Home-grown foundation programmes with qualifications awarded by various universities International pre-university qualifications by external examination boards Malaysian post-secondary qualifications by the Malaysian Examination Board
  • Home grown foundation programmes at HEIs
  • Foundation programmes at public universities
  • MOE matriculation certificate
  • The Sixth Form (STPM)

More options after SPM


Home-grown foundation programmes with qualifications awarded by various universities International pre-university qualifications by external examination boards Malaysian post-secondary qualifications by the Malaysian Examination Board
  • Diploma and certificate programmes
  • Skills qualifications

Need help deciding on a pre-university programme? Here's a quick comparison chart to help you.

Types of pre-university programme Assessment method Duration of study No. of subjects (Typical exam result announcement date) Estimated tuition fee per course (RM) Advantages and drawbacks of this programme
Cambridge GCE A-Levels, UK 100% external exam (with no coursework) 15-18 months 2-5 subjects / (August/January)   RM17,000 – RM32,000 for 3 subjects   Advantages:
  • The A levels has long been considered the “gold standard” for pre-university qualifications
  • If you haven't decided what and where you want to study at university, the A levels (in the right combination) gives you many options in choice of course and university as it is a qualification accepted globally
  • If you are vying for a scholarship, the A levels is one of the most highly regarded qualifications used as a benchmark for academic achievement
  • If you plan to apply for a top university, chances are they will consider A levels a better gauge of your academic prowess compared to internally awarded pre-university qualifications
Drawbacks:
  • Because it is a rigorous programme, many students tend to drop one subject after the AS level. This means that you would need to make sure you score the minimum required grade in the remaining three subjects
  • The course takes a longer duration compared to most foundation programmes
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), International 30% internal college-based assessment and 70% external exam 24 months 6 subjects / (July/Jan) RM102,000.00 Advantages:
  • studies show that IB students are better prepared for university in areas such as researching for essays, managing time, meeting expectations and being more confident in their ability to use critical thinking skills
Drawbacks:
  • takes two years to complete and is one of the more expensive pre-university programmes
SAM, Australia 70% internal college-based assessment and 30% external exam 11 months 5 subjects / (December) RM 21,000 – RM 27,000 Advantages of SAM, AUSMAT and NSW HSC:
  • these programmes take less than a year to complete
  • the qualifications are accepted by many renowned universities in Australia, the UK, the US, Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, and private universities in Malaysia as an admission criterion into their undergraduate programmes
  • less stress for students during the final exam as 50% of the students' grade comes from continuous assessment of coursework and tests
  • students' achievements are determined using a variety of assessment techniques
AUSMAT, Australia 50% internal college-based assessment and 50% external exam 10 months 5 subjects / (December) RM 17,000 – RM 27,000
New South Wales High School Certificate 50% internal college-based assessment and 50% external exam 11 months 5 subjects RM16,000
CIMP or CPU, Canada 70% internal college-based assessment and 30% external exam 12 months 6 subjects / (June/December, usually 1 month after exam) RM27,000 – RM31,000 Advantages:
  • CIMP and CPU can be completed in 12 months or less
  • besides Canada, the qualification is accepted globally – students who have obtained the OSSD in Malaysia have gone on to pursue a bachelor's degree in Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, and the US
Monash University Foundation Year (MUFY) Internal continuous assessment and semester exam (=100%) 10 months 4/5 subjects / (July/December, usually within 2 months after exam) RM26,000 Advantages:
  • students study the subjects that are specific to the course they plan to take at degree level
  • the programme usually takes only a year to complete
  • more cost effective than programmes that take up to two years
  • high chance of entering the intended degree programme as long as you meet the minimum entry requirements
Drawbacks:
  • could be difficult to switch programmes if you decide to pursue a different field
  • other colleges may not recognise the foundation programme you have completed if you decide to continue your studies somewhere else
University of New South Wales (UNSW) Foundation Year 50% internal college-based assessment and 50% external exam 12 months 5 subjects (Science) 6 subjects (Arts) / (End December) RM25,000
Internal programmes at private universities Internal continuous assessment and semester exam (=100%) 10 - 12 months 5-6 subjects / (Varies) RM10,000 – 20,000
Internal programmes at public universities Internal continuous assessment and semester exam (=100%) 10 - 12 months 5-6 subjects / (Varies) Minimal fees Advantages:
  • students study the subjects that are specific to the course they plan to take at degree level
  • the programme usually takes only a year to complete
  • cheaper than foundation programmes at private institutions
  • high chance of entering the intended degree programme as long as you meet the minimum entry requirements
Drawbacks:
  • could be difficult to switch to a different degree programme or university if you decide to pursue a different field
Matriculation Certificate,Ministry of Education Malaysiab Internal continuous assessment and semester exam (=100%) 12 months or 24 months 6-7 subjects Minimal fee Advantages:
  • students can choose from three fields of study (viz. science, accountancy and technical fields)
  • the programme is subsidised and students pay only a minimal fee
STPM, Malaysia 20-40% by school-based internal assessment and 60-80% by external exam 18 months (3 semesters) 5 subjects / (March) Minimal fees(the programme is conducted at public schools) Advantages:
  • affordable
  • the qualifications are accepted by local and private universities, as well as universities abroad
  • the modular assessment system has taken away the stress of sitting for only one exam at the end of the programme

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