Student Info & Guide

Picking a Pre-U Programme - Part 1

by StudyMalaysia.com on November 28, 2014 | Top Stories

Now that SPM is almost over, have you started thinking about what you'd like to do? If you plan to take a pre-university programme, read this four-part article to find out what choices you have and why you should pick them.

You're feeling ecstatic! SPM is almost over! As you party away and enjoy a good break from studying and exams, it is perhaps a good idea to review your further education plans.

If you are planning to pursue a bachelor's degree, you would most likely need a pre-university qualification to gain admission to a university or college. Besides Form Six, students can now choose from a wide range of pre-university programmes offered by private higher education institutions (PHEIs) in Malaysia.

From A levels to the International Baccalaureate (IB), many students are at a loss when it comes to choosing a suitable pre-university programme. Some may decide on a programme simply because the majority of their friends are enrolling in the same programme. Then there are those who end up with a particular programme simply because they never knew that other types of programmes existed.

Although many pre-university programmes are recognised globally by universities, it is important to spend some time finding out more about each type of pre-programme so that your transition into a bachelor's degree will be easier.

In this four-part article, we will explore in detail the choices offered at PHEIs - foundation programmes; the Cambridge A levels and IB; Canadian pre-university programmes; and Australian pre-university programmes.

Foundation programmes

top-stories-pre-u.jpg Foundation studies are offered mainly by PHEIs (including foreign university branch campuses) that offer home-grown bachelor degrees, or twinning and 3+0 degree programmes. There are also PHEIs that conduct foundations programmes that prepare students for a bachelor's degree abroad. These internal programmes are usually accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and recognised by the respective foreign partner universities as well as many other overseas universities as an equivalent to the pre-university qualification in their respective home countries.

Unlike external qualifications which focus on general science and art-based subjects, internal qualifications provide general science and arts programmes as well as specialisations in areas such as architecture, business, law, computer and IT, hospitality, engineering and more.

The advantage of foundation programmes is that a student will study the subjects that are specific to the course they plan to take at degree level. As an example, if you enrol in a Foundation in Business, you would study subjects like "Introduction to Financial Accounting", "Foundation of Statistics" and "Business Economics".

Further, foundation programmes are quick - the programme usually takes a year to complete - and is more cost-effective than other programmes that take up to two years. The only drawback is that it could be difficult to switch programmes if you decide to pursue a different field. Also, other colleges may not recognise the foundation programme you have completed if you decide to continue your studies somewhere else.

There are typically three intakes a year and the entry requirement accepted are SPM, UEC, GCE O-Level or its equivalent, where students need to have a minimum of five credits in relevant subjects.

Here's a list of foundation programmes you can consider if you already know what bachelor's degree you'd like to pursue.


Name of foundation programme Qualification awarded by Intake(s) Duration Examination
AIMST's Foundation in Science AIMST University April
May
July
1 year (3 terms) 20% coursework; 80% examination
APU's Foundation Programme Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation January
April
May
June
August
November
12 months (3 semesters) Continuous assessment and exam at the end of each semester
Berjaya's Foundation in Hospitality Berjaya University College of Hospitality January
April
August
1 year (3 semesters) -
HELP's Foundation in Science HELP University January
April
May
September
3 semesters (14 weeks per semester) Coursework and assignments 50%;final examinations 50%
IUKL's Foundation in Arts/ Science Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur January
March
June
Sept/Oct
1 year -
INTI's Foundation in Arts/ Business Information Technology/ Design/ Science INTI International University and Colleges January
April/May
August
1 year (3 semesters) 50% coursework, 50% final examination(percentage may vary from course to course)
KDU's Foundation in Business KDU University College January
May
July
1 year -
LimKokWing University's Foundation in Built Environment/ Business/ Communication/ Design/ IT/ Sound & Music LimKokWing University - 1 year -
MAHSA'sFoundation in Business/ Science MAHSA University January
April
July
September
1 year (3 semesters) -
Monash University Foundation Year Programme (MUFY) Monash University January & July (standard)
March & August (accelerate)
9-10 months June & November
MMU'sFoundation in Engineering/ IT/ Creative Multimedia/ Management/ Law/ Life Sciences Multimedia University - 1 year -
Nilai's Foundation in Business/ Science Nilai University January
May
October
1 year 60% coursework, 40% final examination
Nottingham's Foundation in Science The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus 3-semester programme: April & July2-semester programme: September 3 semesters or 2 semesters(15 weeks per semester) At the end of each semester
UCSI's Foundation in Arts/Science UCSI University January
May
September
1 year (3 semesters - 14 weeks per semester) Written exams (50%) and project-based coursework (50%)(percentage may vary from course to course)
UTAR's Foundation in Arts/Science Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman - 1 year -

Note: The intakes listed are possible intake dates from the listed PHEIs. Please check for intakes at the PHEI you are interested in as some may offer fewer intakes in a given year.

Want to learn more? Read our Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 here.

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