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Foundation Year

These programmes may be intended for students not yet in a degree program or may form part of a specific degree course.

In the UK, foundation year programmes, also known as “year zero” or “gateway programmes“, are designed to develop skills and subject-specific knowledge to ensure a student to advance to a degree course. They may be offered as stand-alone one-year courses or integrated into degree programmes.

Some programmes are for students who have not received suitable grades at A Level or IB while others are aimed at students who did not have the opportunity to take such qualifications. 

  • At Boston University the SABIC Foundation Year Program is a university preparation course aimed specifically at Saudi students.
  • At Jacobs University in Germany, the Foundation Year Programme is a preparatory year.
  • At the University of King’s College, their Foundation Year Program is a historical survey of western culture for first-year students.
  • At Maastricht University, the Foundation Programme trains motivated international students to make them eligible (to apply) for a bachelor’s programme at Maastricht University.
  • At the University of Queensland, the Foundation Year Programme is a university preparation program for students who are not citizens or permanent residents of Australia.
  • At Vanderbilt University, the Foundation Year Programme aims to prepare students from outside the United States to enter the American university system.

Under- Graduation

Undergraduate education is education conducted after secondary education and prior to post-graduate education. It typically includes all the academic programs up to the level of a bachelor’s degree.

For example, in the United States, an entry level university student is known as an undergraduate, while students of higher degrees are known as graduates.

It generally requires four years to complete a Bachelor’s degree in Arts, Sciences, Dentistry, Engineering or Business Administration such as BABSBDSBE/BS/BSc Engineering or BBA and five years for bachelor’s degrees in Medicine (MBBS), Physiotherapy (DPT), Pharmacy (Pharm.D) and Architecture (B.Arch) after successfully completing 12 years of schooling.

Post - Graduation

Postgraduate education, or graduate education, involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor’s degree generally is required, and it is normally considered to be part of higher education.

Postgraduate education can involve studying for qualifications such as postgraduate certificates and postgraduate diplomas. They are sometimes used as steps on the route to a degree, as part of the training for a specific career, or as a qualification in an area of study too narrow to warrant a full degree course.

Programmes are divided into coursework-based and research-based degrees. Coursework programs typically include qualifications such as 

  • Graduate Certificate, six month full-time coursework
  • Graduate Diploma, twelve month full-time coursework
  • Masters (of Arts, Science or other discipline), twelve to 24 months coursework sometimes including a six-month dissertation like the Australian undergraduate honours degree
  • Professional Doctorates, which are usually more strenuous and of a longer duration than a master’s degree, e.g. 36 months in duration.


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