University Foundation courses offer students a fast track, one-year route to a wide range of British and other international university degree courses as an alternative to A Levels.

These courses are specifically designed for overseas students who have a high school certificate or other academic qualifications which may not be recognised by British or other universities.

A Level courses may be inappropriate and time-consuming for such students. These courses not only provide the passport to gain university entry, but also help students to understand any differences in the curriculum, acclimatise to the UK, and improve their English.

Abbey College students on Foundation courses have received offers to 60 different UK universities and HEIs, including 19 of the top 30 in the latest university rankings. See the full list HERE.

Each course has two areas: the general core section, forming the basis for all courses, and the subject specific section, which varies according to the discipline chosen. Courses are assessed by coursework and/or examinations. Projects may form part of the course, always in conjunction with class time, tutorials and self-study.

Key Facts

Minimum Age: 16

Start Dates: September and January. Other times by arrangement.

Course Length:
Normally 3 terms. Possibly 2 terms for January entry.

Hours per week: 16 plus private studies

Number in Class: Maximum 15, though the average is 7.

Course Content: Study Skills, Information Technology, Mathematics and English where necessary, plus subject-specific lessons.

Appropriate for: Students who have completed their secondary education in their own country but have not met the entry requirements for their chosen course or university.

Course Progression: University.


The Art/Design Foundation programme develops the artistic skills and knowledge of the student. The key element of this course is the production of a portfolio, from both work created prior to attending Abbey College and from newly-completed work with us. This portfolio is the main criteria that universities use to judge entry suitability.

Core Modules plus Art and Design, Business Studies, Economics.


The Law Foundation programme provides students with some of the skills and knowledge which will help them to be accepted on to, and successfully complete, a qualifying law degree at a British University. As well as Law, some Business and Humanities subjects will form part of the course.

Core modules plus Business Studies, Economics, Law

Please click here to view the Abbey College In Malvern Academic Brochure. 



The Computing Foundation programme provides a basic foundation for computer understanding and information technology at university. It ensures a full understanding of the key Microsoft packages and includes a framework of programming skills.

Core modules plus Computing, Physics, Chemistry


Students from Business Foundation programmes have progressed to degrees in Business, Management, Business Computing, Economics, travel & Tourism and degrees in Social Sciences.

Core modules plus Business Studies, Economics, Accounting, Computing

Engineering Route

The Engineering Route covers the Mathematics and Physics requirements of a range of degree programmes in engineering disciplines – Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic. For candidates who plan to study Chemical Engineering, additional Chemistry modules are built into the programme.

Core modules plus Physics, Chemistry, Computing

General Science Route

The General Science Route offers a grounding in both pure science degree programmes, and in practical and applied sciences such as Pharmacy and Physiology. For some of those subjects entry standards are extremely high. Students are advised on the requirements of each progression route before they begin their Foundation course at the Abbey College.

Core modules plus Chemistry, Biology, Physics

Medicine/Dentistry Route

The Medicine / Dentistry Route can either be used to access science degrees in the UK or Medical or Dentistry degrees at renowned universities in the European Union. Students focus mostly on the science subjects of Biology, Physics and especially Chemistry.

Core modules plus Chemistry, Biology, Physics

Medical Revision Course

Want to double your chances of passing the medical entrance exams? Click here to find out more and apply now.

10 Reasons to Join us for a Foundation Course

  1. A huge choice – Our Foundation Course students have received offers from 60 UK universities and Higher Education Institutions, studying some of the most popular subjects for international students in the UK.
  2. Prestigious universities – Our students have had progression offers from 19 of the top 30 universities in the UK, and 12 of the top 20. See the full list on the back of this flyer.
  3. The First – Abbey College in Malvern was the first school or college to provide foundation courses in the UK. The first student was sent in the mid-1980s to what is now Birmingham City University, on what was then called an ‘Integrated Degree Programme’.
  4. Excellent success rate – Over the last 10 years, our foundation programmes have had an overall success rate of more than 98%, so you can be very confident of progress.
  5. No commission – Unlike most of the major commercial pathway providers, we don’t take commission from the universities we send students to. So we can be sure to give you the best independent impartial advice, without trying to send you somewhere unsuitable just to make money.
  6. A personalised pathway - Unlike universities’ own foundation courses, we can provide personalised choice. Imagine a prestigious university says to you ‘get 60% in your foundation and then you will be guaranteed to progress to the first year of your undergraduate degree’. This sounds very attractive, but there’s a problem…what if you get 80%? You’ll be stuck at that university, and miss the chance to go somewhere even better. What if you get 59%? Even worse…go home, or find somewhere else at the last minute! We see how you are progressing after 3 months, whilst considering your background and aims, and use our long experience and university contacts to push you towards the best university that you can go to.
  7. Flexibility – Haven’t made up your mind? You can change the degree course you go on to, and keep your options open. For example, a medical foundation student may choose to switch to a science foundation, aiming for a degree programme at a highly-ranked UK university, or vice-versa. Courses normally start in September, but for some subjects we even have January start dates, if you are a suitable student.
  8. Money back guarantee - If you join us for a foundation programme, and attend at least 95% of the course’s lessons, then we guarantee that you will be offered a place at university – or we will refund all tuition costs! Not just if you PASS, but if you ATTEND LESSONS…we are THAT confident in our school and courses!
  9. An average class size of just 7 – You’ll get lots of attention from specialist teachers to make sure you progress well, understand the topics and be ready in every way for university in the UK.
  10. Strong support outside the class – Our safe, enclosed boarding school setting ensures we can offer you a great supportive environment, with everything taken care of. All you have to do is study hard!