International Foundation or International Year One? How to pick the right pathway program 

Gaining an undergraduate degree at a UK university is a smart move for future-focused students – you’ll be able to launch your career anywhere in the world and secure a brighter future. But what if you don’t meet the university’s academic entry requirements or hold the right qualifications?  

This is where studying a pathway program can help. There are 2 main different types of pathway program in the UK: International Foundation and International Year One. Here, we take a look at both, to help you decide which is right for you. 

1. Preparation for different undergraduate entry levels 

One of the main differences between International Foundation and International Year One is the degree entry point these programs prepare you for.  

International Foundation bridges the gap between high school and undergraduate study. After completing this program, you’ll have the specialist knowledge, language and study skills ready to start Year 1 of your degree in England and Northern Ireland – or Year 2 of a 4-year degree in Scotland.  

Here’s what the journey for International Foundation students in England and Northern Ireland could look like: 

And here’s what the pathway-to-university route for International Foundation students in Scotland could look like: 

International Year One is equivalent to the first year of your Bachelor’s degree, with additional English language and academic support to prepare you to continue directly into Year 2 of your undergraduate degree. With no additional study time, you’ll complete your degree in the same amount of time as domestic students. In Scotland, the International Year One is known as an International Diploma and leads to Year 3 of a 4-year Scottish undergraduate degree.  

Here’s what the study journey for International Year One students in England and Northern Ireland could look like: 

And here’s what the pathway-to-university route for International Diploma students in Scotland could look like:  

Read our 7 reasons to study an International Year One. 

2. Broad-based or subject-specific learning 

While all INTO programs are tailored to our partner universities’ degrees, International Foundation programs are broader. They’ll provide you with essential knowledge that you’ll then build on as part of your degree. With your broad knowledge base, you’ll have lots of degree options that you can prepare for.  

International Year One programs are designed to cover the same curriculum requirements as Year 1 of the relevant degree (or Year 2 if you’re studying an International Diploma in Scotland) but with greater academic support. This means International Year One programs tend to be subject-specific with a more limited choice of degrees you can continue to.  

Did you know that you can also combine your International Foundation or International Year One with your undergraduate degree with our iCAS (integrated Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) program? This option creates a seamless study plan, where you only need 1 visa for the full length of your studies.  

Find out more reasons why a single visa program is great for international students and where you can study with a single visa. You can choose from 100s of degrees at 5 of our UK centers. 

3. An opportunity to learn alongside university students 

Whether you’re studying an International Foundation or International Year One, you’ll experience university-style lectures taught by academic experts. Class sizes are smaller than at university, ensuring you’ll receive all the one-to-one support and attention you need to succeed in your studies.  

However, with an International Year One, you’ll study the same curriculum as first year university students. And at some of our UK centers, you’ll also learn alongside first year university students for certain academic modules.  

When you choose an INTO pathway program, you’ll be supported from the moment you arrive right up until you start your degree. As well as academic preparation, both programs also give you time to settle into life abroad, adjust to your new learning environment and make friends – all before you start your degree!  

You may also like to read our blogs about the cost of studying in the UK or how to prepare for studying abroad

Follow us:

You may also like...

Tell us what you think!