Updated: May 12, 2021
Figuring out where you want to be in life can be very difficult. In this blog, I will be discussing an avenue that is usually unspoken about or has negative perceptions.
A foundation year in University is a year where you can get used to university education without being necessarily thrown into university life. It offers an in-between stage where you can focus on harnessing your talents, as well as figuring out what you want to do for your degree if you have not already. From my personal experience, I already knew what I wanted to do, but a foundation course helped me begin to refine my style of working and feel less pressured about having a particular plan.
Prospects.ac.uk defines a foundation year as "a stepping-stone into the world of higher education, particularly if you don't have the right qualifications to go straight onto a degree programme." This quote sums up what a foundation is. A foundation year does not mean you are getting any less education. On the contrary, it gives you clarity and time to think about what your future could look like while learning academically.
A foundation year is preparation, dedication and determination towards a course that you are interested in, without the pressure of meeting up to degree expectations. If you decide to take a year at your chosen University, it can provide you with valuable experience while adjusting to the new setting. You can also transfer to a different university after your foundation year if you need to do so. There is also the option of doing a foundation degree, Arden specifying that it is "the equivalent to the first two years of a three-year degree course."
A foundation is good to do if you lack the confidence to go straight into a degree from A-Levels or college. It is also suitable if you didn't meet a particular university's entry requirements and offer a foundation year, or simply if you want to try it out and have done your research beforehand.
Although there are many positives to doing a foundation year, one cannot ignore the negatives. There will be misinformed people around you, along with doing a foundation year. People who think that you failed your sixth form or college exams, or you are not as serious as your colleagues going straight to undertake their degree. I have had someone tell me "you're basically just going to university to draw", from my personal experience. Many people are surprised when I tell them I did a foundation course, especially in Fine Art. The important thing is not to let people's assumptions and stereotypes get to you.
Overall, what I can say is; If I told you that doing a foundation course is easy, I would be lying to you. It comes with its hardships, as does any part of education. But have faith, pick a foundation course you know you'll stick with, and have fun with whatever route you decide to choose.
Student,BA in Art