Pathways into University: Foundation Programs

What is a Foundation Program?

Foundation programs enable international students who do not meet the entry requirements of their bachelor degree to access it after completing a year of related preparatory studies. 


The role of the foundation program is to prepare students for their desired course of study by improving the foundation skills, such as their English proficiency, required to study it.  Thus, foundation programs usually contain academic based subjects, focus on English development and are comparable to studying year 12 in Australia. After completing a foundation program, the student will be guaranteed entry to the particular course that the foundation program permits you to.  


Do foundation programs provide you with formal qualifications?

These programs may be offered by private institutions and guarantee entry for particular courses in universities, however, they may not provide you with a formal AQF qualification upon completion which means it may not help you get a qualification that enables you into a course elsewhere. However, it is also important to note that some foundation programs DO give you a qualification (usually Certificate IV) so you should ensure that you know if your foundation program does or does not.       


Are there entry requirements?

There are entry requirements to get into the foundation program itself. Generally, students must have a minimum English proficiency of 5.5 on IELTS or equivalent on other acceptable language tests. However, the entry requirement of each institution and course is up to the education provider which means that these entry requirements may differ to what you experience when you are trying to get into a foundation program. There are also circumstances where a course may take longer or shorter than one year.


Foundation programs that take less than a year are known as ‘accelerated’ programs and may be given to those who have usually completed year 12 and have obtained a IELTS score of over 6.0. Foundation programs may also take longer than a year if the student has an English proficiency below 5.5 and their foundation program will focus more on English development.


Looking for Foundation Programs

If you are looking to study in Australia and want to find out more about foundation programs, our Spiible website can help you find a list of all the foundation programs, the relevant institutions that have them, and the estimated costs for each. In other words, can help you search, compare and study!

Find your foundation program into your favourite Australian course through this link or by typing ‘foundation’ into the search bar.

Those without the necessary qualifications to enter the bachelor degree predominantly use a Foundation Year. However, there are other pathways, such as undertaking a diploma program that may allow you to access tertiary education, which you should consider as well. These alternatives will also be discussed in future articles so keep an eye out!


If you have any questions about studying in Australia or what  foundation programs are and which to choose, you can always come to us at Spiible. We have experienced student advisors that can help you find the perfect program for your needs, and consultations are FREE so do not worry about a thing. Send us a message on Facebook, email us at or come to Melbourne hub at Level 5, 342 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000! We would love to help!


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