Deciding to study at a UK university is a very important decision and it is essential that you are properly prepared. As well as studying in a different language – English – you may also find many cultural differences that can be difficult to understand and adapt to.

Whether you are studying at undergraduate (first degree) or postgraduate (Masters or PhD) we sometimes recommend a course before you start university. Universities may also ask us to recommend this when considering your application. There are two main types of course you may be recommended:

Foundation or Pathway courses allow you to start to study academic subjects as well as having additional lessons in English. In many cases these are offered by an International College attached to a particular university and passing the course will guarantee acceptance onto your chosen course. There is even a Pre-Masters route for postgraduates. Courses may last up to a full year before the university course starts. These courses are not usually taught by university staff but are offered in conjunction with some of the large education providers working together with universities. In addition, it may also be possible, with a higher level of English at entry, to take the course over just 6 months (fast-track) keeping costs down and making visa entry much easier. Your Traveledex consultant will discuss these with you once you have registered with us.

For doctoral candidates wanting to follow a PhD we have a Pre-PhD course available (3 or 6 months) which can help you prepare your proposal and we offer a range of services to help you find the right university and supervisor for your chosen area of research.

To launch you on your pathway to university we have a number of language college and school partners that can offer Foundation Pathway and Pre-Masters courses. Many of these have made arrangements with universities to allow guaranteed progression through to specific universities and courses. Some of these are shown below but your consultant can discuss your requirements in more detail. 

For those with a sufficient langauge level and study experience for direct university entrance, please click the button below to be taken to our university page.

Pathway Study Locations:

NCUK Partnerships

NCUK – The University Consortium, provides university pathway qualifications designed exclusively for international students, which provide direct access to thousands of degree courses at 25+ leading universities in the UK. Traveledex works directly with several NCUK Study Centres in the UK (and Ireland) which deliver NCUK qualifications (see below) meaning that we can help get you started on your journey to your dream university today. May of these provide guaranteed progression to some of the top universities in the UK (and overseas if required):

Our NCUK Partners include:

Courses and university pathways (various locations)

An NCUK provider (see above for universities) offering International Foundation Programmes in Engineering, Humanities, and Business at various UK locations. Scholarships *may* be available - ask your consultant for details.

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (Cardiff, Wales)

Located in Cardiff, the capital city of Wales, an NCUK provider (see above for universities) offering the International Foundation course. Course content includes English for academic skills as well as all the study skills needed for university. The International Foundation Year offers - Frequent and structured mentoring sessions with a personal tutor; Personalised guidance and support for careers and university applications, and, Personalised and individual attention

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (London & Wrexham)

Malvern offer scholarships for their pathway programmes making them very popular with students around the world. The NCUK pathway is available through their London centre as well as the following campus-based university options.

University of East London International Study Centre

The East London University campus allows study for International Foundation Programme (Foundation + Degree Programme), International Foundation Year, International Year One and Pre-Master's programmes. Courses are available for - Accounting - Business - Hospitality - Law - Engineering

Wrexham Glyndwr University International Study Centre

The International Foundation Year allows student to enjoy full access to Wrexham Glyndwr University Facilities and Students Union. The course focus is available for: - Art & Design - Business - Computing - Engineering - Media

Study Options

Boarding School for NCUK

Courses and pathways (Ascot, Nr London)

For those requiring a boarding school study environment, our boarding partner, LVS Ascot, offers a traditional full English boarding experience combined with the NCUK Foundation Programme.

Study Options

Our Ireland (Dublin) NCUK Partner:

Dublin International Foundation College (DIFC) was set up in 1999 to deliver specialised foundation courses preparing international students for entrance into partner universities in Ireland and the UK. Both undergraduate and postgraduate level programmes are taught and students who successfully complete these are placed in a wide-variety of Higher Education courses.

Over the past decade DIFC has placed over 1,200 students onto undergraduate and postgraduate courses in partner universities and colleges in Ireland and the UK.

Due to their reputation for running quality foundation courses as a pathway to university entrance, DIFC was appointed by NCUK to deliver its qualifications in Ireland, specifically the NCUK International Foundation Year (IFY) and NCUK Master’s Preparation (PMP).

DIFC also has a college in China and if this is of interest please mention when discussing options with your Traveledex consultant.

Study Options

Other Partners with Routes to University:

Courses and university pathways (Cambridge, Manchester & London)

Available at study centres in London, Cambridge and Manchester for one year (September start), for 18 months at Manchester (January start) and for 2 years at Manchester. Wide choice of subjects available including Business and Economics, Biomedical Science, Engineering, Fashion Management and Medicine plus many more. Course is widely accepted by most universities.

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (Cambridge)

Foundation pathway over 3 terms in Agricultural Science, Business, Humanities, Law, Science & Engineering with a 2 term Business Foundation pathway also available. Master's preparation for 1-3 terms. Own on-campus fair to meet with universities - University+You.

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (Bath)

Bath Academy is an independent sixth-form college and language school that specialises in a personalised education. As a small, private, tutorial college, academic courses are tailored to the individual needs of students to provide them with the best opportunity of applying successfully to the university of their dreams. Set in the centre of Bath on the edge of beautiful Queen Square, the college offers students a bespoke education with tailored teaching in small classes, giving our students the support they need to reach their full potential.

Bath Academy offers a University Foundation Programme and a specialist medical studies route which is a one-year intensive course that prepares students to attend top UK universities. It is recognised as an A Level or International Baccalaureate equivalent and as an alternative route to degree-level studies, allows entry to a UK University if you are an EU or International student who has completed secondary school outside the UK. Bath Academy has a world-renowned with an excellent success rate in placing international students at top British universities.

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (Bournemouth)

British School of Marketing International is a higher education college providing students with foundation and university pathway programmes. Pathway programmes are preparatory courses that help international students to build the proficiency and qualifications that they need for bachelor’s or master’s degree courses. The course units include assignments designed to further your skills in sales, marketing, administration, economics, finance and management. Pathway Courses are available for - International Foundation in Business, International Year 1 in Business and Management, International Year 2 in Business and Management and, top up in Business and Management. Also available is a Master’s in Strategic Management. Progression is to a range of UK and other international universities.

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (Cambridge)

For international students who have finished their high school and hope to enter a UK university, the CSC Foundation Programme is the ideal next step. A specialist medical route is offered along with a wide range of other subject areas. The Foundation programme is accepted by more than 90% of UK universities, as well as universities in Europe and the United States. The pre-Master’s programme is designed to prepare students for study at Master’s level at a UK or English speaking university. As such, it is assumed that learners will have achieved a first ‘Bachelor’s’ degree, usually with a minimum of a second class 2.2. In some cases, learners below this level may be accepted, provided there is realistic scope to reach the required level within the given time.

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (Bournemouth)

Foundation Pathways available in Business, Computing & Engineering plus Pre-Master's. A range of HND (Level 5) courses are also available which are accepted by some universities.
University partners: Anglia Ruskin, Arts University Bournemouth, Bangor, Bournemouth, Cardiff Metropolitan, Coventry, De Montfort, Kingston, Lincoln, Liverpool, Middlesex, Portsmouth, Southampton Solent, South Wales, Staffordshire.

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (London, Oxford, Brighton and Bournemouth)

Kings offer a range of courses to prepare students for university in the UK and leading international universities. As well as traditional A-level routes they also have the 1-year Advanced Level Foundation, a rigorous and at the same time flexible programme, which follows closely the A-level curriculum and is widely accepted by the top universities in the UK and abroad. Kings also offers more specialised preparation for degrees in Medicine and Allied Health Sciences, a direct University of Bristol foundation, the UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and an International Business Foundation.

Kings pledge that, if on successful completion of any of their Foundation programmes, the student does not get an offer of a place at a UK university, they will refund the tuition fees.

Terms apply but the pledge is designed to guarantee three key aspects of a Kings Education:
1) The best possible university outcome
2) The broadest choice of suitable universities
3) The certainty of a university place

Study Options

Courses and university pathways (Leeds)

MDA offers the NCC The Level 3 International Foundation Diploma for Higher Education Studies (L3IFDHES) which is a one-year pre-university qualification that provides students with an entry route to an overseas university. The L3IFDHES prepares students with the essential English language skills, key transferable study skills, cultural knowledge, and chosen specialisms that universities feel bridges the gap between high school and undergraduate study. They offer pathways in business, computer science, engineering, sciences and related subjects. With agreements in place with over 70 universities across the globe, students’ can progress with confidence to a higher education course for further study.

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (Exeter)

STAR Exeter offer an International Foundation Programme in Business, Computing, or Engineering with a fast-track option available in January if you have a slightly higher IELTS level. University progression from the programmes is available to Plymouth, West of England, South Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan and Portsmouth universities.

Study Options
Courses and university pathways (London)

Stay Campus make use of their London student accommodation to also base their study options so everything for the student is in one place! The Stay Campus London University Foundation Programme offers pathways in Business Management, Engineering, Social Sciences, and Medicine.

Following a programme with Stay Campus, students are guaranteed (subject to pass requirements which may differ for certain courses/universities) admission to one of the following universities – Gloucestershire, Essex, East Anglia, Kingston (London), Coventry, Anglia Ruskin, Birmingham, East London, Reading, Leeds, Buckingham, Brunel, Swansea, and RCSI (Ireland).

Study Options


Pre-Doctoral Programme (Cambridge)

The Pre-Doctoral Programme has been developed for UK, EU and international students intending to undertake MPhil and/or doctoral studies, whether it’s a PhD or DBA, in English. The CSC programme has been carefully structured to incorporate academic English and Doctoral study skills, information and data analysis, literature reviews, research methods, as well as designing, writing and presenting a research proposal. The college regularly welcomes university representatives to the college where they are able to give our students first hand information about their courses and life at their university. Depedning on language level, options are available for 3 or 6 months.

Study Options

Pre-Sessional University Routes

The second type of course concentrates just on improving your language and study skills and is known as a Pre-sessional course. Typically a university may recommend this when your IELTS score is very close to the entry requirements for your chosen course and the university feels that some further study from 4-16 weeks can help you show you will be able to deal with studying at university.

The only alternative to these courses is to ensure your IELTS score is high enough to meet the course entry requirements at your chosen university. At Traveledex we have many specialist schools for IELTS tuition including online options. Your consultant will look at the options with you.

UK university courses have a wide variety of assessment methods such as exams or coursework and may be carried out individually or in groups. There are requirements for how work has to be presented so most universities offer study skills support to international students and Traveledex also has its own support for our students in this area.

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