Foundation Courses and Undergraduate Degree Preparation

If you want to earn an undergraduate degree from a UK or US university, but don’t yet qualify for entry, a preparation programme (also known as pathway or foundation courses) may be the right choice for you.

Kaplan has many university preparation pathways. These provide routes to excellent universities and undergraduate degrees for which you might not otherwise meet admission requirements. With the advantage of a good degree, you can go into master’s study or begin a successful and rewarding career.

Why might you need undergraduate degree preparation?

There are lots of reasons to take a preparation course before starting an undergraduate degree:

  • Qualify for a degree

    If you don’t meet the entry requirements to go to a UK or US university directly, undergraduate preparation or foundation courses can help you reach the level needed for a bachelor’s degree. You’re guaranteed a place at university when you pass your course at the required level with good attendance.

  • Complete preparation

    Gain the study skills, English language ability and subject knowledge you’ll need for university study. Students who have taken a preparation course often feel more prepared for their university studies than direct entry students.

  • Individual attention

    With Kaplan, you’ll get personalised study plans and support for all aspects of student life. Small class sizes and dedicated teachers will help you get all the attention you need to develop, both academically and personally.

  • Adjust to a new culture

    Studying abroad is a great way to experience another culture, and we will support you as you get used to living in a different country. Taking a foundation course will help you adjust to the challenges of living and studying abroad, and set you up for success on your degree.


Mohammed from Yemen

American Classroom student at Pathways at Northeastern University, USA

The undergraduate pathway program really helped me to improve my English. It also provided a smooth transition to life at Northeastern, and helped me understand how things work at a US university. Since there are so many international students on campus, it’s easy to make a lot of friends here.


Daniel from Brazil

Foundation Certificate student at Liverpool International College, UK

I’ve had some wonderful teachers, and I’ve picked up some really important skills for study, particularly relating to essay preparation. I feel like I have adapted to new ways of approaching academic tasks, and feel ready for my university degree.

What undergraduate degree preparation courses are there?

  • Foundation courses in the UK

    Students can take the Foundation Certificate, often on-campus, leading to the 1st or 2nd year of an undergraduate degree at one of our excellent UK university partners.

    Entry requirements vary. Typical requirements are:

    • Academic: at least 11 years of education
    • English language: UKVI IELTS 5.0 (minimum 4.0 in all skills)

    Note: the duration of your preparation or foundation course will vary between 5 and 14 months, depending on your needs and level of English language.

    Contact us about foundation courses for UK bachelor’s degrees.

  • Undergraduate pathways in the USA

    In the United States, there are a number of routes that lead to the 1st year of an undergraduate degree.

    The Global Pathways Program offers preparation and academic credit for Pace University, enviably situated in downtown Manhattan, New York.

    The American Classroom program enables students to progress to the prestigious Northeastern University in Boston.

    Students can also gain entry to the highly regarded University of Tulsa via the Pathway to Academics Program or the Intensive English Program.

    Entry requirements vary. Typical requirements are:

    • Academic: a high school diploma or equivalent with good grades
    • English language: TOEFL iBT 61/ IELTS 5.5 (minimum 5.0 in all skills) / PTE 44

    Note: the duration of your preparation course will vary between 4 and 12 months, depending on your level of English language.

    Contact us about pathway programs for US bachelor’s degrees.

Which foundation subjects can you study?

We offer UK and US university preparation in many subject specialisations. These include:

  • Art and Design foundation courses
  • Business foundation courses
  • Computing foundation courses
  • Engineering foundation courses
  • Law foundation courses
  • Life Science foundation courses
  • Media and Communication foundation courses
  • Physical Science foundation courses
  • Social Science foundation courses
  • Tourism and Hospitality foundation courses

Explore our education options to find the right preparation course for you.

10 unique subject specialisations

for undergraduate preparation

1,500+ bachelor's degrees

available across the US and UK

100% unconditional offer rate

from universities for students who successfully complete their course

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