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Foundation pathway courses

What is a pathway course?

Foundation pathway courses can help you improve your English skills and give you the confidence to start undergraduate or postgraduate study.

Further education institutions offer many of the same courses as schools and higher education institutions, as well as vocational and technical courses designed to meet the needs of employers. They are taught in a way to suit those who prefer to learn in a vocational context.

You can find a list of UK further education colleges on these websites:

You can also search for a specific course using the National Careers Service course search.

What types of courses are there?

Academic pathway courses

Including AS and A levels, International Baccalaureate and undergraduate study – can lead to university, an apprenticeship or a job.

If you do not meet the academic or English language requirements set by the university that you are interested in, then a pathways course can help you plot a route onto your chosen degree.

Applied general or technical pathway courses

Including national vocational qualifications and business and technical qualifications – can lead to higher apprenticeships, higher education at college or university, or a job.

Occupational or professional pathway courses

Taken in apprenticeships or through training courses for employees – can lead to higher apprenticeships, a job or promotion.

Note: As apprenticeships are primarily focused on the job and employment, any international applicant must be eligible to work in the UK, as well as have the necessary visa.

Learn more about a UK education and pathway courses

More in this section

Postgraduate study

Studying for a postgraduate degree in the UK can transform your career, with many courses taking just one year to complete.

Undergraduate study

Get started in your academic career with a UK undergraduate degree.

Studying for a degree outside the UK

A life-changing UK degree, yet closer to home. Learn more about studying for a UK degree in your home country.

Boarding schools

A boarding school is a residential school where pupils live and study during the school year. Find out all you need to know about UK boarding schools.

Improve your English

There’s no better place to master your English than in the UK, and there are a range of English language courses on offer to support your learning.

Other relevant websites

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