Everything You Need To Know About Foundation in Arts

Foundation in Arts - Feature Header

If you are planning to pursue a Business, Humanities, Arts or Social Science Degree, chances are you’ve agonised whether you should take A-Level or Foundation in Arts. Both are completely valid pathways to enter a degree, so why should you choose one over the other?

This guide will provide you with all the essential information that you need to know about Foundation in Arts and hopefully, help make your decision-making a lot easier!

The Basics of Foundation in Arts

Foundation in Arts - The Basics

What It Is

Foundation in Arts is a pre-university programme that focuses on topics related to arts and humanities.

Upon successful completion, it gives you entry into non-science degrees such as Business & Accounting, Communication, Design, Education and Hospitality & Tourism. Depending on the university, it may also lead you to courses like Psychology, Actuarial Science and Architecture.

A Foundation in Arts is considered a “pre-university” course, which means you can take this course after SPM but before entering university for a degree. It typically takes 12 months to complete the whole programme.

Like other foundation programmes, Foundation in Arts is designed to provide you a smooth transition to a non-Science degree of your choice (most of the time, at the same university) once you’ve successfully completed your foundation studies.

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How Is Foundation in Arts Structured?

Foundation in Arts - Structure

Unlike pre-university courses like A-Level or International Baccalaureate which are administered by a central body, Foundation in Arts is administered by the university itself.

So, why is this important?

It is crucial to note this because the syllabus and course structure offered at one university is most likely different from another. This is why most foundation students tend to progress and complete their degree studies with the same institution, as universities are inclined to offer foundation courses that are specifically tailored for their degrees.

Most universities offer both core and elective subjects, which means you get to choose some of your subjects. This allows you to explore different topics that may be of interest to you before pursuing your degree.

Usually, core subjects that you need to take will include English and Mathematics / Statistics. As for electives, it would depend on your intended pathway. For example, if you are planning to pursue Business, electives would typically be Economics and Accounting. If you’re thinking of Mass Communication, electives may consist of subjects like Marketing, Public Speaking and Introduction to Communication.

Since the syllabus and course structure can differ among universities, naturally, the assessment criteria will vary as well, depending on the university. However, you can expect to be evaluated via a combination of both coursework and exams.

Why Should You Take Foundation in Arts?

Foundation in Arts - Why Foundation in Arts

Compared to other pre-university courses such as Australian Matriculation and Canadian Pre-University, there are some advantages to taking a Foundation in Arts.

Here are some strong points why you should considering taking Foundation in Arts.

(1) One of the quickest paths to enter degree studies

Foundation programmes are normally a faster track to your degree, and a Foundation in Arts is no exception. You will only need to spend one year in foundation, before immediately proceed to your choice of undergraduate degree. Instead of spending more time doing a pre-university programme like A-Level with a longer duration, Foundation in Arts is not a bad choice at all.

(2) Gives you a chance to explore different pathways

As part of the Foundation in Arts course, most universities will recommend certain elective subjects for certain degrees. So if you’re looking to study Business, they may recommend that you take up modules like Accounting, Economics and Finance.

However, you may also get the opportunity to sneak in an additional elective or two. Fascinated in Psychology or maybe Design? If the university offers it, take up subjects related to those majors and who knows, you may find yourself changing your mind and switching your choice of degree!

(3) Universities typically offer better financial aid & more affordable fees

Universities tend to be more generous in offering financial aid or partial scholarships to foundation students, compared to students opting for pre-university courses. Some will even offer discounts for both your foundation AND your degree (depending on your SPM results) provided that you complete both courses at the same institution. Usually, tuition fees for foundation will be lower compared to a pre-university course at the same university.

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Who Is Foundation in Arts For?

Foundation in Arts - You Are Suited If You

You should consider taking Foundation in Arts if:

  • You are confident that you want to pursue a non-Science degree
  • You want to explore different pathways under the arts and humanities umbrella
  • You have already decided to stick with the same institution all the way until you obtain your undergraduate degree
  • You are looking for a fast track to enter university and get a degree

Foundation in Arts - You Are Not Suited If YouYou should NOT take Foundation in Arts if:

  • You plan to pursue your degree abroad
  • You plan to transfer to another institution after completing your foundation
  • You aim to apply for scholarships offered by the government or private institutions for your degree (they are seldom offered to students graduating from foundation courses)

Remember that Foundation in Arts courses are usually recognised by the original (offerer) institution only, so make sure you do your research well and consult with the university counsellors! For those who plan to apply for scholarships or to study abroad, we would recommend an alternative pre-university course (e.g. A-Level, STPM, etc) instead.

As for entry requirements, most universities require you to have at least 5 credits (1 credit is a C or above) at SPM or equivalent.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Foundation in Arts

Do I need to complete my degree at the same university?

Due to the nature of foundation programmes where they are administered by the university that provides them, other institutions may or may not recognise your foundation qualification.

Remember that the idea of a foundation programme is to ensure that you are well-prepared for a degree at the same university. So if you want to switch to another institution, they may need to do an evaluation of your results and the curriculum of your foundation course to see if you meet their requirements and have prepared yourself in the best way possible to cope with your chosen course.

Even though you are not strictly required to complete your degree at the same university, it is still advisable that you try to go for a university that offers extensive degree courses that you can take after completing your Foundation in Arts. That way, you can be assured that you will not be limited by degree choices, or run into plenty of hassle later on.

Pro Tip: Some universities have partnerships with other universities (locally and abroad) for their Foundation programmes, which gives you more options and allows for easy switching. Make sure you ask the university counsellor about this to truly understand your options.

Where Can You Study Foundation in Arts?

There are many colleges and universities in Malaysia that offer Foundation in Arts programmes, allowing you to pursue a number of degree pathways.

Here are some of the popular ones for Foundation in Arts in Malaysia.

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SEGi University

Foundation in Arts

Quick Facts

Campus: Subang Jaya & Kota Damansara
Intakes: Jan, May & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM16,350
Degree Pathways: Business, Communication, Computing, Education, Hospitality & Tourism

Key Highlights

Core papers such as Public Speaking and Computer Application are incorporated to give a holistic approach
Wide range of electives to choose from to ensure a solid foundation
SEGi students have achieved a 95% passing rate over the years

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Taylor’s University

Foundation in Arts

Quick Facts

Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Jan, Mar & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM24,000
Degree Pathways: Architecture, Business, Communication, Design, Education, Hospitality & Tourism, Psychology

Key Highlights

Workshops by academicians & industry leaders
SHINE Programme which develops critical thinking, communication and creativity via out-of-class activities
First Year Experience programme to support and deepen learning and skills

HELP University

Foundation in Arts

Quick Facts

Campus: Bukit Damansara
Intakes: Jan, Mar, May & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM24,300
Degree Pathways: Business, Psychology, Communication, Early Childhood Education, TESL, Hospitality & Tourism
Scholarships: Up to RM20,000 tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Partnerships with top universities abroad, including Australia, UK, New Zealand & USA, allowing direct entry
Value-added subjects such as critical thinking, personal development & leadership for broader thinking

UCSI University

Foundation in Arts

Quick Facts

Campus: Cheras, Kuala Lumpur & Kuching, Sarawak
Intakes: Jan, May & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM20,030
Degree Pathways: Accounting, Actuarial Science, Architecture, Business, Mass Communication, Psychology
Scholarships: Up to 100% tuition fee waiver

Key Highlights

Practice-oriented curriculum focusing on stimulating and hands-on experience

Not sure which college to choose? Check out our Foundation in Arts comparison page to compare across all colleges.

Looking for other Foundation courses? Check out these pages: Foundation in Business and Foundation in Science.

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