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!
#1. What is Foundation in Arts
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.
#2. How Is Foundation in Arts Structured?
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.
#3. Why Should You Take 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.
#4. Who Is Foundation in Arts For?
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
You 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.
#5. 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.
#6. 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.
Foundation in Arts
Campus: Subang Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Feb, Apr & Aug
Estimated Fees: RM26,000
Degree Pathways: Architecture, Business, Culinary Arts, Education, Graphic Design, Hospitality, Interior Architecture, Mass Communication
Diverse elective modules in disciplines such as business, design, media and communication, education, law, performing arts and psychology
Exceptional e-learning tools to prepare you with skills required for the 21st century
Grow with the support of Taylor’sphere, a well-balanced learning ecosystem and community that nurtures your intellect, craft and practical wisdom
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Foundation Programme (Arts)
Campus: Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
Intakes: Apr, Jun, Jul, Sep
Estimated Fees: RM27,000
Degree Pathways: Industrial Design, Visual Effects, Animation & Digital Advertising, Accounting, Finance, Business, Psychology, Communication
Direct pathway into dual-award degrees at APU
Programme emphasises on 4 key areas to ensure student success – leadership & teamwork, problem-solving skills, social skills & responsibilities, and practical skills
Awarded “Premier Digital Tech University” status by Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC)
Foundation in Arts
Campus: Semenyih, Selangor
Intakes: Apr & Jun
Estimated Fees: RM26,600
Degree Pathways: Education, English, International Communication Studies, International Relations, Business, Psychology
Established programme and quality teaching that will provide you with a seamless transition into your preferred degree programme in arts or social sciences
Study abroad opportunities at campuses in China and the UK as well as partner universities across the globe
Ranked 114th in the world and 18th in the UK (QS World University Rankings 2023)
Foundation in Arts
Campus: Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Intakes: Jan, May & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM23,850
Degree Pathways: Built Environment, Communication, Fashion Design, Graphic Design & Multimedia, English
Specialised foundations that provide a direct pathway into various degrees including built environment, communication, design and English
Comprehensive English modules to strengthen English proficiency
Awarded SETARA 4-Stars by the Ministry of Higher Education
Foundation in Arts
Campus: Jalan Tun Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Intakes: Jan, Apr, May, Jul & Sep
Estimated Fees: RM12,120
Degree Pathways: Business, Communication, Psychology
Opportunities to travel abroad for educational visits, including partner university University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD), UK
Focused streams that will give you more exposure to your area of interest
Tertiary-style teaching with lectures, tutorials and seminar-type classes to help kickstart your undergraduate endeavours on a firm platform