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Why take a university pathway program

Are you thinking about studying at a university abroad but worried about meeting the academic and language requirements? Well, you might want to consider a pathway program. Let’s break it down in plain language.

What is a pathway program?

A pathway program is like a stepping stone that helps you to get ready for university. It’s especially helpful if you’re not quite there academically or need to improve your language skills to start a degree.

For undergraduates:

If you’re aiming to study a bachelor’s degree, there are specific pathway programs just for you.

These programs are designed to get you up to speed with the entry requirements for your chosen field of study.

For graduates:

If you’ve already completed your undergraduate degree and want to continue to study a master’s program abroad, a Pre-Masters pathway course can help you to prepare.

It’s a great way to boost your academic and language skills before tackling your master’s degree.

Is a pathway program right for you?

Ask yourself this: Are your current qualifications not quite enough to meet the entry requirements for your dream university? Or maybe your language skills aren’t quite there yet (like if your IELTS score isn’t high enough for an English-taught degree). If that sounds familiar, a pathway program could be perfect for you.

Types of pathway courses:

For those planning to study for a bachelor’s degree:

  • Foundation Year
  • Foundation Pathway
  • International Foundation Year

These programs give you a solid base of knowledge in your future field. You’ll also brush up on academic skills and get familiar with university-style studying, like attending lectures and working on group projects.

There’s also the International Year One for undergraduates. It’s more focused on your chosen subject and, like the others, helps with academic and language skills. The goal of the International Year One is to get you into year two of your chosen undergraduate degree.

For Postgraduates:

If you’ve already got your bachelor’s and your ambition is to study for a master’s degree abroad, a Pre-Masters pathway program can make sure you are ready to begin your studies. You’ll dig deeper into your subject, improve your study and language skills, and boost your confidence for postgraduate studies.

Why should you consider a pathway program?

Whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student, pathway programs offer these perks:

  • Get ready for university: You’ll sharpen your academic skills and learn how things work in a university setting.
  • Guaranteed entry: Most universities promise you a spot in your chosen degree after you nail your pathway course.
  • Transferable knowledge: If you decide to switch universities, many schools recognize and accept credits from these programs.
  • Language improvement: For those needing to brush up on their language skills, this is the perfect opportunity to practise both academically and socially.
  • Settle in: Moving to a new country for studies can be daunting. Pathway programs help you adjust to your new surroundings, make friends, and get used to your new home.

How long does a pathway program take?

For undergraduate students, most pathway programs usually take one academic year. After that, you’re set to start year one of your chosen degree course.

Some programs offer an extended foundation course if you need more time to work on your language skills.

Graduate students usually finish their Pre-Masters program in one or two semesters, depending on your experience and academic level.

Pathway programs are usually on-campus, giving you the full university experience.

What does it cost?

Fees vary based on the level of study, the university, and the country. For example:

  • An International Foundation Year in the UK can range from £18,000 to £27,000
  • In Australia, a similar course might cost you between AUD $22,000 to AUD $35,500
  • A Pre-Masters program in the UK could set you back anywhere from £20,000 to £26,000

But remember, these are just examples. Always check with your chosen university for specific program fees.

Entry requirements:

The qualifications you need will depend on the university, level of study, and where you’re from. 


  • Undergrads should have good high school grades or equivalent qualifications, plus some academic language skills.
  • Graduate students will typically need a recognized first degree and a certain level of academic language skills.

Is a Pathway Program Right for You?

If you want to begin a university education abroad but don’t quite meet the entry requirements, a pathway program is a sensible choice. You’ll not only be able to secure a spot on your ideal degree course but also set yourself up for future success.