Foundation in Arts

The right foundation programme in tertiary education is the first step in planning your future. Knowing which foundation stream to choose and where to study, you can start your higher learning with the right programme. 

Can’t decide to do A-Levels, sit for STPM, or embark on a foundation year? At UOW Malaysia KDU, you can study an array of comprehensive pre-university electives curated for its foundation in arts programme. Read ahead to know more from us!

What is a foundation year?

The foundation programme is a pre-university program for students who have completed SPM, IGCSE, O-Levels, or equivalent exams and are interested in pursuing tertiary-level education.

Enrolling in a foundation in arts programme will pave the way toward a non-science degree course for hopeful students who want higher education in arts and humanities studies.

As a prerequisite certification in the transition from secondary school to a bachelor’s degree, the typical foundation year comprises a minimum of 12 months of study divided into three semesters.

However, some higher education institutions may offer courses that take up to two years for the science stream.

What is foundation in arts?

A foundation in arts program is a pre-university course focusing on arts and humanities-related subjects.

It is usually a 1-year course on campus with a multidisciplinary syllabus. As a student, you will obtain a general overview of subjects related to non-science fields such as business and mass communication, education, psychology, entertainment, and so on.

It is also comparatively cheaper with a shorter study duration than some other pre-university programmes. Enrolling in a foundation in arts programme will give you a big leap ahead of your peers from other electives and a quick route toward a bachelor’s degree.

Foundation in arts subjects

A foundation in arts programme will equip students with basic knowledge in various non-science fields such as business, psychology, language, mathematics, computer studies, hospitality, and so on.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Students can expect to learn core modules every semester that comprise a range of topics from language to technical subjects like mathematics and social studies. With a foundation programme, your learning can be transferable and built upon even when you want to pursue a related degree programme.

Why study foundation in arts?

The most common reason foundation in arts is highly popular is because it’s a fast and affordable programme. In addition, it offers students great flexibility to pursue a broader option for their bachelor’s degree with an early emphasis on building specialisation.

So, if you want to explore further education in a non-science field but are unsure what to specialise in, then a foundation in arts programme may just be the ideal course for you.

Another reason to study foundation in arts is that it offers a more balanced study structure that consists of coursework and exams.

Therefore, compared to exam-based A-Levels, foundation programmes are more suitable if you want a easier course to pass.

Who should study foundation in arts?

Foundation programmes are open to all students who have completed their SPM, IGCSE, O-Levels, or equivalent exams locally or abroad with a minimum of five credit scores in related subjects.

For those looking to continue with tertiary education in a non-science field, a foundation in arts programme will open up the path for you to explore a wide range of specialisations in the fastest route.

So whether you want to pursue creative arts or learn coding skills, a foundation in arts will give you a good head start. 

Aside from choosing a major, the purpose of a foundation in arts is also to prepare students for a relevant degree programme. Foundation students get a direct route into their first year of a degree programme at private tertiary institutions or study abroad at a partner university. 

How long is a foundation course?

The minimum duration of a foundation in arts program is 12 months, although this varies according to electives and the university or college.

However, you can be assured that most universities and colleges will have the standard one-year programme for foundation streams. 

It is also common for higher education institutions to provide twin programmes for foundation and degree (e.g. 3+0 degree programme) with partner universities or international foundation programmes that will give you a chance to pursue a degree abroad.

Is a foundation year hard?

It is not the hardest programme to pass, although you will have a much tighter schedule to keep up with and shorter breaks in between semesters compared to the A-Level programme that covers two years of study.

Regarding syllabus, the foundation programme, be it arts, science, or business, is mostly tailored to a certain area of study to prepare students for a specific degree. And unlike A-Levels, foundation programmes have a better balance of coursework (30%) and exams (70%), which means the overall assessment method is more lenient.

What can I study after foundation in arts?

As the foundation in arts programme is designed to help students explore their interest in arts and humanities, the future options available after foundation are usually with non-science electives like business and accounting, psychology, media and communication, language, education, computing, design, hospitality, and so on.

Suppose you’re interested in studying abroad or want to transfer. In that case, it is important to know that you may not be able to transfer your credits to study in a different university if your foundation certificate is not recognised there. 

So, doing your due diligence is essential for a smooth university life.

Can foundation in arts study law?

Yes, through an elective. For example, some universities or colleges like UOW Malaysia KDU offer law studies as an elective for a foundation in arts students, with credits that can be later accountable if they pursue a law programme in the same institution.

Is foundation better than A-levels?

The short and simple answer is no. Both programmes offer great education opportunities to prepare students for a bright future in higher education and learning.

However, foundation courses are usually more inclusive in terms of subject matter suited to a field of study, while A-Levels is focused on expounding in-depth knowledge, which is limited to only a few core subjects.

With a shorter study duration than A-Levels (minimum two years), foundation programmes offer many benefits to students eager to finish their studies via the quickest route possible. 

The method of assessment also differs significantly. A-Levels is 100% exam-based and is divided into Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced Two (A2) “study terms”, which require students to undergo one final examination at the end of each part. 

Meanwhile, foundation programmes are based on coursework and exams to determine each student’s grade point average, meaning it is easier to pass.

Ultimately, people assume that A-Levels is better because it is an internationally recognised pre-university certification, while a foundation certificate is not.

The choice, however, is always up to the student. What’s best for others may not always be the right choice for you, so you should always plan your study according to what you want to pursue and where you want to study. 

For example, if you prefer coursework to exams, don’t plan to study in the UK, and are still on the journey to discover your career path, a foundation year might be the best choice. 

Foundation in arts jobs

Most foundation in arts graduates can choose to pursue a degree programme that will eventually lead to ample opportunities in many different careers ranging from educators and entrepreneurs to subject matter experts in computing and psychology.

With the knowledge that you learn from the programme, you can expect to dive into a degree programme in the following fields:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Software Development
  • Information Technology
  • Mass Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Human Resource
  • Creative Design
  • Culinary Arts 
  • Psychology
  • Education
  • Language
  • Business
  • Law
computer science
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Foundation in arts Malaysia

Foundation in arts is a popular course among students who have completed their SPM in Malaysia. As such, it is offered in many universities and colleges, including UOW Malaysia KDU. Voted as the employers’ preferred university by TalentBank, the UOW Malaysia KDU Foundation in Arts programme is a one-year course that encourages a strong understanding of core subjects and critical thinking.

Besides this, UOW Malaysia KDU also offers multidisciplinary and flexible foundation programmes in various streams such as Business, Communication, Information Technology, Computer Studies, Hospitality, Early Childhood Education, and more that will prepare you for the growing, modern career path.

With these programmes, you can gain all the essential knowledge to boost your skills and develop professional perspectives in making the right career direction.

If you’re finding it difficult to choose the right study plan, speak to us today.

The final word

Whether you enrol in foundation studies or opt for other pre-university programmes, it is important to understand which course will give you the more direct path to the future you want.

If you are keen to pursue tertiary education in creative arts and humanities, the UOW Malaysia KDU foundation in arts program offers the essentials to kickstart your higher learning in a timely manner.

Nonetheless, make your decision according to your goals and what you want for your future career to avoid regrets.


20 August 2022


Business and Economy