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A Level or Foundation, which should I choose?

Posted 25 August 2016
international friends in the UK

Posted in


With lots of different subjects and routes to university available it can be hard to choose the right option, but don’t worry, we’re here to help!

We all know it takes more than just good grades to get into a top university. As well as academic ability, universities want you to be able to demonstrate key skills and a genuine interest in your chosen subject. With lots of different subjects and routes to university available it can be hard to choose the right option, but don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Which is right for me?

A Level and Foundation are both well-regarded by UK universities. So how do you choose? There are lots of factors to consider - your age, education and grades, your English language level, and your career goals.

A Level

A Levels in the UK are recognised by universities in the UK, USA and Australia. This gives you a world of choice when deciding which universities to apply to and where you can study.

For many degree subjects there are no specific A Level requirements, but others (particularly at Russell Group universities) will require specific subjects.


Foundation courses are designed specially for international students. Our one-year accelerated programme includes language and study skills support, preparing you for university study. Our Foundation programmes are accepted by more than 70 UK universities – so this pathway offers a wide choice of university progression and degree choices.

A Level


Accepted by all UK universities

Accepted by more than 70 UK universities

Recognised by universities in the UK, USA and Australia

Recognised by selected universities in the UK, Europe and USA

Typically a two-year programme (a 3-term option is available for exceptional students)

A one-year programme

Minimum age 15.5+

Minimum age 16.5+

Requires IELTS 5.5 or equivalent

Requires IELTS 4.5 or equivalent

Offers our outstanding enrichment programme

Offers our outstanding enrichment programme

When choosing your pre-university course it’s important to look at your intended degree subject and the requirements of the universities that interest you. Our staff are available to provide expert advice on best possible A Level subject choice or Foundation course in the UK for your chosen degree – enquire now for one-on-one advice.

Make your university application shine

Recent surveys show that universities are looking for many of the key skills that future employers will also be looking for, including:

  • Critical and independent thinking
  • Team working
  • Professional experience
  • Presentation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Motivation
  • Practical thinking

So whether you choose A Level or Foundation it’s important that you learn skills outside of the classroom to help with your university application. We offer an enrichment programme at every Bellerbys college to help you develop these abilities, and more.

We’ll also give you expert counselling and advice to guide you through the university application process, and how you can use these enrichment experiences in writing your personal statement or preparing for interviews.

Whichever pathway looks right for you, we’ll be by your side to give the right guidance on what universities are looking for and how you can reach your goals so contact us today.