Home Academic writing These pre-university programs will help you earn a place at the best universities in the UK

These pre-university programs will help you earn a place at the best universities in the UK


For many international students, securing a place at a top university in the UK is a lifelong goal. Not only will a degree from a prestigious UK university give you the opportunity to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, it will give you the skills you need to succeed in a rapidly changing global environment.

These days, most universities require some kind of pre-college course. Think A Levels and the International Baccalaureate – courses that will get you into a higher education institution. However, these courses can be extremely difficult to follow. They also don’t always guarantee you a place at your dream university, even if you have excellent high school grades. On top of that, there is the problem of having to master the English language while preparing for the requirements of an undergraduate degree.

Fortunately, many top universities in the UK understand this struggle. Here are four universities offering programs for international graduates wishing to pursue an undergraduate degree in the UK.

University of Kent

The International Foundation program is specifically designed to address the language concerns of international students and enable them to integrate smoothly into their programs / Source: University of Kent

The University of Kent is a prestigious UK university with roots dating back to 1965. A classic European institution, Kent is ranked among the top 10 UK universities for research intensity, with a wealth of experienced faculty and staff. It also has a diverse student population, with students coming from 164 countries to take a range of pre-university and university programs.

One such program is the International Foundation Program (IFP). Running for 40 years, the one-year program grants international graduates guaranteed progression to over 220 degree courses at Kent. Typically, these students have excellent grades in high school, but have not obtained an appropriate qualification or obtained the grades necessary to enter directly into a UK university. They have the possibility to select modules in the subject of their choice, from law and international relations to biology and computer science.

IFP also takes into account that some international students may need additional support to learn English. Students are guided through the structures, registers and language varieties necessary for undergraduate study.

Students can choose between a six-month course starting in the spring or a nine-month course starting in the fall, depending on the subject you wish to study for your degree. By the end of the program, you will be equipped with the academic knowledge and language skills needed to succeed in an undergraduate degree program at Kent.

The University of Liverpool

pre-university programs

The University of Liverpool offers pre-university Foundation Certificate programs in Business, Law and Social Sciences or Science and Engineering / Source: University of Liverpool Facebook

the University of Liverpool is known for many things: its outstanding reputation as a research-intensive higher education institution, its vibrant urban campus, and its global and inclusive outlook. Students also have direct access to the city of Liverpool, which as well as having a diverse community has been voted fourth most welcoming city in the world.

Alongside its wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, Liverpool offers a one-year pre-university foundation certificate program. The program, taught by the University of Liverpool International College (UoLIC), is perfect for international students looking to learn essential study skills, including essay writing and presenting presentations.

The program also focuses on improving students’ academic English. Students are taught in small classes to encourage a student-centered learning environment. Regular meetings with a learning support tutor are also made available to each student if additional academic or personal support is needed.

Choose between a basic certificate in Business, Law and Social Sciences Where Science and Engineering, each of which can be adapted depending on the progression route you have chosen. Each program also has start dates throughout the year, allowing you to begin your studies however you choose.

The University of Warwick

pre-university programs

The University of Warwick is a leading university on the world stage. Source: University of Warwick Facebook

The students of the University of Warwick benefit from attending a leading institution on the world stage. Located in central England, Warwick was systematically classified among the top 10 universities in the UK, the top 20 in Europe and the top 100 in the world. This inevitably means that the university attracts many talented and intelligent students.

To respond to this, Warwick introduced a one-year period International Foundation Program (IFP) for international students who wish to prepare for future undergraduate studies. It offers 10 academic courses including Arts and Humanities, Computing, Lawand Physics and Engineering. If successful, students applying through UCAS will receive a conditional offer for a relevant undergraduate degree at Warwick.

With IFP Warwick, the level of English lessons will be tailored to each course and skill level. For students who do not have the minimum level of English required for their course, Warwick offers a Extended Intensive English Module. This is a six-week module taught in small, student-centred classes, giving students the perfect opportunity to develop their English skills before the start of their IFP course.

Outside of class hours, students can enjoy the lush English countryside or use the expanse of university clubs, societies and facilities. Most importantly, Warwick students are promised an unrivaled level of support and guidance – just look at the strong student endorsement for the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aberystwyth University

pre-university programs

Aberystwyth University is the largest university in the UK promising a quintessential British study experience. Source: Aberystwyth University Facebook

Tucked away in a quiet corner of East Wales Aberystwyth Universitya Welsh institution worthy of Hogwarts established in 1872. With over 1,709 hectares of land, Aberystwyth is UK’s largest university and is home to both students and staff as well as sheep, cows and alpacas. The university has also hosted royalty from all parts of the world, including His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.

The promise of a quintessential British study experience has attracted international students from all over. To answer this, the university offers a International Foundation Certificate, a pre-university introductory course. The program is suitable for students who already have the qualifications to start a degree but also want to improve their language skills and knowledge.

Start the Foundation Certificate in September or January, with the option of taking a 30-week course or sticking with the 15-week Fast Track option. The pre-university course is divided into five streams: Commerce, Computer Science, International Politics, Theatre, Cinema and Television, and Law and Criminology.

Students are guaranteed a place in undergraduate programs at Aberystwyth with a strong command of the English language by studying at the Best English Language Center in Wales. You’ll also benefit from a robust support system, charming Welsh decor and a host of dedicated teachers.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are business partners of Study International