What’s A Foundation Programme?


Finally, the big exam is over. Now, you’re looking at your options after SPM, and we bet you keep hearing about how you should do a Foundation programme. 

Okay, great. But what’s a Foundation course? Most SPM graduates want to know this:

  • What’s the difference between a Foundation programme and a Diploma? 
  • Which one should you choose to get the Bachelor’s degree you want? 
  • Why should I study Foundation in Malaysia? 

Well, we’ve got the answers.  

What’s the Meaning of Foundation? 

Number one: it’s not makeup. Well, not in this context.

It’s a one-year internal course offered by universities to prepare you for a Bachelor’s Degree programme. In other words, you’ll have three semesters across the 12 months.

Most universities offer Foundation programmes based on the field of study you want to choose. And the Foundation course you choose will qualify you for a Bachelor’s degree in that field. Basically, think of it like Arts and Science stream in school. 

For instance, you could choose between: 

  • Foundation in Arts—can lead to degrees in Mass Comm, Education, Special Needs Education, Psychology, English 
  • Foundation in Business—can lead to degrees in Business (obviously lol), Accounting and Finance, Management, Marketing, Hospitality and Tourism, and even Culinary Arts
  • Foundation in Science—can lead to degrees in Medicine, Pharmacy, Biotech, Environmental Tech, Engineering, Computing, and IT

What Do I Need to Qualify for a Foundation Programme? 

The big question: what do you need to get in your SPM to qualify for a Foundation programme? For you, here’s an easy guide: 

Foundation in ScienceSPM/ O-Level
Pass with a minimum of five (5) credits in Mathematics, two (2) science subjects and two (2) other subjects.

Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)
Pass with minimum grade B in three (3) subjects including Mathematics and two (2) other science subjects.
Foundation in
Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)
Pass with any five (5) credits

Grade C in five (5) subjects

Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)
Minimum grade B in three (3) subjects

Other Qualifications
Other equivalent qualifications recognised by the Government of Malaysia.
Foundation in
Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)
Pass with any five (5) credits

Grade C in five (5) subjects

Unified Examination Certificate (UEC)
Minimum grade B in three (3) subjects

Other Qualifications
Other equivalent qualifications recognised by the Government of Malaysia.

So why should you choose Foundation? What makes it stand out from the other options after SPM? 

Why You Should Choose a Foundation Programme 

A Faster/Simpler Route to a Bachelor’s Degree

You only have to spend one year compared to other pre-university options which take up more time. 

And since you’re already taking a university programme, it will be really simple to continue getting a degree at the same place once you’re done. Most universities want their Foundation graduates to continue with them anyway. 

Accessible Education with Scholarships

There are a variety of diverse merit-based scholarships available for students looking to join a Foundation programme. 

Some are related to academic performance, or whether you plan to choose Medicine or Pharmacy when you start your degree. Meanwhile, others deal with extra-curricular achievements. Check if you qualify for them here!

Early Taste of University Life

You’ll be a university student, which means that you’ll be able to acquaint yourself with the mode of teaching as well as the classroom environment.

Remember that university studies are quite different from school. There’s a lot more flexibility, fun and creativity, but you have to be more responsible and independent. 

Foundation allows you to experience this early, providing a seamless transition to your degree. And if you need help adjusting, universities like QIU have a specially-designed system to support you.

Learn Exactly What You Want 

Foundation subjects are tailored to your individual study choices. Want to be a doctor? Your Foundation will include medical subjects.  Prefer education? Your Foundation will reflect that as well. 

Most importantly, this is designed to give you a head start on your degree. 

However, comprehensive universities also include subjects that make you more well-rounded. For instance, QIU’s Foundation in Science has core subjects covering English, communication, critical thinking algebra and computer applications. 

All this makes you a better student and will help you become a more skilled, in-demand graduate once you enter the workforce. Employers like hiring people who can do different things. 

Hands-On Learning

In university, you learn by doing—and Foundation is no different. There will be exams*, but you’ll also be doing practical coursework to pass your subjects. 

And it’s so much fun! For instance, you’ll be using facilities like cutting-edge laboratories, recording and photography studios, and childhood simulation rooms. 

This means that you’ll master practical and theoretical skills. You won’t get shocked or left behind once you put your skills to practice in the working world. 

 *(By the way, QIU offers a zero-exam programme as well: our Bachelor of Special Needs Education (Honours))

What You Should Think About Before You Choose

Taking a Foundation course could be your gateway to the excitement of university life. Firstly, here are a bunch of options for you to choose from. Secondly, you may be waiting for that one programme to capture your heart. 

How do you choose? What’s the step-by-step process? 

Here’s the truth: everyone’s unique and they want different things from the course. Here are some general tips. 

Step One: Decide What You Want

Firstly, you should find out where your fire lies as many options are on offer. What do you really want to do? 

In conclusion, Foundation programmes are stepping stones to a Bachelor’s degree. And that’s why you shouldn’t jump into a decision before giving yourself time to think.

Like a piece of art, choosing a programme that’s aligned with your pathway is a delicate task. Basically, all of them take you down a different path, depending on where the passion burns the brightest.

For instance, here are some of the Bachelor’s degrees you can consider after a Foundation in Science: 

Here’s what you can do after a Foundation in Business

And this is what you can pursue with a Foundation in Arts:

Step Three: Talk to Experts

Definitely, nothing’s better than speaking to someone who can give you all the information you need. Here’s where you can get in touch with people who will advise you for free! You’ll also be able to speak directly with faculty deans and academics.  

WhatsApp or call us at 019-8300 881. Or email enquiries@qiu.edu.my

For more information, check out more options on what you can do after SPM here! 


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