Study Foundation Studies and Bridging Programs - Australia

For international students, Foundation Studies courses and Bridging Programs provide an ideal pathway to undergraduate study at universities in Australia. Foundation Studies courses were introduced to meet the needs of overseas students from different countries and educational backgrounds.

Foundation and preparatory courses provide a structured pathway for international students wanting to gain entry to undergraduate study at Australian universities. They also help students adapt to the Australian academic environment and way of life. Some promise a place at university if you are successful in your completion of the course.

Courses and qualifications

There are two major advantages to studying foundation and preparatory courses in Australia.

Upon successful completion international students may be guaranteed admission into specific degree courses at participating universities. This means that, unlike a secondary school education, foundation courses can be tailored to the student's proposed degree course.

Foundation courses allow students the opportunity to 'settle in' to the Australian education system and way of life before commencing university.
Foundation courses are restricted to overseas students and are especially designed to compensate for any disadvantages they may experience in competing against Australian students.

International students often need additional study in subjects relevant to the undergraduate courses offered at Australian universities, as well as in the English terminology used at university.

Most foundation courses generally run for one academic year, while preparatory courses are usually shorter. For students capable of accelerated learning, some programs may only last nine months. Others may be expanded to allow students more time to prepare for study at university in Australia.

Some courses have a flexible structure that allows students to enter at different times during the year and at different levels of English language and/or academic progression. Different streams are often based on the student's choice of undergraduate course, but most programs include base subjects such as English and mathematics.

Many universities and some other institutions also offer 'bridging' courses. These are also designed to help students enter university or a VET college, but are usually short and are often held over the summer period. They aim to ensure you have the desired prerequisite knowledge in subjects such as mathematics, science or English.

University Entry Program (UEP)

International Colleges offer an ideal mix of courses to help you enter a degree program of your choice. With three intakes each year for most programs, these courses provide an opportunity to "fast-track" your entry to your chosen University program. By enrolling in a University Entry Program, you will have the advantage of smaller classes, dedicated facilities, English language and welfare support, highly qualified teaching staff and access to all University services and facilities.

Foundation Program

The Foundation Program is an excellent introduction to university life. It is designed for you:

  • to fast-track to a university award program (Diploma or Degree) after year 11 high school *
  • to meet the academic requirements for a university undergraduate award program if you have not done so at Senior High school.

* You should check requirements for a Student Visa from your country of origin. (see Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs).

You will undertake either one or two semesters of 13 weeks plus examination period each, depending on your entry level, with three new intakes each year.

An Extended Foundation program is available for students who require additional language or academic support. The Extended Foundation program commences once each year in February.

You will need to choose your preferred faculty course before commencing the Foundation Program. You can choose to study in Built Environment (including Architecture and Industrial Design), Business, Creative Industries, (including Journalism and Multimedia/Web Design), Education, Engineering, Humanities and Human Services, Health, Information Technology, Law or Science (see Faculty Information for further details) and many more courses. It may be possible for you to change your study preference during your course.

Students who meet the Faculty requirements are often guaranteed a place in the first year of the relevant degree program. Graduates of the Foundation Program enjoy a very high placement rate in undergraduate courses at Australian universities.

As well as preparing you for your degree course, International Colleges provide you with many other advantages. We want you to enjoy your time studying with us in a friendly and supportive environment.

Bridging Program

The Bridging Program, a one semester program, is for students who may have already met the academic entry requirements for a undergraduate or postgraduate degree, but may not have met English language and/or prerequisite requirements. On the other hand, there may be some who have already met both academic and English requirements for a degree entry, but may still prefer to prepare for academic study in a different tertiary environment by undertaking the Bridging Program. Whilst studying in this program eligible students will have the opportunity to complete one or two units for credit towards their award programs.

Learning styles

Foundation courses usually offer some university-style teaching with lectures and tutorials. This ensures that students become accustomed to this learning style, and are further prepared for their degree course.

Some foundation courses are conducted separately to the university campus, whereas others are located on site. These have the advantage of allowing students access to all the university's facilities such as the library and computer laboratories, as well as to health and housing services, sports centres and student clubs.

Average tuition costs

A$9 000-AU$14 000 per year*

General entry information

To gain entry into a foundation or preparatory course you will need to have completed or nearly completed your end-of-school certificate in your home country. You will also need to meet set standards for written and spoken English. The exact requirements vary from one course to another so it is important to contact the institution directly for further information.

Foundation courses allow students the opportunity to 'settle in' to the Australian education system and way of life before commencing university.

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