International College
Student pathways to The University of Sheffield

What can you learn from an International Foundation Year course?

Posted 25 August 2015
Sheffield student experience

The past decade has seen the number of international students booming – unsurprisingly. 

It has also seen an increase in the number of courses tailored to the needs of the international student community. One of these course types is the International Foundation Year course, a year-long programme aimed at preparing international students to acquire the skills they need to acquire their degree. 

Often these courses are related to degrees in subjects popular with international students. The University of Sheffield International College offers foundation courses in Social Science, Business, Law, Science and Engineering. 

These courses allow students to prepare for their degree in a prestigious academic setting. They offer guaranteed entry into a wide range of degree courses at the University – making them a great route into one of the UK’s most prestigious higher learning institutions.

Tailored support

Unlike many other academic courses, International Foundation Year courses are aimed at providing students with the extra support they need to adjust to studying abroad and make their degree course a success. 

This includes improving their English language skills and learning vital study techniques as well as making a start on their academic subject of choice. Class sizes are kept small. There is a focus on ensuring that students learn to make the most of their time at the college and are fully aware of all the great resources on offer.

At The University of Sheffield International College, foundation year courses are grouped into pathways that match students’ career goals. Students wishing to progress to degree subjects such as Computer Science, Nuclear Science and Engineering can choose the Science and Engineering pathway for a solid foundation in all the skills they need to excel on their degree. 

For students with an interest in the Humanities, the Business, Social Sciences and Humanities Foundation Year courses offer a range of different pathways into degree subjects as diverse as Geography, Accounting and Education.  Students take a set number of core skills classes. They can then choose the modules that reflect the degree they want to study the following year. 

This is an excellent way for students to develop strong skills and abilities for their degree subject, and to gain indepth study skills, which they may not already have acquired.

More than just language

Foundation Year courses aren’t just for those whose English skills aren’t good enough. While some of the course is focused on helping students increase their fluency and comprehension, it's also a vital opportunity to learn important study techniques that will help them succeed later on.

One of the benefits of a Foundation Year course is that it combines these wider study skills – such as language, critical reading, mathematics, lab skills, literature review, project work and personal development programmes – with subject-specific modules. 

For example, students on a foundation course in social science have their study skill modules tailored to their subject area. They can apply the skill they learn practically, in modules as diverse as Politics and Psychology, Urban Studies and Planning, and Social Policy and Criminology. The focus is on developing skills and knowledge side-by-side, to provide a smooth transition – and even a head start – on the full degree course.

Whether you want to take a foundation year course in social science, business, law or engineering, the University of Sheffield International College has a wide range of options for you. You can research the courses online to find the pathway that best suits your career aspirations. 

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