Why join a pathway programme?
Pathway programmes are developed for international students by universities and their partners, their purpose is quite wide ranging but the main function is to provide international students an opportunity. We know education systems around the world vary a lot, consequently British universities run programmes which allow students from different backgrounds and qualifications the chance to join them. They provide really supportive learning environments to help international students with their transition overseas.
Who should join a pathway programme?
It really depends on your education level.
For example, if you want to study a Bachelors degree, British education is typically 13 years whereas the public education system in Thailand has 12 years of schooling, so logically the next step to joining a British bachelor degree usually involves a pathway programme to bridge the study gap. There are also some students that just can’t wait to get on campus – for those early high school leavers a pathway option is open with 11 years of schooling. We also see students at international schools in Thailand with 13 years of education but sometimes they don’t get the right grades to join their chosen university, a pathway route provides them a second chance!
Then there are students seeking a Masters degree. They’ve already completed a Bachelors degree and are looking at postgraduate options overseas, a pathway programme can help students get there… but it’s not always necessary. It depends on a few factors: i. your Bachelors degree major and how closely this is linked to the Masters degree; ii. Your Bachelors GPA and the entry requirement of the Masters, iii. your English level.
How long does it take?
At the undergraduate level you have Foundation and International Year One. Foundation can be considered a preparation year meaning it will take combined 4 years to complete the bachelors and graduate. The International Year One entry involves starting the first year of your degree within the pathway college, it takes combined 3 years to complete the bachelors and graduate.
At the postgraduate level you have a Pre-Masters. The duration varies quite a lot! Some pre masters are only 3 months long whereas others are 9 months, usually the higher-ranking Universities will have a longer duration to ensure students are at the right academic level before jumping into the Masters.
On-campus or a private college?
Most UK Universities will run a pathway programme on their campus, usually this is in partnership with a pathway provider specialised in this delivery, however, sometimes a University will run a pathway via their own faculty. Generally speaking, if you choose to study the pathway on campus, you’ll remain at that University until completion of the degree. The on-campus option is usually most popular but it’s not the only way. Private colleges running high school programmes such as GCSE and A Level will often provide a pathway option as well, this allows students to arrive in a high school environment and choose their preferred University at a later date while studying on the pathway programme.
Any advice for students joining a UK pathway?
It’s pretty important to consider all aspects of the pathway programme rather than just focus on the degree course/university you’re trying to reach. Gather information from an education counsellor and understand the options because pathways vary from one University to the next… entry requirements, subjects and course content, grades needed to pass the pathway, flexibility to change degree options, visa considerations and so on.
Interested in studying in the UK? Please contact One Education to get more information and free counselling. We are an official representative of the leading UK’s universities. Our service is completely free of charge.
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