What is Foundation Studies?

By Emily McAuliffe

If you’re a student looking to study at university abroad, you may be told that you need to enrol in a foundation studies course for international students. So, what is a foundation studies program and how can it help you gain access to the university of your choice?

Trinity College Foundation Studies students

What does ‘foundation studies’ mean?

Foundation studies is a course that international students can take to help them transition from high school to a university outside their home country. You may attend a foundation studies course after you finish high school, or you may be able to take the course in place of your final years of schooling. Essentially, foundation studies is like a pre-university course that provides a pathway to enter particular universities.

Foundation studies is also great if you would like to experience living abroad but are not yet sure what to study at university, as it will give you some time to decide what degree you’d like to study for while also getting a taste of university life in a new country.

How long does a foundation studies program go for?

A one-year foundation studies course is typical, but it may be shorter or longer, depending on whether you wish to fast track your program, or take some extra time to get help with your English and mathematics, for example.

At Trinity College, we offer a number of program types (or intakes). When you apply, our admissions staff will assess your application and offer you the intake that will best suit your academic and English requirements, and best prepare you for your chosen undergraduate degree.

Which universities do foundation studies programs lead to?

Foundation studies programs are usually offered as a pathway to a particular university.

You can either look at the university you want to attend and find out which foundation studies program will help you transition to that particular university and your desired course, or you can find a foundation studies course that you like, then see which universities you will be able to apply for when you graduate.

It's important to note that some foundation studies courses will give you direct access to a certain university if you take the correct subjects and achieve the required scores (these will vary depending on which university course you wish you take).

This means you can essentially skip the queue when it comes to enrolling for university as you will automatically qualify for the course of your choice. This is great peace of mind if you know you have guaranteed entry to the university you want to attend!

The Trinity College foundation studies program lets you gain access to Australia’s best university, the University of Melbourne (ranked #1 in Australia by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2022). This means that students who graduate from Trinity’s foundation studies program with the required scores can progress to an undergraduate degree at the University of Melbourne.

Trinity College Foundation Studies students

What do you learn in foundation studies?

A foundation studies course will usually include different subjects, which will help you in your desired future university degree. So you may take subjects like accounting, commerce, biology, design, or media and communications, for example.

You will also get help with your English language and writing skills, particularly essay writing. This will help set you up for success at university.

At Trinity College in Melbourne, our foundation studies course includes drama, English literature and the history of ideas. These subjects may seem a little surprising, particularly if you’ve never taken subjects like these before, but they are often the subjects our students end up loving the most. That’s because they’re designed to build your confidence, self-expression and analytical thinking skills – all of which will help you succeed at university and in the workforce.

What kind of students attend foundation studies?

Foundation studies courses are designed for international students. If you take a foundation studies course, you can meet likeminded students from all around the world. You’ll likely make some great friends and will study in a supportive and welcoming environment.

At Trinity College in Melbourne, Australia, our students come from many places, including China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Botswana, Argentina, India, Thailand and many more.

Trinity College Foundation Studies students playing soccer

Is foundation studies fun?

You’ll definitely have fun! You will be surrounded by lots of other young, motivated people who are interested in new experiences, exploring new places, studying and meeting new people.

If you come to Trinity College, you will also have access to friendly and helpful teachers, a wellbeing team, a chaplain, student clubs and many events. Foundation studies is much more than just attending classes!

How do I apply for foundation studies?

If you’d like to join us at Trinity College in Australia and gain direct entry to the University of Melbourne, you can find more information and apply on our website. If you have any questions, please use this contact form.

Trinity College Foundation Studies students



06 Sep 2022
Category: Foundation Studies