Why choose a foundation year for medicine

Why choose a foundation year for medicine

Medicine Foundation Course
A Medicine Foundation Course is designed to prepare you for medical education, and it might be referred to as a ‘pre-clinical year’. A medicine degree with a foundation year thus becomes a six-year course (instead of the conventional five years) that starts with a one-year foundation course of science-based teaching, followed by the standard five-year medical program.
To make it easy for you to comprehend the details associated with the Medicine Foundation Course, this article is divided into the following sections: 

  • What is Medicine Foundation Program, its structure, length, and admission criteria? Why should I undertake the Medical Foundation Program?
  • What are the advantages of the Medical Foundation Program?
  • What are some of the institutions that offer the Medical Foundation Program?

What is Medicine Foundation Program, its structure, length, and admission criteria?

  • A Medicine Foundation Program is an academic year or a 32 weeks long program that is undertaken before one starts one’s medical degree. It includes preparation courses over three semesters.
  • The taught modules are split into minor subjects that are generic, and major subjects that are specialized towards the student’s future academic path. 
  • Generally, the Medicine Foundation Programs start in September of a given year, so that the students can graduate in time to start their bachelor’s or master’s degree in October of the next year.
  • For students who want to fast-track their foundation courses, intensive 6-months pathway programs are also available. These typically start in January and end in August of the same year. 
  • Some international foundation programs also have flexible start dates to accommodate the convenience of applicant students
  • To be accepted into a foundation program, students need to have completed 12 years of basic school education, possess basic language proficiency skills depending on the requirements of the country, and be able to provide proof of studying certain subjects in your high school syllabus relevant for the foundation program

Why should I undertake the Medical Foundation Program?
  A foundation course would be the right fit for you if:

  •  You did not take science subjects in grade 11th and 12th
  •  You did not get top grades in your high school exams 
  •  You did not get into a medical school the first time around
  •  You meet other criteria like the contextual criteria for the Widening Participation Scheme

What are the advantages of the Medical Foundation Program?

1. Increased chances of university admission

Completing a foundation program increases the chances of students to start an undergraduate or graduate degree at a university drastically. The percentage of students who get into great universities after following a foundation program is very high.

2. Improved proficiency in the English language
Through the foundation program, students enhance their English skills to meet university admission requirements. Foundation programs have a complete module for language courses that are aimed at helping them cope up with their medical degrees successfully.

3. Access to great universities for medical degrees
While studying the foundation program, students get a great opportunity to be able to speak with current medical students and faculty to understand the in-depth criteria that universities look for to give admission to medical degrees, and thus increase their chances for getting successful admits to the medical courses. 

4. Reduced culture shock

With the foundation program, since the students are already in the country where they will do their ultimate medical degree, the foundation program helps them to adjust to a new culture and by the time they start the medical degree, they do not go through the culture shock that other students might be experiencing at that time.

5. Getting into the right mindset
Even if some students have the required eligibility criteria for admission to the medical school, they undertake the foundation program to prepare themselves mentally for their first year of studies I the medical degree. Mental preparation is as important as the making of applications and enhancing the subject and language skills. 
What are some of the institutions that offer the Medical Foundation Program?

  • University of Bristol
  • Cardiff University
  • Edge Hill University, Lincoln (Widening Participation Scheme)
  • University of Leicester (Widening Participation Scheme)
  • King’s College London (Widening Participation Scheme)
  • University of Manchester
  • Norwich Medical School (UEA) (Gateway to Medicine program)
  • University of Nottingham (Contextual Admission)
  • University of Plymouth (Contextual Admission)
  • University of Southampton (Widening Participation Scheme)


Speaker - Arwa

Arwa graduated with a first class degree in Biomedical Sciences from Queen Mary’s, University
in London having won the Principal’s Prize for Outstanding Achievement. She is an Iraqi
national and was founder and president of the Iraqi Society at Queen Mary’s. Before settling in
the UK, she lived and went to school in Dubai.
She has considerable teaching experience and an outstanding record of success with us at IFG.

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