Entry requirements into Foundation, Diploma and Degree Courses in Malaysia

Lonnie Sik, Founder of EduSpiral, has more than 20 years of experience counseling thousands of students on how to choose the right course & university

Lonnie Sik, Founder of EduSpiral, has more than 20 years of experience counseling thousands of students on how to choose the right course & university

What are the Entry Requirements for the Different Courses in Malaysia?

In order to choose the right course that fits you to study in Malaysia, you would also need to know the entry requirements. Entry requirements would vary from some private universities and courses. Students after SPM & IGCSE/O-Levels would need to know the different entry requirements for Foundation, Pre-U and Diploma courses in Malaysia. Foreign branch campuses will have higher entry requirements.

Generally, arts students will never be able to take science-related degree programmes. However, it is possible for arts stream  students to enter into engineering courses with the relevant results.

For students after UEC, STPM, A-Levels or Pre-U, they will need to find out the entry requirements into the degree programmes of interest at their particular private university.

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Foundation Courses or Pre-University Programmes Entry Requirements in Malaysia

Our mum asked us to talk to EduSpiral as we did not know what to study. EduSpiral had helped our older sister before. He met us at Taylor's, talked to us and then gave us a tour. Gan twins, Foundation in Arts at Taylor's University
Our mum asked us to talk to EduSpiral as we did not know what to study. EduSpiral had helped our older sister before. He met us at Taylor’s, talked to us and then gave us a tour.
Gan twins, Foundation in Arts at Taylor’s University

Students will need to have at least 5 credits in SPM or O-Levels to join a Foundation or Pre-University course in Malaysia. There is no PTPN Loan for the Foundation or Pre-University course.

You will need a minimum 5 credits in SPM or 4Bs in UEC, inclusive of Mathematics and 2 pure science subjects for entry into the Foundation in Science or Foundation in Engineering at most universities. For the Foundation in Arts, you need at least 5 credits in SPM in any subject to enter or 4Bs in the UEC.

For Pharmacy and Medicine you need SPM or O-Levels 5 B’s inclusive of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics/Add. Mathematics and an additional subject (Pass in B. Melayu and B. inggeris is compulsory)

To enter into the Foundation in Business, you will need at least 5 credits in SPM. You may need credits for English or Maths depending on which university. If you plan to go for the degree in Actuarial Science, Finance or Accounting, you must have a credit in Maths.

Foundation courses are internal courses by the private universities and is 1 year in duration. They stream into the degree programmes offered at the university. To find out more about the best Foundation Programmes in Malaysia, you may go to the links below:

Diploma Courses Entry Requirements in Malaysia

I talked to EduSpiral on WhatsApp and after obtaining all the necessary information. EduSpiral met me and my parents at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia to take us around for a tour. Aun Jie, Chemical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
I talked to EduSpiral on WhatsApp and after obtaining all the necessary information. EduSpiral met me and my parents at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia to take us around for a tour.
Aun Jie, Chemical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

You will need at least 3 credits in SPM and a pass in BM & Sejarah or IGCSE/O-Levels to enter into a Diploma course in Malaysia.

Each course will have its specific requirements such as the Diploma in Electronic Engineering will require a credit in Maths and Science, while the Diploma in Information Technology (IT) will need a credit in Maths.

Students from the Arts Stream who are interested to join a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering or Electrical & Electronic Engineering course will be able to join certain universities with SPM 3 credits including Maths & General Science. Please contact us  at 01111408838 for more details.

With the change in the duration of the diploma programme from 2.5 years to 2 years, students can go for the Diploma programme for 2 years and then enter into Year 2 of the relevant degree programme and complete the degree at the same time as those who took the Foundation.

Courses like business, IT, mass communication, etc takes 2 years. Courses like engineering, architecture, culinary, hotel and design take 2.5 years. However, the design courses at INTI takes 3 years to complete.

One advantage of taking the Diploma is that you can apply for the PTPTN loan. You cannot apply for the PTPTN loan for the Foundation course. In addition, for the Diploma, you would be studying subjects that you like. However, if you are not sure of what you want to study, then taking the Foundation course you have time to decide later which course you would like to pursue.

You might be interested in this article, The Best Diploma Courses at Top Universities & Colleges in Malaysia

Degree Courses Entry Requirements For A-Levels and STPM in Malaysia

EduSpiral advised & helped me choose the best college for A-Levels. And now I have graduated from a top ranked UK University in Malaysia Dexter Leong, A-Levels at HELP Academy & Degree from University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus
EduSpiral advised & helped me choose the best college for A-Levels. And now I have graduated from a top ranked UK University in Malaysia
Dexter Leong, A-Levels at HELP Academy & Biotechnology Degree from University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

Another confusion is when students take the AS subject in the A-Levels, it is not a full subject and therefore is not counted as a principal.

When choosing subjects in the A-Levels, it is important to ask the counselor the right questions and to choose wisely.  The General Paper is also not accepted by some universities as well. General Paper is taken as a subject in TAR College A-Level programme.

You will need at least 2 Principals to enter into the degree courses. A-Levels will be at least 2E’s while STPM is at least 2C’s or CGPA 2.00. The Pengajian Am is not accepted into Science degree courses and but can be counted for entry into Business, IT, Mass Comm, Psychology and Social Science courses.

If you have at least a C in Pengajian Am and another subject, you may enter into these courses at certain universities. Please contact me for more details.

Medicine and Pharmacy entry requirements vary from university to university.

I was confused about what to study & didn't want to do what my dad was working as because he was so busy. My mum asked EduSpiral to advise me. He showed my that I am different from my dad & helped me to make the right choice. Chong Han, Foundation in Engineering at Taylor's University
I was confused about what to study & didn’t want to do what my dad was working as because he was so busy. My mum asked EduSpiral to advise me. He showed my that I am different from my dad & helped me to make the right choice.
Chong Han, Foundation in Engineering at Taylor’s University

Applied Science degree courses such as Biotechnology, Food Science, Nutrition, etc – STPM 3 principals (C) in Chemistry, Biology & Mathematics / Physics or A-Levels 3 principals (E) in

Chemistry, Biology & Mathematics / Physics or UEC 5Bs (Inclusive of Chemistry, Biology & Mathematics / Physics)

Engineering Degree Programme Entry Requirements – STPM 2 principals (C) in Mathematics and Physics or A-Levels 2 Ds in Mathematics and Physics or UEC 5 Bs (inclusive of Mathematics and Physics). Some universities may accept 2 Principal Es in A-Levels. For Chemical Engineering, the subjects required are Maths & Chemistry.

Entry requirements into Heriot-Watt University Malaysia’s engineering programmes are higher.

Architecture – STPM a minimum CGPA of 2.33 for 3 subjects (ANY SUBJECTS) with a Credit in Math OR Science at the SPM level. A-Levels a minimum 2 Cs including Maths or

Equivalent. In UEC, 6 Credits or Bs inclusive of Math OR Science.

Law – Any subjects for STPM 2 principals (C) or A-Levels 2 Es

Most courses – Any subjects for STPM 2 principals (C) or A-Levels 2 Es or UEC 5 Bs

If you had obtained 5B’s in the UEC, you can go directly into the degree programme. I talked to a student who completed the UEC with at least 5Bs and was advise to take a Foundation course therefore wasting one year, when he could have entered directly into the degree program.

Grading System

SPM UEC IGCSE/O-Levels STPM A-Levels
A+ A1 A A A
A A2 B A- B
A- B3 C B+ C
B+ B4 D B D
B B5 E B- E
C+ B6 U – Ungraded C+ F
C C7 C
D C8 C-
E D+
G D

You might be interested to read further on degree courses at Top 20 Courses to Study in Malaysia that has High Job Demand & Stable Salary or Top 10 Degree Courses with Highest Starting Salaries

Transferring your Diploma to a Degree course in Malaysia

My mum contacted EduSpiral to help advise me on which course & university to choose as I was quite confused. He took us to visit the universities & helped guide me to make the right choice. Bryan Yap, Foundation in Business at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia
My mum contacted EduSpiral to help advise me on which course & university to choose as I was quite confused. He took us to visit the universities & helped guide me to make the right choice.
Bryan Yap, Foundation in Business at Heriot-Watt University Malaysia

If you had taken a diploma course, you can transfer your credits into Year 2 of a relevant degree. For example, if you have a

Diploma in Accounting, you can generally be accepted into Year 2 of the Accounting degree programme. At some universities, you may not get full exemptions as the subjects may not be similar, so you may have to enter into Year 1 second or final semester.

If you decide to join a marketing degree course, you may not get as many exemptions.

To perform the exemption advise, you will need to submit the transcripts, course outline for all the subjects that you have taken at the college and SPM Certificate.

It will take some time to perform the exemptions so you need to submit the documents early.

Certificate Course Entry Requirements in Malaysia

EduSpiral provided facts & evidence to support their advise to me. He also took me & my parents to tour the campus to help me make the right choice. Kezhan, Diploma in Interior Design at First City University College
EduSpiral provided facts & evidence to support their advise to me. He also took me & my parents to tour the campus to help me make the right choice.
Kezhan, Diploma in Interior Design at First City University College

Many students in Malaysia are confused about the education possibilities available to them after SPM, UEC, STPM or A-Levels.

For those who only obtained 1 credit in SPM/UEC and a pass in BM & Sejarah, there is still hope for you as you can go for a Certificate in Business, Certificate in IT or Certificate in Creative Design and then go on to the Diploma course.

Generally, you won’t be able to study Certificate in Engineering, Pharmacy, Medicine, Health Science, Biotechnology, etc because you are to weak in your results to continue on in diploma or degree levels.

You will study the Certificate course for 1 year and 4 months and then only continue to the Diploma for 2 or 2.5 years depending on which course. After the Diploma, you will enter into Year 2 of the degree for another 2 years.

Some students are also confused that the “C” in UEC is equivalent to a credit and that is not true.

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