What Will You Study in Foundation in Science at a Private University in Malaysia

Bioscience lab at Taylor's University

Bioscience lab at Taylor's University

Find Out About the Foundation in Science Programme

One of the popular pathways to a science-related degree at a private university in Malaysia after completing your secondary school education is taking the Foundation in Science. It is a Pre-University programme designed by the individual private university tailored to its undergraduate offerings. The subjects and teaching methods are different for each university so you should do some research to see which one fits you. Find out more about what you will study in the Foundation in Science programme in order to make the right choice.

Foundation in Science programmes can lead to engineering, pharmacy, medicine, applied sciences, health sciences and other arts related degree programmes such as accounting, business, computing, architecture, design, etc. After completing the Foundation in Science students have the choice to choose sciences or arts related degree programmes. Therefore, the Foundation in Science is ideal for students who are still unsure of what to study for their degree.

Below are the important points that students after SPM or O-Levels need to know about studying a Foundation in Science, when making a decision.

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Course Details for the Foundation in Science Programme in Malaysia

I had visited a university & was planning to join them as they were cheaper. I asked EduSpiral for advise & he met me & my parents at Nottingham University & explained to us why it matters to my future if I choose to study at a top ranked university.
I had visited a university & was planning to join them as they were cheaper. I asked EduSpiral for advise & he met me & my parents at Nottingham University & explained to us why it matters to my future if I choose to study at a top ranked university.

The Foundation in Science is a Pre-University programme in Malaysia offered at top private universities for students after SPM or O-Levels from the science stream. Students who are interested in pursuing a science-related degree may go for the 1-year affordable Foundation in Science programme that is recognised by the Malaysian Ministry of Education for entry into degree programmes at private universities. Students should choose the best university for Foundation in Science in order to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to handle the rigours of an undergraduate programme.

Students after SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels interested in a career in science-related degree programmes can go for the 1-year Foundation programmes at top private universities in Malaysia instead of an external Pre-University Course like SACEi, AUSMAT or A-Levels. In Malaysia, the Foundation in Science programmes are cheaper than the external Pre-University programmes and generally easier. If you do not plan on going overseas for your degree programme, then it is better to go for the Foundation programme at a top private university in Malaysia. Most private universities will give preference to their own students for entry into competitive courses like Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy. Scholarships are also provided for students taking their Foundation in Science programme.

You will get the chance to study a variety of subject areas in the Foundation in Science Programme. This will not only give you an idea of what subject you may like to progress on to, but also to develop the valuable learning skills necessary for pursue a degree. A Foundation in Science Programme in Malaysia can be 2 semesters with 6 months each semester or 3 semesters with 4 months each semester.

Malaysian private universities have been preparing students for study in top universities worldwide since the 1970s therefore they have the necessary experience to ensure quality for the Foundation programmes are adhered to.

Many top private universities in Malaysia, have developed their own internal university foundation programmes. These Foundation in Science courses are accredited by the Malaysia Qualification Agency (MQA) and recognised by the respective foreign partner universities.  To enter into the Foundation in Science programmes in Malaysia, students after SPM would need at least 5 credits in the relevant subjects with a pass in BM and Sejarah.

How long is the Duration for the Foundation in Science Programme?

3 semesters  (1 year of full-time study). Some universities offer a 2-semester Foundation which is still 1 year in duration.

Is the Foundation in Science Programme Recognised?

Mostly in Malaysia and some overseas. As long as the Foundation course is accredited by MQA, it will be accepted by another private university for entry into the relevant degree programme.

How many Subjects are there in a Foundation in Science Programme?

The number of subjects vary from 8 to 12 subjects depending on which university.

How much does a Foundation in Science Programme Cost?

The cost will vary from university to university. It will range from RM8,000 to RM30,000. Generally cheaper than overseas Pre-University courses and A-Levels

What will you Study in a Foundation in Science Programme in Malaysia

A Foundation in Science course in Malaysia focuses on science-related topics by concentrating on specific subjects related to

  • Mathematics – statistics, probability, calculus, algebra, trigonometry, etc.
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Information Technology
  • Business

A Foundation Programme is a pre-university programme, which means that you take this course right after SPM or O-Levels in order to gain entry into a Degree programme at university. The duration of a Foundation in Science is usually about 12 months.

One of the advantages of a Foundation in Science programme is that it prepares you for a smooth transition into a Science, Engineering or Information Technology degree at the same private university.

A Foundation in Science is administered by the university itself, unlike other pre-university courses that are administered by a central body (e.g. A-Level is administered by Cambridge, AUSMAT is administered by the Western Australian education board).

Therefore, the syllabus and subjects for the Foundation in Science will vary from university to university. On the other hand, the external Pre-University Programmes’ subjects, evaluation and assessment methods are standardised throughout Malaysia and globally. In addition, the private university has the ability to design the programme specifically catered towards Malaysian students.

Usually, you will be required to take certain compulsory core sciences subjects, and then take further subjects that are related to your intended degree such as engineering, food science, pharmacy, etc.

MPU Subjects / GENERAL STUDIES (Compulsory Units)
  • Through the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), the Ministry of Education (MOE), Higher Education Sector has imposed the following requirements on programmes offered by all private tertiary education providers:
  • MPU (i.e. General Studies) will replace MPW from September 2013 onwards (Ministry of Education directive of 18th June 2013).
  • The Ministry of Education requires that all NEW Degree (International and Malaysian) students enrolled in September 2013 and onwards must take the MPU units as a prerequisite for the award of their degree.
  • Malaysian Degree students must take the units and pass them as a prerequisite for the award of the degree.
  • Students are required to take other MPU units which will be rolled out during the course of their study.

Assessment for the Foundation in Science Programme at Private Universities in Malaysia

Assessment for Foundation programmes in Malaysia will vary from university to university. It will contain a mix of coursework, assignments, quizzes and exams.

The coursework could cover different assessment tasks such as projects, assignments, laboratory work, presentations, tests, and others as assigned throughout each semester. The final examination is conducted at the end of each semester. The assessments are subject to quality assurance procedures to maintain high standards and ensuring fair assessment.

General Entry Requirements into the Foundation in Science Programme at Top Universities in Malaysia

Note that the entry requirements for the Foundation in Science would vary from university to university in Malaysia. Top ranked universities such as Heriot-Watt University Malaysia and Nottingham University Malaysia would have higher entry requirements.

The entry requirements below serve as a guideline for students only. For specific entry requirements into the private universities in Malaysia, please contact EduSpiral Consultant Services at 01111408838.

Entry Requirements for Foundation in Science into Non-Science courses
  • 5 SPM or O-Level credits or Cs
  • A credit in Maths is needed for courses like Accounting, Finance, etc.
Foundation in Science Entry Requirements into Medicine
  • Minimum of 5 SPM or O-Level credits with Bs for Mathematics/Additional Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology and one more subject
Foundation in Science Entry Requirements into Pharmacy
  • Minimum of 5Bs in SPM or O-Levels including Biology and Chemistry and Physic and Math (or Additional Math)
  • SPM: Bahasa Malaysia & English – Minimum C is required
Foundation in Science Entry Requirements into Biotechnology, Culinology, Food Science, Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Biotechnology, Biomedical Science, Medical Imaging & Optometry
  • Minimum of 5 credits including Mathematics and 2 science subjects
Foundation in Science Entry Requirements into Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronic Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Chemical Engineering & Petroleum Programmes
  • Minimum of 5 Credits in SPM or O-Levels including Maths & Physics & 1 Pure Science Subject
Foundation in Science Entry Requirements into Computer Science, Software Engineering and IT Programmes
  • Minimum of 5 Credits in SPM or O-Levels including Maths
Foundation in Science Entry Requirements into Architecture Programmes in Malaysian Private Universities
  • Minimum of 5 SPM credits or Cs including Mathematics
  • Minimum of 3 UEC credits or Bs including Mathematics

Choosing the Best Pre-University Programme to Study in Malaysia

Students after SPM Or O-Levels in Malaysia have many choices to choose from for their Pre-University studies. Choosing the right Pre-University Programme is an important decision.

Firstly, the right Pre-University programme will help prepare you to face the challenges of an undergraduate degree programme. Making the wrong choice of Pre-University programme at the wrong university may leave you unprepared at the degree level and failing the subjects.

Secondly, every Pre-University programme has its own assessment methods such as coursework, assignments, quizzes or exams. They are a combination of all of them in varying percentages or just exam-based. Each students have their own learning styles and choosing the Pre-University programme with the right assessment method is important.

Thirdly, students after SPM or O-Levels would need to figure out their budget as it would determine which Pre-University course would be suitable for you. If you have very limited budget, then taking the UEC or STPM would be your only choices. Students with moderate budgets can consider the Foundation programme as it is cheaper than the external Pre-University programmes.

Finally, the course and university would be some of the factors affecting your decision in choosing the right Pre-University programme. If you plan to go overseas, then choosing one of the external Pre-University programmes would be your choice or if you plan to enter the IPTA or public university in Malaysia, the STPM or Matriculation would be your pathway.

As you can see, there are many factors that can affect your decision in choosing the right Pre-University programme in Malaysia. For best advise, you may contact our experienced counselor at EduSpiral Consultant Services.

Top 10 Reasons to Study Foundation in Science at a Private University in Malaysia

ersities-in-malaysia/img_4942/” rel=”attachment wp-att-437244″> 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 at Taylor’s University

There are plenty of reasons why you should choose a Foundation course at a top private university in Malaysia over external Pre-University Programmes such as the Australian Matriculation, Canadian Pre-U, South Australian Matriculation (SAM), STPM, etc.

  1. Foundation courses are generally cheaper than the External Pre-University Programmes
  2. Foundation programmes are generally easier than the External Pre-University Programmes. Unlike courses such as A-Level or Australian Matriculation, Foundation programmes are administered by the private universities themselves.
  3. The Foundation programmes at top private universities in Malaysia are Accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and approved by the Ministry of Education. Some are recognised for entry into overseas universities.
  4. The Foundation Programmes have more intakes in a year allowing you more flexibility.
  5. In the Foundation course, you get to study subjects that you like, which is science-related
  6. The Foundation coursework and exams are marked by Malaysians who understand what you write or express. Students who are weak in English would find it difficult to achieve higher grades in the external Pre-University programmes as they are marked by the overseas institutions.
  7. You will be exposed to different types of science subjects which would help you to decide which major to choose in the degree.
  8. The Foundation course is faster to complete and then to enter the degree programme compared to taking the UEC, STPM or A-Levels
  9. If you do not plan to go overseas, there is no reason to take an external Pre-U programme which is tougher and more expensive. The Foundation in Science is geared towards the degree programmes at the particular private university allowing you to transition easier into the degree programme.
  10. When you score well in the Foundation in Science, you can apply for scholarships for the degree programme at the same university.

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