What are the Education Pathways & Opportunities for Malaysia’s IGCSE Graduates?
Find Out the Best Study Route for Students after IGCSE
- Students after IGCSE will have to take either a Pre-University Programme or diploma first before entering into the degree programme
- What are the best education pathways and study opportunities for IGCSE graduates?
- Is the IGCSE recognised for entry into Malaysia’s private universities?
Part of finding the right course to study in Malaysia for you will be picking out the criteria that matters to most to you, and then seeing if any of the top private colleges or universities in Malaysia that you’re looking at fit those criteria. Choosing the right course to study in Malaysia is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life.
Students after IGCSE will have to take either a Pre-University Programme or diploma first before entering into the degree programme. This can be a good thing as you do not need to choose which degree programme yet. The time during your Pre-University can be taken to expose yourself to various courses and explore them.
Your decision will be influenced by many criteria such as the budget for your studies, accreditation of the course by MQA & relevant professional bodies, the suitability of the course against your academic results and career goals, tuition fees, job prospects, salary for the career, and more.
There are literally thousands of courses to choose from, and each university and college programme in Malaysia will vary on their offerings. You need to pick a major that your future self will thank you for. With this complete guide where we’ll walk you step-by-step through the process, you’ll be well on the way to finding the best course that will suit you.
You might also be interested to read:
- Can IGCSE/O-Level Students Apply for the PTPTN Loan at Private Universities?
- Top Courses to Study in Malaysia after SPM/IGCSE with Best Future Job Demand
- What is the Best Course to study after SPM / IGCSE O-Levels in Malaysia?
- Top 40 Courses You Should Choose to Study After SPM that has Future High Job Demand & Salary
- After SPM or IGCSE/O-Levels: Top 10 Tips on How to Make the Right Choice for Your Studies
- Choosing the Right Course After SPM or O-Levels Increases Your Chances of Getting a Good Job & Salary in Malaysia
- Best Diploma Courses in Malaysia at Top Colleges & Universities
- Entry Requirements for Foundation, Diploma & Degree Courses in Malaysia
- How to Choose the Best Private University or College in Malaysia that Fits Me?
- Study Courses that has High Job Demand in Malaysia
- Top 20 Courses to Study in Malaysia that has High Job Demand & Stable Salary
- Top 10 Best Courses to Study in Malaysia
- Malaysia’s 28 Top Jobs in Demand in Future with High Salaries
Please fill up the Form below and I will WhatsApp you and provide you with sound advise on how to choose the best private university or college in Malaysia to study at. If you do not give your mobile number or full name as in IC, your query will not be answered. Our knowledgeable & experienced counsellor will send you a message on WhatsApp & provide assistance from there.
What are Your Education Pathways and Opportunities after Completing the IGCSE in Malaysia?
We know that choosing a course to study after IGCSE/O-Levels can be overwhelming. When choosing the right course to study in Malaysia, one important criteria that students should look at is the job demand. Choosing to study a course that has future potential high job demand and salary would ensure that you have a higher chance of a successful career that would support your lifestyle goals.
Many students make the mistake of listening to advise from relatives or friends without checking if the information is true or not. In addition, they just follow their friends to study a course or university without much consideration.
If you don’t plan carefully, you may end up studying a course that has no job demand after you graduate. This would be an incredible waste of your time and money.
Some students enter college or university knowing what job they want to pursue and choose the course based on that career objective. Others don’t have a clear career path and study a subject that will give them the skills they need to pursue a variety of jobs.
We’re about to get to how to choosing the best course, but think about this, first:
- Will I get a job after I graduate with the degree that I chose?
- Will the job be around after I graduate or after 10 years?
- What college or university should I go to?
- What career should I choose?
- What degree should I get that I’ll be happy with 10, 20, and 50 years from now?
There are many factors in determining which course is best for you. You will need to take time and effort to research, think and evaluate which one that would suit you. There is no special formula in choosing the right course, it is a process in understanding yourself and your life goals.
What is the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE)?
The International General Certificate of Secondary Education is an English language based examination similar to GCSE and is recognised in the United Kingdom as being equivalent to the GCSE for the purposes of recognising prior attainment. It was developed by University of Cambridge International Examinations.
IGCSE stands for “International General Certificate of Secondary Education”. It is equivalent to the GCSE qualification which is taken by students in Year 10 – 11 in the UK to prepare them for further pre-university level study, such as A-levels.
The IGCSE is the ‘international’ version of this academic qualification as it’s available in many countries around the world. In the UK, the IGCSE is typically taught at international schools or private schools.
IGCSEs are internationally recognised as a highly-respected official high school qualification and act as the gateway to further academic study in the UK and beyond.
IGCSE examinations signal the completion of High School education, and are designed for students aged 14+ who want to progress on to A-levels – or other international equivalents – before entering university.
IGCSEs are available in a huge range of subjects including English language and Literature, Mathematics, Economics, Geography, History, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They are also available in a number of non-English languages such as Arabic, Chinese, French, Spanish, Japanese, Greek and Urdu.
IGCSEs are accredited by either Cambridge (Cambridge International Examinations) or Edexcel(Pearson Edexcel) exam boards.
How to choose your IGCSE subjects
Most schools require students to take a minimum of 5 or 6 IGCSE subjects which must include the 3 compulsory subjects of English, Science and Maths. Alongside these ‘core’ subjects, students can choose from a number of different subjects in areas such as arts, humanities, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and sports.
Your IGCSE subject choices should take into account your own interests, your future study and career plans, the subjects you have studied and done well in so far, and of course which IGCSE subjects your school offers.
You should think about which subjects you want to study at A-level (or pre-university A-level equivalents such as International Baccalaureate or Foundation) and at university.
If you already know which degree subjects or universities you are interested in, you should check whether they specify any particular GCSE subject grades in their prerequisites.
It’s important to remember that top-ranking universities will consider the quality of the IGCSEs that you have taken rather than the quantity. Taking a smaller number of IGCSEs will not inhibit your chances of a successful application, as long as you achieve strong grades in the subjects that you take.
How to check IGCSE results online?
- Cambridge – results can be accessed online for Cambridge IGCSEs for most students. Your school will be able to provide a code/login to enable you to access your results online.
- Pearson Edexcel – results can be released to students via the ‘ResultsPlus Direct’ system from 9am on results day. The school exams officer needs to have registered you for the online service in advance.
What is the Grading System for the IGCSE in Malaysia?
Students will need to understand the IGCSE grading system in order to find out if they qualify for entry into universities.
The IGCSE is graded from A* to G, with U stated as “Ungraded”. Each subject is graded from A* to G, with A* being the highest grade. Students are required to obtain minimum grade C for the 5 core subjects in order to proceed to the next advanced level or further education.
A credit is A* to C. Any grade “D” and below is not a credit.
The Cambridge IGCSE offers examinations twice a year, in June and November. The IGCSE issues the results in August and January every year.
The subjects are graded according to the grades as listed below:
Is the IGCSE Certificate Recognised?
The IGCSE qualification is recognised by the private universities in Malaysia for entry into the undergraduate programmes. Students who have completed the IGCSE and obtained the minimum results required may apply directly to a private college or university in Malaysia for a Pre-University Programme or diploma course. Upon completion of the Pre-U programme or Diploma, you may then continue on to the related degree course.
Other countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, China, Japan, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, etc also accept the IGCSE for entry into their universities in addition to other requirements such as Pre-University.
On the other hand, note that the IGCSE is not accepted for entry into the IPTA or public university in Malaysia.
Does Malaysia accept IGCSE Certificate for entry into University?
The IGCSE qualification taken by students from Malaysia’s High Schools, Home School or Independent Candidate is accepted for entry into the private universities and colleges only. The IGCSE is not recognised for entry into government or public universities also known as IPTA.
What course should I take after IGCSE?
Selecting the best possible degree course to study after completing the IGCSE is a key decision to make, and often a challenging one. It is important to take time to think over your decision as this could change your life forever.
You need to choose a degree based on your personal strengths and your goals. Most importantly, the right degree will help you to develop skills for the long term, for your career and personal development. Once you have decided on which degree, you may then choose the relevant Pre-University Programme or Diploma leading to that degree course.
These might include, for example, problem-solving, strategic and analytical skills, thinking creatively, and assimilating new ideas. There can be intense competition for jobs, therefore choosing the right university that will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills will enhance your chances for a successful career.
To choose the best course that fits you, you need to consider the following:
- Look at your results – what are your best & worst subjects, and which subjects are your favourite?
- What are your interests & hobbies?
- What is your passion?
- Job demand for the career of choice. There is no point in choosing a course out of passion and then graduate to find out that you cannot get a job in that field.
- Salary of the career of choice
- Discuss the budget for your studies with your parents. There is no point in choosing a course like Pharmacy or Medicine, if you cannot afford it.
After IGCSE, there are many different programmes at top private universities and colleges in Malaysia for you to choose from and sometimes it can be confusing. Furthermore, there are thousands of courses, and the same title of course may not be taught in the same way, or cover the same material, at every university offering it in Malaysia.
An experienced and knowledgeable advisor will be able to provide you with the right information and guide you. Students who are not sure of what to study after IGCSE can contact EduSpiral Consultant Services to help guide you to choose the right course and university in Malaysia.
Best Education Pathway in Malaysia After Completing the IGCSE
Students after IGCSE may go for a Pre-University programme with at least 5 credits or Diploma with at least 3 credits. These are just different pathways to the degree programme and you will have to research and see which one fits your needs.
After you have narrowed down the list of possible degree programme choices, they would serve as a guide in choosing the Pre-University programme or Diploma course that will lead you to the degree.
“Pre-University” means the course that you take before entering into a university bachelors degree programme. The common courses under Pre-University are A-Levels, Foundation, SACEi, AUSMAT, etc.
Students who have completed their IGCSE who are not sure what to study at degree level can go for the Pre-University course in Malaysia like A-Levels, SACEi, or Foundation.
During your Pre-University, talk to the lecturers and seniors about the various degree courses that you are interested in to find out more. Furthermore, join clubs and societies and expose yourself to the various fields of interest.
Students who are totally not sure of what to study can go for the arts or science streams in A-Levels, SACEi or Foundation. Since they are general, your options are wide open to most courses.
If you have narrowed down your choices to engineering courses but not sure which type of engineering course, you may go for the Foundation in Engineering. With the Foundation in Engineering, you can also enter into Computing and Business courses.
Design students may go for Foundation in Design while Architecture students can go for the Foundation in Natural & Built Environment. These courses would be better as you will be taught the technical skills and gain experience through assignments and course work. It will prepare you to do well in the degree.
Alternatively, students may go for even more specific programmes such as the Diploma. The diploma is for students who are sure of what they want. If you choose a particular diploma course, you will continue on to the related degree in the second Year.
Choosing the right Pre-University course that fits you would mean that you have to ask yourself which methods of assessment best suit you? Exams, coursework, practicals, group projects and presentations could all be in the mix in differing quantities. Every Pre-University course will include a % breakdown of assessment. You need to understand yourself and capabilities in order to decide which Pre-University course would best suit you.
What are the General Entry Requirements for IGCSE into Certificate, Diploma & Pre-U Programmes?
Generally, the minimum degree entry requirements for private universities and colleges in Malaysia are as below:
- Degree – 5 credits (Bs) in the relevant subjects
- Diploma/ Foundation – If students have at least 3 credits (Bs) to 4 credits (Bs), they cannot enrol for a degree programme straight away and must choose to do a Diploma/ Foundation programme
- Certificate – Students with 1B or 2Bs in the relevant subjects may take a Certificate course and then continue to Diploma
|Level of Study||IGCSE Grade Needed|
|Health Science Diploma||Minimum 5Cs in Relevant Subjects|
|American Degree Transfer Program (ADTP).||Minimum 5Cs|
|Foundation or Pre-University Programmes||Minimum 5Cs in Relevant Subjects|
What are the Entry Requirements for IGCSE into Degree Programmes after Pre-U or Diploma at Malaysia’s Private Universities?
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 for university vary with each institution. It’s important you understand the qualifications needed for the course you wish to pursue.
Each course will have its own entry requirements, often specifying both the subjects you must already have studied, as well as the grades you’ll need to have achieved. Malaysia’s Private Universities tend to express their entry requirements in a variety of ways. If you’re confused, always contact the university themselves.
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.
The entry requirements stated are for Foundation into the relevant degree programmes. Diploma programme requirements would need at least 3Cs including the subject requirements as stated. There’s no diploma for entry into Medicine, Pharmacy and Applied Science courses:
- Medicine and Pharmacy – Minimum 5Bs including Biology and Chemistry; and Physics or Mathematics
- Applied Science degree courses such as Biotechnology, Food Science, Nutrition, etc – Minimum 5Cs (Inclusive of Chemistry, Biology & Mathematics / Physics)
- Engineering Degree Programme Entry Requirements – Minimum 5 Cs (inclusive of Mathematics and Physics). For Chemical Engineering, the subjects required are Maths & Chemistry.
- Computing – Computer Science, Software Engineering and Information Technology (IT) – 5 credits, including Additional Mathematics
- Architecture & Quantity Survey – Minimum 5 Credits INCLUDING Maths
- Law – Minimum 5Cs including English & Bahasa Melayu
- Business – Business Administration, International Business, Human Resource Management, Marketing, Logistics etc – Minimum 5 credits (B6) and pass in Mathematics and English
- Accounting, Finance, Finance & Investment, Fintech, Banking & Finance and Actuarial Science – Minimum 5 credits including Mathematics and pass in English. For Accounting, MUET or IELTS is required
- Communications – Mass Communication, Public Relations, etc – Minimum 5 credits including English.
- Hospitality – Hotel Management, Event Management, Culinary Arts, Baking – Minimum 5 credits
- Creative Arts & Design – Minimum 5 credits
- Psychology – Minimum 5 credits including Mathematics and a science subject & Pass English
Types of Pre-University Programmes Relevant to IGCSE Graduates in Malaysia
Choosing the right Pre-University Programme will help you enter your university of choice to study the degree course that you want.
- Foundation programmes by private universities in Malaysia
- Diploma programmes at private universities
- University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) UK A-Levels
- South Australian Matriculation (SAM) or SACE International
- American Degree Transfer Program (ADTP)
- Edexcel International Advanced Level UK A-Levels
- Western Australian Matriculation (AUSMAT)
- Canadian International Matriculation Programme (CIMP)
Is my Personality Right for the Course and Future Career?
The Myers & Briggs MBTI Personality Type Test, which separates people into 16 psychological types. These often are a great way to figure out if a particular university major, minor, or career choice is right for you.
Accreditation & Recognition of the Top Private Universities in Malaysia
When choosing a course, students need to make sure that they are also accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Audit (MQA) and approved by the Malaysian Ministry of Education.
Recognition and accreditation by the various professional bodies are important such as:
- Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)
- Pharmacy Board
- Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia (LAM)
- Persatuan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM)
- Nursing Board
- Malaysian Medical Council (MMC)
- Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA)
- Legal Profession Qualifying Board (LPQB), Malaysia
- Board of Quantity Surveyors Malaysia (BQSM)
- Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
- Society of Actuaries (SOA)
- Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (iFoA)
Can IGCSE Students Apply for the PTPTN Loan for Degree at Private Universities?
IGCSE students are eligible to apply for the PTPTN education loan if they fulfil the minimum entry requirements for the degree programme at Malaysia’s private universities. They must possess a IGCSE certificate and qualify to enter a private college or University.
They must be Enrolled in a Private Tertiary Education Institution (IPTS) that offers a full-time degree or diploma course that is approved by MQA & JPS. Furthermore, the courses must be accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA).
PTPTN Loan Amount
PERINGKAT PENGAJIAN UNTUK IPTS
|JUMLAH PEMBIAYAAN SETAHUNMENGIKUT PERINGKAT*|
|Diploma (Farmasi, Pergigian & Sains Kesihatan)||12,750||9,560||6,380|
|Ijazah Sarjana Muda (Sains)||14,030||10,520||7,010|
|Ijazah Sarjana Muda (Sastera)||13,600||10,200||6,800|
|Ijazah Sarjana Muda (Farmasi, Pergigian & Sains Kesihatan)||17,000||12,750||8,500|
|Ijazah Sarjana Muda Perubatan (MBBS)||30,000||30,000||30,000|
Peringkat jumlah pembiayaan ditentukan berdasarkan kelayakan di bawah:-
Sekiranya pelajar atau penjaga pelajar disenaraikan sebagai penerima Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M)
75% daripada pembiayaan maksimum
Pendapatan keluarga tidak melebihi RM8,000 (tiada dalam data BR1M)
50% daripada pembiayaan maksimum
Pendapatan keluarga melebihi RM8,000 (tiada dalam data BR1M)
- The first loan payment is released only after the completed agreement is received by PTPTN.
- Subsequent payments will be made after PTPTN receives confirmation from the IPT
- The loan payment is credited directly to the student’s account.
What are your Career Interests?
If you are considering a particular course because it is a requirement for your career path, it is hopefully something that interests you. Your interests are a fine way of determining the right course to study. I mean, if you like doing something, why not get paid for it, right?
For example, maybe you loved the English subject and you read novels for pleasure in your own time. You can consider Teaching English as a Second Language, journalism or Mass Communication. In addition, you don’t have to do a journalism degree to become a journalist – many degrees are considered!
Maybe you’ve always been interested in computers and the internet at home, and enjoyed maths at school, so are considering a degree in computer science, a course subject you probably won’t have studied before.
If the course is of no interest to you, it might be wise to either reconsider your occupation or find out if there are alternative areas of study that interest you more. Some parents force their children to study courses that they have no interest in. It will be nearly impossible to do well at university while studying something that bores you.
What are the Chances of Success at Obtaining the Degree?
The area of study you are considering may seem extremely interesting, but you should consider if you have the right academic results and character to study hard to complete the course. Also, you will need to be able to consistently maintain good grades for the degree course.
Courses such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Engineering are considered “tough” courses. You need to assess your academic grades and personality to ensure that you are prepared to see the course through.
Abilities are what you are able to do, generally speaking. Understanding what areas you have skills in and which areas could use work is a great way to start the elimination process when choosing a course.
Don’t major In a subject that Is beyond your abilities. Most people can’t succeed in every area. For example, if you aren’t good in math, it’s a bad idea to major in that area or anything that involves numbers such as actuarial science, data science, computer science or engineering.
What are the Chances of Finding a Job with your Degree in Malaysia?
You have determined that not only do you have a great interest in a particular course but also an aptitude or natural talent for it.
It seems like the right choice for you but does it have a high job demand in Malaysia? If not, then you may have enjoyed studying the course but end up suffering for the rest of your life trying to find a good job with a salary that can sustain your lifestyle.
The ever-increasing cost of living in Malaysia is making it challenging for fresh graduates and working professionals to support their lifestyle. Try to choose something that will increase your chances of finding a job after graduation. Do some research to learn what jobs in Malaysia have a high job demand and which courses are needed for these jobs.
Part of finding the right career in Malaysia for you will be looking at the future job demand in Malaysia and globally. You don’t want to have completed a degree course and then not be able to find a job or realise that the job pays very low salary. Therefore, it is important for students after high school or Pre-University to choose the right course to study – you don’t want to waste your time and money on a course you don’t want to do (or end up dropping out of).
What is the Employment Outlook for the Course in Malaysia? Is it Employable?
We live in a time of unrelenting technological progress and innovation. Artificial intelligence and automation are changing the game right now, and it’ll only be more so in the future.
75 million job roles are expected to disappear by 2022 according to the “Future of Jobs Report 2018” by the World Economic Forum and another 133 million roles are expected to emerge. In addition, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), artificial intelligence (AI), innovation, automation, Internet of Things (IOT) and other technological advancement would impact all industries. The Industry 4.0 will change the kinds of jobs needed across all market sectors.
In other words, will you be able to easily and readily find employment in a related field after you earn the degree? You don’t want to choose a course and then find out upon graduation that the job has been replaced by a robot! Find out what the job outlook is for the career you are considering.
What Course to Study if You Already Know What You Want
Choose a particular degree course because it will prepare you for a specific career path or advanced study. Maybe you already know that you want to be a banker, mechanical engineer, software engineer or physiotherapist.
A job may require a specific degree course. For example, to become an accountant, you would have to major in accounting; or to become a software engineer, your major would be software engineering or computer science. These areas of study will equip you with the knowledge and skills that are essential to performing these jobs.
For other jobs, students have some leeway in what you can study with some limitations. To be an actuary, for instance, one can get a degree in mathematics, actuarial science, business, or statistics. This is because you would still need to sit for the actuarial science professional papers. Aspiring entrepreneurs also have a variety of choices such as business administration, entrepreneurship, management or any business related degree.
What is the Salary for the Job in Malaysia?
Future earning potential is worth considering because studying at a private college or university in Malaysia is a big investment. One of the aims of getting a degree is to get a good job with a decent or high salary. This is to ensure that you have the finances to support your lifestyle.
When choosing a course, keep in mind of what kind of salary that you are able to accept for your future lifestyle. Nobody wants to struggle financially later in life.
And if you want to have a family later, it is important to keep in mind what kind of salary the career that you are planning to choose. Also, you’re gonna have to pay back the PTPTN Loan, and have enough money to buy a car, house, and travel!
Should I Choose the Course that I like?
Some students choose a course simply because they love the subject matter. If you love what you’re studying, you’re more likely to fully engage with your classes and college experience, and that can mean better grades and great relationships with others in your field.
An undergraduate degree course in Malaysia lasts three to five years – that’s a long time to spend studying something which you don’t enjoy, especially at a more intense level! First of all ask yourself what you have enjoyed studying at secondary school in Malaysia.
Your SPM or O-Level results will show what you are actually good at. Having good results in Maths, you can consider Actuarial Science, Accounting, Computing or Finance courses. Having narrowed down to these courses, you can go for the Foundation in Arts for 1 year before really choosing which one to study for your degree.
But if the course that you are passionate about doesn’t command a high salary in Malaysia, and that also doesn’t fit with your lifestyle, then you may need to reconsider.
What if I am still not sure of what to Study?
If you truly have no idea what you want to study, that’s okay. This is because you have to take some sort of Pre-University (Pre-U) programme after SPM or O-Levels before continuing on to the degree. If you are still not sure of what to study, you can choose general Pre-University programmes such as South Australian Matriculation or SACE, A-Levels, Foundation in Arts or Foundation in Science.
You will have some time during Pre-University to explore and figure out what you want to study for your degree.