Foundation in Science: Is It For You?

If you plan to pursue a degree in science, one of the most significant university preparation programmes is a Foundation in Science.

But what exactly does Foundation in Science teach you? 

What sets it apart from other programmes regarding degree alternatives, employment opportunities, etc.?

This article provides all the information needed about taking a science foundation course in Malaysia. Learn about the prerequisites, subjects offered, and where to enrol for a Foundation in Science programme.

Are you prepared to pursue your love of science? 

Then, read on for all the information you require! We analyse all angles to help make the right decisions. 

study science
Image by Philippe Delavie from Pixabay

What is Foundation in Science?

In Malaysia, a Foundation in Science is a curriculum that prepares students to pursue a science-related college or university degree. It focuses on science-related topics such as physics, chemistry, biology, arithmetic, and information technology. The core subjects also include the English language as one of the disciplines.

A Foundation in Science programme equips students to easily transfer from SPM to various science-related degrees, including medicine, engineering, biology, and computer science.

Upon completion, students will have the core information and abilities needed to pursue a degree in science since this programme is designed exclusively for students who intend to pursue their tertiary studies in a science-related field.

What do you study in the Foundation in Science course?

You can expect the following subjects as part of a Foundation in Science course:

  • Mathematics (Algebra, Calculus, Mathematics for Science)
  • Chemistry (General Chemistry, Principles of Chemistry)
  • Physics (Fundamentals of Physics)
  • Biology (General Biology)
  • English
  • Computing fundamentals

However, some universities might also offer more specialised courses tailored to students’ preferences. Here are a few examples:

  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Electromagnetism and Thermodynamics
  • Introduction to Engineering Technology
  • Engineering Design and Innovation
  • Introduction to Computing Mathematics
  • Introduction to Algorithm and Problem Solving
  • Introduction to Multimedia
  • Molecules, Cells and Energy
  • Thermochemistry and Organic Chemistry
  • Introduction to Medical Sciences
  • Psychology in Healthcare
  • Health Science (medicine, pharmacy)

What are the requirements for a Foundation in Science course?

The typical admission criteria for a Foundation in Science in Malaysia are as follows:

Students must have completed the following subjects for SPM or an equivalent exam with a minimum of 5Cs to enrol in the Foundation in Science programme in any university:

  • Mathematics.
  • Two science subjects—chemistry/ biology/physics.
  • English.
  • Additional maths (required by some universities).

Some institutions may have more stringent enrolment criteria, so it’s a good idea to ask a college or university. 

Science course
Image by Konstantin Kolosov from Pixabay

Benefits of taking Foundation in Science course in Malaysia

Here are some excellent reasons to start your tertiary education by enrolling in a Foundation in Science programme:

It is designed to give you a head start.

Students will learn the fundamentals of their preferred branch of science when they enrol in this programme. The course has a strong emphasis on specialised subjects giving students a head start and a strong foundation for success in earning a degree.

Additionally, students are given the opportunity to explore several subjects during the first year of study at certain institutions in Malaysia that provide both core and optional subjects.

It’s fast

The majority of institutions in Malaysia offer one-year foundational scientific programmes. Upon completing and passing the course, they can be admitted directly to an undergraduate degree in a science field if their results match the university’s prerequisites.

Comparatively, this route is quicker than other pre-university programmes such as STPM or A-Levels.

It’s affordable

Getting a good education may be expensive. However, there is no need to worry as the cost of doing a foundation in science is rather affordable since its duration is short. 

Additionally, certain colleges provide considerable foundation scholarships – Furthermore, if you go on to get a degree there. Although grades obtained will determine this, one can be sure that a foundation in science is a reasonably priced approach to earning an undergraduate degree.

Seamless transition to a degree programme

Since the foundation in science is structured so that the same university offers the undergraduate degree, it will be a seamless transition into the selected degree programme.

Additionally, students will be familiar with the educational environment and teaching method, which is an advantage to the students and the faculty.

It’s not easy to fail.

Unlike the A-Levels exam, which is created and graded by the Cambridge International Examinations organisation, the foundation in science examination is created and controlled by the university offering the course.

If a student wishes to succeed in STPM courses and A levels, they must have a thorough understanding of all the subjects. Consequently, this requires more effort and study because they are more academic in nature.

However, since the concentration is more on the subjects they are interested in, students who did poorly in their A-Levels usually perform better in foundation course exams.

Develop skills

Students have the chance to build higher education abilities in their selected disciplines throughout their 12-month foundation study.

Throughout the whole foundation period, students will gain the skills necessary to complete assessment assignments and use the acquired knowledge in their undergraduate degree. 

Students who successfully finish a foundation in science programme are more likely to adjust and handle their first year of the undergraduate course better.

It can be tailored to your situation.

While most foundation programmes are intended to be completed in a year, the college can extend specific courses to include all necessary material or expedite for quick learners.

Also, some institutions permit students to enrol in the foundation course at various periods throughout the year. However, some universities might not permit this. Get in touch with the university of your choice to learn more about the university’s offerings.

What courses can I take after the foundation in Science?

Students who successfully complete a Foundation in Science will be eligible to pursue the following degree programmes:

  • Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Computer science
  • Environmental Sciences
  • Mathematical sciences
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Biosciences
  • Pharmacy
  • Psychology
  • Applied science
  • Chemistry
  •  Nutrition science
  • Nursing
  • Zoology
  • Sports science
  • Aquatic science
  • Agricultural science
  • Quantity Surveying
  • Culinology
  • Astronomy

How long is a foundation in Science course in Malaysia?

Typically, a Foundation in Science programme in Malaysia lasts 12 months. However, specific courses can be accelerated for fast learners or prolonged to cover all relevant material.

Is A-level better than a foundation in Science?

What best suits students will depend on their priorities, requirements, and passion. That is the short answer to that question. It should be mentioned that neither option is superior to the other.

These are a few aspects to consider before making a choice:

  1. Choose Foundation to complete the course sooner A-Levels usually require two years to complete.
  2. Choose A-Level if you are academically oriented, love studying in general, and are eager to learn a few particular topics in-depth. Foundation will be preferable if one prefers to get right into their selected field.
  3. A-Levels are a better option for pursuing competitive degrees like medicine or getting into specific colleges.
  4. The A-Level is a better choice if students dislike term papers and presentations and wish to concentrate just on the final exam. On the other hand, the Foundation in Science might be a preferable choice to be evaluated often during the programme.
  5. A-Level is preferable if the student is considering studying abroad. However, if studying locally and in an accredited institution is preferred, Foundation programmes are the best option as it is mostly accepted locally.
  6. If a significant budget is available, selecting A-Level at any preferred school is a good option. However, if that is not the case, choosing Foundation courses is generally less costly.  

Should you study Foundation in Science?

The following are some questions to ask if you are debating studying Foundation in Science:

  • Do you excel in science and math subjects?
  • Are you absolutely certain that you want to major in science?
  • Do you intend to continue your undergraduate degree at the same institution?
  • Do you want to start learning about the topics that are most interesting to you now?
  • Do you wish to hasten the process of getting into college?

A Foundation in Science programme could be the best option if you answered “yes” to most of the above questions.

It would be wise to research before enrolling in Foundation in Science courses because they are often only accepted by specific colleges. Because other institutions do not accept the foundation in science certification, no one wants to be compelled to join a university that does not provide the degree of their choice.

Where can I study Foundation in Science in Malaysia?

Numerous eminent private institutions in Malaysia have developed their Foundation in Science programmes. These courses have received approval from the Malaysia Qualification Agency (MQA) and authorisation from the relevant international partner universities.

For example, UOW Malaysia KDU offers an approved and accredited Foundation in Science programme. 

The university created its curriculum to help students pass the entrance exams and prepare for undergraduate study challenges. With an emphasis on improving their critical thinking and English language abilities, students get a strong foundation in academic and communication skills.

Foundation in Science

UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College, Batu Kawan

Key highlights

  • Build a Strong Foundation In Science Subjects and Explore Other Topics
  • Smooth Transition Towards Your Bachelor Degree
  • Fastest Ways To Gain Entry Into A Science-related Degree
  • More Affordable Than Other Pre-university Programs


Achieving growth and success in your chosen science profession requires a solid scientific basis. With all the information regarding a foundation in science unveiled, it’s time to give yourself the gift of a rewarding education to help you achieve your career goals.

Check out the Foundation in Science programme at the best University College in Malaysia to acquire the necessary skills to succeed in competitive degree programmes and pursue your dreams. 

Other foundation programmes at UOW Malaysia KDU include:


28 October 2022


Science and Technology