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3 Steps to Choosing The Right University Preparatory Programme in the UK

University preparation 2 April 2017

While many international students dream of studying in the UK, securing a place at a top British university can be difficult. Because the standard of education in the country is so high, many international students find that UK universities require more advanced knowledge in specific subject areas than they have, or that their English skills are not quite good enough for a top UK institution.

In these cases, a university preparatory programme could be the perfect solution. These short, focused bridging programmes are designed specifically to prepare international students for entry to UK universities. The courses allow them to build a strong foundation of knowledge in relevant subjects, while also working to improve their language skills.

There a number of different foundation programmes to choose from in the UK, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Here is how to find the right one for your needs.

1. Research the Entry Requirements at Universities

Every British university has its own specific requirements for accepting students. This will include a minimum English language proficiency, which is usually measured on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scale. Students may also need to have studied certain subjects in order to pursue a particular degree programme, and may be expected to achieve a minimum grade in order to be accepted.

Finding out exactly what is expected at the universities you are considering will help you to find a pathway programme that meets their requirements. Schools like CATS also have dedicated university admissions staff and UCAS officers who can offer valuable guidance during this process.

Staff at prep schools can help you understand the entry requirements for universities

2. Find a University Preparatory Programme That Offers the Right Subjects

Once you know what universities are looking for, you should take a closer look at the subject choices offered by the schools you are considering. Not all preparatory programmes offer the same subjects, and you need to make sure that you can choose electives that are relevant to your chosen area of study.

A university preparatory programme that offers a wide range of subjects will give you a better chance of finding the right combination. CATS, for instance, offers a huge variety of electives in common subject areas like math, chemistry, and biology, as well as more specialised niche subjects like international relations and psychology. This makes it ideal for students looking to study in many diverse fields.

3. Consider the Locations of Different University Prep Schools

Finding a university prep school in the right location can be extremely important. International students need to feel happy, safe, and secure in order to really excel in their studies, and choosing a city or town that they really feel at home in can make all the difference.

Different students will also have different needs. At CATS, for example, many international applicants will be attracted to our London campus, and all the attractions and possibilities the city has to offer. Others will prefer a smaller town like Canterbury, while some students favour Cambridge due to the city’s reputation as a top university town.

Some students prefer CATS Canterbury location, while others opt for different campuses

Whatever you choose, it’s important to find an institution that offers a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, with supportive staff and plenty of opportunities for students to make friends and socialise.  And with the guidance of a proven university prep school you, you will be free to focus on what is most important: finding the right university for you, and working towards securing your place!

Looking for a university prep programme?

Contact CATS to find out more about one of the best schools for university foundation in the UK!

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